Hot Spots: How Manchester Is Fast Becoming A Magnet For International Productions

As UK production shows no sign of buoyancy and shortages of capacity and crew in and around London are troubling producers, manchester is fast becoming an attractive destination for international film and television workers. The city, as the crow flies, is just 163 miles north of the English capital and its high end is 85,000 square feet. space studio manchesterJust five minutes from the city center, great productions ranging from Sony/Marvel’s Jared Leto starrer morbius for netflix anatomy of a scam For several seasons of the BBC gangster drama peaky blinders,

While the city has a long history of hosting local films such as 28 days later either east is east as well as the acclaimed British television show queer as Folk To shameless and the coveted long lasting soap coronation roadThe last few years have seen the city really intensify its efforts to establish itself as a global filming destination.

“What we want to do is make sure we are reaching global,” says Screen Manchester film office manager Bobby Cochran. “We do 15-20 shows a year in the city, which many producers might assume are done in London. But we have the chops and know-how and we’re on a mission to really take the city forward.”

Back in 2014, a few years after the BBC decided to move most of its operations at Salford Quays to MediaCityUK in Greater Manchester, the council raised £35M ($42.7M) to replace the 1970 Fujitsu construction hall in West Gorton, Manchester. ) invested. Now there is Space Studio. The impressive high-spec site spans six sound stages ranging from 9,000 square feet to 30,000 square feet and has recently been given planning permission for the construction of two more stages in an additional 20,000 square feet, bringing the space to 105,000 square feet. leads to. It is equipped with production offices, prop storage and workshop space, complete functions.

“We’ve built one store all in one place, one at a time,” says Cinacola’s Space Studios studio manager, film and TV dean. “There’s nothing that can’t be rented or used, and it works out really well given that we’re just five minutes from the city center.”

space studio manchester

Since Screen Manchester’s inception three years ago, the city has seen 45 major TV dramas and feature films shot in the region, with an estimated £13.7M ($16.7M) in space expenditure. Additional projects include Sky cobraChannel 4′ It is a sinSeason 4 Crown With Netflix, Amazon’s years years, of bbc world on fire Also, more recently, Sky Studios’ supernatural drama uplift,

“We do everything and anything from Vox Pop to feature films to TV dramas, to road closures, police assistance, highway stops, special effects, that sort of thing,” says Cochrane, whose The office spaces are located in the studio. “Our job is to make everything as smooth as possible – we can do anything really.”

It is this kind of smooth operation that enables the city to transform its Northern Quarter area into modern New York. morbius And then quickly turn the same field into 1940s New York for Sky’s World War II drama Das Boot,

“It was a massive test,” recalls Cochrane of the Week Change. “But this movie is about the office.”

In fact, Hollywood and international productions have long been attracted to the lucrative 25% tax exemption in the UK, for its locations and its highly skilled workforce. While investment levels in the northern regions of the country have been lower compared to investments in the Greater London area and the south-east, thanks to Manchester’s long-standing history of working on local productions, the crew are there, and They are available.

screen manchester

A hot button topic over the past year has been a severe lack of crew throughout the UK, particularly in and around London. But Cochrane says Manchester’s staff is efficient and available.

“It’s not like the London message where it deserves to be burst and there is nothing we can do – but there are still opportunities for producers to bring content,” he says.

Mark Hackett, sales director for Space Studios, says a big part of his instruction is to raise awareness of the potential of Manchester’s staff, which includes makeup artists and costume designers who have worked with the likes of Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Helena Bonham Carter. have worked together.

“Unlike where there is a huge shortage in the southeast, there are crews here,” says Hackett. “And it’s going to be tough. We probably have four or five crews that are capable in all departments and only HOD’s are being brought in, which is all over the world. For Amazon, Netflix and Apple, we have our crew availability.” Have done a deep dive in and it turns out to be really positive.

Rob Page, managing director of Space Studios, says, “Skills don’t diminish as you move out into the country – we have a world-class crew that are here and ready to work on production that takes five at the same time. Or can sustain six shows.”

Currently, Screen Manchester and Space Studios are building a database to show where there are gaps in the industry and once it is populated, they will reach out to the city’s huge university population and actively support its infrastructure. Will try to develop

Clockwise from top left, Bobby Cochran, Dean Cinchola, Mark Hackett, Rob Page
Screen Manchester/Space Studio

From a cost perspective, Manchester as a city has always been cheaper than London and the South-East. From a stage perspective, Hackett notes that Space Studios’ rate card runs around a quarter to a third of the cost of a London soundstage.

“On top of this, we are able to offer a uniquely bespoke rate card to production companies located in the area,” he says. “And this is just to support the community that we have here. But it is not exclusive and not available for other productions. We will always look at things on a case-by-case basis to see what the production has to offer us in return. is doing, how long are they living with us, that sort of thing.

To boot, the metropolitan city offers a rich and diverse array of places that can mimic cities around the world. Manchester’s rich industrial history means that it is a city full of original architecture and buildings from the period. Oscar winning titles the Darkest HourFor example, Manchester’s Town Hall was used as a double for the Houses of Parliament. In terms of connectivity, Manchester Airport is an international airport that operates direct flights to and from New York.

“The venues are here, the studios are here, the whole infrastructure is here,” Cochrane says. “So, why aren’t you?”