Liverpool’s fantastic backdrops
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has recently enjoyed the biggest UK box office weekend of the year so far, while also making a glittering showing worldwide.
The film was shot entirely in the UK largely at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, with Liverpool providing the only non-studio location for the feature.
Liverpool Film Office played a major role in securing the city to host the production – of many considered by the production team - which saw it doubling for 1920s New York.
The stint took well over a year to set up, as Film Office manager Lynn Saunders explained: “A huge amount of planning went into the nine-day shoot in the city. Cast, crew and extras totalled over 1100 and with 18 months’ preparation we ensured all aspects of the filming ran as smoothly as it possibly could.
“It was realised with the support of numerous council departments, local infrastructure companies, and support delivery agencies, as well as our very patient neighbours.”
Two well-known city buildings were used in the film. The Cunard Building doubled for an empty department store where Newt Scamander and his friend locate two of his missing beasts, while St. George’s Hall (pictured above and below) became a banqueting hall for a black-tie event which is disrupted by mysterious goings-on.
Liverpool is a thriving production hub, partly due to the amount of grand civic buildings that can easily double for others around the world as producer David Heyman confirmed: “The architecture in this beautiful city works perfectly for our film.”
Liverpool recently doubled for London in a BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution, and the city was used to portray Birmingham in the third series of Peaky Blinders. Both productions are also set in the 1920s. Perioed feature Florence Foster Jenkins also filmed in the city,
Earlier this year, Liverpool submitted a report to the Culture and Tourism Select Committee detailing that during 2015, 247 film and TV projects came to the city, resulting in 1,067 filming days and bringing in £11.5m to the local economy.
Photos via Warner Bros. and Liverpool Film Office.
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