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Phantom Thread films in London townhouse

Phantom ThreadFilmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis shot their new movie Phantom Thread on location in a Georgian townhouse in central London, rather than in a studio.

The movie stars Day-Lewis as fictional high-society fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock, who operates from a Georgian base dubbed the House of Woodcock, in 1950s London.

Anderson decided he didn’t want to shoot in a studio, so the production team filmed in a townhouse in Fitzroy Square near Regent’s Park. 

The idea was to pursue the intimacy of working in fashion houses of the era, but the plan proved enormously challenging.  

“It was awful,” said Day-Lewis of the filming experience. “We had hoped to find that way of working again where we would be self-contained, beholden to no-one, and uninterrupted. We built a world we could create and just stay in and no one could get into it. But in this townhouse, which was very beautiful, it was a nightmare.

“We were living on top of each other. It was an enormous unit. There was no space. The way it works if it’s helpful is that these rooms belong to you. These rooms are yours – they are part of your life.

"But of course these rooms for us become storage spaces. You work in a room, then you have to move all that shit into another room, and that space becomes a storage space. That entire house was like a termite nest.”

The location also proved a practical challenge as the crew had to carry bulky production equipment up and down stairs, something which meant Anderson had to abandon his original plan to shoot the movie in sequence. 

To find out more about negotiating the challenges of London filming click here.

Images: Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

 



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