Where to Shoot

Image of Stephen Connolly on location shooting his FLAMIN-supported project

There are two choices when shooting your project: use a Location or Studios.


Locations
(and relevant permissions to be sought) can be broken down into the three types:

 

Private Property

Contact owner directly.

Council Owned Property

Contact relevant Borough Film Service for a licence.

Public Highway

Contact relevant Highways Authority, either via Borough Film Service or Transport for London for a licence.


For the Borough Film Services you will need to make a formal application to the relevant office for a filming licence. You will need to approach them with details of your production – dates, crew, size and parking requirements, as well as evidence of your Public Liability Insurance. To gain a licence for shooting you may be required to pay administration costs.

Before shooting at any of the locations you will need to inform the Borough Police about your production and distribute a letter to any residents/businesses that may be effected by the filming. Once the shoot is approved you can proceed with the production keeping the police and borough informed of any changes to the dates or requirements of the production.


Studios


There are many studios in and around London for productions of varying scale. The bigger studios tend to have facilities and equipment companies near by (if not within the studio complex) to save on transportation cost. Studios offer a range of spaces for different types of production from simple sound stages (insulated to provide clear sound recording), fully equipped special effects stages and underwater tanks.

Although these studios work on big productions for film and TV they are keen to keep their spaces fully booked so it is worth negotiating (especially if you are flexible about the dates of the shoot) to offer to fill their spaces or to discuss with them the nature of your production and budget to make a deal.

It is also worth exploring the many photographic studios in London. These studios may come with some lighting equipment and often will be cheaper that film studios. However, these studios are not designed for sound recording so if you are wanting to record direct sound be sure to check the acoustics and/or look for a quiet location.

A comprehensive and up to date list of photographic studios can be found via the Artquest website.


Film London Resources


Directory button - blue [original]The Film London Directory contains details of both large scale facilities catering for main stream film production as well as studios which can cater for small scale productions.

Film London's locations department can provide details of a range of locations in the London area. Information and pictures of some 12,000 central London locations are available for viewing in the locations library at the Film London office. There is also an online search facility for around 400 locations accessible via the Film London Directory.

Film London’s production department have detailed information and contacts for all the London Borough Film Services and Borough Police.

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