Written by Shona Smith on Sep 11, 2020. Posted in General Interest

ExCeL London keeps Film industry rolling with 1 million square feet of studio space

Over 1 million square feet of studio space at ExCeL London will be available for filming use until April 2021. The venue has vast clear span, 33ft height to rigging points, drive-in access and unlimited connectivity and has already seen interest as the industry picks up post Covid-19.

The venue would usually host four hundred events each year catering to four million visitors, but has also previously hosted many location shoots for film, TV and music videos. Moreover, the venue’s contained and highly controllable environment ticks the boxes outlined in the current safe filming guidelines from the British Film Commission.

ExCeL London's filming agents Location Collective and the ExCeL team quickly realised the unique opportunity that a pause in events activity provided to the film industry. ExCeL London's James Rees, Executive Director of ExCeL London said “we quickly realised we were in the very unusual position of a perfect storm: we have a large amount of space to offer, space that exactly meets the requirements of an industry who are in need and able to get back to work. Of course, we are itching to get back to ‘our day job’, hosting world-leading, organised events but it’s fantastic that a challenge that we face short-term has put us in the privileged position to support another industry going through its own post-lockdown challenges. It’s been a great case study in how we can work collaboratively to reignite our economy.”

Prior to Covid-19 interrupting filming globally property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton estimated an additional 1,900,000 sq. ft. of studio space was needed in the UK to satisfy demand. ExCeL’s decision to offer the event halls will temporarily fulfill this demand, encourage more productions to shoot in the UK and kickstart the economy in East London. Recces are taking place on a daily basis demonstrating that film production studio space remains just as in demand as the film industry emerges from the Covid-19 crisis.

Antony Iredale, Managing Director at The Location Collective notes “we instantly knew that ExCeL would generate a huge amount of interest; the space ideally fits what our film industry customers are looking for in the current climate. We are fielding a lot of calls from productions who can’t believe this space is available, such is the shortage ordinarily in London, including almost daily enquiries from the US. Shows that would conventionally be US based have been looking at how to adapt to London, as the UK is a less turbulent place to shoot right now. The feeling is that producers are leaving no stone unturned to ensure content gets made and shows are produced.

So far a major US studio has taken space for a well-known series, and a number of further blockbuster features and HETV shows are in discussion. There is availability at ExCeL to host film production until the end of April 2021. For more information contact The Location Collective.

Image Credit: ExCeL London, Senior Leadership Team

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