Our country parks have been associated with location filming ever since camera equipment became small enough and robust enough to be taken out of the studios and on to location. With our parks’ proximity to Pinewood, Denham, Beaconsfield and Bray studios they were always going to be popular and accessible choices with film makers.
Black Park, the largest and most diverse of our parks, has seen by far the most filming action over the years. Early productions include the Oscar award-winning Carve Her Name with Pride (1958) with Virginia McKenna playing French resistance fighter Violette Szabo who was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
The 1950’s also saw Black Park begin its long association with Hammer Films including The Camp on Blood Island (1957) and Never Take Sweets from a Stranger (1959). Through the 1960’s and 70’s the park was used as a location for a diverse range of feature films including Carry on Cowboy (1965) Morecombe and Wise in The Magnificent Two (1967), The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968), Hammer’s Twins of Evil (1971), Monty Python’s And Now for Something Completely Different (1971), a young Jodie Foster in Bugsy Malone (1976) and Wimbledon Common in Wombling Free (1977). It was also through this time that TV productions found their way into Black Park including Space: 1999, Doctor Who and The Sweeny.
During the 1960’s Black Park began its association with Bond films starting with Goldfinger (1964), and later Octopussy (1983), The World is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002) and Casino Royale (2008). Another significant franchise in the park’s portfolio is Harry Potter, with four of the eight movies having significant scenes filmed in the depths of the park. Those are Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (2001), the Chamber of Secrets (2002), The Goblet of Fire (2005) and The Order of the Phoenix (2007).
Other well-known films shot in Black Park include Krull (1983), Supergirl (1984), Black Beauty (1994), The First Night (1985), The Mummy Returns (2001), Agent Cody Banks 2 (2004), Stardust (2007), The Wolfman (2010), Snow White and The Huntsman (2012), and Dark Shadows (2012).
In addition to feature films, TV continues to be a key area of filming activity in Black Park with series’ such as Midsummer Murders, New Tricks, Silent Witness, Waking the Dead, Spooks, Harry and Paul, Bad Education and Gigglebitz having been filmed in the park. We’ve even played host to JLS for their 2012 Christmas Special!