JACK THE GIANT SLAYER
On Location in the UK
"Jack the Giant Slayer" contrasts the bucolic countryside of Cloister with the challenging landscape of Gantua, which both started on sites that locations manager Nick Fulton found in the UK. Says Singer, "I wanted these worlds -- though stylized -- to be rooted in reality, so I took advantage of these spots that have so much to offer, visually and historically. We always tried to key off natural, existing spaces."
The lush grounds of King Henry VIII's Hampton estate in south London became the Cloister countryside, where the production planted their beanstalk set, while its courtyard served as Cloister's bustling marketplace. Norwich Cathedral, built in the 1100s, lent its stunning architecture to King Brahmwell's throne room. And though the production built much of the fictional Cloister Palace at Longcross Studios in Surrey, Singer also used the gothic Wells Cathedral, in Somerset, for some of its interiors, taking advantage of the fact that it contains one of the world's most substantial collections of medieval stained glass.
Portions of the dramatic Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, southwest England, proved the perfect backdrop for Gantua's untamed vistas. Additionally, the ancient woodland Puzzlewood, in the forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, provided a maze of pathways, gullies, mossy rocks and gnarled trees to set the moody scenes of pursuit and escape. A hillside in Bourne Wood, Surrey, provided the foundation upon which was built a cliff side, topped by a colossal gape-mouthed gargoyle that spews rivulets of water and ominously marks the entrance to Gantua. Green-screened backgrounds later completed the image with a circle of similar gargoyles guarding its perimeter, amidst mist and sky, as if Gantua existed atop the clouds.
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