February 2021: London on Screen and Filming

Latest 3 Feb 2021

News Story

Harrow School

After what feels like an eternity, February is finally here with new film and TV offerings! Film London is still on hand to advise and facilitate productions, and whilst the national lockdown still in place, we're bringing the capital to you with a selection of titles filmed in and around London, available to watch at home this month.

COVID-19 Updates and Guidance

On Monday 4th January Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown for England, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While this introduces additional restrictions, particularly in social settings, work activity is permitted to continue – including COVID-secure film and television production. By continuing to follow the approved COVID-19 guidance highlighted below, Film and TV production will be able to continue in the Capital and locations can continue to accommodate shoots and recces that are carried out in-line with the guidance.

It is essential that all filming activity is carried out in a COVID secure manner and that industry guidance is rigorously adhered to. As the approved COVID-19 guidance highlight, productions should allow sufficient time to plan shoots to ensure that they can film in a COVID-secure environment.

Productions also have a duty to check the specifics of any local restrictions where they are working.

Any further amendments to guidelines will be highlighted on our COVID-19 Updates and Guidance page, so please check regularly for updates.

Production guidance for Film and High-End TV Drama is now available with the publication of ‘Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama Production’by the British Film Commission, produced as part of wider BFI Screen Sector COVID-19 Task Forces recovery initiatives.

In collaboration with the London Filming Partnership, Film London have created guidance for crews filming in public spaces in London. The COVID-19 Guidanceprovides a checklist of actions for crews to ensure that they operate within government guidelines and mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 when on location.

Film London remains fully operational, delivering for the industry and sharing official advice and support. For advice on London locations, studios and facilities, email locations@filmlondon.org.uk

TV

Still of AR world Kingdom Scrolls from Dead Pixels

Dead Pixels, courtesy of Channel 4

The anticipated second series of Pennyworth (the origin story of The Batman's trusty butler Alfred Pennyworth) is finally here and available to watch on STARZPLAY from 28th February. Set in a fictional 1950's London, and having filmed scenes in the capital, series two takes place one year after the first, with Pennyworth leading a resistance force fighting against fascist control of the country, but does he yearn for a life elsewhere...?

From a fictional London, to a virtual reality! Escape lockdown without leaving your house with E4's comedy series Dead Pixels. Friends Meg, Nicky and Usman are back for series two, continuing to juggle their 'real' world jobs, relationships and selves with the virtual gaming world of Kingdom Scrolls, which seems to have a new batch of players players... A mix of live action and game animation, scenes were shot on location in Soho, with the virtual world of Kingdom Scrolls created at Keyframe Studios, London.

After the recent announcement of Sky Cinema's impressive 2021 slate, releasing at least two new and original films every month, it seems there will be plenty to watch in the coming months. Alongside these new releases, catch-up on other titles including the musical fantasy of Elton John, Rocketman, which filmed scenes at Royal Albert Hall and award-winning Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything which filmed scenes at Film London's Premiere Location Harrow School, Lancaster House, Royal Opera House and Ealing Studios.

Online

With holidays looking rather unlikely, get your sun, sand and sea fix with Mumma Mia! available this month on Netflix. Set on a Greek island, bride-to-be Sophie played by Amanda Seyfried intends to invite her father to the wedding, only she has three suspects... so invites them all unbeknown to her mother, played by Meryl Streep. With hit songs from ABBA throughout, and a star studded cast including the likes of Pierce Bronson, Julie Walters and Stellan Skarsgard, scenes were filmed at Pinewood Studios.

Still of four people on location for The Theory of Everything

The Theory of Everything, courtesy of Working Title Films

2012 sport drama Fast Girls is available for a select amount of time over on BBC iPlayer. With Noel Clark as a writing credit, the film follows streetwise runner Shania (Lenora Crichlow) who has an on-going sporting rivalry with middle-class Lisa (Lily James). But as they compete in the World Championships, they must work together to put their differences aside and secure a medal. Scenes were filmed on location at Queen Elizabeth II track and Lea Valley Athletic Centre, Enfield.

Amazon Prime's black comedy I Care A Lot hits the platform on February 19th. Rosamund Pike stars as shady legal guardian Marla Grayson who drains the savings of the elderly. However, Marla soon gets into hot water when the woman she's trying to con has a criminal past of her own. The feature filmed scenes at Pinewood Studios.

Filming

Filming has just wrapped in London on the sixth series of humorously dark crime drama Inside No.9, which had paused due to the pandemic. Inviting us back behind the doors marked 'No.9', the series will star Sian Clifford (Fleabag) and Paterson Joseph (Peep Show).

Series two of Ted Lasso - a small-time football coach hired to coach a professional 'soccer' team in England, despite having no experience - is also currently in production in London.