Yorkshire production shines in ITV’s Victoria
Historical drama Victoria, starring Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who, Death Comes to Pemberley, Dancing on the Edge), will air from this Sunday on ITV. Hit or no hit, the Mammoth Screen production will be making history as it is the first production to film at Church Fenton Studios in Selby District near Leads.
The 8-part drama follows the early life of Queen Victoria from her accession to the throne at the tender age of 18 through to her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert.
The series marks a shift in the production landscape for Yorkshire. It is the first time that the region has been able to host a major drama that required such large scale studio space. Victoria spent seven months filming in the Yorkshire area after producers Mammoth Screen selected Screen Yorkshire’s newly-launched studio as the production base at which to recreate the central Buckingham Palace set.
The series is created and written by acclaimed novelist Daisy Goodwin, and marks her screenwriting debut. Daisy serves as executive producer alongside Dan McCulloch (Endeavour, Indian Summers) and Mammoth Screen’s managing director Damien Timmer (Parade’s End, Poldark).
Jon Williams, director of production at Mammoth (Poldark, Black Work), says: “One of the easier decisions we had to make on Victoria was where to base the production. The hangar studios at Church Fenton, with all the surrounding offices, store rooms and car parking, were the perfect place to build the interior of Buckingham Palace.
“There are very few places where one can build a ballroom, a throne room and vast corridors all under one roof.”
The internal space that the studio offers (over 30,000 sq ft in one stage alone) on a 440-acre site has been such an important element in developing Yorkshire’s offer to productions.
Sally Joynson, chief executive at Screen Yorkshire says: “Adding the Church Fenton Studios to our portfolio means that for the first time Screen Yorkshire is able to attract large scale projects like Victoria to the region.
“Screen Yorkshire worked closely with Mammoth Screen and site owner Chris Makin, of Makin Enterprises, throughout the production period - and the future potential for that site is incredibly exciting. It marks a major sea change for the film & TV industry in Yorkshire.”
While Church Fenton Studios was the central production base for the period drama, hosting around half of the Yorkshire shoot, Victoria also filmed at many of Yorkshire’s stately homes and period locations, including Harewood House, Newby Hall, Castle Howard, Carlton Towers, Whitby Pier and York City Centre, to name just a few.
Creative England provided crew and locations support and helped with securing filming permissions for the shoot.
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