Chris Hordley in Film & TV


Creative England helps Yorkshire shine in ITV’s ‘Victoria’

Some of Yorkshire’s finest stately homes star alongside Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, Death Comes to Pemberley, Dancing on the Edge) in Mammoth Screen’s Victoria when it takes the prime Sunday night slot on ITV this weekend.

The new eight-part drama, which covers the early life of the monarch from her accession to the throne aged just 18 through to her marriage to Prince Albert, played by Tom Hughes (The Game, Dancing on the Edge, Silk), shot extensively at locations across Yorkshire, with many places doubling for iconic London landmarks such as Buckingham Palace (Harewood  House, Bramham Park, Wentworth Woodhouse, Newby Hall), the House of Lords (York Guildhall and York Minster School), Kensington Palace (Castle Howard, Newby Hall,  Bramham Park, Wentworth Woodhouse) and Windsor Castle (Carlton Towers).

Victoria also filmed at Whitby Harbour, York Guildhall and Beverley Minster, which doubled as Westminster Abbey, whilst the central Buckingham Palace set where much of the seven month shoot took place was created by Production Designer, Michael Howells at Screen Yorkshire’s new Church Fenton Studios, near Leeds.

Supervising Location Manager, Jim Allan said: 

 “The streets of both York and Whitby along with the Stately Homes of Yorkshire looked fantastic and were ideal for Victoria, also nothing was too much trouble. With the on-going help of local Councils, Owners and Staff, plus the bonus of guidance from Creative England we achieved all our goals on schedule. Yorkshire has great locations and a 'can-do' attitude.” 

Kaye Elliott, the Head of Production Services at Creative England, said: 

“It’s fantastic for Yorkshire’s world class locations to be taking centre stage once again in this new prime-time drama for ITV. The quality of this production is another illustration of how Yorkshire has the skilled crews and facilities to make world class television and now a new large scale studio facility, which is sure to bring further productions to the North.” 

Creative England’s Production Liaison Manager for Yorkshire, Chris Hordley, was on hand from the outset to assist with sourcing locations and permissions for the production. Chris put forward location suggestions to help secure the project for the region, and supported the initial producer site meeting with Victoria producer, Paul Frift, at Church Fenton Studios, which is managed by Screen Yorkshire. He then continued to provide valuable liaison support through pre-prep and into production, working closely with Location Manager, Jim Allan, throughout the shoot.  Creative England also supported the production to source regional crew and businesses to work on the drama once filming was confirmed to secure local jobs.

Sally Joynson, Chief Executive at Screen Yorkshire, who manage Church Fenton Studios, said: 

“Adding the Church Fenton Studios to Screen Yorkshire’s portfolio means that for the first time we are able to attract large scale projects like Victoria to the region.  Finding the right locations and a studio big enough to build the main Buckingham Palace set was a key priority for Mammoth Screen, who spent seven months filming in the region, generating work and income for local crew, location owners and the wider supply chain. It marks a major sea change for the film & TV industry in Yorkshire and we are excited about the further opportunities Church Fenton Studios will bring as we embark on phase two of development at the site’’ 

Chris drew on the assistance of Creative England’s Filming Partnership network to facilitate a smooth shoot for Victoria. Thanks to the relationship he has built up with Filming Partners at Scarborough Council, he was able to fast track the filming at Whitby Harbour, turning around within one week the initial request for permission to film.

The crewing team at Creative England was also closely involved in the production of Victoria. This started in June 2015 when Nicky Ball, the national Crew and Facilities Manager, began supporting Line Producer, Amanda Black, and investigating crew that were available and had period experience to work on this high end drama across production office, make up, costume, sound, camera, scripts and electrical departments. Two areas that benefited the most from Creative England’s intervention were the production office and art department.  Within the art department team the roles of Assistant Art Director, Standby Art Director, Art Department Assistant, Prop Master and Petty Cash Buyer all found work through Creative England.  The team also worked with the Assistant Director’s team to find stand-ins for actors. Overall Creative England helped 18 of its database members find work on Victoria amounting to over 1271 days of work for local crew.

Film and television production is a great driver of economic growth in the English regional economies. Films can spend up to £35,000 per day on employing local crew and services from hotels, restaurants and taxis to security firms and caterers. A TV drama can have a daily on location spend of up to £20,000. In addition to the immediate investment there is the added boost to tourism when a location is featured on screen. According to figures from Creative England and research specialist OlsbergSPI in association with VisitEngland, international screen tourists brought between £100 million and £140 million to the economy in 2014 with the most popular locations attracting up to £1.6million a year from international tourists.

Alexis Guntrip, Marketing Manager, Harewood House Trust, said

"Filming is a vital income stream for Harewood House Trust helping to maintain the house and collection we care for. Having a production like Victoria in Yorkshire gives us tremendous opportunities to showcase the house as well as creating interest from visitors around the world.

Filmmaking and film tourism is big business and it’s something that Creative England supports continuously in Yorkshire. Last year, whilst filming Victoria, Creative England brought a group of US film producers to Harewood, providing a great chance for us to build new relationships and to showcase Harewood as a key filming destination.

We’re really pleased to be hosting a costume exhibition next year of dresses worn by Jenna Coleman in the rooms which were shot. Opening in March 2017, it’s a clear legacy from the production and something that we hope visitors will enjoy.”

Victoria starts on ITV at 9pm on Sunday 28th August.

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