HOLLYWOOD'S £100M INVESTMENT TO EXTEND HARRY POTTER STUDIO MAGIC
The £100m investment by Warner Bros, the US film, TV and entertainment group, in Leavesden Studios has underlined the booming state of UK film production.
Warner Bros made its entire lucrative Harry Potter series of movies at Leavesden in Hertfordshire, eventually buying the facility and establishing it as its european film-making hub. After substantial renovation, the site was re-opened as a bigger space than the Warner Bros base in Hollywood. By itself, this had the effect of increasing the total studio production capacity in the UK by 35%.
This confidence comes at a time when the UK is enjoying a healthy flourish of film production. Movies such as Fury starring Brad Pitt, Into the Woods with Meryl Streep and Heart of the Sea directed by Ron Howard have all chosen the UK as their production base. Next year will also bring the next installment of the Star Wars franchise which is being shot at Pinewood Studios.
The Los Angeles Times recently noted that: "Britain’s production scene is bustling, the by-product of a decade’s worth of government policy promoting the industry and a robust infrastructure that grew around two of the most successful film franchises of all time, the Harry Potter and James Bond series. A generous tax incentive, sleek new sound stages and experienced, non-unionized crews groomed on the Potter and Bond films have all helped to cement a new “special relationship,” one between Britain and Hollywood studios.
"The native land of David Lean and Alfred Hitchcock also holds artistic attraction for filmmakers, with its tungsten northern light, Dickensian architecture and theater-trained actors. More recently it has become home to some of the best visual effects companies in the world, including Double Negative, which worked on the Harry Potter and Batman films, and Framestore, which played a key role in “Gravity."