Friday, 27 April 2007

The Golden Age

Two production stills from Working Title's filming of 'The Golden Age', which took place in August last year. The film follows on from their earlier multiple-oscar nominated film 'Elizabeth', starring Kate Blanchett. 'The Golden Age' deals with the middle years of Queen Elizabeth I's reign, including her relations with Philip II of Spain, and the events surrounding the Armada.

We were approached by the film company, who wanted an 'exotic' and un-English location to stand in for Lisbon Cathedral and the Escorial, in contrast to other English locations (Ely, Winchester and Wells Cathedrals are all featuring). Having seen the script, we had no objections per se, but pointed out that, as a busy working Cathedral it would be unlikely that time would be available for their filming. The Company adopted the imaginative approach of throwing money at the problem, and decided to film at night, lighting the Cathedral to look like day. They also laid down a fake-marble floor (partly visible above), which was fascinating, as Francis Bentley had originally intended a marble floor for the nave.

The crew was very respectful, and filled with admiration for the building. It was an extraordinary sight to see Spanish courtiers (including a clutch of Cardinals) walking down the nave. Philip II is played by the Spanish actor Jordi Molla. Above, you see the director, Shekhar Kapur. The film is due to be released this autumn.


universal doctor said...

I am curious as to how much of the cathedral will be recognisable in its glory post production. Did they fill the aisles with stray farm animals and the odd leper for added realism?

Mark Langham said...

Apart from covering the clock with a huge Habsburg banner, and cunningly taping over the english titles on the Stations of the Cross, most was in pristine form!