January 2021: London on Screen and Filming

Latest 12 Jan 2021

News Story

This is an archived edition. Check out the latest production report here.

Read Now

As we start a new year, and a third national lockdown, Film London is still on hand to advise and facilitate productions, showcasing the variety of high-end TV and film on our screens, streets and studios. This month, we focus on what is available to watch from home on TV and on demand, from historical drama The Great to the haunting The Woman in Black and more.

COVID-19 Updates and Guidance

On Monday 4th January Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown for England, which is expected to last until at least the middle of February, 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


The Serpent, courtesy of BBC

Airing on Sunday evenings and available on catch-up is Channel 4's historical comedy drama The Great. Elle Fanning stars as Catherine the Great (the longest reigning female ruler in Russia's history), a young and romantic woman who arrives in Russia for the arranged marriage to Emperor Peter, played by Nicholas Hoult. But with married life not living up to her expectations, and instead revealing a dark societal structure she wishes to change, Catherine is forced to choose between her own personal happiness and the future of Russia. Filming took place across the capital, from East London's 3 Mills Studios, to Ham House in Richmond.

Also currently on TV is BBC One's crime drama The Serpent. Filming scenes in the capital, the series depicts the real-life story of renowned con-man, seducer and serial killer Charles Sobhraj, targeting Western tourists embarking Asia's hippie trail during the 1970's.

Embark on a path of discovery and deceit this Sunday with ITV's drama series Finding Alice, which filmed in London. After the tragic death of her partner Harry, who fell down the stairs in their dream home he designed, Alice soon discovers that Harry didn't just leave a hole in her life, but a whole string of secrets that she must now resolve...


Kidulthood, courtesy of Cipher Films

A selection of films are also available on demand this month, including the gothic ghost story The Woman in Black, available to stream on Netflix. Daniel Radcliffe stars as a young solicitor who as part of his job, is assigned to a remote village to oversee the documentation of a Manor house which is haunted by a vengeful ghost dressed in all black who seeks to revenge for what she has lost. The film shot scenes at Pinewood Studios.

New to Amazon Prime is the award-winning drama feature written by and starring Noel Clark - Kidulthood. The first instalment out of three films (Adulthood and Brotherhood are also available on the platform), Kidulthood is an honest and gritty story surrounding a group of teenagers growing up in west London. Filming took place on location at Ladbroke Grove underground station, Notting Hill, Acton and Soho.