UK abandoned by Film Producers

Pounds.jpgDespite the UK beating the downward global trend in box office profits. It seems that Production companies are leaving the UK in droves, even though that upward trend has been hugely helped by UK productions. I like the sense in that.

The Guardian have the reasons why, and it’s those bloody useless Politicians again who can’t see further than their own ego inflated, stomachs paid for by UK taxes.

Since the chancellor, Gordon Brown, put film industry tax breaks under review, Hollywood giants have deserted UK studios such as Pinewood, often for eastern Europe. The amount spent on production in the UK last year declined by 31% from 2004 to √Ǭ£559.5m, according to statistics published yesterday by the UK Film Council…

…British films accounted for 34% of UK box office revenues, with Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were Rabbit and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy among them. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the most recent cinema instalment of the fantasy saga, topped the chart with box office receipts of √Ǭ£47.6m in 2005.

However, there might be good news ahead. Since that idiotic Chancellor realised what he’d done with the taxes and changed his stance, there’s the possibility of attracting people back.

However, the British film industry is hopeful that a new tax regime unveiled by the Treasury last month will result in foreign investment swiftly returning to the UK. In his pre-budget report, welcomed by the industry, the chancellor offered producers of films costing more than √Ǭ£20m a rebate of 16% provided they fulfil certain criteria, including a “cultural test”.

I’d like to know who “the British film industry” is and why they believe that companies will come “flooding back”. I doubt that will happen and that fast, if at all. There’s no real reason. Oh, and the cultural test that’s being talked about is a written exam about Britain…how messed up is this country?

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3 thoughts on “UK abandoned by Film Producers

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  2. Hey John. Yup, all the details are in the previous posts:

    New Tax Laws and Cultural Test

    How much the industry is earning the UK

    Ray Winstone outlines why he’s filming outside the UK and the loopholes

    Productions leaving the UK

    Explanation of the loopholes and how they are being exploited

    So you can see I wasn’t about to include all that in one post.

    “massively abused the system” – No more so than anyone taking advantage of Tax Laws. I used to do this when I was a contractor, it’s not abusing, it’s using them as they are intended. See the above posts for details.

    “so they invested with one hand and took it back with the other” – Not that simple either, they invested more than they took out, but a much larger amount of the invested Production money could be recovered, not all though. See the above posts for details.

    “a film industry free of US money and influence might actually start standing on its own feet.” – you really think that? We’re spending time and money educating people into the industry who are going to them work on productions which are predominantly outside the UK…that means our talent investment leaves the country to earn money for another tax system.

    I don’t really see that the major investment leaving the UK is going to help the industry. Anyway, as the post says, this is one of the healthiest times for the UK industry with a profit in the Box Office where others aren’t, including the US, and this is down to films with British talent like Harry Potter or Wallace and Gromit.

  3. Hello Richard

    Where did the detail about the “written exam” come from? Section 42 had the requirement that any film eligible for tax relief contain a certain amount of British-ness (mainly cast and crew, but could include cultural elements), and these had to be submitted by form (aka “exam”), so it doesn’t sound very different to that.

    Anyway, it’s more complex than you’re making out. While it’s true that Hollywood companies were encouraged to film here because of tax breaks, they also massively abused the system (is anyone surprised at that?). So they invested with one hand and took it back with the other. Plus, of course, any profits made from the film went out of the country.

    Anyway, a film industry free of US money and influence might actually start standing on its own feet.

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