The New Forest District Council is today launching its latest activity with Creative England to drive film and TV production to the region.
As part of its Enhanced Partnership Agreement with Creative England, the District Council is launching a skills review to identify the depth of crew base in the New Forest District and identify any gaps.
The skills review is designed to capture information about the locally available crew and also facilities companies, which includes lighting and camera hire but can be any local business whose services might be used by film or TV production such as builders, electricians, hairdressers, caterers, taxis and hotels. It will provide essential information to any production looking to shoot on location in the New Forest regarding the crew they need to bring and the suppliers they can find locally.
The review has been developed by Creative England’s Crew and Facilities Manager, Nicky Ball. Following Creative England’s crew networking night in the New Forest last October for the region’s crew at the Balmer Lawn Hotel; Nicky said of the event: “It was really useful to be in the New Forest and meet with some of the locally based crew and other media professionals. With Black Hanger Studios and the film production courses at the Arts University Bournemouth, we know there are people around the area who have the skills that film and TV production companies need, but we hope that by launching this review we can identify where the gaps are and then work with the District Council on starting to fill them.”
Creative England has a national database which lists 6,203 crew, 1349 facilities companies and 460 production companies operating in England outside London. However, the organisation only knows of 90 of these crew and 14 production companies that are based in Hampshire and this latest work aims to encourage others to join that database. One of the key factors in helping a TV or film production choose where to base for its next production is the number of locally based crew it can draw on to fill roles from runner to line producer. Boosting the numbers on Creative England’s database will help to improve the New Forest’s profile and attractiveness to prospective filmmakers.
Thanks to the Enhanced Partnership Agreement, Creative England has recently added 50 new locations within the New Forest to its national database and sent a notification of the range of locations available within the Forest to its mailing list of around 3,500 industry professionals.
The review will be split into two parts: one designed to be completed by local crew and the other for facilities companies such as lighting, catering, special effects and camera hire. It will be delivered via an online survey which will be circulated to existing crew and companies listed with Creative England and wider industry and education networks in the region.
The Enhanced Partnership was agreed between Creative England and the New Forest District Council last year with the aim of encouraging more film and TV production to the region.
The New Forest has already been home to several well-known film and TV productions, including BBC TV sit-com, The Brittas Empire, which used Ringwood’s Leisure Centre to double as the fictional Whitbury Leisure Centre. Paramount’s Mission: Impossible 5: Rogue Nation used the Fawley power station for some of its scenes and Warner Bros.’ Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves used the New Forest to double for Sherwood Forest.
Film and TV drama shooting on location can spend up to £40,000 per day on local goods and services, meaning they can be important drivers for economic growth.
Creative England works with film and TV productions of all sizes and budgets filming on location in England, outside of London, with the aim of ensuring that the benefits of the multi-million pound industry are felt throughout the English regions.
Creative England’s Production Liaison Manager for the South and East, Hayley Armstrong, said: “The New Forest has a huge amount to offer the filmmaker with its diverse range of locations and film friendly proactive District Council. We hope that by identifying the skills of crew working in the area and local facility companies and encouraging them to register on our database we can increase yet further the appeal of the New Forest and bring some large scale productions here within the coming months.”
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