Bristol Film Office & Covid-19

As the Coronavirus situation continues to develop, we will be updating our service-users about how Bristol Film Office is responding to the Covid-19 outbreak and our expectations of production teams working on location in Bristol.

3rd November 2020

National Restrictions in England from 5 November – Covid-secure Film & TV Production Continues

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of further national restrictions in place throughout England from Thursday 5th November, the Secretary of State for DCMS has confirmed that ‘The changes mean people should work from home where possible.  But where this is not possible, travel to a place of work will be permitted – e.g. this includes (but not exhaustive) elite sport played behind closed doors, film & tv production, telecoms workers’.  Therefore, both the British Film Commission (BFC) and Creative England are advising that Covid-secure film and TV production operating under BFC or Broadcaster Guidance can continue in England under the new restrictions. You can read the government guidelines outlining the film and TV production exemption here.

Bristol Film Office continues to permit Covid-secure filming on location in Bristol and consider permit applications on a case-by-case basis. Because we are experiencing high levels of enquiries and permit applications, we are prioritising major filming (drama, feature films and large commercials) and local production company permits. All other applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis but we are requesting that low-key and student filming on location is postponed throughout the November/December lockdown period to minimise the number of crews working in public spaces.

Please refer to our COVID-19 Action List for information about measures productions should take to protect public safety when working on location in Bristol and see Creative England’s Covid-19 Production Guidance pages for links to industry guidance, including commercials.

6th July 2020

Following the publication of industry guidelines, we have been working with Film Offices across the UK and Creative England to set clear protocols for film crews working in public locations. To support crews working in Bristol and to protect public safety we have published a COVID-19 Action List that annexes our Filming in Bristol Code of Practice. Productions working on location in Bristol are expected to adhere to these new protocols and must agree to do so in order to obtain permission to film until further notice. We will continue to review and update these documents to make sure that they support national Government safety guidelines and industry standard processes related to COVID-19.

28th May 2020

Click here for an update of our survey findings and new channels of support from Bristol City Council’s Culture & Creative Industries team, which includes Bristol Film Office.

Full headlines from our surveys of cultural and creative businesses & freelancers in Bristol can be viewed here.

14th May 2020

Following the latest government announcement (10/5/20), we are in the process of looking at how we can enable filming to take place in Bristol in the safest possible way for production personnel and members of the public. Any processes we put in place will be subject to Government, industry and Bristol City Council guidance and as of 14th May 2020 we are awaiting the publication of an industry standard filming code of practice to inform Covid-19 management protocols for filming in Bristol.

We intend to use the code of practice to advise production crews and internal Council colleagues on how filming activity can be conducted safely on location in Bristol, but please note, the process of setting local protocols is likely to take a few further weeks to complete. In the meantime, we will consider filming requests on a case-by-case basis, offering confirmation of no objection wherever possible.

Regretfully, we will be unable to issue official permission to film at Bristol City Council sites/spaces until further notice. There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Our permissions process relies on a contractual agreement between Bristol City Council and the production company/filmmaker. Our filming contract needs to be revised to include necessary Covid-19 measures and insurance liability.
  • Industry guidance on production insurance is not yet clear. We need more information about required public and employer liability before we can revise our filming contract. We will do this as soon as guidance becomes available.
  • Clear protocols for using public spaces as strict places of work to carry out filming activity need to be set to protect the safety of the general public, production personnel and Council staff. This is an ongoing process. In response to COVID-19, we are working with the other Film Offices and national industry bodies to develop uniform approaches to filming permissions across the UK. This is a large body of work that all involved are striving to complete as quickly as possible.
  • We need to assess how locations managed by Bristol City Council will accommodate crews working to new industry standards. As we are currently working with reduced staff resource, our capacity to do this is limited but work has begun and will continue over the coming weeks. We are liaising with the Council’s Safety Advisory Group, senior officers and councillors to set clear expectations of management and use of BCC locations. We will continue to update this page as plans are put in place.

We will continue to review our position and processes as government advice changes and the situation evolves. Please check the Bristol Film Office website for future updates.

Should you wish to discuss this further, you can contact us at bristolfilmoffice@bristol.gov.uk. Our staff are working from home and are able to discuss filming enquiries. Our phone line remains open, albeit with reduced staff capacity – 0117 922 3958.

In line with our usual advice and procedures, filming for journalism remains exempt from the Bristol Film Office permissions process. The only exception is the use of drones for journalism, requests for which will continue to be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact bristolfilmoffice@bristol.gov.uk to discuss.

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Bristol Film Office

 

16th April 2020 – 12pm

Based on current Government advice, from now until further notice, Bristol Film Office will not be able to support any filming activity within Bristol City Council public spaces or on the public highway within the city of Bristol. Given the ongoing uncertainty in relation to Covid-19, we will continue to review and update our advice around filming permissions.

Regretfully, Bristol Film Office will not be accepting or processing any new filming permit applications until further notice. We will continue to review this as government advice changes and the situation evolves. Please continue to check the Bristol Film Office website for future updates.

Should you wish to discuss this further then please contact us at bristolfilmoffice@bristol.gov.uk. Bristol Film Office staff are currently working from home and are still able to discuss filming enquiries. Our phone line remains open – 0117 922 3958.

In line with our usual advice and procedures, filming for journalism remains exempt from the Bristol Film Office permissions process. The only exception is the use of drones for journalism. Until 30th April 2020, requests for the use of drones for journalism will be considered on a case-by-case basis by Bristol Film Office. Please contact bristolfilmoffice@bristol.gov.uk to discuss.

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Bristol Film Office

9th April 2020 – 5pm

Read our latest update, in partnership with The Bottle Yard Studios.

2nd April 2020 – 5pm

*Please note that our surveys are now closed and results/responses will be published in due course* Call for survey responses from Bristol’s film, TV and media businesses and freelancers! Bristol Film Office & The Bottle Yard Studios are currently surveying Bristol’s film, TV and media businesses and freelancers to understand the impact of Covid-19 on the local sector. Responses are accepted before 4pm on Wednesday 8th April 2020. Click the buttons below to complete the surveys. Click here for more information.

BRISTOL FILM, TV & MEDIA BUSINESSES SURVEY   BRISTOL FILM, TV & MEDIA FREELANCER SURVEY

25th March 2020 – 5pm

Read “Covid-19: Our message to self employed & freelance workers in Bristol’s film, TV & moving image sector

24th March 2020 – 5pm

The Government has now issued very clear guidance in relation to social distancing, mass gatherings and non-essential social contact.

In light of this advice, from now until Tuesday 14th April, Bristol Film Office will not be able to support any filming activity within Bristol City Council public spaces, or on the public highway within the city of Bristol. Given the ongoing uncertainty in relation to Covid-19, these timescales are subject to change. As a result, we are not able to confirm whether this period will be extended at this point.

Regretfully, Bristol Film Office will not be accepting or processing any new filming permit applications until further notice. We will continue to review this as government advice changes and the situation evolves. Please continue to check the Bristol Film Office website for future updates.

Should you wish to discuss this further then please contact us at bristolfilmoffice@bristol.gov.uk. Bristol Film Office staff are currently working from home and are still able to discuss filming enquiries. Our phone line remains open – 0117 922 3958.

In line with our usual advice and procedures, filming for journalism remains exempt from the Bristol Film Office permissions process. The only exception is the use of drones for journalism. Until 30th April 2020, requests for the use of drones for journalism will be considered on a case-by-case basis by Bristol Film Office. Please contact bristolfilmoffice@bristol.gov.uk to discuss.

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Bristol Film Office