The Growth in Film Tourism is Great for Drone Operators

Film and TV production is bringing huge benefit to councils, towns and cities across the UK by featuring landmarks and places of outstanding natural beauty as part of a ‘film tourism’ strategy.

Film Tourism shot by drone

The TV and film industry is supported by a competitive tax credit regime and due to an increase in high quality content form both traditional channels as well as the pay to view channels such as Netflix and Amazon, the public’s appetite for new movies and TV dramas is almost unquenchable.

Creative England are an organisation that have been working towards meeting the growing for drone footage as part of these productions and they have reached out in their summit on filming in the UK for more information on how to work with Drone filming professionals to get more involved.

Creative England are often the first people to get in touch with when productions are looking to film in the UK outside of London with the Production Services Department offering free comprehensive support to film and high-end TV productions.

Councils can look to receive income form areas such as those below although of course there are costs associated with these that must be covered from that revenue.

  • Road closures

  • Parking suspension

  • Loss of business

  • Traffic management

  • Administration costs

  • ‘Unit Base’ space

  • Preparing / reinstating locations

  • Location hire

  • Supervision and advice

  • Copyright licensing

One area that Creative England are keen to promote is that of film tourism. The latest available statistics date back to 2014 but even these show an estimated value of £120-140 milllion for screen tourism outside of London. It’s fair to assume that these values have increased exponentially to the current time.

The use of remote camera technologies in filming and live broadcasting has become increasingly common and, as well as providing a bird’s eye view of the drama, aerial footage can also offer beautiful imagery of an area or building.  Leaving aside the dramatic effects of setting the action in its wider environment, these shots can be amongst the most powerful when it comes to generating film tourist interest. Setting the scene or ‘general view’ by drone in the opening shots is now common place, it is a simple and cost effective way to establish a story’s location.

So, it is within the councils’ interests to allow aerial filming as part of these productions when it is requested.  Unfortunately, some councils still seem to suffer from a lack of information about UAVs and the requirements for safe and legal drone operation.  In some areas, this has led to a blanket ban on drone activity which is a loss both to a location’s filming potential and also to a council’s bottom line.

National Drone Network has extensive television and film industry experience within its membership.  We are happy to work with local councils to create comprehensive drone policies that allow them to reach their full filming potential.