[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 28 April, 2005, 05:49 GMT 06:49 UK
The Hitchhiker's Guide to...Wales
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Buena Vista International (UK)

A south Wales quarry beat off competition from Iceland and Morocco for a starring role in the new movie The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

In the film, Trefil Quarry in Blaenau Gwent is transformed into the planet Vogsphere, and the Gower Peninsula also makes a cameo appearance.

The film, starring Martin Freeman and Bill Nighy, is released on Thursday.

Executive Producer Robbie Stamp said the quarry might be used again in follow-ups to the movie.

"If we get to do some sequels, we know where to film Vogsphere again," he said.

"The weather was tough but the scenes in the movie look sensational."

Recce at Trefil Quarry (Pic from Wales Screen Commission)
The location team were impressed by the barren look of the quarry

Computer effects were used to build a massive city around the quarry in the film, as Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman), Ford Prefect (Mos Def), Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell) and Marvin the Paranoid Android visit the home of the Vogons.

Mr Stamp said director Garth Jennings had initially said he did not want to film Vogsphere in a quarry, but changed his mind when the location team showed him pictures of Trefil.

"I think everyone enjoyed being there, and we got all local help and support," he said.

Location manager David Broder said the quarry was chosen as it looked like "the Grand Canyon on a smaller scale".

"The geography of the land just fitted," he said.

They needed something quite otherworldly - they were blown away with it
Penny Skuse, Wales Screen Commission

"We were looking for a wasteland - the quarry is completely barren as it is above 2,000ft."

He said the quarry got a good few minutes of screen-time, although they have added a huge amount of computer generated effects.

"We were going to go to Morocco - it saved a huge amount of money."

And Blaenau Gwent was not the only Welsh location used by the crew.

"For the rebuilding the world sequence, we did a lot of helicopter work over the Gower Peninsula, some of the dammed Valleys and forests" he said.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Buena Vista International (UK)
The film version of the Hitchhiker's Guide follows radio and TV versions

Penny Skuse, from the Wales Screen Commission, said the crew filmed for around two weeks in south Wales.

"They needed something quite otherworldly - they were blown away with the location," she said.

She said the crew had provided a boost to the local economy, using hotels, restaurants and digging machines.

"It is the biggest film we [the Wales Screen Commission] have worked on so far."

The film, also starring was adapted from the cult BBC Radio 4 series and novels by the late Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy opens across the UK on 28 April and in the US a day later.


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific