Today sees the release of the latest Mike Leigh feature Mr Turner, based on the eponymous eccentric British painter played by Timothy Spall (Harry Potter). The Film4 production was both written and directed by Leigh and co-stars Dorothy Atkinson (Call the Midwife), Paul Jesson (Coriolanus) and Marion Bailey (Vera Drake).
Mr Turner follows the final twenty five years of the artist’s life. After being seriously affected by the death of his father; we find Turner living with his housekeeper whom he adores but often takes for granted and exploits. Later in his penultimate years he forms a close relationship with a landlady and settles within Chelsea where he died. Throughout the tale he travels and paints, becoming a popular, if anarchic, member of the Royal Academy of Arts.
Creative England’s Production Services Team aided in several enquiries from the production throughout filming. The town of Kingsand, Cornwall features in the film as a double for 1930’s Margate in Kent, this was due to the modernisation in the town of Margate today. As a result, Kingsand had to be extensively dressed to suit the needs of the film. Other featured locations include Petworth House & Park in West Sussex, Luton Hoo Estate Bedfordshire which was used as the location of the market scenes and Hampermil House, Hertfordshire which was used to represent Mr Turner’s home on Cheyne Walk.
Creative England’s Production Services Team pooled all of its national resources together after the production requested Georgian / Regency Period properties to replicate the Royal Art Academy in London. After a suitable location that fit their desired brief was secured, the feature performed their own reconnaissance of Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham which was ultimately featured in the film. A rowing scene was filmed at Stangate Creek in Swale, mirroring the famous watercolour by Turner circa 1823. The feature also filmed on the HMS Gannet, which was located at Chatham’s historical dock yard. This doubled for a pleasure vessel of the period located on the river Thames.
This, including other aspects that Creative England offered help for during the production, was the result of the extensive crewing services and location expertise of our country wide Production Services team. Our staff are poised to help productions both big and small wherever they need to shoot and find perfect locations that might not be previously known to Location Scouts.
For more information on our crew and location databases head here. Follow the link for locations and crew support for filming in Cornwall, filming in West Sussex and filming in Bedfordshire.