GROUNDBREAK

The Future of Film Production in Manchester

It’s no secret; I love being part of the film production scene in Manchester. The creativity of the city, the people, and of course the businessess that we work with all make Manchester the place to be. Of course at the moment the world of video and film has been severely affected all over the world. It’s impossible to go out and film most corporate and commercial gigs safely for the foreseeable future. However, there are lots of roles in production that can continue during lockdown. 

This virus will eventually pass and film production will make a full recovery and thrive once again. There are already glimmers of hope. Shoots are being pencilled for the autumn. Logistics are already being considered. Concepts and ideas are being discussed in order to get film production up and running later in the year. So how has life been for film producers during this time?

VFX Film Production Manchester

Visual Effects (VFX) fortunately is virus proof since we do not need to be ‘on set’ to work on a project. These can all be worked on remotely from the very beginning to the end of the production process. Our latest commercial shoots were also filmed early this year which means that during the pandemic the VFX can be applied remotely. So thankfully, all of our post-production work can continue.

Animation Production

Animation, like VFX is often done remotely so during this COVID-19 lockdown animated videos are probably the best form of production. Every stage of the animation process can be done by individuals safely working alone. More importantly it would not be detrimental to the overall animation. Maybe the postproduction side of film production will have a boom in 2020 for this exact reason.

Finding Film Locations

Big commercials, particularly live-action shoots have been put on ice over the last few months for obvious reasons. Perhaps this is the hardest hit part of the film industry. Fortunately, this gives location scouts a great deal of time to source potential filming locations using the vast array of film location websites. These can be local, and there are some great lists covering Greater Manchester, to worldwide lists. This can keep the most relentless location scout, director or location manager busy. Of course, eventually a visit to these locations will be necessary before shooting but this extra preparation could save time in the future.

Another part of film production that is perfect for remote working is the scripting and storyboarding process. All that is required is a skilled script writer and a laptop or a talented storyboard artist with pencil and paper/tablet and the magic can happen. Some aspects of production are actually better when isolated. The peace and quiet of your own home or garden here in sunny Manchester can be great for creativity. And with the internet it’s easy to share your progress at every stage with producers and clients for feedback and development.

Editing

Editing as part of the post-production process is certainly not affected by any kind of lockdown. An editor would often be sat with a producer or director. However, it isn’t uncommon for an editor to sit on their own in the dark for long shifts. Some editors work better when simply left to their own devices. The very best editors I’ve worked with prefer to collaborate with the director by showing them what they’ve been cutting at the end of each day and receiving feedback rather than having them lean over their shoulder during the entire edit and distracting them.

Sound Design

Sound design and sound mixing is another part of the production process that is perfectly suited to a solitary talented technician immersing themselves in a project. They’ll more often than not be wearing noise reduction headphones which shows that isolation is ideal.

Survival of Film Production

People might think, perhaps understandably so, that if you can’t shoot then production would grind to a halt and wouldn’t survive. Yes, film production has been slowed down but there are many parts of the process that involve individuals working alone as single cogs in a big machine.

Film Production in 2020

There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon that production is slowly starting to gather momentum as the lock down eases. It’s important to not rush things as lives are more important than creating film. However, with careful and meticulous planning it shouldn’t be too long before big shoots are possible once again. The rules have changed, and the processes will be altered to ensure the safest possible environment for cast, crew and clients are adhered to. However, there is undoubtably a light at the end of the tunnel.

At Groundbreak we’re all really looking forward to a bit of normality. Once it is safe to do so we look forward to collaborating with you on your next corporate film. If you’d like to start planning now for a production later in the year it’s never too early to start pre-production. Contact the Groundbreak team to start the process.

If you currently have spare time on your hands, our in-depth video production blog is a full guide to the process and answers many relevant questions you might have. Definitely worth a read.

Author: Mike Finance Director
Mike has owned and run several successful businesses and ensures that everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.

He moves through every day at a billion miles an hour and enters every room exactly like Kramer.