3 Mills Studios: “UK must guard against complacency”

3 Mills Studios: “UK must guard against complacency”

London and the surrounding area are blessed with an array of superb film and TV studios. Among these is 3 Mills Studios, which prides itself on being the largest studio in what can be described as central London.


In terms of the overall level of activity at the studio, head of studios Tom Avison says it has been “a very busy year, with very high occupation levels and enquiry levels”.

Partly he puts this down to the UK tax incentive system, which was recently extended to cover high-end drama. “We have been dealing with a lot of tax credit drama productions from the US and the UK, as well as a great deal of UK independent feature film productions, and while the activity in the UK film sector appeared to slow a little at the beginning of 2015, as we approach the end it is definitely picking up again.”

The 78,000 sq ft of stage space, which breaks down into nine filming stages and two theatrical rehearsal stages, has recently been welcoming a range of high-end TV drama, such as Jekyll & Hyde, The Royals and The Enfield Haunting. But also feature films such as the Working Title Films’ Legend, and BBC Films’ Mr Holmes, TV entertainment (MasterChef), and a continuous run of commercials and music videos.


Avison stresses that the UK’s success, just like the studio’s, is not only about the financial incentives however. “They play an important role but there are many other factors that are being considered. In the UK we have a very strong English-speaking crew base, film friendly agencies and, in London, we have a very attractive capital city that people from around the world want to come to live and work in.

“From our perspective at 3 Mills, one of the major contributing factors is the relationships we develop. Producers and line producers bring their productions to our studios because we work hard to build relationships based on trust. This ensures that we have a flexible and collaborative approach to dealing with our clients and we put the needs of their production at the centre of what we do.”

This trust and client-focused approach is, according to Avison, one of the studio’s main USPs, the other being its creative atmosphere. “As our clients come from not just from across film and TV, but also from the areas of theatre and opera for example, we have a unique working environment on site”, he says.

But, is this enough to secure a sustainable long term future for the studio? This depends on many factors of course. Avison stresses that the booming and much-praised UK industry needs to “guard against complacency”.

While the overall level of international and domestic production in the UK continues to be very robust, “this level of inward investment and production activity is causing other countries and regions to take notice”.

It is important,

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