Can the film industry become even bigger in 2016?
It’s not often that when we talk about ‘the golden age’ of something, we actually mean to indicate the here and now. Yet, when George Osborne recently said “the golden age for British creative industries is going from strength to strength”, it was the year 2015 and the period leading up to it since 2007, which he referred to. Ground-breaking years for independent and big budget films in the UK.
No wonder we call it the golden age. In the past eight years we have seen the film and TV industry create over a quarter of a million full-time jobs in the UK, and the Oscars, BAFTAs, Golden Globes and other awards have been dished out to UK projects in bulk.
The Chancellor recently confirmed that government support for the UK film industry through film tax relief had reached £251m this year, generating over £1bn worth of direct investment in the UK in the last year alone.
The success for the UK economy is such that for every pound invested through tax relief, roughly £12.50 was generated for the treasury. Since 2007, the government’s measures ensured a whopping £6.9bn investment from the film industry.
And now we are here, at the start of a new year, and the big question is, are we, as an industry, going to grow the success story even further?
Our crystal ball at The Knowledge – also known as our Production Intelligence database – predicts it will happen. We can tell you there will be more heroes of literature as the basis for top-notch scripts, more Cumberbatch as Sherlock and his new role as Dr Strange, more Star Wars frenzy in the run-up to Rogue One in December and some sci-fi drama from Steven Spielberg.
We also see multiple successes for heroes known by most from the days of their youth; Dumbo, Tarzan, Jungle Book, Pinocchio and the Little Mermaid – all will eventually shine on the big screen, made with UK investment, facilities and labour.
With Pinewood, Elstree, 3Mills, Dragon Studios, Titanic Studios and all other UK stages finding themselves in great demand, more and more productions find new places to shoot in the UK: converted warehouses in Scotland and around London, newly built studio spaces in Wales and Northern Ireland, a transformed air hangar in Yorkshire – the list is endless.
And with ongoing training schemes from bodies such as Creative England and Creative Skillset, the industry ensures that there is always a suitable pool of off-screen talent who can make the shoot and post-production a reality, and which possesses all the technical skills needed.
So, here’s to a fabulously busy year ahead in which the industry will get awards for British productions such as The Danish Girl, Brooklyn, Suffragette and Macbeth; create wonderful new films such as The War Magician, A Street Cat Named Bob (now in post) and Ready Player One; and will remain one of the UK’s most profitable assets.
Also on The Knowledge
The Film and TV Charity has announced the launch of a new Covid-19 Recovery Fund that will distribute up to £2m to UK film, TV and cinema workers.
Prolific producers Neal Street Productions has launched a Screenwriting Bursary aimed at Black, Asian and minority ethnic writers.
Screen Scotland has today announced further emergency funding for the country’s screen sector workers.
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the UK production industry as projects around the country get back up and running, under strict Covid-19 safety guidelines.
ITV has launched Studio 55 Ventures, a new scheme that will build entrepreneurial teams to create media and entertainment businesses that appeal to the 16-34 year-old demographic.
This year’s edition of The Knowledge directory - the 34th - is due out at the end of this year.