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Image of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

London looks out of this world in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Date posted: 30.07.2014

One of this summer's biggest blockbusters will be blasting its way to cinema screens this Thursday, as Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is released in the UK. Despite having the whole cosmos at their fingertips, the Guardians of the Galaxy crew made sure to touchdown in the capital, taking advantage of London's world-class filming facilities and locations.

In this space-based escapade, a gang of misfits led by plucky Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) fight to save the galaxy from destruction at the hands a powerful super-villain. Originally introduced in a 1969 Marvel comic book, the Guardians are set to receive their silver screen debut nearly half a century later.

Among the mixed bag of heroes are trigger-happy racoon Rocket (Bradley Cooper), half-man half-tree Groot (Vin Diesel), the mysterious Gamora (Zoe Saldana) and revenge-thirsty Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista).

Shooting in outer space(s)

Based at Shepperton Studios just outside the capital, the action spanned planets all over the galaxy, yet audiences will see a number of London locations doubling for a few of their other-worldly counterparts. Sites including Millennium Bridge, St Paul's Cathedral, Lime Street and Mayfair all serve as the futuristic backdrop for the gang's space-age adventures.

With a crew of over 650, the Guardians shoot was no mean feat, but Location Manager David Pinnington found shooting in the capital a breeze: "The Film London locations team are an essential adjunct to filming in the capital. Their assistance is always helpful and remained so on this large scale production." It's no surprise Marvel decided to return to the capital to shoot Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Protectors of the planet

And as if defending the galaxy wasn't enough, the Guardians crew were also keen to save the environment.

Cinematographer Ben Davis and gaffer David Smith were early adopters of Panalux HiLo light fixtures, paving the way for future crews to use the energy-saving equipment in their own productions. The low-energy fittings not only saved the production money but also boosted the film's green credentials. In fact, Guardians of the Galaxy is believed to be the largest low-energy production ever filmed.

Greenshoot's Melanie Dicks was pleased to see the crew testing out greener filming methods: "Innovation in technology across the film production sector needs to be supported and tested and will ultimately lead to a reduction in the amount of carbon emitted by the industry."

She continued: "Embedding sustainable film practices into productions will also support financial savings in energy, waste, construction and water management. It is really encouraging to see cinematographers like Ben Davis, BSC and his team testing new, more sustainable technology and this should be supported and encouraged across the British film sector supply chain."

Guardians of the Galaxy is released in cinemas nationwide by Disney on Thursday 31 July.

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