Film, Media & Creative

Hertfordshire has been a national centre for films and film-making for a century. It hosts some of the biggest and best names in Hollywood, including Elstree Studios, Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden and the BBC. Learn more about Hertfordshire's thriving film, media and creative sector, the prospects of this industry, household names, discover job roles and research qualifications, jobs and courses.

The reel deal

Some of the world’s best-known films, including all Star Wars and Indiana Jones films, and all eight Harry Potter films, were made here. Hertfordshire-based firms’ specialist and technical experts have been recognised for their contributions to Oscar-nominated and winning films.

Hertfordshire is a major contributor to a global success story, as the UK has one of the world’s most successful and dynamic creative sectors.

A growing talent base

There were 4,550 firms in Hertfordshire’s creative industries in 2016, involved in activities from film-making to digital content production.

The number of employers has grown by 6.5% per year since 2010. Creative industries employed 17,600 people in 2015. Employment has grown by 10.6% annually since 2010, far exceeding the national growth rate of 4.5%.

The University of Hertfordshire is a key contributor to this creative ecosystem, with specialisms in animation, animatronics and digital media. Its animation school, UH Animation, is among the top four in the world. Alumni from the university are actively involved in world-leading games and animation companies and have worked on blockbuster productions such as Harry Potter, Avatar, Prometheus and the GTA series.

Hertfordshire is home to both Elstree Studios and Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden. Elstree has made three of the top shows on British television: Dancing on Ice and Who Wants to be a Millionaire? for ITV, and Big Brother for Channel 5. Some of the most famous films in the world have been made at Elstree, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Shining, Superman, and Labyrinth. More recently, Elstree has been home to Kick Ass, The King’s Speech and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Thanks to a £1m Growing Places Fund loan from the LEP Elstree Studios was able to expand its studio space, resulting in it securing the £100m Netflix contract for The Crown.

BBC Elstree Studios has been home to some of the broadcaster’s most popular shows, including Grange Hill, Top of The Pops and Kilroy. BBC Elstree is best known for popular drama programmes such as EastEnders and Holby City.

The £100m Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, owned by Warner Bros. Studios and opened in June 2012, is the largest studio space in the UK and is known worldwide as the home of the Harry Potter films. Other notable films include Edge of Tomorrow, Jupiter Ascending, In the Heart of the Sea and Man from U.N.C.L.E., as well as numerous TV productions and advertisements.

Its secure, 200-acre site is the only facility in Europe owned by a Hollywood studio. It has more than 250,000 square feet of studio space and hosts some of the largest sound stages in the UK, as well as one of the biggest heated underwater filming tanks in Europe. Its 100-acre back-lot is among the most extensive in Europe and can be adapted for multiple production needs.

 

 

 

 

Facts & Figures

16,000 Persons employed in Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
2.5% Of employees Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
4500 Number of creative industries enterprises in 2016

Thriving digital media

A growing number of digital content, gaming, software and visual effects (VFX) companies have started in Hertfordshire or chosen to locate here.

Hertfordshire’s digital companies produce content for feature films, television, games, commercials, websites and mobile phones. Games production and distribution companies such as Aspyr Media Europe Ltd, Rising Star Games Ltd, and KOEI TECMO Europe Ltd operate successfully from the county, taking advantage of Hertfordshire’s communications links with London and connectivity to key international markets.

For the last ten years, UH Animation’s annual exposé has been a primary recruitment forum for high profile companies seeking out new and exciting 2D, 3D, animation and VFX talent. Companies such as Disney Animation, The Mill, Tandem, Double Negative and Framestore are regular participants.

The University of Hertfordshire is also home to G+VERL (Games & Visual Effects Research Lab), a ground-breaking project linking scientists, artists, clinicians and filmmakers. It brings together the worlds of film, art, technology and computer science to undertake research into digital image-making and high-resolution image technologies. Sharing methods and promoting interdisciplinary understanding, the project brings together world-class research in a wide range of areas, including video art, digital film, visual effects and medical visualisation.

Hertfordshire is strong on promotion too, with corporate and events management companies such as SMYLE helping global brands launch new products or celebrate successes.

Some of the most famous films in the world have been made at Elstree, including Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Shining, Superman, and Labyrinth.

Apprenticeships in Film & Media

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Film and Media Learning Opportunities

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'Film' Job Vacancies

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'Media' Job Vacancies

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Career pathways

Do you have lots of interest in the creative sector? Want to channel your creative talent and energy but not sure where to start?

Job roles

Take a look at some job roles in the Creative Industries.

 

Training courses

Here you can find all the short courses and qualifications relevant to the Creative, Film and Media. Browse courses that are quality assured by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. 

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are one way to start a career in creative, film or media. Go to our HOP pages on Apprenticeships for more information on how to become an apprentice. 

 

You can find out more detail on what each apprenticeship qualification involves through the Institute of Apprenticeships.

Higher Education

The vibrant School of Creative Arts at The University of Hertfordshire offers an inspiring and supportive environment in which to start your journey towards a creative career. Their film, media, design, visual arts, music and art therapy courses are all led by talented artists, experienced lecturers and industry experts. Find out more about what our University Creative Arts school has to offer by clicking here.

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