Mission Impossible 7, Indiana Jones 5 and The Railway Children: Yorkshire set to host major TV and film productions in 2022 after 'incredible year'
Locations in Yorkshire have been used for a range of productions, from big-budget films such as Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible 7 and Indiana Jones 5, as well as hugely popular TV series such as Gentleman Jack and All Creatures Great and Small.
A crew also spent more than a month shooting a long-awaited sequel to The Railway Children in the region and used several key locations from the original film, including the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. The feature film, called The Railway Children Return, is due to be released in cinemas in July.
Caroline Cooper Charles, head of creative at Screen Yorkshire, said the company has “never been busier” as it works to support dozens of productions, as well as providing funding for film projects in the region and training for young creatives who want to break into the industry.
“It really has been an incredible year,” she said. “I think what people know about Yorkshire now is that they can get a level of support from Screen Yorkshire’s film office. We only set that up a few years ago and before that, the infrastructure just wasn't there.
“The landscapes speak for themselves - they are extraordinary - and people have always been attracted by that and our amazing country houses. For example, we had The Witcher filming at Gordale Scar.
“But people can also now come to Yorkshire being absolutely confident that they have this one-stop shop service. If they need studios, a production base, crew, or that real expertise and guidance, our film office team is here.”
She added: "2022 is going to be extraordinary and you're going to be seeing a lot more of Yorkshire on both the big and small screens."
A recent report from the British Film Institute (BFI) shows spending and TV and film productions in Yorkshire increased, by 121 per cent to £235m, between 2017 and 2019. Across the UK it rose by 74 per cent to £13.86bn.
Ms Cooper Charles, who will take over from Sally Joynson and become chief executive of the company in January, said the industry has recovered well after the pandemic shut down productions across the country in 2020, and she is confident the level of demand and investment will continue to increase.
The pandemic has increased costs for production companies, as additional infection control measures need to be put in place, but they have benefited from the £500m Government-backed support scheme, which was announced last year.
However, Ms Cooper Charles said a shortage of studio space is still proving to be an issue, even though Versa Leeds Studios is due to open in full next year.
“Next year we would love to identify another site where we could have some really big sound stages, for big studio films in Yorkshire,” she said.
“We continue tirelessly to try and find the place where that could happen, but there are so many factors that you have to consider. It has to be a big space that isn't going to be disrupted by noise pollution.”
Ms Cooper Charles is now looking ahead to 2022 and said there are nine major productions are preparing to film in the region.
She is looking forward to several releases, such as the Duke, which was shot in West Yorkshire and stars Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent, and as well as Clio Barnard’s Bradford-based love story Ali & Ava and the four-part ITV drama Confessions of Frannie Langton, which received financial support from Screen Yorkshire.