Film London at FOCUS 2021: What’s Next for London’s Production Industry: The Road to a Greener, Fairer Recovery

Latest 8 Dec 2021

News Story

Balcony view of FOCUS 2021

FOCUS 2021

FOCUS, The Meeting Place for International Production, is currently taking place (7-8 December) with various film commissions, agencies, location providers and production services under one roof with the opportunity to meet and forge new working relationships.

Film London are in attendance, showcasing all that the capital’s screen industries have to offer and yesterday (7 December), Film London CEO Adrian Wootton hosted our special panel “What’s Next for London’s Production Industry: The Road to a Greener, Fairer Recovery” right in the heart of conference show floor.

With COVID-19 secure guidelines in place, the demand for content is at an all-time high - caused initially by the backlog but also by the sheer popularity of the UK, and London, as the place in which to produce content. But, the pandemic has created evident challenges, including a whole new layer of complexity and costs to those already factored into film and TV production.

Panel L-R: Harriet Lawrence, Amelia Price, Adrian Wootton, Melanie Dicks, Om-Kalthoom Bashmailah

Panel L-R: Harriet Lawrence, Amelia Price, Adrian Wootton, Melanie Dicks, Om-Kalthoom Bashmailah

Joined by Harriet Lawrence, Supervising Location Manager at LMGI, Amelia Price, Sustainability Consultant and co-founder of The Generator Project, Melanie Dicks, Chief Executive and co-founder of Fingerprint Content, and co-founder of Greenshoot and Om-Kalthoom Bashmailah, Cast Assistant, Director's Assistant and Equal Access Network member, the panel discussed how the industry has recovered in light of the pandemic, navigating the social and environmental impacts and ensuring the industry’s continued recovery is sustainable is every sense of the word. Here, we've picked out some key points from what was said.

I love watching the Film London show reel, it makes me excited about what we do. We miss that social context of things on set, we are 'people' people…We make amazing things happen.
Leap forward to now, we are sort-of making programmes as we were but with this whole other layer. Our footprint has gotten bigger (and) a lot more complex....we can be more sustainable if we can be given more time to put the right things in place.

Harriet Lawrence outlines what it is like on the ground right now for productions and the impacts of the COVID-19 guidance

Sometimes productions switch off at the general word 'climate change' but talk locally - sites, crew, how WE can help as productions.
We’re the safest country in the world to shoot in and health and safety does come first. There's also a real drive for addressing mental health, there's a real will to help each other.

Melanie Dicks on communicating the green and social agenda to the industry and how to make conversations approachable, and actions achievable.

We’re set up to be a private industry, but maybe we should bring people in to make them aware of what we can do/change.

Amelia Price on how the industry can encourage environmental innovation by striking a balance between private and public knowledge surrounding productions.

Before Film London’s Equal Access Network (EAN), I didn’t know these jobs existed. There are so many roles and there should be more clarity of the opportunities available
You can't beat on the job training. But if you're thrown completely into the deep end, how much are you actually learning? We need training and support on set for new and existing crew

Om-Kalthoom Bashmailah (first) on getting her foot in the industry, which she did so through the EAN and Amelia Price (second) on development support for crews.

Content is still available to watch over on the FOCUS website for those registered.

You can find out more about Film London’s environmental commitments over on our Green Screen page, as well as more information and/or registering to Film London’s Equal Access Network.