Absolutely spectacular landscapes, an untamed coastline and castles galore are some of the reasons you want to shoot in Wales
Wales or Cymru, as its natives call it, is a part of the United Kingdom, yet it is so different in terms of culture, dialect and people. A neck of land that protrudes from the western part of the UK, it’s a land with dangerous seaside cliffs, rugged mountains and Celtic culture being carried on for generations.
The Welsh spirit is the country’s defining feature. Indeed, for its entire history, Wales has struggled against waves of invaders who have sought to subjugate its people; but, as the invaders found out, it’s a country that just won’t lie down.
The new Wales is a vibrant place where history is alive and Welsh culture finds new forms of expression. The mix of defiant tradition and New-World sophistication is one of the greatest assets of Wales today.
Wales remains a superb outdoors location with stunning scenery and coastal trail. It has pounding surf, sweeping beaches and limestone cliffs of the Gower Peninsula. You can tour villages with tongue-twisting names before settling down to the perfect location of your choice – Welsh style.
Wales also beckons with friendly locals, fine food, remarkable landscapes, adventures and admirably green credentials. The country has the sort of climate often described as ‘temperate’. This means that it never gets very hot or very cold. May, June, July and August are the sunniest and driest months. These are the marks of a country looking firmly towards a filmmaker who wants picturesque locations.
Where some part is all about following customs, the new Wales is a vivid place, with an amalgamation of both, the old and the new, Welsh ethnicity and contemporary living.
WHY FILM IN WALES
With over 600 castles, an enormous coastline and only three million people, Wales has plenty of open space for filming the pastoral land. The land area is just over 8,000 square miles and Wales measures 160 miles long by 60 miles wide. A series of hills and plateaus, mountains and farmlands make a picture perfect location. From old heritage villas to suave skyscrapers, this destination is ideal for any genre of film. And to top it all, the vast meadows and residences are just the thing for filming embellished dancing-around-the-trees and swanky places.
Wales boasts high-tech labour, which can be made available any time. Local production companies offer state-of-the-art equipment, making work easier for foreign filmmakers.
Permits, Permissions And Regulations
All productions arriving in Wales from overseas need to employ a UK location manager.
The Wales Screen Commission does not issue permits for filming in Wales. However one will need the permission of the location owner, who in most cases will charge a location fee. It is normal to have a contract with the location owner. If a film is to be shot in any public place, the production house will be required to provide evidence of public liability insurance before any permission is granted.
If the production is of a significant size (anything more than a three-people crew) and/or is required to film on the public highway, then the police (the Wales Screen Commission can provide relevant contacts in each region) and other emergency services need to be informed.
The production will also need the permission of the police and obey control measures if it intends to use certain special effects, fake firearms, police uniforms, marked police vehicles etc.
There are regulations concerning the use of child actors (under the age of 15) and one will again need the permission of the local authority.
All filming activities must comply with UK laws.
FUNDING AND SUPPORT
The Wales Creative IP Fund
The £ 7 million Wales Creative IP Fund (WCIPF) has been created as part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s strategy for creative industries in Wales. Through the fund, they act as a gap financier, offering finance for the production alongside finance that the company has already secured from other funding providers. The WCIPF provides equity investment, typically between £ 50,000 and £ 700,000, for feature films, TV productions, new media and music projects. Applicants must have secured a minimum of 60 per cent of their budget from third parties and be able to demonstrate that a proportion of the expenditure will be in Wales.