The UK is currently revelling in a £6 billion film and TV expansion, and millions of you could reap the rewards in terms of employment. And this includes models!
Pre-Covid restrictions, Hollywood “A-lister” Robert Downey Jr. and other famous faces were spotted in a small Cumbrian town. The press immediately picked up on this slice of glitterati. Had they become disorientated travelling from Heathrow to L.A? Were they enjoying an impromptu holiday, sacrificing the palm trees of Beverly Hills for the quaint countryside setting of Kirkby Lonsdale? Quite the opposite: they were working. In a quiet town on the A65. How exciting!
Whilst it’s true that the UK has been a popular location for Hollywood films for years, our studios could soon benefit hugely from an influx of investment, making the UK bigger than the industry “across the pond”.
There have been astronomical numbers quoted in the press of late – figures that have turned heads, raised eyebrows and that have left even the most distinguished stars mouthing the word “Wow”.
The UK is currently revelling in a £6 billion film and TV expansion, and millions of folks could reap the rewards in terms of employment. And this includes models!
A renowned property agency in London reported that by 2032, land the size of 100 football pitches will be needed to accommodate the 1.9 million square feet of new studio space to meet the current demand for UK film and high-end TV production. Aviation workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic are being re-trained and being drafted onto film sets to fill employee gaps. There is a much bigger picture to look at than simply stating that the UK is becoming a more fertile place for the film industry – and the picture might end up becoming a blockbusting feature flick.
With at least 20 new sites in the UK due to be built – including new spaces in Liverpool and Birmingham – the UK’s studio space could increase to 6.8 million square feet. To put that into perspective, Los Angeles boasts a “mere” 5.3 million square feet of studio space.
At the turn of the decade, Netflix spent £740 million making 60 films and TV shows, and it’s doubling the size of its Shepperton Studios base, located about 10 miles south of Heathrow Airport (convenient for flights to La La Land!)
Expansion is planned all across the UK. Prominent sites include the Warner Brothers Studios near Watford (of Harry Potter fame), Pinewood Studios (with a £500 million expansion and famous for the Bond films), Sunset Studios in Hertfordshire and plenty more…including sites in Leeds, Edinburgh, Wales, Northern Ireland and Bristol.
The investment put into the UK’s film industry is a clear sign of the shift in prominence. Hollywood will no doubt be a key figure in the film industry for decades to come – it’d be naïve to think otherwise. That said, the UK will soon have the tools to make far more films, employing a greater core of industry professionals.
Will the UK be “bigger” than Hollywood? The word is fairly generic, and so the boast is open to speculation. But with the increase in studio space coupled with the cash flow floodgates opening with unprecedented optimism, why not? It’s an exciting time for everyone working in the UK film industry, and for those yearning to work with some of the best professionals around.
Now could be the best time for models and actors to find their feet and anticipate working with the stars that have become household names around the world. We all have dreams, and your dream could be realised sooner than you think.
Oh, and if you see Johnny Depp, Julia Roberts or Mel Gibson at a service station on the M40, the odds are that they haven’t stopped off for petrol or a cheese and pickle sandwich. They’ll probably be “on set”!