Lights, camera, action! Movie makers could soon be on our doorstep here in Suffolk

Film Fixer directors Andrew Pavord and Karen Everett

Film Fixer directors Andrew Pavord and Karen Everett - Credit: Archant

From Jason Bourne and Star Wars to the BFG and Bridget Jones, Film Fixer certainly has a strong background in the movie-making industry.

File photo of Matt Damon at the premiere of the film Jason Bourne in London, on 11/07/16. See PA Fe

File photo of Matt Damon at the premiere of the film Jason Bourne in London, on 11/07/16. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider. Picture credit should read: Joel Ryan/Invision/AP/PA Photos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ Insider. UK REGIONAL PAPERS AND MAGAZINES, PLEASE REMOVE FROM ALL COMPUTERS AND ARCHIVES BY 26/07/16 - Credit: PA

Now, after its announcement that it would be managing the film office for Suffolk to bring in hundreds of filming days per year, the company has outlined its vision for the county – with good news for local people.

“Our main focus is to ensure Suffolk residents and businesses benefit directly from the inward investment of filming,” said Karen Everett, Film Fixer director.

“We encourage all those who’d like to engage with the industry to contact us. From caterers, hotels, removalists and boat rentals to equipment suppliers, creatives and production crew of all kinds, we are gathering the contacts we’ll include on an industry-facing website. We will always introduce locals to productions looking for support.”

Suffolk’s proximity to London coupled with its variety of landscapes including airfields, beaches, rivers, woodland, trenches and villages, has made it an attractive proposition to the firm, which also manages filming for a third of the London Boroughs.

“The production space available is far more affordable than in London. And Suffolk is able to offer its unique locations at short notice – which is immensely valuable to the industry.”

Currently between 20 and 50 days of filming take place in Suffolk each year, but Film Fixer has announced it plans to attract 100 days in the first year – a number set to be quadrupled by 2020.

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But while the move could bring short term disruption, Film Fixer has vowed it is committed to ensuring Suffolk benefits.

A spokesman from the firm said: “Our first priority is to protect residents, securing the respect of film crews. We negotiate to ensure residents and traders benefit fully from the advantages of filming in their neighbourhoods.

“This includes payment when appropriate, direct donations to resident and business groups, local parks and playgrounds and neighbourhood centres; arranging residents’ and traders’ meetings and Q&A evenings with film makers; securing jobs on productions; and securing training and work placements for local young people.”

A 24-hour telephone number will be set up for people to contact if they have concerns around filming, while a new website is being launched with regular updates of filming days and opportunities available.

The tie-up also means that talented locals will get a chance both in front and behind the camera as the company has announced its intention to help secure work for Suffolk production teams. Partnerships with film and media students as well as set visits for local schools is also on the cards.

Suffolk County Council is hopeful all of this will make a positive impact on tourism, leisure and catering businesses, with an estimated economic income for a single day of filming between £17,000 and £32,000.

But far from just becoming a haven for the big budget movies, the contract will also attract TV series, web companies and advertisers to film in the county.

Last year, Ed Sheeran was spotted filming the music video to his song Bloodstream, while the Sainsbury’s Second World War Christmas TV advert was filmed at the Khaki Devil trenches near Ipswich.

Companies looking to be involved can email Film Fixer here

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