London filmmakers give Bristol top billing as movie location

June 1, 2012

The London-based producers of new feature film The Fold have praised Bristol for its first-class filming infrastructure and accommodating approach, describing it as “a breath of fresh air”. Despite filming 65% of the film in the city during the wettest April on record, they also said working in Bristol was “extremely cost-effective”.

The Fold starring Catherine McCormack (28 Weeks Later, Braveheart), was financed through private equity and shot entirely in Bristol and Cornwall on a budget of £1.2m. Set during the Cornish daffodil harvest, the movie tells the story of Anglican priest Rebecca Ashton who forms a volatile friendship with migrant worker Radka Dimitrova. It is a story about grief and misplaced good intentions.

Producer Jay Taylor said: “We did consider filming entirely in Cornwall or partially in London, but when we compared the costs of filming elsewhere, we estimated that filming in Bristol saved us approximately £130,000, a significant sum for any production.

“Early on in pre-production we knew that we could find the locations, talent and facilities that would service our every need. Our crew were world class – experienced, professional, hard working. We also tapped into a pool of great local acting talent.

“Everything about filming in Bristol was a joy – locations were more accommodating, better value for money and better situated. I am looking forward to returning to film in Bristol. It was a breath of fresh air for us disillusioned London film makers.”

The production made good use of Bristol’s comprehensive production support network. Films@59’s extensive range of equipment was used for camera hire, Bristol Television and Film Services for the vehicle fleet and Eye Lights provided the grip equipment. The production used the BBC studios at Paintworks as its base and said the on-site facilities and location were ideal for their needs. The producers also worked closely with Bristol City Council’s Film Office who provided advice and support throughout the production process.

Line producer Benjamin Greenacre said: “Bristol is blessed to have a film office with a fantastic vision. They, without hesitation, will help if they can and they understand the limitations of the way we have to work and the constraints with regards time and money under which we have to operate. Their knowledge of the area is exceptional, and they have a real understanding of filming which is all one can ask for.”

Bristol City Council cabinet member for communities Cllr Guy Poultney said: “Film is hugely important to Bristol. Attracting productions to Bristol brings in more than £20m of investment into the city each year and has huge knock-on benefits through the wider promotion of the city.

“Bristol has a huge amount to offer production companies – a world-class creative media sector, the natural beauty of the city for film locations, and a wealth of talent. Plus we have the excellent resource of the Bottle Yard, the region’s biggest dedicated production space."

The Fold, which was recently showcased at the Cannes Film Festival, is the first feature film to come from London production company The Electric Shadow Company. Its development slate includes a host of follow-up projects including an adaptation of Stephen Fry’s comedy The Hippopotamus and Scottish period drama Beeswing which recently received EU Media development funding.

Bristol Film Office provides a free service to all productions planning to film in the city, dedicated to making film, television or commercial photography shoot run as smoothly as possible on location in the city. It can help at all stages of production from initial location and crewing advice to reconaissance and logistical support. For more information go to:

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