May 28, 2012
It isn’t the first time that Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire has seen dramatic scenes involving horses, film crews and a dash of Hollywood glamour. The location was also used in the 1968 film The Lion in Winter, which starred Peter O’Toole, Katharine Hepburn and Anthony Hopkins.
Snow White and the Huntsman – Universal Pictures’ new vision of the Snow White fairytale – is produced by Joe Roth (Alice in Wonderland), Sam Mercer (The Sixth Sense) and directed by Rupert Sanders. It goes on release in UK cinemas from May 30. Kristen Stewart (Twilight) and Australian actor Chris Hemsworth (Thor) play the title characters, and both visited Wales in September 2011 to shoot key sequences for the film.
As early as November 2010 the location team got in touch with the Wales Screen Commission (part of the Welsh Government’s Creative Sector team) looking for a cliff top peninsular where they could build some elements of the Queen’s castle. Marloes was a favourite location from the start.
Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority’s Chairman Cllr Tony Brinsden said: “The National Park’s magnificent coastline ticked all the boxes scenery-wise for this film and we were delighted to welcome film crews and cast to the Park.”
Business Minister Edwina Hart said the use of Wales as a location for filming creates a number of economic benefits and business opportunities. “Not only do these films help promote the stunning and dramatic landscapes and seascapes of Wales to an international audience but they bring millions of pounds into the economy, provide a significant financial boost to local communities as well as the wider creative industries sector.”
The Wales Screen Commission monitors the spend on each production that it assists, and in the past year has recorded that film and TV companies have spent more than £22m in Wales.
Director of Delivery and Discovery for Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority James Parkin said: “The filming alone of this production generated significant national and international interest and the presence of a large crew along with sightseers provided a welcome boost to the local economy. We hope that the movie release will add to the Park’s tourist appeal and encourage visitors to come and see our world-class landscape for themselves.”
Access to the beach was difficult for the unit, especially as the scenes involved horses and riders for the battle sequences. The crew had to construct a large ramp from the end of the narrow path that leads down to the beach. The Park Authority and partners worked very successfully with the production company to ensure the beach and Coast Path were protected during the filming and that visitors could still access the area, part of which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Although the majority of crew were from outside Wales, as the film was being shot all over the UK, they did employ around 47 local marshals and runners. Accommodation was one of the key areas of local spend with over 500 crew staying locally while they were filming.