Monday, 3 June 2013

Blockbuster: East Kent Film Office and Studios

Pinewood Studio has had its £200m expansion plan rejected by the local authorities as of two weeks ago.

The development of over 100acres of green belt was felt to be too intrusive – and many of the film set “streetscapes” to simply be more housing on green belt. The expansion plans would have doubled the studio capacity to over 100 acres as part of the filming plans for JJ Abrams’ Star Wars new franchises for next year, and the new James Bond movie.

Lord Grade, Pinewood’s Chairman confirmed development will allow the creation of 3,000 jobs and over £150M for the wider UK economy in securing the Star Wars franchises, along with further development of the existing Leavesden Studios.

Clearly UK film is expanding with the new Brad Pitt zombie and pandemic movie World War Z premiering yesterday with Angelina Jolie, and shot at Leavesden and also Pfizer’s Discovery Park laboratories in East Kent.

While, the BFI is reaching out to UK organisations to participate in its UK Audience Network as ‘Hub Lead Organisations’, which will help develop film diversity and access in parts of the UK currently under-served by the industry.

The BFI’s UK-wide Audience Network will consist of up to ten regional ‘Hubs,’ which are yet to be determined, with a remit to “bring a greater depth and breadth of film experiences to their local areas.”

Each hub will be led by a ‘Hub Lead Organisation’, described by the BFI as an “organisation with strength and experience in growing and developing audiences for specialised film, which can act as a cultural leader, facilitator and source of support to other Hub members”.

But the combining of the now defunct Film Council role with Film London may see the usual London-centric and cottage-industry approach for film-making to East Kent’s detriment.

Time for East Kent Film Office and Studios.

Time for Change.

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