The Bottle Yard Studios
The Bottle Yard Studios is a British film and television production studio facility in Bristol, South West England. It is located on Whitchurch Lane, approximately 4 miles south of Bristol city centre. It offers a total of 300,000 sq. ft. of adaptable production space, making it the largest dedicated production space in the West of England.
A rising number of industrial sites around the UK have been re-purposed for film and television production, and The Bottle Yard Studios is one of the busiest complexes of its kind. Its success, combined with Bristol's vivid track record in film and TV production and its dedicated Bristol Film Office, has led to the city being referred to as the 'Soho of the South West'.
In 2010 the site stood unused after operating for more than 50 years as a former winery and bottling plant. At one time it had housed the full production line for Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry, run by John Harvey & Sons.
The Bottle Yard Studios opened in 2010 as a partnership initiative with Bristol City Council, transforming the disused industrial space into a busy creative hub for film and TV production.
The Studios started out as home to BBC TV dramas including Casualty (TV series), Five Daughters, Public Enemies (TV series), Inside Men and Frankie (TV series), as well as micro-budget iFeatures films In The Dark Half and Eight Minutes Idle. In its first year, the Studios were estimated to have brought in £8m in investment into the city of Bristol. In 2012, British director Jonathan Newman's fantasy The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box, starring Michael Sheen, Sam Neill and Lena Headey, became the first major feature film to shoot at the Studios.
In 2011, Roughcut TV, makers of Sky1 HD comedy series Trollied created a purpose-built replica supermarket at the Studios, to film its first series. Trollied debuted in 2011 as the most successful multi-channel comedy ever, and went on to be recommissioned for series two and three and two Christmas specials. The production added three smaller sets and a full Production Village, including dressing rooms, make up and costume facilities. Series 4 filmed in Summer 2014. The set has been praised for its authenticity and has also featured on Top Gear.
In 2013, long running game show Channel 4 game show Deal or No Deal relocated to The Bottle Yard Studios from its former home at Bristol Paintworks. BBC Studios and Post Production designed and built new production facilities for programme makers Endemol, transforming a 3000 square metre unit into a fully functioning studio and post production facility, complete with audience-holding, costume and make-up areas, dressing rooms, production offices, catering area and edit suites. In September 2014 it was confirmed that Deal or No Deal would be recommissioned to run into its 10th anniversary year of filming in Bristol.
In early 2014, the Studios hosted production of US pilot Galavant, which marked the first US pilot to film in the UK since the Government brought in a new High End TV Tax Relief in April 2013 as part of its Creative Sector Tax Relief. At the time, the Chancellor of the Exchequer commented: “This government wants to make sure high-end television programming from all over the world is made in the UK. These productions bring jobs and investment to our country. That’s why I introduced a specific tax relief to encourage more of them here in the UK. I want more global companies like ABC to look to the UK as a highly skilled, innovative and creative industry when choosing a location for their television programming.”
It was later confirmed that The Bottle Yard Studios would host the production of the full series of Galavant in Summer 2014. Deadline Hollywood reported that "rising players like The Bottle Yard, which is hosting ABC's Galavant, are also heavily booked meaning repurposed warehouses are becoming de rigueur even for British productions."
In 2014, the Studios hosted two major new BBC dramas broadcast in 2015:- Poldark and Wolf Hall. BBC One drama Poldark, Debbie Horsfield's adaptation of Winston Graham's acclaimed 18th century saga, directed by Edward Bazalgette, stars Aidan Turner and Eleanor Tomlinson. Produced by Mammoth Screen, the six-month shoot ran from April – September 2014 using locations across Bristol and Cornwall. BBC Two drama Wolf Hall is the adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize-winning best-sellers from Bafta-winning director Peter Kosminsky and Oscar-nominated writer Peter Straughan. The six part serial, made by Company Pictures, starring Damian Lewis and Mark Rylance, based production at The Bottle Yard Studios from May – August 2014 and filmed at a range of locations across the South West including six National Trust properties.
A revived 20 Episode series of classic game show The Crystal Maze was filmed at the studios in 2017.
The Studios offer a total of 300,000 sq. ft. of production space, comprising:
- Four separate ‘Tank Houses’, with internal build spaces ranging in size from 12,400 – 17,000 sq. ft and ceiling heights of up to 20 metres
- The Main Warehouse, 200,000 sq. ft. divided into nine zones
- The Export Warehouse, just under 16,000 sq. ft. of space with five entry points, commonly used for set builds.
- The largest green screen in England outside London (90m)
- A Production Village including dressing rooms, make up and costume areas, prop stores, and set storage
- More than 9,000 sq. ft. of furnished production offices over six floors, with wireless internet, telephones and kitchenettes
- Back lot for unit base, exterior sets and driving/stunt sequences
- Private roadways and parking
The Bottle Yard Studios has a community of on-site business tenants that provide digital, technical, audio/visual, grips, construction, transport, structural, fire and safety services.
Titles that have based production at The Bottle Yard Studios include:
- The Crystal Maze – Channel 4, broadcast 2017
- Crazyhead – E4 / Netflix, broadcast 2016
- The Living and the Dead -BBC iPlayer / BBC One, broadcast 2016
- Andy's Prehistoric Adventures – CBeebies, broadcast 2016
- Sherlock – Abominable Bride – BBC, broadcast 2016
- Galavant series 1–2 – Disney/ABC Studios, broadcast 2015–16
- Wolf Hall (TV Series) – BBC Two, broadcast 2015, series 2 coming Autumn 2016
- Poldark series 1–2 BBC One, broadcast 2015
- The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies – ITV, broadcast 2014
- Deal or No Deal (UK game show) Channel 4, broadcast 2005–2016
- The Mimic Channel 4, broadcast 2014
- New Worlds Channel 4, broadcast 2014
- Trollied series 1–5 & Christmas Special Sky1 HD, broadcast 2011–15
- The Fear – Channel 4, broadcast 2012
- Frankie (TV series) – BBC One, broadcast 2012
- Inside Men BBC One, broadcast 2012
- Public Enemies (TV series) – BBC One, broadcast 2012
- Five Daughters – BBC One, broadcast 2010
- Excluded – BBC One, broadcast 2010
- Casualty (TV series) – BBC One, broadcast 2010
- Hit The Road Jack starring Jack Whitehall – Channel 4, broadcast 2012
- Golden Years (2015)
- The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box – Cinema One feature film (2014)
- In The Dark Half (2012)
- Eight Minutes Idle (2012)
- "Official site"
- "Filming in Bristol" Bristol City Council. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "The Bottle Yard" Bristol Film Office. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "The top British film studios" Televisual. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "The Bottle Yard Studios – from disused warehouses to Disney" Seenit, 9 July 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "The Bottle Yard Studios – Bristol’s international hub of film and TV production" Bristol Culture, 31 July 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "Bristol film studio's success story" Bristol Post, 6 June 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Ribbeck, Mike. "Profile: The Hollywood of Hengrove – Bristol's Bottle Yard Studio" South West Business, 6 June 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Midgley, Neil. "TV drama tax credit helps put UK in the global game" The Guardian, 22 June 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Bevir, George. "Soho of the South West" Broadcast, 28 August 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Cooper, Sarah. "New film studio opens for business in Bristol" Screen International, 9 November 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Tech&Facils "Bristol's Bottle Yard brings in £8m" Broadcast 25 August 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Rosser, Michael. "Sky1's Trollied to return" Broadcast 15 September 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Richardson, Ian. "Another view on Trollied" The Guardian, 14 August 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Young, Bill. "What happened when the ‘Trollied’ set met ‘Top Gear’?" Tellyspotting, 21 March 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Bevir, George. "Deal or No Deal moves to Bottle Yard" Broadcast, 5 September 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "Creating bespoke production facilities for Endemol’s Deal or No Deal for Channel 4" BBC Studios and Post Production, September 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "BBCS&PP renews Deal or No Deal at Bottle Yard" Televisual, 1 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Barraclough, Leo. "ABC Studios to shoot Galavant in the UK benefiting from new TV tax credit" Variety, 20 December 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- GOV.uk "Government’s high-end television tax relief tempts ABC Studios to British shores" 20 December 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Bevir, George. "Disneys Galavant heads to The Bottle Yard Studios" Broadcast, 18 June 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Tartaglione, Nancy. "Pinewood Finally Granted Permission To Expand Flagship UK Facility" Deadline Hollywood, 19 June 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Tech&Facils "Mammoth opts for Bottle Yard base" Broadcast, 16 April 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "Poldark: Bristol is hosting comeback of TV's top bodice-ripper" Bristol Post, 16 April 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- Rose, Lacey. "It's Official: 'Homeland's' Damian Lewis to Star in PBS Wolf Hall Miniseries" The Hollywood Reporter, 8 May 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
- "Damian Lewis to film new BBC drama Wolf Hall in Bristol, Somerset and Wiltshire" Radio Times, 9 May 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.