Maleficent demonstrates UK’s world-class film infrastructure

Today sees the release of Disney’s immersive fantasy feature Maleficent, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty shown from the perspective of the mysterious title character, played by Angelina Jolie. Along with Jolie, the film also hosts a plethora of on-screen UK talent, including Harry Potter’s Imelda Staunton as well as rising stars Sam Riley and The Dark Knights Rises’ Juno Temple.

The production took advantage of the UK’s wealth of production talent, with Executive Producer Sarah Bradshaw and Casting Director Lucy Bevan among the Brits working off-screen.

Making fantasy a reality

The production was based at Pinewood Studios, allowing the team the space and resources to create the fantasy world in which the film is set. The film made extensive use of the facilities available there, utilising a mixture of indoor and outdoor spaces, including the world-famous 007 Stage.

The production also filmed in Black Park, the 500-acre woods on the edge of Pinewood, which provides lakes and woodlands right next to state of the art studio facilities – perfect for the enchanted forest set Maleficent.

In addition the film made good use of the unique locations found in the UK, shooting at Hertfordshire’s stunning Ashridge Estate. The mixture of dense forests and sweeping meadows found at Ashridge provided the perfect backdrop for the fairytale.

Spellbinding VFX

Beyond studios and locations, the production drew on another resource found in abundance in the UK – world class VFX and post facilities. MPC London, who were recently responsible for the striking visual effects seen in World War Z and Man of Steel, led the VFX work on the film, the results of which can be seen in the trailer.

Several other UK companies also provided their services to the film, including London based VFX house The Senate and sound facility Warner Bros. De Lane Lea.

The British Film Commission is proud of its close working relationship with Disney. Tony To, EVP of Production at Walt Disney Studios, said of the BFC’s role in highlighting the excellent resources available: “They provide a roadmap for production excellence in the UK – they have proved themselves an indispensable resource. The BFC is a one-stop-shop for all production-related enquiries”.

Maleficent will be released in cinemas nationwide today, for more details visit