Lights, camera, location in Hertfordshire
PUBLISHED: 18:00 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:48 20 February 2013
From Harry Potter and Nanny McPhee, to Johhny English and Lara Croft, our beautiful county is making its mark on the big screen
WHEN it comes to movie location choices, Hertfordshire has been featuring high on the list of priority.
Stars of the big and small screen have enjoyed the delights of the county which has a glitzy showreel including Harry Potter, Bourne Ultimatum, Saving Private Ryan and Gosford Park.
All the Harry Potter films have been filmed at Leavesden Studios just outside Watford including the latest movie release Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix while previous Harry Potter films have been shot on location on the Ashridge Estate and Huntonbury Village Estate.
The Ashridge Estate has also played host to Alfie, Amazing Grace, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Children of Men and Mr Bean's Holiday and is due to hit the big screen again the autumn. Matthew Vaughn's $65million fantasy film Stardust, staring Claire Danes, Robert de Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer, is released on October 19.
Other top filming choices include Knebworth House - 28 Weeks Later, Agent Cody Banks 2, Nanny McPhee, Eyes Wide Shut - and Hatfield House - Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Hot Fuzz, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, The Importance of Being Earnest, Vanity Fair
Screen East, the Regional Screen Agency for the East of England, receives more than 3,000 enquiries every year from production companies looking for locations for filming and is on the hunt for new locations and properties in Hertfordshire to add to its database.
Residential houses or flats, barns, warehouses, churches, schools, farms, hotels and B&Bs in the could all benefit financially from welcoming film crews with fees ranging from several hundred to several thousand pounds a day.
Services provided by local dry cleaners, florists, wood suppliers and cleaners are also in regular demand.
Kerry Ixer, head of locations for Screen East, says, 'A county that can provide a variety of locations, people with good rather than bad filming experiences and councils and police who are cooperative, will always encourage filming to the area.'
For the making of 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire', Screen East worked closely with the location team on the filming sequence of the 'Quidditch World Cup' that were filmed at night at a location close to Leavesden Studios.
For the making of 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban' Screen East applied for a temporary traffic order on behalf of the production to allow the opening 'Knight Bus' sequences from the book, when Harry runs away from the Dursley's house in Privet Drive, to be filmed on the Huntonbury Village Estate.
Kerry adds, 'Screen East has 7,000 locations registered in the East of England and locations range from farms to courthouses, pubs to schools and flats to country houses. Film companies pay to use locations and fees can range from several hundred to several thousand pounds a day depending upon the production and what they would like to do.
'We are always seeking additions to our library, in particular residential properties of all sizes, styles and conditions as well as large disused properties.'