Year on year, ad filmmaking in the UK ought to be a bump up from last year in budgets. Except it isn't. Even with all the metro city problems, shooting in locations like London, Birmingham, Manchester or any major city diplomacy and politics exists to intertwine for outdoor shoots and its powerful unions. London is still the best bet.
An amateur attempt to bring to life an ad-film production in London ran into major problems early on when locals doing production and logistical work for the team didn't take too kindly to being ordered about. The UK film industry is reputed to be notorious. The prices for all ad film-related services shoot upwards once it's established the ad film won't be in a regular run of the mill film.
A creative director from London, Lee Coles who is the founder for a Creative Studio called We Sprinkle was shooting a script with no dialogue said he'd found a loophole until after a couple of years he realized how important it was to have dialogues which make a much more profound impact on the audience. Move to Birmingham or London, the industry veterans claim things aren't any better.
In spite of having state of the art facilities, the agencies come bundled with the city's local staff who may not necessarily be the best for the project which is being executed. It's mandatory for an agency in the UK to compulsorily hire crew members, pay them, factor them into the production billing and not use the manpower services at the optimum. While at the same time piling on to the expenses for an entirely different and more skilled or at least more preferred crew shipped in from all over the UK.
So much for shooting in the urban areas and so-called metropolitans. The ad film or mainstream cinema, anything shot outside of London, Birmingham, or Manchester is a nightmare of its own. Everyone from the cast, crew, production team who holds up the project on their shoulders to the fillers who are just working as a stand-in carrying the weight of the project. As Lee Coles, the creative director puts it wryly, "The second they cross London their salaries shoot up by 50 percent".
What can be done in such cases? In some cases, shooting abroad in other locations of Europe or even America is actually the cheaper option. Much is taken out of context from the excerpts of Lee Coles, the creative director behind the magic, and his penchant for Budapest. He says, laughing "There's a thing said about me that’s going around that we have an office in every major city in the UK. But the UK and America are quite expensive. Everyone uses the same locations and you end up spending a ton of money on the creative direction to make sure it looks different or at least not like a common idea and lame execution. If a snow-clad location is required and compromise is not on the table, it is better off to shoot abroad.