Ealing says damage has already been repaired; Film London advises productions to ‘exercise caution.’
After what authorities are calling “the worst night in recent memory” for disorder on the streets of London, it has become apparent that the film sector has been affected by the rioting in the city.
Ealing Studios, the oldest working film studio in the world with a history stretching back to 1902, was attacked last night. The damage at the studio was relatively minor by comparison with disturbances and looting elsewhere in Ealing.
“There was a minor break-in in one building and a couple of flat screen TVs were taken but there were no physical injuries. The damage has already been repaired,” Simon George, who oversees Studio operations, told ScreenDaily.
George stated that Ealing Studios had increased the number of security guards on site and advised tenants to “make their own precautions, commonsense ones like taking away valuable equipment.” Studio staff have also boarded up two entry points (windows facing the main street).
“Local police have kept us informed throughout via local business consortium,” George added.
Two high profile projects, Gambit starring Colin Firth and TV series Downton Abbey, had recently completed production at the studios. Fortuitously, today (Tuesday) was not a shooting day at Ealing.
There have also been reports of cinemas in London closing their doors early. Picturehouse confirmed this afternoon that its Brixton, Clapham, Stratford and Greenwich sites have had to close “under police advisement” and that its phone room was also closed. The Hackney Picturehouse (due to open in October) hasn’t been damaged in the Hackney riots.
On Tuesday afternoon, Film London, the government agency for film and media in London, issued a statement in reaction to events in the capital.
“Film London has been monitoring the events of the last three days in liaison with the Metropolitan Police and the London Borough Film Offices. Film London advises all productions filming on location at this time to exercise caution and make sensible judgments about shooting, following any instructions given by government agencies, the police and the emergency services. For specific enquiries on this matter please contact Film London’s Filming Services Manager, Melinda Knowles, on melinda.knowles [AT] filmlondon.org.uk / 0207 613 7683.”