Liverpool Film Office has had its busiest year to date with a whopping 301 film and TV productions choosing the Liverpool City Region as the place to shoot their stories for the screen.
Looking back at this showstopping year, the Film Office has:
In the last year, the city region welcomed huge projects such as Taylor Swift’s pop promo for I Can See You (Taylor’s Version), Sexy Beast (Paramount), Cobra 3 (New Pictures/Sky), The Responder 2 (Dancing Ledge/BBC), Time 2 (BBC Studios/BBC), The Gathering (World Productions/Channel 4), Dead Hot (Quay Street Productions/Amazon), The Tower 3 (Mammoth Screen/Windhover Film/ITV) and Such Brave Girls (VAL/A24/BBC).
Adding to the numbers, the Film Office also supported 63 different Eurovision productions filming in the city – this included a secret pop-up performance by Sam Ryder at the Albert Dock.
The year also saw Cabinet approve a report to accept funding from the BFI under a new skills cluster partnership with North East Screen, Screen Manchester and Screen Yorkshire under Screen Alliance North to plug the skills shortage gap by supporting 1,000 new entrants from diverse backgrounds to build a stronger and more inclusive workforce.
The Depot, managed by the Film Office, welcomed its first long-term tenant with Paramount’s Sexy Beast, which wrapped in February following 144 shoot days across the Liverpool City Region. More recently, the two 20,000 sq ft units played host to a unique residency of Macbeth starring Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma, who also provided workshops to GCSE and A-Level students across the Picton ward of Liverpool.
Another stand-out moment was the second series of Time, which aired in October after receiving investment from the Liverpool Film Office, through the Liverpool City Region Production Fund. The highly anticipated series had its UK premiere at St George’s Hall with key cast in attendance including global superstar Bella Ramsey and writers Jimmy McGovern and Helen Black.
Despite the record-breaking year for film and TV in the region, the UK production landscape has been hit hard by the writers and actors strike in the US, impacting freelance crew and supply chain services all over the country, including Liverpool.
It was an award-winning year for the head of the Film Office Lynn Saunders, who was honoured with the Mercury Business Award at this year’s Women in Film and Television Awards, which recognises outstanding business achievement by a woman in the industry within the last three years.
In 2024, the Film Office will celebrate its 35th anniversary – and as the first Film Office in Europe, the future looks promising with remedial work beginning on a world-class film and TV campus at the site of the former Littlewoods Building and a focus on skills training for new entrants to the film and TV industry to make the screen sector more accessible and representative and continue to build a thriving and skilled workforce across the north of England.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Culture, Councillor Harry Doyle, said: “Every year, the Film Office team work tirelessly to bring and retain film and TV production in the city, showcasing our region to audiences across the world while championing the local screen workforce and businesses.
“From welcoming Taylor Swift to the Cunard Building, dealing with the many Eurovision-themed television projects, to investing in Time series 2, starring Jodie Whittaker and Bella Ramsey, this year will go down in the record books for the Film Office.
“There’s no questioning why Liverpool is the most filmed UK city outside of London and I know we will all be looking forward to what the new year brings!”
Head of Liverpool Film Office, Lynn Saunders, said: “As we head into our 35th year, I can honestly say that this year has been a truly ground-breaking year for film and TV production across the Liverpool City Region – from feature films to high-end TV, we have seen it all.
“Year in and out, my team of eight, supported by a team of eight hundred, work to bring production to our region and this has resulted in a fantastic array of projects filming right across Wirral, Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Sefton.
“Despite the year we’ve had in the Liverpool City Region, we are mindful that the strikes in the US have hit production hard in the UK, particularly for crew and services, many who live in our area.
“With our recent BFI skills cluster partnership with Screen Manchester, North East Screen and Screen Yorkshire, under Screen Alliance North, we will be working to continue to build a thriving and skilled screen workforce in the north and I would urge anyone who is interested in a career in our industry to keep their eyes peeled on our channels early next year for some exciting news.
“Looking to next year, we will be working with our partners on how to generate a more sustainable and skilled screen sector in the north while continuing our efforts to generate and retain even more production in the region.”
For more information for to The Liverpool Film Office website.