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Who we are
Our first commission was for Stuart Craig on Hugh Hudson’s Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes in 1984, when Filmscapes founder and director Ron Whittle was asked to create ‘living’ sets.
The challenges of creating temporary environments, whether it’s a set, event or installation is not just about the selection of the plants and materials.
“Our work on the London 2012 opening ceremony, not only required us to provide evidence of our sustainable procurement – which we’re happy to do, but to evidence how all the materials used could be recycled or reused” explains Lucinda who project managed the 28 week contract.
While London 2012 is perhaps not typical of all our contracts, it’s a good example of the diverse challenges and ingenuity that is our stock in trade.
Filmscapes provided 10 team leaders to run the sometimes 70-strong team of supplied labour and volunteers. Before each rehearsal we re-dressed the stage with the 1600 piece jigsaw of hedgerows, real and artificial turf, crops and trees – dressing each area simultaneously… for what was to become the largest scene change in history.
During the months leading up to the ceremony we designed, procured, manufactured and grew 370 square meters of harrowed field, 12,000 square meters of real turf, 12,000 square metres of artificial turf, 800 square metres of wheat crops, real flowering fields, the cricket pitch, 444 metres of native hedgerows, 9 x 5 metre ‘collapsible’ orchard trees and a vegetable patch. We rehearsed offsite and then inside the stadium, constantly maintaining, refreshing and replacing materials as required. We then removed it all within 12 hours!
In the planning stages, we drew upon our nursery staff and resources to test peat free soils and grow the hedgerows. We rented 2 large warehouses close to the stadium to receive and tailor the materials, sewing 2400 handles onto the turf sections. The transport logistics were planned meticulously, removing the risk of congestion at peak times, planning loads to optimise space and of course, working with LOCOG to maintain the highest levels of security.
“We’re used to rising to challenges – especially in short time frames, so 2012 seemed like business as usual” says Lucinda. “However, this was special and the standout feature for me was the commitment of our team – working very long days, away from home, with barely a break for the last few weeks. But it paid off – and we’re proud to have been a part of it.”