England Film & Photography Production Services
Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in England? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.
Want to know more about shooting in England? See below for an introduction to England locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, fringes and premiums, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.
England Film Locations
England is known for its vibrant cities, picturesque hamlets, green rolling fields, country lanes with stone fences, canals, forests, old pubs, palaces, castles and manors. England can be divided into several regions of interest to filmmakers and photographers.
London is a global capital of finance, fashion, and culture. It is also a major global film production centre and a regular host of major international shoots ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to period dramas.
Famous London locations include the Houses of Parliament, London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, River Thames, Tower Bridge, modern towers (The Shard, Gherkin, Cheese Grater), Shakespeare Globe Theatre, Royal Albert Hall, Belgravia’s expensive Georgian homes, Harrods and Selfridges, Battersea Power Station, Heathrow Airport, Old Spitalfields Market, Leadenhall Market, and the London Underground.
London has many unique neighbourhoods including affluent Kensington, trendy East London, touristy Westminster, historic Tower Hamlets, alternative Camden, City of London financial district, Islington boutiques, busy King’s Cross, Soho fashion, Chinatown, West End theatre, the shops and cafes of Notting Hill, and the council estates of Wandsworth, to name a few.
Known for its manicured English gardens, parks of note include Regents Park, Hyde Park, Kew Gardens, and Hampstead Heath.
London has a great many museums and galleries including Tate Modern, British Museum, Saatchi Gallery, Imperial War Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and Natural History Museum, to name a few.
Sporting locations of note include London 2012 Olympic Venues, several major football and rugby stadiums (Wembley, Twickenham), and Lord’s Cricket Ground which is the home of English cricket.
On the outskirts of London you can find Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Strawberry Hill, and The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich which featured in films such as Les Misérables and Cinderella.
South East. Oxford is home to film locations such as Christ Church College, Bodleian Library, and Codrington Library. Just outside of Oxford you can find the scenic riverside Trout Inn, as well as Blenheim Palace which hosted the Bond film Spectre. Waddesdon Manor exteriors feature in Downton Abbey and The Crown.
The South East has many film-friendly towns and villages. Of note are the quintessentially British coastal towns of Whitstable and Broadstairs. Other pretty villages of note include Amberley, East Dean, Great Milton, Long Crendon, Mayfield, Preston Candover, Winslow, Deal, and Shoreham.
Heading offshore you can find the English Channel, Maunsell Army Forts, and the No Man’s Land Sea Fort just off the Isle of Wight.
Other locations of note in this region include Brighton, Clayton Tunnel North Portal, White Cliffs of Dover, Portsmouth, Dover Castle, and the Great Cloister and Chapter House of Canterbury Cathedral.
South West. This region of England is also rich in film locations including Cornwall, The Cotswolds, Bristol, Stonehenge, Gloucestershire Cathedral, and Tintagel Castle. Bath is known for its Roman baths, Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge and Weir.
Goonhilly Earth Station is a large radiocommunication site. The seaside town of St Ives has inspired artists for many years. West Bay hosted Broadchurch. Lacock is known for its abbeys, museums, and country houses which have featured in Harry Potter films, Wolf Hall, and Downton Abbey. Other villages of note include Dittisham, Lustleigh, and Sherston. Beautiful manors include Hartland Abbey, Mapperton House, and Great Chalfield Manor as seen in Wolf Hall. Sezincote Estate is a majestic mansion designed in Mughalai style. Longleat Hedge Maze is the longest hedge maze in the world. Gold Hill, in the town of Shaftesbury has a picturesque steep cobbled street.
Puzzlewood’s forests and ancient ruins hosted films such as Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, and Jack the Giant Killer. Dartmoor National Park is where War Horse was filmed.
West Midlands. Birmingham, Aston Hall, Walton Hall, Biddulph Grange, Coventry, Castle Bromwich Hall.
East Midlands. Nottingham and Leicester are the largest cities in the area. Hallaton is a quaint East Midlands village. Burghley House and Chatsworth House mansion both featured in Pride and Prejudice. Other Derbyshire lavish mansions of note include Calke Abbey, Sudbury Hall, Kedleston Hall, Wollaton Hall, and Hardwick Hall. Major Oak is a large English oak tree located in Sherwood Forest. According to folklore, it was Robin Hood’s shelter.
East Anglia. The Broads, Cambridge, Norwich Cathedral, North Norfolk Railway, and Yarmouth seaside resort. Villages of note include Lavenham and Dersingham. East Anglia has many beautiful mansions and country estates including Audley End House, Blickling Estate, Holkham Hall, Houghton Hall, Ickworth House, Kentwell Hall, Oxburgh Hall, Sandringham House, Somerleyton Hall, and Wimpole Estate. Ely Cathedral doubles well for Westminster Abbey. Milton Keynes is a centrally planned suburb. SS Vina Shipwreck is located in this part of England.
Yorkshire. Leeds, York, and Hull and the major cities in this area. Locations of note for filmmakers and photographers include the Yorkshire Dales, North York Moors, York Minster, Beverley Minster, The Shambles, Ripley village, Saltaire village, the ruined monastery of Kirkstall Abbey, and Lavender fields across the region. Bradford locations were used in films such as The King’s Speech. England has some picturesque period train stations such as Goathland Station which featured in Harry Potter. East Riddlesden Hall in Keighley featured in Gunpowder. Saltburn Cliff Lift is a Victorian era funicular.
North West. Home to the industrial cities of Manchester, Liverpool, and Blackpool.
Manchester locations of interest include John Rylands Library, Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester Art Gallery, Imperial War Museum North, and Old Trafford stadium.
Liverpool locations of interest include Albert Dock, World Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, St George’s Hall, Royal Liver Building, International Slavery Museum, and Anfield stadium.
Blackpool locations of note include Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Tower, North Pier, the Big One roller coaster, Coral Island, and Lytham Hall.
Other locations of note include the Rows in Chester, and the Singing Ringing Tree. The northwest also has beautiful national parks including the Lake District and Peak District. The lavish Lyme Park estate featured in Pride and Prejudice.
North East. Mostly rural region with beautiful countryside and coastline. Locations of note include Alnwick Castle, Bamburgh Castle, Raby Castle, Dunstanburgh Castle ruins, Bowes Museum, Durham Cathedral, Cragside manor, The Holy Island of Lindisfarne, Tees Transporter Bridge, and Hadrian’s Wall.
Agricultural locations looks include wheat and barley fields, dairy farms, and green hills dotted with wandering sheep.
England Film Location Permits
London is one of the world’s most filmed in cities. As such, there is a very well established permitting process. Our producer / fixer arranges location permits for each Borough to be filmed in. There are no city-wide permits. B-roll shoots generally take about 1-2 weeks to permit depending on the locations. Permits are technically still required even if you’re just filming handheld with a small crew although in some cases you can get away with it. Insurance is an absolute must. Shoots requiring exclusive use of property involving laying track, larger lights, etc require about 2-3 weeks to permit. Larger, more complicated shoots involving traffic control, road closures, etc can take around 4 weeks to permit. Consultation with local authorities may also be required. If traffic control is required the best times to film are generally early summer mornings on the weekend. Location fees vary greatly depending if the location is publicly or privately owned. Some river views of the Houses of Parliament are free whereas a football stadium can cost £25,000. London landmarks are not subject to the same copyright issues as some other parts of Europe. Statues and paintings are copyrighted and may require permission from owners. England has an extensive network of locations agencies representing a large cross section of film locations. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
England’s summer months from June to September are usually sunny and mild. Rainfall occurs all year round and is heaviest in the winter months from November to January. Snowfall is rare. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
England is home to hundreds of events that welcome visitors from all over the world. Summertime music festivals are a major draw with new ones popping up each year. The Glastonbury Music Festival is held in June. London Marathon in April. Royal Ascot horse racing is in June. The Wimbledon grand slam tennis tournament takes place in June / July. The Notting Hill Carnival takes place in August.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in England.
Costs & Tax Incentives
Costs. England is a relatively expensive place to shoot due to the high cost of locations, talent and crews. Much of this is due to the strong Great Britain Pound, although devaluations in the currency have made England a more attractive place to film.
London and Manchester are the major production hubs so any locations requiring travel outside of these areas are an additional cost to filming. That said, our locally based fixers and service producers will negotiate deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget. Given the vast number of film professionals available, deals can always be made.
VAT applies in the UK. See here for the current VAT rate.
Tax Incentives. Films that pass the cultural test or qualify as a co-production are eligible for 25% UK Film Tax Relief of the qualifying UK production spend. The minimum level of UK spend required to access the tax credit is 10% of the overall budget. The relief can also be used for high-end TV, video games and animation. See here for more information.
Film Crew & Talent
Crews. England has a very good pool of local directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. English crews are of the highest international standard. England offers a great depth of world-renowned, experienced, professional technical crews. Manchester is a TV show city so if you are shooting a commercial or film, some crew may need to be brought in from London.
Contact us if you are looking for a London or Manchester based director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew in England. England is home to a diversity of film industry specialists that lead film and photography expeditions to the most remote regions on earth.
Talent. England has a very deep, multicultural and multilingual pool of talent. Specialist agencies exist to supply every kind of possible talent ranging from high-end models to character actors. Many of the world’s celebrities also live in England.
All levels of main, featured and extra roles are available. Fees are usually worked out using the UseFee website. Actors union is Equity. That said, talent costs are ultimately negotiable. It all depends on the specifics of your project (exactly what you need and the budget you’re working with). Our local team is able to negotiate best rates and buyouts for media, territory, and time length. Contact us for a quote.
Fringes and Premiums. No hidden extras. Our English fixer / producer packages deals for local crew and talent.
England Film Equipment
England offers both Panavision and Arri camera, grip and lighting equipment as well as many boutique equipment companies. All specialized equipment is available in England. For productions looking to bring in their own gear England is an ATA carnet country.
Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production
Art department and set construction is of the highest standard.
Studios and backlots. Many world-class options exist. English studios have hosted many iconic films. A few examples include Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, Gladiator, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Batman Begins and Interview with the Vampire. Studios of note include Pinewood Studios, Shepperton Studios, Ealing Studios, Elstree Studios, Three Mills Studios, Fountain Studios and The London Studios.
Post Production. England offers the highest standard of post production facilities with companies such as The Mill, Smoke and Mirrors, and Framestore present. Processing facilities only exist in London.
Visas & Work Permits
England is not a Schengen Area member state. Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. US crews can enter visa-free for stays of up to 6 months. Contact your local British embassy or representative for more information.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Highly developed transportation infrastructure. Many international and low cost airlines service flights to and from English cities. The train system is extensive and often a faster alternative to flying.
Accommodation. Contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in London, Manchester and other parts of England. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. England is a very safe place for foreign productions to visit. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. London has a vibrant nightlife and food scene. Outside of the city you can find places to relax in the quaint Cotswolds, rugged Peak District, or quintessentially British coastal towns of Whitstable and Broadstairs.
Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in England, please see below:
Hire England Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in England, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in England, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.
We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.