Happy time at Les Miserables
A 25-YEAR-OLD from Redland who spent a week behind the scenes of one of this year's biggest blockbusters has spoken of her experience.
Ellie Cook from Creative England's locations and production support team spent a week last summer working on the set of Les Miserables.
The feature film adaptation of the famous musical stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway.
Ellie had already been working with the film's production from her desk in Bristol for several location enquiries, but nothing prepared her for her first taste of being on one of the main Les Miserables filming locations on a multi-million-pound budget film.
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Ellie became a runner at Boughton House in Northamptonshire – known as 'the English Versailles' – and saw just how much hard work it took from the crew to transform the estate into a working film set.
The production was on such a large scale that it completely engulfed the estate, taking over everything from the tea room to the stable yard.
It's not all glamour on set, and much of Ellie's working week was spent cleaning.
Picking up tiny stones that scratched the flooring became a new obsession for Ellie and the location team.
"With an influx of bodies, the estate became even harder to manage," Ellie said.
"Weaving between flowing skirts and elaborate hairstyles, coats with tails and top hats, it became my task to stand in doorways and on set, making sure no water was taken inside the house.
"This allowed me to be a lot closer to filming, and we were able to observe several key scenes take place.
"The week taught me many things, particularly what hard work working on location is.
"But perhaps most of all it is the unsung heroes I appreciated – the caterers providing surprisingly delicious food, the crew making me laugh between takes, and the location team, constantly moving throughout the house, making sure to leave Boughton with positive memories of hosting a large production like Les Mis."
Les Miserables tells the story of Jean Valjean, a former prisoner who becomes mayor of a town in France. Valjean agrees to take care of Cosette, the illegitimate daughter of Fantine, and must avoid being captured again by Javert, a police inspector.
The film has been nominated for numerous Golden Globe , BAFTA and Academy Awards.