Shooting commercials in London should cease to be a bureaucratic
nightmare following the creation of the London Film Commission, which
will act as a liaison between the 33 London boroughs and location
The commission, which launches officially in July, has been operating
informally since the end of last year. It will cover all types of film-
making and smooth out the traditional location difficulties such as
parking, nosy neighbours and local children interfering with sets.
Christabel Albery, the director of the commission, said: ‘Our biggest
problem is trying to get people to understand the value of our industry.
People see film-makers as a nuisance. We need to put across the other
side of the coin.’
Saatchi and Saatchi has been hired to create a film to promote the
commission to Londoners, following presentations from six agencies.
Ridley Scott, the founder of RSA Films and the owner of Shepperton
Studios, has taken a personal interest in the launch of the commission
and the film will be produced by RSA Films.
The Saatchi account manager, Harry Corsham, said: ‘So far we have a
script and we are involved in conversations with major Los Angeles
studios asking them for permission to use footage.’
Albery - a film and TV producer who has taken time off to launch the
commission - confirmed her support for the ad industry, which she said
is worth three times as much as the feature film industry in London. She
commented: ‘London has the greatest ad production talent in the world.
Commercials have kept the film-making infrastructure in the UK alive at
a time when feature films have not been there to do that.’
Production companies in London are welcoming the initiative, which will
provide services free of charge. Simon Delaney, the managing director of
D-Films, said: ‘Shooting in New York, nothing is too much trouble; you
get the feeling that everything - up to and including having the mayor
appear naked in your film - is available, albeit at a price Here, you
practically have to sacrifice a major body organ just to get the parking