Stuck with an Empty Commercial Property? Why not Turn it into a Film Set?

Posted on 5 March, 2012 by MOVEHUT

Many landlords find themselves struggling to find tenants for commercial space during the recession. So instead of earning revenue from their commercial properties, instead they find themselves paying rates for an empty space. But to combat the issue, many landlords are now thinking outside of the box about how best to utilise their available space during these tough economic times.

Landlords have started offering their commercial offices to film crews for up and coming films and television programmes. Some films and TV shows require large open spaces to shoot in, and so landlords can offer their properties as sets for a fee.

Examples of films and TV shows which have utilised the situation that landlords are faced with are ‘The Dark Knight Rises,’ a new Batman film which is due to be released in July. Part of the film was recorded in an empty office space in Croydon. Another example is a BBC spy drama, which was filmed in the financial district in London.

So how can landlords advertise spaces that they have available to potential films and TV shows? SPACE-2 is a consulting firm which specialises in finding and promoting commercial properties for media productions. Films and TV shows which they have helped source sets for include 28 Weeks Later, The Bank Job, a Comic Relief Sketch, Hustle and Spooks.


Speaking of the opportunities for landlords, Mark Hughes-Webb, Managing Director of SPACE-2, stated: “There has been a sea change in the way landlords deal with empty space since the financial crisis.

“It should not have taken the recession for developers to get more creative and work out there is cash to be made.”

As well as offering the use of the inside of a commercial property, landlords are also offering their rooftops in sought after areas, such as London. Film crews who require panoramic views of the capital could see themselves paying around £300 an hour to capture a bird’s eye view of major events, such as the Olympic Games and the Diamond Jubilee.

However, not all landlords are in favour of renting out their commercial properties for the use of media productions. The Shard, a 1016 ft skyscraper in London which is nearly complete, turned down the creators of the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, stating that “It is disruptive” and that they “Do not need those kind of gimmicks.”

Would you let out your empty commercial property for a film set? Or do you agree with the developers of The Shard, that it is disruptive?




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