WHEN a film crew is in town, there are various requirements that must be met. The cast and crew need to be fed, at regular intervals, they need somewhere to stay, and they to be transported to and from their accommodation and film sets.

This is where local businesses can benefit. From taxis, catering, construction and printing to hotels and flats, film and TV productions have a wide range of needs that can be met by businesses in the district.

A highlight of the Bradford International Film Summit is a seminar called The Business of Film, highlighting opportunities for local and regional businesses. Held by Bradford Breakthrough, it will share information about the needs of the TV and film industry and provide a chance to question business people already working with productions. Attendees will also find out how to join the Bradford City of Film directory.

“We want businesses to sign up to a database, so whenever a production company needs services such as catering or taxis we have the right businesses at our fingertips,” said Bradford City of Film director David Wilson.

“Film and TV companies often have very specific needs, which businesses need to be aware of. If filming is out in a field, for example, a caterer would need to operate without a power supply, and any hotel accommodating cast and crew would need to be aware of very early starts when it comes to things like providing breakfast. Taxis are often needed to transport people to and from location shoots and accommodation, and we need landlords who can make their buildings available for filming.


“A directory of services would ensure that we can access businesses that can provide such services, and pass their details on to production companies, often at short notice.”

Of the 34 filming requests the team had last year, 48 days of filming took place in the Bradford district, including DCI Banks, action movie Hunters Prayer, filmed in Saltaire, romantic comedy Miss You Already, filmed at Ilkley and Haworth, First World War drama Testament of Youth, filmed in Little Germany, and the Hockney documentary.

“Based on the success of 2014 we are confident that filming will continue to increase, and there are lots of opportunities for businesses to get involved in film,” added David, who is one of the speakers at Business of Film, held at the Midland Hotel in Bradford on Thursday, March 5. Others include Sally Joynson, chief executive of Screen Yorkshire, and Richard Knight, head of production for Screen Yorkshire.

A database of businesses which can offer their services to filming would build on what Mr Knight, a former locations manager, called the “can do attitude” of local authorities, residents and businesses, which he said made the district an attractive place for filming.

“There are numerous ways that local businesses can capitalise on the influx of film and television projects - the needs of a film crew are varied, usually urgent, and sometimes downright surreal - potentially putting the production into contact with a variety of suppliers,” he added. “The film summit provides an ideal opportunity for local businesses to learn the scope and scale of the film production market, and how to tap into it.”

From DCI Banks to Daphne Du Maurier, the Bradford district’s diverse landscapes have attracted a range of film and television drama production over recent years.

The cobbled streets of Little Germany, Bradford’s Mirror Pool and inner-city high rises have all featured in big budget dramas, boosting interest in the district’s film-making potential.

Following a significant rise in requests from production companies, Bradford’s City of Film team launched a website - bradfordfilmoffice.com - promoting the district to film-makers worldwide. and streamlining queries from industry professionals. The Bradford Film Office, in Little Germany, fields enquiries from production companies and provides assistance and advice on locations, crew, liaison with highways and traffic control and local services such as hotels and catering. As well as providing information about Bradford to producers, nationally and internationally, the City of Film team is promoting the economic benefits of film-making to local businesses.

“There has been a marked increase in requests for film and TV locations and production support,” said David Wilson. “Bradford is using our UNESCO City of Film status to work with partner organisations and businesses across the city to ensure a film-friendly response to filming requests.

“Bradford’s geography alone lends itself to filming, with the city centre and urban sprawl giving way to rolling hills peppered with picturesque villages. Add to that the amazing Victorian architecture and great transport links, nationally and internationally, and the Bradford Film Office becomes a portal to diverse locations.

“From the post-industrial backdrop of Little Germany to sweeping moorlands surrounding the city, the office has easy access to hidden gems. We’re trying to capitalise on every film enquiry that comes in.

“City of Film has close connections with businesses and property owners, and we want to attract more interest from them. There is lots of demand for locations in hospitals, for example, so we’re reaching out to the NHS, as well as private landlords.”

The team works with Creative England - which invests in and supports creative ideas, talent and businesses in film, TV, games and digital media - to help local individuals and businesses achieve their full creative and commercial potential, and identify future opportunities to grow the economy and generate jobs.

The growth in regional production supported by Screen Yorkshire through its £7.5m Yorkshire Content Fund has provided a golden opportunity to further exploit Bradford’s varied filming locations.

The Great Train Robbery and Jamaica Inn, both partly filmed in the district, are among major TV dramas receiving investment from the Content Fund. Bafta-nominated Peaky Blinders - filmed at locations such as Undercliffe Cemetery, Peel Park and the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway - was the first production supported by the Content Fund, the largest of its kind in the UK.

It has since funded productions such as paranormal thriller Residue and family movie Get Santa, both filmed in the Bradford district.

The Selfish Giant, a film about copper thieves by Bafta-nominated director Clio Barnard, of Otley, was set and shot largely in Bradford, and the production team took up residence in the city during the three-month shoot. The team was based in Little Germany offices and stayed with cast members at the Great Victoria Hotel. David says the film’s success - it won awards world-wide and was nominated for a Bafta last year - shows what can be achieved with support from the City of Film team, which helped with accommodation, locations, cast and crew.

“David and the team at Bradford City of Film were extremely helpful with support for The Selfish Giant; negotiating with key agencies in the city to allow access to various locations, providing support with office accommodation and assisting with a screening at the National Media Museum,” said Clio.