Written by on Jan 19, 2015. Posted in Production News

BBC Films bases war memoir Testament Of Youth on location in Yorkshire

A feature adaptation of famous First World War memoir Testament Of Youth based its location filming in Yorkshire, northern England, but also shot in Oxford and London. The film tells the story of Vera Brittain’s experiences as an Oxford student and then as a battlefield nurse.

Screen Yorkshire was a principal funding partner on the shoot, so production was based in northern England. Creative England assisted by providing a shortlist of suitable locations, and also by connecting the team with locally-based crew.

“We put forward several locations that were used for the shoot and also helped with negotiating vital filming permissions via our established relationships with local councils, as per our Film Friendly Partnership,” explains Chris Hordley, Creative England’s Production Liaison Manager for Yorkshire & East Midlands.

“Creative England works closely with local authorities through our Film Friendly Partnerships to ensure productions follow correct procedures and have the right contacts within councils.”

The Welbeck Estate near Sheffield became one of the main filming locations. Spanning 15,000 acres across the borders of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, the estate also offers an historic park dating back to the mid-18th century.

We put forward several locations that were used for the shoot and also helped with negotiating vital filming permissions.

Chris Hordley, Creative England

“Heyday Films were able to use Stable Court (which has high-speed fibre-optic broadband) as a production office with multiple other buildings in use for other production functions,” says Robert Mayo, Development Director at Welbeck Estates.

“They used Cuckney House for numerous interior and exterior scenes; Titchfield Library was used as a rehabilitation ward; Welbeck Abbey exteriors were used as a backdrop for Uppingham School, and various parts of the estate were used for the Etaples hospital scenes.

Vera Brittain served as a Voluntary Aid Detachment nurse on the Western Front during the war and a trench set was also built in the Welbeck grounds for the shoot.

Greenwich Naval College in London doubled for Whitehall, but otherwise the streets of the capital were largely recreated in Bradford, Sheffield and York.

Testament Of Youth was supported by the Screen Yorkshire Development Fund, which is the largest regional fund of its kind in the UK and a major reason for the north’s growing production appeal. The fund recent supported a feature adaptation of the classic comedy Dad's Army (above), as well as gangster drama Peaky Blinders, period smuggler saga Jamaica Inn and the Belfast-set ’71.

(Testament Of Youth image: BBC; Dad's Army image: Universal Pictures, Screen Yorkshire and DJ Films)


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