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Creative & Media case study: Netflix

Scene from Bridgerton
Image credit: Netflix

One of the world's leading entertainment services

Netflix is one of the world's leading entertainment services, providing members with TV series, documentaries, feature films and mobile games across a wide variety of genres and languages. With more than 214 million paid memberships in over 190 countries worldwide.

Internationally, Netflix have managed to transform from a DVD-rental-by-mail firm into a leading streaming entertainment company. With original content like Squid Game, they have proven how storytelling and good stories can transcend borders.

Strength of the region

In Bristol & Bath, over the last two years Netflix productions made in the South West of England have generated over £132m for the UK economy, supporting 500 local businesses all along the supply chain creating 1,000 jobs. Netflix have showcased some of Bath’s most iconic locations, including The Assembly Rooms, The Holburne Museum, and Abbey Green to audiences around the world. In 2019 Netflix signed a multi-year deal with James Honeyborne to produce new nature and science series through his company Freeborne Media Ltd. Honeyborne is the acclaimed creator and Executive Producer of the award-winning series Blue Planet II. Freeborne and Wild Space Productions are based in Bristol, England - the international home of wildlife filmmaking.

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Anna Mallett - Netflix VP Physical Production for EMEA/UK
Netflix VP Physical Production for EMEA/UK

Anna Mallett

“We’ve long known that the South West of England is a creative powerhouse. Its highly skilled and versatile workforce, sumptuous landscapes and state of the art facilities make it a natural home for Netflix productions: from agenda-setting natural history documentaries to the most talked-about drama. 

We’re committed to the South West for the long-term, and proud that the shows we’ve made over the last 2 years have contributed over £132 million to the UK economy, created over 1,000 jobs and generated opportunities for local communities.”

2022 and beyond

In 2021, Netflix took their first step towards expanding their platform beyond TV and film, with a unique mobile gaming experience by launching five games which are available as a free add-on to the normal Netflix subscription.

Alongside appointing Mike Verdu as the new head of game development at Netflix, last year, they also announced the acquisition of video game developer Night School Studio. Netflix are still in the early days of creating a great gaming experience, they are excited to continue working with developers around the world to deliver excellent games designed for any level of play and to allow members to immerse themselves more deeply into their favourite stories.

In 2021 the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC) and Netflix announced they were joining forces to bring some of the world’s most loved stories to current and future fans in creative new ways. This acquisition builds on the partnership they started three years ago to create a slate of animated TV series.

Another exciting area for audiences to keep an eye on is VFX. Netflix recently acquired premiere visual-effects house Scanline VFX, one of the most creative and innovative VFX studios in the world, and who have worked on much-loved Netflix sci-fi’s including Stranger Things. With Scanline VFX, Netflix are excited to surprise and delight members by pushing the boundaries of visual effects and continue to bring the most compelling and cutting-edge storytelling to audiences.

And what about Bristol & Bath?

Looking ahead to 2022 and beyond, Netflix have some incredible productions under way in the South West including nature documentaries, kids live-action series, and family films. They also have exciting training initiatives, underpinned by their £1.2 million Grow Creative UK programme which will support the careers and training of up to 1,000 people across the UK, including with Bristol’s Aardman Animations which will encourage emerging and diverse talent to consider a career in animation.

Scene from Bridgerton
Image credit: Netflix
Netflix case study

Why Bristol & Bath?

The South West has been the perfect region to film some of Netflix’s breakout hits including Bridgerton, Rebecca and Our Planet. The region’s talented crews, diverse production houses - big and small, state of the art facilities and beautiful landscapes all come together to create an ecosystem that makes it one of the best places to film in the UK.

Royal Crescent in Bath

While filming in Bath over the past two years alone, Netflix have worked with 150 businesses based in the city helping to boost the region’s post-pandemic tourism, with the City of Bath noting that at least £1.5 million will be generated for the local economy due to its success.

By receiving fantastic support from local vendors in all sizes - from sole traders, to small and medium sized enterprises and large corporations, including production companies, transportation, caterers, to name a few.

This included No.1 Royal Crescent Museum, which provided the backdrop for the Featherington’s family home in Bridgerton. Dr Amy Frost, Curator of the Museum not only shared her expertise and knowledge with Netflix about the period of history which enhanced the authenticity of the filming, but she has commented on the positive impact the show has brought to the Museum, with it seeing increased visitor numbers and younger audiences now becoming interested in the building’s history due to it appearing on one of Netflix’s most watched shows.

Support in the region

Invest Bristol & Bath (IBB) played a crucial role in Netflix’s work in Bristol and Bath. Through their brilliant experience in assisting businesses growing throughout Bristol and Bath, the IBB team brought invaluable local knowledge and helped us to develop key relationships with the local community.

As a clearly trusted partner to many businesses and individuals throughout the region, the Invest Bristol & Bath team helped us to engage with local residents to businesses and partners who were essential in supporting Netflix’s productions in the region.