FROM THE HOLLYWOOD HILLS TO THE SEVERN VALLEY
14th January 2015
The Severn Valley Railway (SVR) has a starring role in The Black Prince, based on the real life story of the last king of Punjab, written and directed by LA-based Indian filmmaker Kavi Raz and starring Satinder Sartaaj.
Set in India and the UK, filming moved to Bewdley station on Tuesday, 18th November. Over 60 crew members from India and LA and around 10 actors, both principal cast members and extras spent the day at the Railway, and were suitably impressed by its size and splendour.
Bill Griffiths was duty officer on the day and said it was an incredibly busy day. He said: "The film crew started arriving from 8am with filming starting just after 10am. During the day, aside from meal breaks, the crew moved from scene to scene without much of a pause!
"Those we spoke to were quite appreciative of the Railway and its facilities. Many of them were surprised by its size and the fact it is operated by volunteers. They filmed around the station at Bewdley, on a static train and on the train in the section between Bewdley and Kidderminster.
"It was certainly odd to see Bewdley doubling as an entirely different location and how the crew managed to achieve this by making it look different.
"Everyone was very friendly and approachable. Although filming itself finished around 10.45pm, it was after 11.30pm by the time most people had left."
Tammy Ferris, PA to the SVR’s general manager, Nick Ralls, was also on 'set' for the day and was lucky enough to meet Hollywood actor Jason Flemyng, who has starred in films including X-Men: First Class, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
"They were all a lovely crew to work with," said Tammy. "In particular, the Indian line producer, Ashwani Chopra, was extremely grateful for how we had accommodated them."
The film tells the story of the last Sikh Maharaja - the son of the powerful ruler Ranjit Singh - who inherited the throne at the age of five following the death of his father.
In 1849, Punjab was annexed to British India and the young prince was removed from the throne and sent to England. His attempts to return to India and reclaim his throne were thwarted by the British and he ended up a pauper, dying in Paris in 1893.
For more information about the Severn Valley Railway (SVR), visit www.svr.co.uk or call 01562 757900.