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Saturday, 6 November 2010


So the name doesn't quite have the ring of Hollywood, or the weather, but I've been constantly surprised by the popularity of Farnham and the surrounding areas as a filming location.

As I recently posted, Steven Spielberg himself was spotted on location in Bourne Woods whilst filming his current project War Horse.

IMDB lists 13 feature films using this location, many of them blockbusters including Gladiator, Children of Men and Robin Hood. In addition I heard mention that scenes from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows have been shot in Bourne Woods.

But it's not just the big studios jetting in to capture the Surrey woodland and countryside for their worldwide releases.  There's this Marmite advert, with scenes shot down Castle Street, and also a raft of TV shows and smaller independent films have made use of the town.   Back in 1999 I bumped into Stephen Tomkinson (Damian Day from Drop the Dead Donkey) at the cash machine outside Barclays, and then saw him later that day with Robson Green filming a scene from Grafters at what's now the Disability Challengers centre on St James Avenue.

A couple of weeks ago I walked straight onto the set of The Death of Merlin, an independent feature-length contemporary thriller from the Farnham Film Company.  Not being part of the film world I was surprised there was such a company - and that it was formed 25 years ago!

For the price of a beer I agreed to be a background extra for the scene pictured here.   I've pencilled in a coffee with director Ian Lewis to find out more about his company and the film when he finally gets a moment when the hectic filming schedule concludes.

Discovering Farnham Film Company is just another example of the diversity of businesses in and around Farnham.  In my first Farnham Friday I wrote about Farnham Castle and their modern inter-cultural training business run from the ancient buildings, and in the coming weeks I'll be looking at a couple of high-tech businesses in the town.


  1. Hi! Do you happen to know when War Horse filming finishes at the Bourne Woods?

  2. It finished over a week ago. I've just got back from a bike ride up there and there's no trace of the set.

    There is some kind of production or event going on the other side of Farnham on the military land behind Upper Hale, although whether it's a film or something else I haven't had time to find out.


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