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England Focus: Film-Friendly Airport

England Focus: Film-Friendly Airport
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When Tony Petersen Film wanted a film-friendly, security controllable airport for a three-day shoot to launch the new BMW 7 Series, we scouted multiple regions of the UK to make their creative brief a reality.

A newly refurbished, flexible and secure airport in the North of England proved the perfect location for the job.

Here's the low-down on this film-friendly location.


  • 2 x hangers
  • Runways
  • Control tower
  • Driving Roads
  • High spec interior

The chosen airport needed to meet a number of logistical demands, including:

  1. Two airport hangers, a large runway and an ATC tower.
  2. The ability to completely close its runways for 3-days.
  3. The capacity to accommodate over 130 cast and crew with large scale SFX, 2 units shooting simultaneously, a Russian Arm team and a large security team.
  4. The area needed to be fully controllable by the security team so they could prevent the press from snapping the prototype hero car.
  5. Last but not least, the airport had to be near some epic hillside roads, and ideally within an area likely to experience atmospheric mist and cloud cover at that time of year.

We faced stiff competition from scenic Switzerland, but our exceptional in-house Location Team scouted the UK far and wide, and were able to identify the winning location both from an aesthetic and a logistical angle.


This UK airport has brand new facilities and at the time was yet to open to commercial flights, but it was still live for helicopter usage, which meant detailed advance planning to facilitate the shoot smoothly. Working closely with the wonderfully helpful airport team, we developed a flight plan that kept the helicopter crew happy.

In order to create a huge cloud of smoke and monsoon-style rain blasting into the car as it tore along the runway, followed by a Russian Arm, we brought along a brilliant team of SFX gurus, who were assisted by our host airport's fire fighting team with a pretty impressive fire engine to boot.


Security was vital to this shoot, as the yet-to-be-released BMW 7 Series was under a strict NDA. The level of security and exclusivity that could be achieved at the airport was unrivalled, making it the ideal location for this commercial.

Our production team and locations department forged strong relationships with airport staff, local authorities and the police, which helped make ensuring complex road and airway closures were made as smooth and simple as possible. We also worked closely with our client's security team in Germany to ensure the entire project was kept under wraps from the press and the public.


Another amazing perk of this Northern airport hub was its serene surroundings.

There was no shortage of epic roads within England's picturesque Lake District which offered us plenty of film-friendly options for supplementary driving sequences, from rough and ready off-road tracks within rolling hills to smooth, freshly marked A-roads enveloped by dense forest.


Our dream location was selected from 6 options we scouted throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Airports present unique logistical challenges and logistical needs, but our dedicated team take care of all the logistics so the creative can shine in these distinctive locations.

The end result: a TV commercial for BMW, produced by Tony Petersen Film, directed by Dan Di Felice.