Written by on Nov 12, 2013. Posted in On Location

Bourne Woods in the UK expands location filming opportunities

Bourne Woods in Surrey in the UK has had its location filming regulations relaxed to give productions more access. The woods memorably doubled for a Germanic battlefield in the opening sequence of Gladiator in 1999 and recently appeared in a battle sequence in Thor: The Dark World.

Filming can now take place in the woods for up to six months of the year, reports the Surrey Advertiser Group. After-dark shooting is restricted to seven nights of the year and productions must get special permission to use helicopters for aerial shots.

Set builds will be limited to a height of 25 metres and productions will have to use ‘silent’ generators. In addition, members of the public visiting the woods will be restricted to the footpaths and bridal paths for 28 days of the year.

Local authorities are clearly keen to maximise productions in the woods, as the location is viewed as a good source of revenue for Surrey. The woods offer easy access to London’s studios and as a result have attracted large-scale productions like Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, the Harry Potter franchise and War Horse, as well as Thor: The Dark World. Nevertheless, there is opposition to the development, as locals are concerned about curbed public access to the woods.

“There is an army of people keeping us out of our woods. We are giving away far too much access to our woods for an inordinate amount of time,” local Councillor Carole Cockburn told Surrey Advertiser Group.

Bourne Woods offers easy access to London’s studios and as a result has attracted large-scale productions.

Maintaining a balance between expanding facilities and accessibility for the UK’s growing production industry, and remaining sensitive to local residents is a continuing issue. Pinewood Studios has had a long-term challenge on its hands as its major expansion plan – the Pinewood Studios Development Framework – has been rejected several times by local authorities, forcing amendments.

(Thor The Dark World photo: Jay Maidment/Marvel)


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