UK has starring role in WW2 drama The Monuments Men

12 February 2014

This Friday sees the UK release of George Clooney’s The Monuments Men (Columbia and Twentieth Century Fox) – a Second World War ensemble piece detailing one unit’s heroic attempts to recover artistic masterpieces from behind enemy lines.

The film combines an extraordinary true story with a stellar ensemble cast, with Clooney joined by Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Bonneville, Bill Murray and John Goodman in front of the camera.

The film was made on an epic scale, employing over 100 sets to recreate several countries on-screen, and capturing the look of war-torn Europe. With such an ambitious schedule, it made perfect sense for the production to head to one of the world’s foremost production bases – the UK.

Shooting locations employ artistic licence

The Monuments Men filmed extensively in the UK, shooting at over 10 locations across Buckinghamshire, Cambridge, Surrey, Hampshire, East Sussex and Kent.

Despite being predominantly set in Germany – where the film also shot – the production was tempted to the UK by versatile locations and world-class crews, along with the hugely favourable UK Film Tax Relief.

The Monuments Men took full advantage of the UK’s breadth of landscapes and locations on offer within such a concentrated space. This aspect of the UK is consistently popular with filmmakers, and The Monuments Men made the most of the beaches, stately homes, industrial estates, woodlands, museums and towns available to recreate wartime Germany and France.

UK studios shine again

Clooney’s production also spent several weeks shooting at Surrey’s Longcross Studios. One of a number of world-class studios available in the UK, Longcross also has a military history, previously serving as a Ministry of Defence site.

The film opens across the UK on Valentines’ Day, fresh from headlining at this year’s Berlin Film Festival and a strong first weekend at the US box office.

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