Manchester enjoys busiest filming year to date
Manchester has enjoyed its busiest year to date for high-end TV drama (HETV).
The city has hosted a range of international productions including projects from Amazon Studios, Netflix, Sony Pictures and FX.
Over the course of the year, the city’s film office, Screen Manchester, processed more than 450 production enquiries resulting in 684 filming days completed across film, TV, music and commercials production.
The total generated in location spend is an estimated £7m, coming from more than 300 productions filming during 2019.
Some of the high-profile HETV projects that utilised the city include World on Fire; The A Word; Cobra; The Stranger, Little Birds, Das Boot; Traces and The Boys and Brassic.
Marvel/Sony Pictures’ major new feature Morbius used the city’s Northern Quarter earlier this year. The area’s streets are often used to double for New York – across various eras. In the case of whistleblower feature Official Secrets, starring Keira Knightley, Manchester ‘played’ London.
Space Studios is one of the big draws to producers and international filmmakers. The purpose-built facility has more than 85,000 sq ft of high spec stages, with the largest at around 29,600 sq ft.
The sixth series of Peaky Blinders is pre-production at Space Studios now readying for filming in early spring 2020, while Sky’s comedy drama Intergalactic is currently in production there. ITV comedy drama Cold Feet is a regular resident at the site.
Screen Manchester's Bobby Cochrane says, "It has been a blockbuster of a year and only when you see all the projects written down to you realise just how sought-after Manchester is as a place to film the best drama.”
Rob Page, commercial director, Space Studios, told The Knowledge: “Since Screen Manchester launched in 2017 we have been delighted to welcome some of the highest profile dramas to Manchester.
"Bobby and his team have an unique ability to find the most interesting locations and to open these up to producers. Manchester now appears in many guises on screens, big and small worldwide.
"This past year has been immensely busy and the signs are good looking forwards.”
Also on The Knowledge
ScreenSkills is running courses for experienced 2nd assistant directors working in HETV and/or feature film who are looking to step up to 1st AD.
New ITV detective drama, Ridley, has started filming in Lancashire with Adrian Dunbar in the title role.
Diane Morgan’s Philomena Cunk is set to return to BBC Two and Netflix with Cunk on Earth, a 5 x 30 from Broke & Bones.
The second series of Netflix’s fantasy drama, The Witcher, filmed entirely in the UK, utilising around 15 key locations.
Screen Scotland and the BBC have renewed their commitment to Scottish-produced content with a £3m investment boost for the country’s screen sector.
Big Light Productions, the independent London-based production company led by writer/producer Frank Spotnitz, has announced the latest recipient of their annual writers’ apprenticeship - now in its fifth year - which provides writers from the prestigious Serial Eyes programme hands-on practical experience in a writers’ room and collaborating on local and international projects.