CORNWALL ON FILM: TIM BURTON COMES TO TOWN
Film director Tim Burton films his latest blockbuster Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children at Portholland in Cornwall
Whether fantasy, romance or comedy - Cornwall has been a top spot for film locations for more than a century. Photographer JULIA MCINTOSH reveals how Tim Burton and his crew came to her tiny hamlet on the Roseland Peninsula for his latest film
Tim Burton is as instantly recognisable as some of his memorable movie creations. And the Edward Scissorhands and Alice in Wonderland director has been busy creating his latest film in a tiny corner of Cornwall.
Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children is due for release next year and stars Samuel L Jackson, Eva Green and Chris O’Dowd with Portholland - a tiny hamlet of around 40 people - taking a starring role as the location of the mysterious island which houses the crumbling ruins of the school. We follow teenager Jacob as he explores the abandoned bedrooms and hallways and discovers that its former occupants were far more than peculiar: they possessed incredible powers - and may still be alive.
For Cornwall Life photographer Julia McIntosh, his appearance in her tiny home town of 12 houses was too good an opportunity to pass up.
My first meeting with Tim Burton came in Autumn 2014 when we were introduced as he was visiting the village to see if it was a viable option as one of the locations for his upcoming film Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children,’ remembers Julia about the instantly recognisable American film director who has made Britain his home.
It became a daily occurrence to see A-listers bimbling through the village, watching the ocean between takes. The morning nod accompanied by a “morning” to Tim Burton also became the norm.
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Living in a village of a film set gave me direct access to the cast and crew and whilst I was pretty much allowed to wander carte blanche with my camera; the paparazzi were nestled in the cliff top shrubbery.
My second meeting with the director came in Spring 2015 when I approached him and asked if he would let me take some portrait shots of him. Astoundingly he agreed, I was prepared for a direct “No,” however he was obliging and I managed to get some great shots in what was probably my quickest shoot to date!
It’s odd but the moment my camera went to my eye I naturally fell into photographer mode: “A little to the left, great, now try and smile a bit”. It wasn’t until I uploaded the images that it occurred to me that I’d just been directing one of Hollywood’s most renowned directors.
I’ve been asked what was he like, but what can I say?. He seemed like a nice guy and he was prepared to talk to me and let me take some photos, so I’d say he’s pretty cool in my book!’
Well spotted! Other film locations in Cornwall
Cornwall’s links with film and television go back to the 1930s when Jamaica Inn was shot at Bolventor but the oldest recorded films made in Cornwall date back to 1899 when a short, silent, black and white documentary film, Wreck of the S.S. Paris was filmed at the Manacle Rocks near the Lizard.
Ladies in Lavender (2004) Penzance and Helston areas.
San Antonio (2003) Widemouth Bay
Johnny English (2003) St Michael’s Mount.
Die Another Day (2002)
Holywell Bay, the Eden Project
Saving Grace (2002) Port Isaac, Boscastle, Trebarwith Strand
Mansfield Park (1999) Charlestown
Coming Home (1998) Lelant, Prideaux Place (Padstow), Marazion.
The Shell Seekers (1998) Land’s End, Lamorna, Marazion
Oscar and Lucinda (1997) Boscastle, Port Isaac, Bossiney
Rebecca (1997) Charlestown
Moll Flanders (1996) Falmouth, Charlestown
Blue Juice (1995) Newquay, St Ives, Mousehole, St Agnes, Godrevy
The Three Musketeers (1993) Boconnoc
The Witches (1990) Headland Hotel, Newquay
The Devil’s Foot (1988) Kynance Cove, Mount’s Bay, Lanyon Quoit, West Penwith.
Doomwatch (1988) Mevagissey, Polperro
Dracula (1979) Carlyon Bay
The Eagle Has Landed (1976) Newquay and Charlestown
Malachi’s Cove or The Seaweed Children (1974) Trebarwith Strand
Straw Dogs (1971) St Buryan, Lamorna
Magical Mystery Tour
(1967) - Newquay
Night of the Eagle (1962) Cape Cornwall, Porthcurno Beach
Knights of the Round Table (1953) Tintagel
Treasure Island (1950) Carrick Roads, River Fal, Helford River, Falmouth
Love Story (1944) Minack Theatre
The Mystery of the Marie Celeste (1935) Falmouth