London 2012: Opening ceremony sparks interest from TV industry


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The Independent Online

The Olympics opening ceremony could lead to a flurry of big-budget projects say London film bosses.

Film London chief executive Adrian Wootton said studio executives were impressed by the creativity of the opening ceremony conceived by two of Britain’s most brilliant directing talents — Danny Boyle and Stephen Daldry.

“People were astonished by the ceremony’s technical brilliance and vision,” he said. “It had all the energy and creativity you expect from a great movie. The Olympics are a fantastic showcase. People were asking whether they could use the Olympic Park to shoot in.”

He called the atmosphere an added extra, saying: “The attitude of Londoners is so positive and can-do and the volunteers are so lovely it makes it more conducive for people to want to come.”

The Games, which have seen images of London beamed across the world, could also be a clincher in convincing TV producers such as HBO to take advantage of a new tax break for high-budget productions which is scheduled for introduction next year.

Inward investment for film production is already at record levels in excess of £1 billion.

But Mr Wootton said the UK has been one of the few European countries to have no TV tax break and has previously failed to attract major drama series, such as The Borgias.

A number of TV and movie bosses have been at the Games. Film London has capitalised on this by offering them tours of studios, post-production facilities and the Olympic Park.

And a raft of stars are already filming in the capital. Ridley Scott has been shooting The Counselor, featuring Brad Pitt, in locations such as Broadgate and Hoxton even as the Games have been happening.

Pitt’s fiancée Angelina Jolie is filming Maleficent just outside the capital and Rachel McAdams is in a new Richard Curtis rom-com, About Time.

Fast and Furious 6 began shooting in London last week and plans spectacular car chases in Canary Wharf and Wembley — as well as King’s Cross, where cast members including Vin Diesel have been spotted.

Neal H Moritz, its producer, said: “The locations that are available only in London play an integral part of our story.”