At River Film we live by three rules:
1. Proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance.
2. Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted.
3. Assume everything is a disaster until proven otherwise.
We recognise that a thorough pre-production process is essential to a stress-free shoot. Every film has unique requirements and our flexible and approachable in-house team work hard to provide what is needed, whatever it is.
We believe that versatility and accountability are key to successful filmmaking. Most of our clients bring their own director, DP, producer and often production designer, then we find the rest. As soon as our line producer has reviewed the script and established the specific requirements for locations, cast, crew, equipment and logistics, they will put the key people in place.
The UK is renowned for the professionalism of its crews. We have a huge network across all departments with extensive feature, TV and commercials experience, which means we will always build the right team.
The old adage of ‘this film will live or die on its cast and locations’ rings true today. We’ve great location scouts all over the UK who will find you what you need, either from their extensive databases or through targeted recces based on years of acquired knowledge.
Some locations can be challenging to obtain permission and to shoot at; our proactive location managers will make it easy for you.
We work with a number of established casting directors who find quality talent. As a London based company, access is infinite and no requirement is too niche, from serious actors to trained animals, we’ll find what you need. We all recognise the paramount need for more diversity and our culturally dynamic approach means that this is always at the forefront of our thinking.
Every well-run shoot needs a carefully selected crew of specialists where roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. A primary danger to any production is a lack of accountability between team members, allowing things to slip through the gaps. This can happen when filmmakers, in trying to keep budgets down, perform a number of different roles themselves. We understand this is a challenge of the industry and can accommodate such needs without jeopardizing quality. We have friendly, capable and accountable production managers with the relentless drive needed to deliver a smooth production.
Whether you need a fifty person crew and a cast of thousands, or you only need a driver, you’ll find all of our people professional and easy to work with. From DPs, 1st ADs and Production Designers to gaffers, riggers and grips, we only work with the best.
From motion control units to anamorphic lenses, heavy-lift drones to apple boxes, we have access to all the same equipment that is used on Star Wars and James Bond. We have relationships with many of London’s major and minor equipment suppliers as well as our own sizable collection of gear.
Having worked with so many international clients we understand that terminology can differ slightly from country to country. Our experience in this means that you can rest assured that nothing will get lost in translation.
All shoots require logistical wizards to keep everything on track. From visas to unit management, permits to scheduling, we’ll leave nothing to chance.
Please feel free to give us a call, however bizarre your enquiry – we’d love to help.
GENERAL INFORMATION ON PERMITS ETC
The main mistake that international production companies make when shooting in the UK is not to allow sufficient time for casting and locations. This can have many dire knock-on effects with child licenses, location permits, tech recces, scheduling, equipment and securing the best crew.
Please note it can be extremely challenging to film at bridges, stations, airports, Royal Parks, and shoots requiring road closures so allow extra time for these sorts of locations.
We recommend that clients come to the UK to do location recces and casting at least one month before principal photography. You can then return home while we work on the pre-production and get everything perfectly set up. However, we live in the real world and understand that things happen. We will pull out all the stops with whatever time you give us, but please give us as much of it as you can so that we can organise the shoot properly for you.
Here are some helpful links for filming in London and the wider UK: