Thurrock Film Office celebrates its first anniversary

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Thurrock Film Office was first established in October 2018 as part of Thurrock Council’s aim to establish a proactive and consistent offer for anyone wishing to film here. We offer one point of contact for all filming enquiries and October marks our first anniversary.

Our uniquely placed borough is the gateway to Essex and the south east and conveniently located in close proximity to London – just 30 minutes from the City by train. Our excellent transport links and three ports that connect us to the world mean we are just a 60-minute drive from 18 million people and six international airports.

Thurrock is also home to the Royal Opera House’s High House Production Park and The Backstage Centre, both of which have a wide variety of event spaces that can be used for many filming needs. The latter is a production and rehearsal venue offering a fully sound-proofed sound stage space. It can be purpose-built for TV, film, commercials, music, dance, theatre and live events. Rehearsals have been staged here by Years & Years and Kylie Minogue, among others.

Both the Production Park and Backstage Centre are located in Purfleet, which is inside the M25 but offers lower parking costs and no congestion charge. Thurrock is also within easy reach of more of the UK’s major studios, as well as 20 minutes from The Underwater Studios, Basildon.

Filming highlights

This first year of operation has certainly been busy at Thurrock. We now have a fully accessible websitewhere production companies can submit an application to film, as well as comprehensive details on key locations. Although the Film Office has only been established for a year, filming has taken place in the borough since 1928. We have been lucky enough to host some big name blockbusters as well as household favourite dramas and series including:

  • Peterloo
  • Batman Begins
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  • White Gold (series one and two)
  • Taboo
  • Spooks

You can find more productions by looking at our Filmography.

We have hosted film crews for a wide range of productions, most recently Warner Brothers Studios, high-end TV dramas (Liar series 2) and children’s TV and game shows (CBBC’s The Dengineers and BBC’s The Wall), alongside music videos and photoshoots for China and US Vogue. Our Coalhouse Fort was the backdrop for Annie Leibowitz in her promotion of ‘The Ferryman’ for US Vogue.

Production companies can rely on us to support them before, during and after their shoots. We always strive to give the very best customer experience by responding quickly, honestly and with as much local knowledge as possible.

From the pretty to gritty

Thurrock is a top location situated on 18 miles of the Thames riverfront. We have a bit of pretty much everything all in one small but uniquely versatile film-friendly borough. Our range of landscapes includes:

  • Rural and urban
  • Historic and contemporary
  • Industrial and residential
  • Riverfront and docks

 

Kelly Robinson, the council’s designated Film Officer, offers a few thoughts on what Thurrock has to offer:

“We have pretty and gritty locations all within close proximity of each other – including a beautiful backdrop of fields, forests, lakes and riverfront with historic forts and tunnels / subways alongside access to council estates of various building structures including tower blocks or terraced estates, some of which could be doubles for big city locations. We also work with the council’s assets team to offer vacant plots and buildings before they get sold or redeveloped.”

“The Film Office has a can-do attitude. We are always looking to work with productions and provide them with un-tapped locations and competitive rates compared with our neighbouring London boroughs – come and have a chat with us to see what we have for you!”

Supervising Location Manager from Yaya Productions had the following comment:

“Thurrock Film Office were very supportive to Yaya Productions Limited. We used an East Tilbury Estate for our fictional town setting in the upcoming feature film His House.We filmed 5 consecutive days with road closures, street dressing, action vehicles, crowd and even a night shoot and all went incredibly well.”

 

Is it a bird? Is it a plane?

Thurrock Film Office is also uniquely placed to offer filming by drone. We are licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to carry out commercial work using small drones, which means we are able to record high-quality aerial video or photography – up to 4K in resolution – and can support your filming needs within Thurrock and beyond. Our fees are very competitive – another example of how we are a one-stop shop for all your filming needs.

It’s been a busy year for Thurrock Film Office and our offer is always evolving. We will shortly be advertising new and exciting locations available for filming (many of which haven’t ever been used before).

Follow us on our new Twitter feed @FilmThurrock to keep in touch with us or visit our website to see new locations as they become available, and watch out for our Thurrock Film Office trailer, coming soon.

You can also come along and see us at FOCUS 2019 where we will be exhibiting with our partners Creative England and FO:UK. Thurrock looks forward to welcoming you in the future.