Government crackdowns on UK tax relief earlier this year may have cast uncertainty over the production sector - and led to the high-profile collapse of productions such as John Madden's Tulip Fever - but the UK is as busy as it was at this time during its record year last year.
A total of 15 UK qualifying films are in production, including two Warner Bros heavyweights in Batman Begins and Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, which is based at Leavesden. This time last year, 14 productions were shooting, including two large-scale studio productions - Thunderbirds and the previous Harry Potter instalment.
In fact, 16 potential UK films are shooting now if Myriad Pictures' The River King is counted. The production was refused UK qualification this month but its backers are lobbying hard for the Department for Culture, Media & Sport to have a change of heart.
Elsewhere, Working Title Films is as busy as ever. UK director Stephen Daldry recently returned from an expedition to Mount Everest with producer Jonathon Finn and mountaineer/co-producer/second unit director David Breashears. The team were on the mountain to shoot 35mm background plates for Daldry's Everest, which starts shooting in spring next year for Working Title Films. The film recreates a brutal 1996 storm that claimed the lives of eight mountaineers.
Working Title is also into its fourth week of production at Pinewood on Nanny McPhee, a family comedy about a magical nanny who tames the naughtiest seven children in the world. The film is scripted by and stars Emma Thompson. Kirk Jones (Waking Ned) directs the film, which also stars Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Kelly Macdonald and Thomas Sangster. It heads to Dorset in southern England for some location shooting next week, and wraps on July 9.
Meanwhile, the UK's most prolific film-maker Michael Winterbottom continues production on the football film Goal!, which tells the story of a Latino player in England and stars Diego Luna. One major location used by the film is Newcastle United's St James' Park football stadium - much to the delight of local newspapers.
Another football-themed film currently shooting in the UK is $5.5m The Yank (AKA Hooligans). Elijah Wood stars as an expelled American college student who gets involved with the football hooligan scene at West Ham United. Directed by Lexi Alexander, the film shot on location in London - including a couple of days at West Ham's football ground - and has been keeping the British paparazzi busy. This week, the film is shooting pub scenes on a studio set in London, and wraps on May 1. Senator International handles sales.
Further afield, the first English-language UK-Syrian co-production started shooting last week in Syria and Lebanon. The Hunt Feast is a thriller set after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and tells the story of a high ranking Iraqi general who goes on the run with several million US dollars. Using a largely local crew, the film is being shot on high definition and is directed by the award winning Nabil Maleh. Budgeted at $3.5m, The Hunt Feast is a co-production between Syria's Reguard and the UK's Hannaywood Studios. It wraps on May 22.
And gearing up to shoot in Leipzig from early June is the Quay Brothers' anticipated feature The Piano Tuner Of Earthquakes. The Euros 3m project, a dark fairytale about an opera singer abducted by a demon doctor, is produced by Keith Griffiths' Koninck Studios, along with France's Lumen Films and Germany's Mediopolis. Terry Gilliam executive produces.
The Libertine - which faced closure during the tax crisis earlier this year before being rescued by the Isle Of Man Film - has about a week and a half of principle photography left. The film, sold internationally by Odyssey Entertainment, is directed by Laurence Dunmore and stars Johnny Depp, John Malkovich, Samantha Morton, Rosamund Pike, Kelly Reilly, Tom Hollander and Johnny Vegas. As well as the Isle of Man, an island off the west coast of England, the film also shot at locations in England and Wales.
For full UK listings click HERE