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October 2017
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In the magazine
Only available in print
  • The Facilities 50
    Jon Creamer launches Televisual's 30th exclusive annual Facilities 50 survey featuring the top post production houses in the UK and 52 pages of analysis of the sector
  • Interview: Grant Mansfield
    Hiring top talent and investing heavily in development have been key to growing his Bristol indie Plimsoll Productions, says founder Grant Mansfield
  • The clear view: lenses
    What ever genre you work in, you need to be lens savvy. Here three DoPs guide us through the lens market, picking out the models they like to use in drama and factual
  • Over the top
    The growth of Netflix and Amazon is proving a boon for UK indies, but broadcasters are starting to panic. Tim Dams reports
From the magazine
Available to read online
  • Blue Planet II
    The producers of Blue Planet II tell Tim Dams how tech advances and military planning helped them capture the secrets of the deep
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Reports&
surveys

Film 40 2017 Back to Reports & survey Listing

UK studios have reaped
the rewards of the
boom in film and 
drama production.

Pinewood has long been a bellwether for the industry, and business is good, says Andrew Smith, director of strategy and communications. “Across our three studios in the UK [Pinewood, Shepperton and Pinewood Studio Wales] we are seeing sustained growth in film and high end TV.”

Smith points to the BFIs most recent figures for production (£1.6bn for film, £477m for high end TV).

Many of 2017’s biggest movies were made in the UK – including the new Star Wars and Transformers sequels, superhero tales Justice League and Wonder Woman and reboots of Alien, Bladerunner, The Mummy, Mary Poppins and Murder on the Orient Express.

Elstree is also busy in the fiction space, more with drama than film. The studio is the base for Netflix’s The Crown, and has hosted features like the first Paddington. Md Roger Morris says: “The TV drama side has almost replaced middle and lower budget features. Lower budget films have sort of disappeared – the £10-20m film has vapourised really.”

High levels of production have also contributed to a ‘fantastic start to 2017’ for Manchester studios The Space Project, says chief executive Adrian Bleasdale. The Space Project is constructing a new 30,000 sq ft stage. “The driver for this is demand from high end drama for bigger stages and from film.”

Many other studios are busily expanding. Pinewood has applied for planning permission to build another three studios – on top of the five it opened last July. Elstree has finance and approval for a 21,000 sq ft stage on its backlot. It also intends to build a smaller stage of 11,000 sq ft. Elstree is also searching for an investment partner to develop the front of its site for another another 21,000 sq ft stage.  Leavesden Studios plans to extend facilities at its site by a quarter.

There are also a string of new studios being developed. In Northern Ireland, the £20m Belfast Harbour Studios project will include over 120,000 sq ft of studios, workshops and offices. Scotland looks set to get its first studio complex, after proposals for six sound stages on the outskirts of Edinburgh were approved this year. Film London is backing a proposal to build a new studio on a 17-acre site in Dagenham.

A string of former factories are being brought back to life as studios too. Screen Yorkshire has converted an RAF base at Church Fenton into a studio. A new studio is also being readied in Wales, in a deal between indie Bad Wolf and the Welsh government.

Top 10 film studios

3 Mills
Credits
Loving Vincent, Love, Nina


Nine filming stages and two rehearsal stages in East London ranging from 3,200 sq. ft. to 13,500 sq. ft.

Bottle Yard
Credits
Broadchurch, Galavant, Poldark
Bristol studio has 300,000 sq ft of production space in total.

Elstree
Credits
The Danish Girl, Paddington
Six sound stages and one silent stage. Embarking on expansion.

Longcross
Credits
Doctor Strange
Former MOD site in Surrey has four main stages plus workshop space.

Pinewood
Credits
Beauty and the Beast
Huge studio group spread 
across Pinewood, Shepperton, Cardiff Bay.

Space Project
Credits
Cold Feet, The A Word
Currently expanding, the Manchester based studio is in the midst of constructing a new 30,000sq ft stage

Titanic
Credits
Game of Thrones
Expanding with a £14m investment in studios and facilities.

Twickenham
Credits
Florence Foster Jenkins

West London complex has three sound stages.

Leavesden
Credits
Fantastic Beasts
Warner Bros facility is very busy and expanding by 25%.

West London
Credits Bridget Jones’ Baby
This Hayes studio facility has 105,000 sq. ft of studio and production space.


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