Key Problems in the British Film Industry - A

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Key Problems in the British Film
Industry
Objective
• Understand the difficulties faced by producers
in the British Film Industry
The British Film Industry
Investment
Production
Financing
Film
Studio
Cinema
DVD/BD
Exhibition
Timeline – 1900-1940s
Early 1900s brings
experimentation A Daring daylight
Robbery pioneers
the chase genre
1930s sees a
boom in ‘quota
quickies’ and
rising attendances
– on the
downside, a
massive ‘braindrain’ to
Hollywood
(Chaplin et al)
World War II sees
surge in anti-Nazi
propaganda films
which showcases
the massive
importance of
film in shaping
national culture
Timeline – 1900-1940s
The 1950s sees the Rank organisation exporting British film to the
world; Hammer begin making horror films. In the 1960s, ‘Swinging
London’ and James Bond boost profile of industry
1970s – American studios stop
financing British productions and
industry begins decline. In 1980s,
home videos boom, cinemas fail
Early 1990s recession seems to signal
end of British Film industry…
The 1990s and Cool Britannia
Why is financing a problem?
• Government subsidies (withdrawn)
• Dependent on American film industry (fickle)
• Track record (disproportionate number of
‘failures’)
• Complicated process
• Lack of a national talent academy (future
success is chance)
Why is production a problem?
•
•
•
•
Studios owned by Hollywood or second-rate
Brain drain to Hollywood
British star prices?
Companies are not vertically-integrated
(expensive)
• Companies have been purchased by American
conglomerates (creative freedom)
Why is distribution a problem?
•
•
•
•
•
Cinema chains (Odeon, Vue, Cineworld)
Centrally-controlled
Few arthouse cinemas; lack of funding
Short lifespan of films
Relatively expensive costs of distribution due
to non-vertically-integrated companies
‘Commercial Viability’
• Government unprepared to invest, but wants
the success
• http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainmentarts-16495095
• Copycat – Kidulthood is a success, so 20 copies
are made (distilling the brand)
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