An introduction to British Cinema
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Brief outline of how the British Film industry works including funding. Used as part of a WJEC Film Studies course
Text of An introduction to British Cinema
- What is a British Film?
- Diversity makes a defining a British film very challenging.
- Some UK Film Council definitions:
- Films principally shot in the UK, using a British crew/cast
- Films financed from within the UK
- Films that are set in the UK
What is a British film?
- Films that address British Identity and Society
- Range of definitions 32 in total, but to qualify as a British film only 16 must be met.
UK Film Council Cultural Test
- One is that the film represents/reflects a diverse British culture, British heritage or British creativity (so we dont just make lots of imitations of American films)
- Director Paul Greengrass is British
- Large section is filmed in London , some studio work at Pinewood
- Doesnt reflect British themes or concerns
- Produced by Universal Frank Marshall and Doug Liman are American
Is The Bourne Ultimatum a British film?
- Universal are American owned company
- Director David Yatesis British
- Large sections is filmed in England and Scotland ,
- Largely British crew including producers
- Based on the work of an British Author (Rowlings)
- Produced/Distributed by Warner Bros they are American owned company
Is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows a British film?
- Some key personnel were not British eg Portuguese Cinematographer
- UK Film Council- British Film Institute
- fund script development, film production, short films, film export and distribution, cinemas, film education, culture and archives, festivals and audience support schemes
- Film Fund 15 mil per year (90% of applicants will be rejected) and money from Lotteries
- Innovation Fund to help move to the digital age esp in rural areas
Funding for British Films
- Co Production deals which BfI can help set up
- Harry Potter and the DH was funded all by Warner Bro but the first one was a co production.
- The UK Film Council awarded The Kings Speech 1,021,080 of Lottery funding. The UK Film Council stands to recoup 100% of its investment plus significant net profits
- Londons Prescience Film Finance stepped in to provide two-thirds of the films 9 million ($14.5 million) budget using its 25 million Aegis Film Fund
- Film 4 finally ended up funding this (rejected by BBC and Channel 4) along with Warp Films (2.5 mil)
- Very different to the US set
- Independent Film Production Houses
- Working Title, Warp Films, Ealing Studios
- Need to team up with a distribution company
- British Distribution Companies
- Can be very hard to get films made in Britain and they are not necessarily very profitable (Harry Potter/James Bond)
Producing British Films
- Need to be distinctively British.
- How are images of the British used to market films?
- Do British films have to say something to their audience about the British experience to be a success?
- What obstacles or problems do you think a British studio would face in trying to find an audience for its films? What might stop that film from being a success ?
- How important for the British Film industry is the use of UK 'talent' in films financed outside Britain?
- What strategies do you think can be used to create a successful British Film Industry?
- Why is the film industry dominated by US film and what chance does the British Film Industry have?
- How important is it for the British film industry to have internationally recognised stars?