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Who will take the weight of the Film Council?

October 22nd, 2010

With the news that the UK Film Council would be abolished, there were immediate campaigns against the dissolve. Beginning with grass-roots online campaigns, a Facebook page ‘Save the UK Film Council’ is now at 56,268 followers, Twitter feeds and reactions followed, before Dirty Harry himself stepped forward (who had recently shot Hereafter in London) to write a protest letter and in doing so joined other actors including James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Pete Postlethwaite, Damian Lewis, Timothy Spall, Daniel Barber and Ian Holm in campaigning against the Council’s abolition

Last week at the Screen Film Summit, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey spoke on the importance of the British film industry and what he expected to happen post Film Council dissolve. UK Film Council chief executive, John Woodward made remarks about the prospect that Lottery money might be channelled through a UK broadcaster such as the BBC or Channel 4 and questions were asked by industry workers and attendees as to whether money would be thrown into another “government quango” or fairly distributed across the industry?uk-film-council-logo-01a

John McVay, Chief Executive Officer of producers’ organisation PACT, said that PACT “wanted three legs to the funding stool” and that plurality and diversity would necessarily be reduced if Lottery money was disbursed via the BBC or Channel 4 rather than through a separate public funder.

So will Film London be called to take responsibility for the work left over from the Film Council? Will work, effort and responsibility (as well as money) be handed to local screen agencies? As Woodward suggests, “Others will need to adopt the apparatus of what comes with the Film Council’s democratic feeling, from empathy and understanding to their consideration of producers and film makers.” They’ll most certainly have to be a new system to overhaul the current one, afterall, top-slicing the paramount council means redistribution and judicious thought.

What does this mean for production companies and the suppliers who work for these companies? The dancing and turmoil needs to stop, but who is going to profit from waving goodbye to the Film Council. Will anyone?

Watch Ed Vaizey’s address here:

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UK film industry nearing capacity?

October 14th, 2010

equipmentThere’s something of a movie buzz happening in the UK right now. Our world renowned studios are busy with their television commitments and a sudden influx of preparation and filming for the big screen is happening up-and-down the country. The new Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean 4, Captain America and Steven Spielberg’s production of War Horse, are all currently being filmed in the UK.

London and the UK boast some of the best filming locations and facilities in the world. Technicians are reasonably priced compared with the United States and such is the bustling atmosphere, there have been reports of a lack of filming equipment for workers. We have spoken with several cameramen and gaffers who have commented on the lack of available equipment.

On one side, there is a serious issue with the lack of filming equipment available – surely the rental industry must be booming – while another arguement lends itself to the UK filming industry standing in a very healthy position. If more and more productions continue to arrive on these shores then that’s wonderful news for recruitment and industry income. Whether it’s due to tax reasons or simply that the American film industry can atadpt to and adopt our diverse range of locations, it puts our studios and industry in a comfortable environment.

on-location-for-the-filmi-006The service and support offered is also an incentive, with the likes of the UK Film Council, The Office of the British Film Commissioner, The network of UK Screen Agencies and the UK Film Council – US, all lending their support to the creation of films produced and shot in the UK. However, with the government’s recent decision to axe the Film Council, what exactly does this mean for the industry and those professionals who make it all happen?

The news yesterday that Channel 4 has given an extra £5 million to Film Four is fantastic news for not only Film Four and the British movie-making industry, but it’s money that can be invested into producting and nurturing new talent. The investment increases Film Four’s budget by 50 percent, and is enough to produce at least another three or four films a year.

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Europe’s first 3D TV channel

October 1st, 2010

Sky 3DEurope’s first dedicated 3D television channel has launched in the UK.

Sky 3D will broadcast for 14 hours every day from around 9am and will show a selection of programmes including premier league football, and films.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas all the big names unveiled new 3D products and was billed by some as a saviour for TV firms.

A monthly subscription fee will be £61 with the cost of an average 3D television around £2,000. Subscribers who pay for the top Sky World HD package will be able to get the service free.

Since the launch of James Cameron’s 3D movie film Avatar late last year, 3D has been in the news like never before.

Most cinemas have at least one 3D film on show all the time, while the launch of this new channel will let people experience it at home for the first time. John Dollin, who’s been developing 3D TV for Sky for the last two years, is confident that it has the wow factor.

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