ExCeL London provides much needed studio space

Thu 10th Sep 2020

Affiliate News

ExCeL London is providing much-needed film production studio space as the film industry emerges post COVID-19 crisis. A recent report published prior to the pandemic by property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton estimated that an additional 1,900,000 sq ft of studio space was needed in the UK to satisfy demand. This landmark move by ExCeL London to offer the venue temporarily, shifts the dial on that important target for the film industry. It means that more big budget productions (often those that would otherwise have shot in the US), will be encouraged to shoot in the UK as the industry picks up post COVID; helping to kickstart the economy in East London.

Having successfully hosted many location shoots in the past across film, TV and music video, the ExCeL London team and their filming agents Location Collective quickly realised the unique opportunity the pause in events activity offered to use the venue’s 1 million+ sq.ft of event halls to help solve the film industry’s space problem. ExCeL London is a safe, contained and highly controllable environment which ticks all the boxes when it comes to current safe filming guidelines put in place by the British Film Commission.

Location Collective has been quick to react to this unique window of opportunity and ensure communications about the new proposition quickly land with key decision makers of all the major studios, networks and streaming platforms.

Interest has quickly gained momentum, with recces taking place on a daily basis. One major US studio has already taken space for a well-known show, and a number of further blockbuster features and HETV shows are in discussion.

James Rees, Executive Director, ExCeL London: “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.”

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said:

“It’s fantastic to see a venue like ExCeL becoming available to the film industry under such extraordinary circumstances, boosting East London’s hub for production. It demonstrates once again what a great city London is, and always will be, for filming and how versatile and adaptable the city is. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK screen industries were enjoying record growth. As UK film and TV production safely restarts, I am confident we shall return to those levels, and exceed them, in coming years, playing our part in the capital and country’s recovery. We welcome additional space opening up to further bolster the UK’s world-class studio offer and support economic growth.”

Antony Iredale, Managing Director: “We instantly knew that ExCeL London 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.”

There is availability at ExCeL London to host film production through to the end of April 2021.

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