After the COVID-19 pandemic caused numerous shutdowns and delays, U.K. film production is once again surging too high record levels according to the British Film Institute.
GazetteXtra reports from Los Angeles that spending on film and high-end television shoots reached a record 5.72 billion pounds ($6.73 billion) in the fiscal year ended in June,
Television production during the period reached 3.88 billion pounds ($4.56 billion), the highest level on record.
“It’s a really exciting time. And it’s incredibly busy,” Emily Stillman, senior vice president of Leavesden, said.
“We had some space become available in the second half of this year, and we filled that almost immediately. We could have sold that again, two or three times over.”
Hollywood film production companies from Warner Bros and Universal Pictures are more than ever busy filming at Sand studios Leavesden, a former World War II aircraft factory in Watford.
The New York Times published an article back in 2013 titled “Britain is Hollywood’s home away from home” to simply indicate the fruitful relationship between the UK and Hollywood.
Britain’s film production has been growing as a result of a byproduct of a decade’s worth of government policy promoting the industry and a robust infrastructure that grew around two of the most successful film franchises of all time, the Harry Potter and James Bond series.
Studios and streaming companies are taking advantage of some of the world’s most stable and lucrative film incentives, which were recently expanded to include TV, animation, and video games.
“There’s been a colossal, amount of film and television production happening in the U.K. We’ve broken all records in terms of inward investment,” said Adrian Wootton, chief executive of the British Film Commission. “We’re very much an agent of growth, an agent of recovery, for the U.K. economy.”
he boom has been driven by several factors, including pent-up demand caused by earlier shutdowns, favorable exchange rates, and a slew of high-end television productions from Netf,lix, Apple, Amazon, and other streaming giants reshaping the TV industry.
High-profile shows that are filming right now in Britain include the third season of “Ted Lasso” for Apple TV+, Netflix’s fifth season of “The Crown” and “Queen Charlotte” for Netflix and Shondaland.
Then there’s Amazon’s much anticipated “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” series, which announced earlier this year it was moving its second season from New Zealand to Shepperton, Surrey. The series debuts next month.
In February, Amazon signed a multimillion-pound long-term lease with Shepperton Studios as part of a plan to expand “its production footprint and investing in studio space across the U.K.,” the company investment statement.
“It’s just gone thermonuclear,” said Spencer MacDonald, the nation of Bectu, the union representing over 40,000 staff, contract, and freelance workers in the media and entertainment, industries. “The amount of content that [streaming companies] are trying to produce is just phenomenal.”
The soaring demand has gone on creating a shortage of stage space.
An American privately-held real estate investment company such as Hackman Capital Partners broke ground in June on what it describes as London’s largest film and TV production center.
With 12 stages over a total studio space of over 500,000 square feet, Eastbrook Studios in Dagenham promised to boost the East London area, creating 1,200 jobs and, contributing 35 million pounds ($41 million) per year to the local economy, Hackman said in its 2020 announcement. The new studio is expected to be open next year.