Written by on Oct 1, 2010. Posted in Production News

Made in Dagenham doubles Welsh factory for London Ford plant

New feature Made in Dagenham has used an old Hoover factory in Wales to double for the Ford motor plant that used to exist in Dagenham, east London. The film tells the true story of female workers who went on strike in 1968 over pay and poor working conditions.

With the factory itself having long since disappeared, the Producers found a suitable double in Merthyr Tydfil, south Wales. Penny Skuse, of the Wales Screen Commission, said: “[The Made in Dagenham scout] was asking about closed or disused factories (manufacturing, cars or textiles etc) that might still have a lot of machinery inside. He explained what the film was about and said that they would want to use the factory floor, corridors, offices, factory gates, roads between industrial buildings and so on.”

Elizabeth Karlsen, one of the Producers, said: “[The Hoover factory] was perfect for the shoot because it’s no longer a working factory. It used to employ 5,000 people but, sadly, they have been closing it down over the past few months.”

Aside from dressing the factory to give it a 60s feel, very few changes were made by the production team. About 20 local freelancers were employed to bolster the crewing numbers. Accommodation proved an issue during part of the shoot as production coincided with the Ashes tournament so 70 crew members were spread around several different hotels.

Nigel Cole, the Director, said: “Filming in the factory was really helpful because everyone could feel what it would really be like to work in a place like this. We tried to employ as many local people as possible and have about 50 local women playing striking women in the film.”

Skuse added: “Although we have suggested it to a number of productions in the past year, only a short, low-budget film has used it since Made in Dagenham.”

Made in Dagenham is in cinemas from today.

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