CRAFT: Producer launches London film service

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 managers.

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

managers.



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

meters suspended.’