For our latest ‘I Love Filming In…’ short produced in partnership with The GREAT Campaign we look at Disney epic ‘Into the Woods’. This fantasy adventure is directed by Rob Marshall (‘Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides’) working from a screen play by Broadway writer and composer James Lapine and a score by Stephen Sondheim.
The film sees stars including James Corden, Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep sing their way through the intertwined stories of some of our best-loved fairytale characters including ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, ‘Rapunze’, ‘Cinderella’ and ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. Into the Woods was a successful Broadway musical before making the transition to the big screen.
Where Was Into The Woods Filmed?
‘Into the Woods’ was shot on location in Buckinghamshire, Surrey, Kent and Hertfordshire as well as at Shepperton Studios. When the production visited Hambleden Village in Buckinghamshire, members of our Production Services team were able to advise filmmakers on the highways policy before putting them in direct contact with the governing body of Buckinghamshire highways. Hambleden Village has a history of being featured on the silver screen and in addition to appearing in ‘Into the Woods’, you may recognize the location from childhood classic ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’.
Director Rob Marshall and his team chose to shoot ‘Into the Woods’ across the South East of England due to its breath-taking scenery and amazing backdrops. Supported by the Kent Film Office, the film shot on location at Dover Castle during which the production used green screens to digitally create shots of dilapidation and destruction when the iconic castle crumbles in a dramatic earthquake scene. This same location can also be seen when Cinderella marries her prince.
Dover Castle has appeared in other blockbuster movies such as ‘Johnny English’ starring Rowan Atkinson and ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’, where it doubled for the Tower of London. The castle, which is managed by English Heritage, is to reprise its role as the famous London landmark in the forthcoming television drama, ‘Wolf Hall’, which provides the subject for Creative England’s next ‘I Love Filming in’ short film.
Likewise, the woods found in Windsor Great Park were transformed into a mythical land where characters like Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella must venture to seek their dreams. A waterfall within Windsor Great Park was also used by the production as the setting for the ‘Agony’ duet between the film’s two Princes Charming, lamenting their lack of success in finding love. Waverley Abbey in Surrey also makes an appearance in Disney’s latest feature, having previously appeared in the modern zombie classic ‘28 Days Later’.
“It’s so rich, you know, England in terms of so many things we needed for fairytales,” explains director Rob Marshall. “It has period villages still. It has magnificent forests and woods with ancient trees with scale and size and that was thrilling to find. It has castles, which is part of our fairytale world. It just lends itself to that so beautifully.”
This Series of ‘I Love Filming In’ has been produced in partnership with The GREAT Britain Campaign. Creative England is working alongside Disney to showcase some of the country’s most incredible film locations and highlight just what the English regions have to offer film and television productions. Expect further shorts focusing on forthcoming titles including, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Alice: Through The Looking Glass’ and the much anticipated ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, as well as a further film focusing on Company Pictures’ adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s ‘Wolf Hall’.
Watch our I Love Filming In…England’s South East short below:
To find out more about shooting in Hambledon or filming in the South East contact our Production Services Team or follow them on Twitter. Their expert advice can help both ensure a smooth shoot for productions of any filming in the South East.
For advice on filming in Kent, contact the Kent Film Office.
Our second ‘I Love Filming In…’ short focuses on BBC Two’s ‘Wolf Hall’ and can be viewed here. We also filmed an exclusive interview with The National Trust’s Head of Filming Locations Harvey Edgington to find out how the show used their extensive stately homes. To view that head here.