Illustrious London locations feature in The Children Act
Directed by Richard Eyre (Notes on a Scandal, Iris) and produced by Duncan Kenworthy (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral) The Children Act filmed in numerous London locations including the Royal Courts of Justice.
The drama stars Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks, Sense and Sensibility) as family court judge Fiona Maye who must rule on a complex case while enduring a marital crisis with husband played by Stanley Tucci (Spotlight, A Big Night). The drama is based on a true story that Ian McEwan novelised in 2014 and adapted into a screen play for Toledo Productions and BBC Films. The adaptation premiered at the 2017 Toronto Film Festival to glowing reviews.
The production based itself at London’s Pinewood Studios, but essential filming took place in recognisable locations around London. Around 125 cast and crew were involved in filming around Gray’s Inn Square and Lincoln’s Inn, the heart of London’s legal world. The ornate interiors of the Royal Courts of Justice where English High Court judges practice were also captured. Opened in 1882, the court’s marble floors, grand arches and stained-glass windows add a sense of gravitas to the life or death case that is the subject of the film.
In Southwark, a fake grave was constructed for an emotional funeral scene by Southwark Council staff. Andrew Pavord, founder and chair of FilmFixer who facilitated the London shoots, said “The scene involved 75 cast and crew, showing mourners around a grave, with Emma Thompson standing slightly apart, watching from the footpath”. As Thompson walks away “shots from a drone and large crane pan upwards to show the city skyline in the background”. Camberwell New Cemetery in Southwark met the panoramic requirements, as well as being open to filming in the graveyard.
Commenting before the Toronto Film Festival premiere in 2017, Pavord noted that the film was “among the most highly anticipated premieres at this year’s Toronto Film Festival” adding that “it’s extremely gratifying to support the links between prestigious work such as this, acclaimed by the global film community, and the London locals who hosted it”.
The UK provides a 10% cash rebate to films that shoot 10% of the production in the country. The deep production base and numerous studios, including Pinewood, makes London one of the top global production hubs that attracts big-budget films such as Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Film London will be exhibiting at FOCUS the meeting place for international production in London on the 4th & 5th of December. Click here to register your interest in the event so you can find out more about filming in Scotland.
Photos © The Children Act
Production Stills © Kelly Jones of Film Fixer
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