One of the most iconic landmarks of London is its underground network. Filled with many diverse stations, the Transport for London (TFL) network has proven to be an iconic location for tv and film productions.
As video production in London continues to grow, more tv and film studios are using London’s underground network as the setting for their various productions as it helps provide an authentic feel to their plot. Nevertheless, how much effort goes into filming there? What sort of procedures does someone have to follow? Let’s explore.
A history of films being filmed at London’s Underground Network
Filming on the London Underground can be traced back to the early days of cinema. Many films have been shot on the Underground including Skyfall,‘ The Mummy Returns‘, 28 Days Later and ‘V for Vendetta’.
King’s Cross station has been an infamous location for the Harry Potter franchise over the previous 2 decades and has even seen many tourists flock over from across the globe just to visit that station to get photos taken at the tourist landmark of the fictional platform 9 ¾.
Requirements for filming at London Underground
The TFL requires that anyone wishing to film on the tube network meet a number of requirements. These are designed to ensure that filming does not disrupt passengers and that the safety of all those involved is maintained.
The main requirements are as follows:
1. Filming Hours
Filming and photography are permitted during off-peak hours between Monday-Friday at 10am – 3.30pm and 8pm – 11.30pm. This is to minimize disruption to passengers who use the network during these times.
During the weekend, filming can be done generally any time of the day depending on location but this might incur extra fee costs.
Filming is only allowed at designated locations. These are typically stations and other areas that have been specifically approved for filming by TFL. Although, there are also some exclusive filming areas available for shooting important scenes and some of these exclusive filming tube station areas include Aldwych, Bank (Waterloo and City line), Charing Cross.
Anyone wishing to film on the London underground must apply for a filming permit. Permit holders are responsible for ensuring that all crew and equipment comply with TFL’s requirements.
Depending on the crew size present, permit costs can range anywhere between £800-£1,200 an hour.
4. Crew and Equipment
All crew and equipment must comply with TFL’s health and safety requirements. This includes wearing high-visibility clothing while on the network.
It is also important to note that all crew and equipment must be moved through the network using authorized methods only.
Any advertising or branding associated with the film must be approved by the TFL in advance. This includes any posters, banners, or other material that is to be displayed on the network.
Restrictions on Filming at London Underground
There are a number of restrictions that apply to filming at the London Underground. These are in place to ensure the safety of passengers and crew, as well as to protect the network’s infrastructure.
The main restrictions are as follows:
1. No stunts or special effects
Filming is not allowed to include any stunts, special effects or simulated disasters. This includes fires and explosions.
2. No animals
Animals cannot be used in filming at London underground. This also includes the use of service animals such as guide dogs for the blind.
3. No equipment without a permit
Crew and equipment must only enter the network with a permit. This also includes props and set pieces that are to be used in filming.
4. No electricity
Electrical equipment cannot be connected to any part of the network, including power supplies or sockets at stations. All electrical equipment must be powered by battery or gas-powered generators while on London underground premises.
5. No filming during scheduled maintenance work
The London underground network is regularly scheduled for routine maintenance. Filming is not allowed to take place on the network if it coincides with these dates and times. This includes any scenes involving fire, explosions or smoke (real or simulated).
6.No stopping or holding up trains
Filming is only allowed at approved locations. These are typically platforms and other areas that have been specifically approved for filming by TFL. Filming in any other location is not permitted. This includes stopping or holding up trains (real or simulated).
7.No damage to infrastructure
Filming is not allowed to cause damage or disruption of any kind to the network. This includes removing posters, damaging furniture or equipment at stations, filming in areas that are undergoing work, and using unauthorized material near tracks.
Filming in and around the London underground is a popular activity and with the right planning, it can be an enjoyable experience for all involved.
The main thing you need to remember if you’re planning on filming in London’s underground network, you need to adhere to all of the requirements and restrictions in place set by TFL. Failure to do so could result in your request being denied.
By following the information presented here, you’ll be able to film safely and without interruption. Happy filming!