The UK is a popular destination for film and TV production. Already home to studios owned by industry giants such as Warner Brothers, the country is known worldwide for its exceptional talent and varied landscapes, which provide the perfect scene for almost any production.
Growth in the UK film industry has seen rising demand for studios, increasing the cost of the already expensive production process. Currently, only a limited selection of filming studios are available across Britain, predominantly based around major cities. Seetha Kumar, CEO of ScreenSkills, explained the shortage: “The increase in commissioning of High-End Television content from UK producers, and in particular by newer players such as Netflix and Amazon, has provided a welcome boost to the industry and demonstrated that we are world leaders in creating and delivering ambitious, much-loved programming that resonates globally.’’
Demand has also increased in Wales, where the shortage is evident. Several big-name films have been shot in the Welsh countryside or along the coast, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Dark Knight Rises, helping Welsh filming space to become some of the most sought after in the UK. The Welsh government offers grants for crews who shoot TV shows and films in Wales, on the condition that a percentage of their budget is spent within the country. The Welsh economy benefits, while the production gains a financial boost, as well as the varied landscapes of Wales as a backdrop to their film.
Studios to accommodate green screen filming are particularly in demand. Green screens offer a cost-effective means of production, allowing teams to create the illusion of various locations without the need to travel or hire additional space. They are also an efficient filming option, providing high-quality background images and removing the lighting challenges that come with outdoor filming. Green screens also allow for amendments to be made post-production.
To tackle the shortage of UK studios and ensure the film industry is able to continue to grow, more filming space is required. The development of a filming studio creates unique challenges. The space must allow for large production teams, be capable of housing varied sets and be technically able to host the equipment required, including green screens.
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