Region's railways are rising stars in Hollywood productions
- Credit: Sonic Fruit
Norfolk has always been a popular filming destination but our region’s trains and stations in particular have been catching the interest of Hollywood producers.
Greater Anglia locations are increasingly in demand as backdrops for films, TV dramas and documentaries, with the number of requests not showing any sign of slowing down.
One of the first films to use a Greater Anglia backdrop was Danny Boyle’s Beatles-inspired musical comedy Yesterday.
Buckenham’s quiet rural station has a real-life recording studio, Sonic Fruit, that features in the film renamed as ‘Tracks on the Tracks.' A Greater Anglia train also gets a starring role as it passes by the station.
The 2019 movie was shot at locations across East Anglia, including a shoot involving hundreds of extras on Gorleston beach. Ed Sheeran even made a cameo appearance in the film.
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In 2018, Greater Anglia employed Adrian Booth to act as commercial film liaison manager, expanding the company’s ability to arrange filming opportunities for production companies.
He has since worked on six films and 20 TV dramas, as well as numerous adverts, short films and fashion shoots.
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Martin Moran, Greater Anglia commercial director, believes this decision to increase their ability to host film crews helps boost the local economy and “puts another string in our region’s bow” as an ideal place for filming.
“We really wanted to support the British film industry and also our local communities and businesses by facilitating filming requests, so we decided to hire someone whose sole job is to make all the necessary arrangements so filming could happen.”
Filming on the region’s trains and platforms needs a lot of planning and coordination, with much of the responsibility falling on GA’s lead train planner, Michael Lewis.
“It normally works by Adrian either contacting me with a rough proposal and then after a bit of toing and froing we get a clearer idea of what’s required. There have been a few we haven’t been able to accommodate... but generally we are normally able to help.”
Have you recognised any film locations while travelling on Greater Anglia trains? Let us know in the comments.