London is favourite for film directors

London is film director's favourite when it comes to blockbuster film shoots

AS THE START of the London Film Festival got underway last night, a leading film industry figure said that the capital had overtaken New York as the leading hub for major film shoots outside California.

Adrian Wootton, chief executive of Film London commented: ‘We are vying with New York for joint second busiest production centre in the world after Los Angeles and we have more of the big studio films than they do.’

To back up his claim, Wootton cited the Harry Potter films, Children of Men, The Da Vinci Code and The Bourne Ultimatum as the latest blockbusters to make use of London locations.

Even New York’s biggest fan, Woody Allen, has swapped allegiance, filming his last two productions in London. Whilst Christopher Nolan, the director responsible for the revamped Batman films, chose London over New York as a stand-in for Gotham City.

And just to confirm London as the film director’s location of choice, David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises starring Naomi Watts, which opened the festival last night, was filmed in the capital. It was Cronenberg’s first shoot outside of his native Canada and he said of his latest project, it was ‘the textures and the ambience that felt like a London story.’

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