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December

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The National Gallery in St Trinian’s

Date posted: 01.12.2007

St Trinian's, the infamous school for 'young ladies', is once again back on the big screen in this revival of the classic fifties film series by Ealing Studios.

The St Trinian's girls are in a league of their own; smart, fearless and determined to defend the school they love to the end. They need to unite the warring girl gang cliques and come up with hard cash fast in order to save the school.

Sassy Head Girl Kelly (Gemma Arterton) and newcomer Annabelle (Talulah Riley) join forces and gather together a motley crew of teachers, the fiendishly charming Flash Harry (Russell Brand) and the resourceful and ruthless pupils to pull off the heist of the century.

The National Gallery is just one of the London locations used for the film. The filming involved 90 St Trinian's girls making a charge across Trafalgar Square to the Gallery during the key sequence in which the girls pull off the scam (involving the theft of a priceless painting) in order to pay off enormous debts and save their beloved school from closure.

The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of Western European painting in the world with masterpieces dating from as early as 1250. For film-makers the gallery can provide a fantastic range of settings, from High Victorian to stark and modern, all served by excellent facilities in one of the most central locations in London. Although it is true that the gallery is in parts an old building and a sensitive location,  it is this mix of stunning architecture and which have created a building that can be used for a variety of projects and the Gallery prides itself on being a film friendly site.

Rebecca Staffolani,formerly the Film Liaison Officer at The National Gallery. said: 'The idea of having a visit from one hundred St Trinian's school girls was a rather daunting prospect but also an exciting challenge for the gallery as a film location. Shot before gallery opening hours and well into the night, the gallery became the St Trinian's' playground."

We had 90 extras and 10 cast members on the first day and 5 actors on the second night,  including Rupert Everett and Colin Firth. Filming went well into the night, on one occasion not ending until 5am. What was most surprising was the number of National Gallery warders that volunteered to work until the wee small hours, many more than were needed, to facilitate the filming process.'

The Location Manager, Pat Karam, said: 'It is important that film-makers can feel confident in the reception that they will receive from the authorities that administer major London landmarks. Often these are the very reason that international film-makers come to London to make their films which contribute so much to the indigenous film industry of the country and therefore to the economy as a whole.'

For more information on filming at the National Gallery please contact the Picture Library on filming@nationalgallery.co.uk or 020 7747 5996.

 

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