Guardians of the Galaxy becomes latest blockbuster to utilise UK’s world-class film industry
This Thursday sees the UK release of Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel’s latest comic book adaptation and one of the Summer’s largest features so far. The action-adventure follows an eccentric group of alien travellers through space but despite this intergalactic setting, the film has its roots much closer to home.
Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest in a long line of big-budget international features to choose the UK as its production base, making use of the abundance of both purpose-built facilities and alternative stage space.
The UK’s ability to provide large, flexible shooting spaces allowed the production team the freedom to construct the vast multi-story sets needed to create the otherworldly settings found in the film.
Guardians used eight of the 15 studios at Shepperton Studios, its production base, as well as making the most of the facilities at Longcross Studios – a former tank factory in Surrey which continues to prove popular with the BFC’s international film and television clients.
Along with studios the UK also offers a diverse range of locations, with world-famous buildings and modern urban landscapes sitting a stone’s throw from rural settings, and the production team took full advantage.
As well as filming in several iconic London locations including St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge, Guardians also shot throughout the South-East of England, taking in Essex, Hertfordshire and Hampshire.
Beyond locations, the film also drew on the wealth of creative talent available within the UK. Cinematographer Ben Davis, Production Designer Charles Wood, Costume Designer Alexandra Byrne and Executive Producer Nik Korda are amongst the British crew who worked on the film. And the UK is represented in front of the camera by upcoming actress Karen Gillan, a familiar face to science-fiction fans through her leading role in Doctor Who.
The UK’s reputation for industry leading VFX is also in full evidence, with Oscar-winning companies Framestore and MPC amongst those contributing to the film’s striking effects. Additionally, UK production is also leading the way environmentally, with the film utilising energy-efficient lighting equipment designed by Panalux – becoming the largest low-energy feature so far.
The BFC has enjoyed a close and successful working relationship with Marvel since helping to secure the production of Captain America: The First Avenger for the UK in 2010. With other UK-produced Marvel titles including 2013’s Thor: The Dark World, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will soon wrap at Shepperton Studios, it is a relationship that looks set to continue.