Film case: 3 Mills Studios
London’s 3 Mills Studios is emblematic of the world-leading position of the UK film industry. Established in its current format in 1999, it is the capital’s largest film and TV studio complex, based on a historic and spacious island site in London’s famous East End. An increasingly successful business, 3 Mills Studios has been used by an impressive roll-call of prominent independent filmmakers, including Wes Anderson, Andrea Arnold, Danny Boyle, Tim Burton, David Cronenberg, Mike Leigh, Ken Loach and Michael Winterbottom.
Studio executive Derek Watts says: “We offer a selection of stages, ranging in size from 3,500 to 13,500 sq ft, and all of the associated office and workshop space that productions require. We cater mainly for the British independent filmmaker, but have also recently completed larger international projects, notably three Hollywood-financed stop-frame animation films – Corpse Bride, Fantastic Mr Fox and Frankenweenie. We were also involved with the London 2012 Olympics; the ceremonies and Olympic Torch teams were based in our offices and rehearsed on our stages.”
He continues: “It’s great to be a part of the UK film industry. This country has excellent filmmaking facilities, both in terms of the studios that can be provided and the technical know-how available on the post-production side. We’ve also got world-renowned talent in the form of actors, directors and crew. Everything that is associated with making a film, the UK is potentially the best in the world at. If people come here they know they are going to get a good result. This is particularly true of London, but there are also expanding and successful filmmaking centres across the country.
“The UK offers a freedom of expression and a creative spirit that allows creative people to explore what they want to do with no limits. You also don’t need to have vast amounts of money to shoot films here. There are a lot of organisations and studios that encourage low-budget filmmakers who are trying to get a foothold in the business.
“The tax credit system is also extremely important. It works very well and is sufficient to attract filmmakers to the UK. Many other countries have adopted similar systems, but what sets us apart is the talent, facilities and expertise that we have here in Britain.”