Blast Arts 2008
By Nadia Emam
The picturesque landscapes of North Yorkshire have been a decorative chameleon for the silver screen. Dressed as a wizard’s world for 'Harry Potter' and his magical adventures, to a magnificent aristocrats abode in 'Brideshead Revisited'.
Since the motion picture has been able to break free of studio confinement, production crews have been demonstrating a mass exodus towards locations across North Yorkshire. It seems the ground beneath our feet is an embryonic canvas for camera crew and lens alike.
From the sweeping moor lands exploding colour, to archaic, coastal villages. It is these hidden gems that promote the county into the spotlight, and it seems there is no other place around England that can protrude such diverse range of scenery.
Back to Brideshead
This year we see the adaptation of what was labelled as one of the greatest costume dramas of all time: 'Brideshead Revisited'. Imagine Northhanger Abbey meets Pride and Prejudice, add the grand façade of Castle Howard and you have a film boasting decadence and romance. It is an evocative tale of Charles Ryder’s infatuation with the aristocratic Marchmain family during the pre World War II era.
Cast includes Emma Thompson, Matthew Goode and Michael Gambon working alongside 'Becoming Jane' director Julian Jarold on the adaptation of the novel by Evelyn Waugh. Local actors from York and Malton were given the opportunity to be extras in numerous scenes. Sets included World War II bases planted on the front lawns of the family home, with the interior embellished for dazzling ballrooms and ornate bedrooms.
Castle Howard was also used in the television series of the book in 1981, as it is said that the building epitomises the power and privileges of the Lords and Ladies of pre wartime England.
According to the world of cinema, a fat ginger cat reigned supreme the castle in the film Garfield 2.
Toilets at Goathland station revamped!
A magical journey for Wizards and Muggles
Famously we have also seen the North Yorkshire Moors Railway appearing on screen on numerous occasions. Any Harry Potter fanatic can have the advantage of being able to wave their imaginary wands down the platforms of Hogsmeade Station, otherwise known to us Muggles as Goathland. In the films, the station is made up to be a mad blur of wizard hats and prefect badges, until Potter and his friend’s board the Hogwarts Express, which is then, caught chugging across tumbling hills we recognise as the North Yorkshire Moors.
Another feature for the railway was at the neighbouring Pickering station where, 'Possession', starring Gwyneth Paltrow was filmed. The vintage train station was an ideal setting for the Victorian era of the picture. York Minster was also a location for the movie based on England’s first dominatrix monarch: 'Elizabeth'.
Kettlewell saw the raunchy evolution of the ladies of the ‘Rylstone Women’s Institute’ in 'Calendar Girls' (2003). Here we see the cosy village blooming with sunflowers, summer fetes and of course, nude middle-aged women.
A Coastal Setting
The coastline is a hot spot for the limelight, bringing top notch stars such as Jim Broadbent and Ewan McGregor to Scarborough. It has brought many fans to wander aimlessly into the coffee shop used as Jane Horrock’s house in the film 'Little Voice'.This is where she discovers her obsession for legendary female singers, and later on talent scouted by Michael Caine’s character.
Not to forget the gothic trademark Bram Stocker left to the town of Whitby. Dracula fans flock to witness the spooky setting of the abbey luring over the heath, and we can just imagine the dark silhouette soaring into the night sea breeze.
St Trinian’s fans will love the chaotic teenage comedy of 'Wild Child', where a Californian brat is sent to straighten out her rebellious habits at a British boarding school. Hollywood star Emma Roberts, niece to Oscar winning Julia Roberts, had been sent for filming in familiar places such as Robin Hoods Bay and Harrogate.
Prime time television spot
North Yorkshire is also a hit location on the small screen with Heartbeat and the Royal being regular representations of archetypical Yorkshire life. Visits to Scarborough and Knaresborough were also common from 'Only Fools and Horses' star David Jason in his later work as a cunning detective in 'A Touch of Frost'. Thirsk was also mixed with the moorlands to create popular settings for BBC comedy drama' 'All Creatures Great and Small'.
last updated: 19/08/2008 at 15:04