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28 October 2014

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Boom time for London locations

Filming new release 'Closer' on the streets of LondonLocation filming on the streets of London has increased by 10 per cent in the last year - cementing the capital's position as the third busiest film production centre in the world.

The boom in London's film and media production means that on average almost 30 crews are shooting in the capital every day of the year, according to figures released by strategic agency Film London.

Westminster witnessed a 16 per cent increase in location activity in 2004 and remains London's most filmed borough, closely followed by the Corporation of London and Lambeth.

Both Hackney and Hammersmith & Fulham have seen a 36 per cent growth in activity, while Greenwich managed a staggering 57 per cent increase in shooting days in the same year.

flexible framework

Booming boroughs
1. Westminster (1,937)
2. The Corporation of London (981)
3. Lambeth (851)
4. Tower Hamlets (666)
5. Camden (612)
(figures based on number of shooting days in 2004)

The record increase is being put down in part to a more flexible framework, set up by Film London in 2003, that enables producers to talk more freely with the capital's boroughs in order to speed through their filming proposals.

London has become "a world film city", says Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London, which is in marked contrast to its old image of being a 'difficult' place to film in.

When the production team behind new release Closer opted to come to the UK, liaison began immediately to facilitate co-operation between the filmmakers and the agencies behind the London locations they wished to shoot as a backdrop to the story.

iconic landmarks

In the film, which features Hollywood A-listers Julia Roberts and Jude Law, the South Bank and its iconic landmarks of St Paul's Cathedral and 30 St Mary Axe (the Gherkin) are on view, as is Whiteleys Shopping Centre, Islington-based printers E M Miller & Son, and Postman's Park in King Edward Street EC1.

Closer stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen at the South Bank Closer stars Jude Law and Natalie Portman in Postman's Park EC1

"London is such a fascinating, multifaceted city that there's always something new to explore in a filmic sense", says Closer's producer Cary Brokaw.

Present-day London continues to be a sought-after location: Film London's figures for 2004 put the total number of shooting days on the capital's streets at 10,683, nearly 1,000 higher than in the previous year.

The statistics are based on film and parking facilitation on London's streets and council-owned and private properties.

They exclude filming in the Royal Parks, the Underground, Network Rail, the Royal Palaces and Ministry of Defence properties.

Useful links: Film London (The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites)

Download a special movie map of Closer

More on London film locations

This week's new film releases

Jump to our film index for features and more


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