Covid Update: The UK has worked hard to ensure that safe filming can continue in the country. The BFC's Guidance on Working Safely during Covid-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production provides a framework for productions to shoot. There are also a good base of highly trained Covid Supervisors in the country. Since 15 February 2021 ten day quarantine and testing measures apply to those arriving into the UK from outside of the Common Travel Area (Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man) to work on a production. A ten day quarantine period of Non-UK cast and crew who have been in or transited through countries on the Government travel bans list will be refused entry to the UK. There are separate rules for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are outlined in the guidance.
The UK remains one of the top global production hubs and offers several world-class studio facilities. The UK’s generous filming incentive programme facilitates big-budget features and high-profile TV shows to film in the region.
London’s Pinewood studios has already been home to Disney's Star Wars franchise for a number of years, and Netflix has recently set up a UK production hub at Shepperton Studios in Surrey. Several of London’s biggest studio facilities are expanding to cater for demand and around the UK existing industrial sites are increasingly being used as adapted filming spaces.
There is increased production across UK regions. The Bottle Yard Studios is an expanding production hub in Bristol filming series such as The Spanish Princess and The Pursuit of Love and provides a base for shoots in the south west. Yorkshire is also a burgeoning production hub, with recent productions including TV dramas Anne Boleyn, Netflix' s The Witcher and PBS co-production All Creatures Great and Small.
Scotland has found success with TV series and films such as Outlaw King and Avengers Infinity War by capitalising on its scenic beauty. Recent projects include the Jon S Baird feature Tetris, which doubled Glasgow and Aberdeen as 80s Russia and Japan. Other productions include an extensive set build in Portsoy harbour for Peaky Blinders series 6 ending, and The Origin which filmed with a crew of 70 in the remote Gairloch in the north of Scotland.
Scotland is scaling up its offering as a filming destination and has a wide range of build space and studio spaces that cater for all size of projects. Wardpark in Cumbernauld, close to Glasgow which has five sound stages and is home to Sony Starz global hit Outlander. The much anticipated Amazon series The Rig will be the first series to shoot in the new dinburgh Studio development, since its refurbishment as First Stage Studios which will provide five soundstages once complete.
To the west, Wales offers scenic countryside and historic castles, as well as Pinewood Studio Wales and Wolf Studios in Cardiff. American productions such as HBO’s Industry and Netflix hit Sex Education also shot on location in Wales' Wye Valley. Series shot during 2020 include War of the Worlds in Newport, and World Productions' The Pembrokeshire Murders in South West Wales.
Northern Ireland has continued to enjoy success after the local industry's boost from Game of Thrones. Belfast is well known for its doubling potential having recently doubled for both London in Marcella, and Nottingham for Line of Duty. Larger international projects are becoming more commonplace, such as Netflix feature film The School for Good and Evil which is set to takeover 120,000 square feet at Belfast Harbour Studios.
The UK has a temperate maritime climate, with winter temperatures rarely falling below freezing, while temperatures reach about 32C at the height of summer. As the UK is an island the climate is constantly affected by the ocean and so conditions can be unpredictable.
Rainfall is evenly distributed across the UK, although October to January tends to see the wettest conditions. By region, the Lake District gets the most rainfall. The north and western areas of the UK generally have the most number of overcast days in a year.