It broke UK box office records in its opening weekend and those who worked on the set of Les Misérables claim they always knew it would prove to be something special.
And they were right – the big screen adaptation of the stage hit has won best musical or comedy at the Golden Globes and been nominated for nine Baftas and eight Academy Awards.
The movie’s success is no surprise to make-up-artist-to-the-stars Joceline Andrews, of Wendover, who helped out on the film – which was largely shot just down the road at Pinewood and stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway.
The 42 year old, along with business partner Tamsin Barbosa, has worked with countless A-list stars on everything from Pirates of the Caribbean to The Golden Compass.
“I guess over the years you can in some ways get a little de-sensitised to being on a film set,” reflects Joceline, who spent a month on set last April.
“But on Les Mis I was just impressed by the spectacle of it and size. You felt like you were in the French Revolution.
“I worked on the big revolution scene which was filmed at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. The big scene that I was working on was the funeral, which goes past and people are singing in the street and building up to the fighting.
“I did make up for the peasants who were sort of down-trodden and rather plague looking. I was also helping look after some of the military men on the horses that were fighting against them.”
In between working on movie sets, the pair run the Wendover-based Bucks Make Up Studio – offering lessons in make up as well as make overs.
They have also been working on the forthcoming new Angelina Jolie movie Maleficent, where they worked with extras and stunt doubles.
Meanwhile another Les Misérables scene was shot at the edge of the Chilterns, at the Hertfordshire-based Ashridge estate.
Supervising location manager Camilla Stephenson said: “People might be surprised to discover that only a tiny portion of our film was actually filmed in France.
“There are some fantastic locations to be found in our stunning English regions that worked perfectly for our early 19th century France.”
Ashridge’s media manager Harvey Edgington said: “Once again the estate stood in for foreign countryside. Having doubled in the past for Germany, Scotland, France and even Dinotopia, as well as being home to the wall that is the border with the magical kingdom of Stormhold in the film Stardust. “
“This time it was the outskirts of Paris in the mid-winter. About 1,000 square metres of special fake snow was scattered, called c90.”
> To see a list of cinema times for Les Misérables in Aylesbury visit www.wow247.co.uk’