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Pinewood Studios is a major British film and television studio situated in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of central London. The studios have played host to many productions over the years, ranging from huge blockbuster films to television shows, commercials and pop music videos. Aliens, Alien3 and Prometheus were filmed at Pinewood, although the studio is perhaps best known as being the traditional home of the James Bond franchise.
Pinewood Studios was originally Heatherden Hall, a large, attractive Victorian house with spectacular grounds. For a time it was used as a country club by its then-owner Charles Boot, before, in 1935, millionaire Methodist and flour magnate J. Arthur Rank created a partnership with Boot and together they transformed the Heatherden Hall estate into a film studio. Boot based designs for the studios upon what were at the time the latest ideas being employed by other film studios in the production of movies in Hollywood. Boot named the new studio Pinewood because "...of the number of trees which grow there and because it seemed to suggest something of the American film centre in its second syllable." Five stages were initially constructed, as well as a provision for an enclosed water tank capable of holding 65,000 gallons, which is still used.
Over the years numerous high-profile blockbuster movies have been made at Pinewood, including the Carry On... series, the James Bond series, The Hobbit series, both the original Clash of the Titans and its remake, Superman and Superman II, Aliens, Batman, Alien3, Mission: Impossible, The Fifth Element, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2. The upcoming third Star Wars trilogy is also due to be filmed at Pinewood. Since nearby Shepperton Studios was acquired by The Pinewood Studios Group in 2001, several major productions have also been shared between the two locations, including numerous films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Prometheus.
Perhaps the most notable feature at Pinewood is the 007 Stage, originally built specifically for the tenth film in the Eon James Bond series, The Spy Who Loved Me, released in 1977. The 007 stage includes one of the largest water tanks in Europe. In 1984, the stage burnt to the ground during a fire on the set of Ridley Scott's Legend; it was rebuilt in just four months for the production of the fourteenth James Bond film, A View to a Kill. The rebuilt structure was renamed the Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage in memory of Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli, who acted as producer or executive producer on every Eon James Bond movie up until his death in 1996. Some of the sets for Alien3 were built on this stage.
Another fire in 2006 seriously damaged the stage, causing part of the roof to collapse, but it was rebuilt again within six months. The stage was used during the production of Prometheus, for which it was actually enlarged by 30%.
To create the surface of the planet Fiorina 161, the set was littered with derricks and cranes, on the back lot of Pinewood Studios. A blue screen was used to make the planet's horizon, which was added later. The vast lead works/foundry set seen in the film was constructed on the 007 stage.
- As of 2016, no less than 21 James Bond movies have been made at Pinewood. In fact, only 3 from the "official" Eon series (Moonraker, Licence to Kill and GoldenEye) have been made elsewhere (filmed in France, Mexico and at Leavesden Studios, also in the UK, respectively).