Pic producers partner up for Plus

Film London teams with Screen South, East

LONDON — Film London has teamed with bordering regional screen agencies Screen South and Screen East to launch London Plus.

The aim is to provide incoming filmmakers with an accessible production center for southeast England, one of the biggest production hubs in the world outside the U.S. Org launches to the industry at Cannes on May 16.

Other London Plus partners are the four leading studios in the region — Pinewood Shepperton, Ealing Studios, 3 Mills Studios and Elstree — and the representative bodies U.K. Post (post-production industry) and the Production Guild (film and TV production execs and accountants.) Although Film London originated the Plus idea and is taking the promotional lead, all partners are bankrolling the scheme equally.

London Plus will act as a single entry point for producers looking to shoot in the southeast area and will assist productions in identifying suitable locations, studio space, crews and visual effects facilities. The London Plus region stretches from Brighton in the south, Norwich in the north, Oxford in the west and Cambridge in the east.

Since bowing a year ago, Film London has made some headway in streamlining shooting in the capital, which has long been dogged by bureaucratic red tape. Notable achievement was coordinating a tricky “Thunderbirds” shot, which saw two helicopters fly under Tower Bridge.

According to a Film London rep, London Plus will not dent Film London’s ongoing effectiveness: “This will enhance our operation. London has a lot of things for filmmakers but it does not have mountains or beaches.”

London Plus’ arsenal of locations is impressive. The Screen East region boasts the picturesque Holkham beach on the Norfolk coast, which doubled as Virginia in the final scene of “Shakespeare in Love.” “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider,” “Vanity Fair,” “Batman Begins” and “Charlie and Chocolate Factory” all shot at Hatfield House in Hertfordshire.

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