Friday, 27 November 2015

The British Film Industry

Who does what in the British Film Industry?


The BBFC is an independent, non-governmental body which classifies and censors film, video as well as computer and console based games released in the UK.

The BFI:

The BFI (British Film Institution) Promotes understanding and appreciation of Britain's rich film and television heritage and culture

The UK film Council:
is the government backed lead agency for film in the UK ensuring that the economic, cultural and educational aspects of film are effectively represented at home and abroad.


The BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) aims to support, develop and promote the art forms of the moving image.

The British council:

The official UK agency for international cultural relations. Its film department promotes new British films (features and shorts), internationally principally through festivals and showcases.

Main British Production Companies - recent films

Film 4:
  • '12 Years a Slave' (2013)
  • '20,000 days on Earth' (2014)
  • 'A Most Wanted Man' (2014)
  • 'Black Sea' (2014)
  • 'Ex-Machina' (2015)
E One (Entertainment One):
  • 'Divergent' (2014)
  • 'The Theory of Everything' (2014)
  • 'Nightcrawler' (2014)
  • 'That Awkward Moment' (2014)
  • 'The Age of Adaline' (2015)
Working title
  • 'Everest' (2015)
  • 'About Time' (2013)
  • 'Rush' (2013)
  • 'Legend' (2015)
  • 'The Danish Girl' (2015)
Bigtalk Productions
  • 'Man Up' (2015)
  • 'Cuban Fury' (2014)
  • 'In Fear' (2013)
  • 'The World's End' (2013)
  • 'Sightseers' (2012)
  • 'Lucy' (2014)
  • 'Mandela: long walk to Freedom' (2013)
  • 'Selma' (2014)
  • 'Suffragette' (2015)
  • 'Centurion' (2010)

  • 'The last Panthers' (2015)
  • 'This is England '90' (2015)
  • '71' (2014)
  • 'For Those in Peril' (2014)
  • 'Southcliffe' (2013)

Who dominates the UK film Industry?

Although it is becoming ever easier to create and produce feature films due to the new advances in technology, a lot of a movie's popularity and accessibility will depend on who the film is produced by. If a movie is made by a large, well-known company such as 20'th Century Fox or Universal Pictures, it is more likely to be seen and circulated than that of a company which nobody has heard of. Statistics show that in 2013 in the UK and Ireland alone, Warner Bros, Walt Disney and Universal had the highest grossing numbers in the sale of cinema/box office tickets. Warner Bro's gained 200 million dollars, closely followed by Walt Disney at an estimated 170 million and Universal with 150 million. In conclusion, Hollywood's big six mainly dominate the UK film industry along with some smaller production companies such as Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and StudioCanal.

British 'Cultural test' - British VS American films

Any film can be put through this 'culture test'. It must score at least 18 out of 35 to be classed as a British film and can claim 25% tax relief from the government:

'Avengers: Age of Ultron' - 15/35
  •  A1 - the film set was in the UK, South Africa, South Korea, Bangladesh and Italy
  • A4 - the film was written and recorded in English
  • C1 (A,B) - many of the filming locations are situated in the UK
  • D7 - Ben Davis, the cinematographer, is a member of the British society of Cinematographers
'Ex-Machina' - 14/35
  • A2 - Domhnall Gleeson is an Irish/British citizen
  • A4 - the film was written and recorded in English
  • D1/2 - Director, Alex Garland, was born in London, UK
  • D3 - Producer, Andrew Macdonald, was born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • D4 - Geoff Barrow, one of the Composers was born in North-Somerset, England
'Star Wars the Force Awakens' - 10/35
  • A1 - A lot of the filming locations are in the UK
  • A4 - the film was written and recorded in English
'Mad Max: Fury Road' - 10/35
  • A2 - Tom Hardy is an English actor and resident
  • A4 - the film was written and recorded in English

'Old' Rules required for a film to be British 

  • The Director must be British 
  • The Producer must be British
  • It must have a predominantly British cast
  • A British production company 
  • Subject matter that informs on the British Experience 
  • British identity defined by the BFI in "Sight and Sound"

How do British films attract audiences? How are they distinct from Hollywood movies?

I feel that British films attract an audience by adhering to the British stereotype, e.g: having a man who speaks in a proper British accent in a neat suit and nice manners whose witty and has a way about him. Typical of that of a James Bond movie, Daniel Craig has set a standard that is expected of a British man by the rest of the world (especially America). In countries like America, they find the British stereotype amusing and enjoy portraying the British culture as being quite posh and sophisticated and therefore use the 'big six' in Hollywood to portray British people in this way. In contrast, British film producers might show the other side of the British culture, e.g. the more lower class, 'chavvy' generation of Brits. However they might still include the witty British gentlemen as the image is attractive all over the world and the British are especially proud to be stereotyped in this way. An example of a film that includes both representations and was very successful in attracting an audience is 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' as it includes a young, yobbish boy who is taken under the wing of a typical British gent played by Colin Firth - renowned for his gentlemen like qualities and characteristics of a stereotypical British man. 

Audience Types

Mainstream: Unlikely ever to view anything other than major 'Hollywood' style blockbusters.

Mainstream plus: generally mainstream, but apt to see less mainstream films on few occasions.

Aficionados: Tend to view a mix of films, including major foreign language titles, and can be encouraged to become even more adventurous in their viewing choices.

Film Buffs 1: Eschew mainstream films in favour of more extreme, esoteric, challenging and difficult subject matter (specialized) films.

I think that films such as 'Kingsman: The Secret Service' would have attracted mainstream plus audiences all over the world, especially in America. On its opening weekend in the USA, this film brought $42,000,000 into the box office and £4,152,128 into the UK box office. This is because of the attraction of the British culture and the love of the typical British spy story with a sharply dressed gent inspired by James Bond - a greatly loved character all over the world

Why have a British film industry?

I believe that having a British film industry is very important in out culture as we're a very small country in comparison to America where they have production companies such as the 'big six' and attractions like Hollywood. We feel the need to make other cultures know who we are and a British stereotype is very well known worldwide and is very well received. I think that we are proud to show off our culture to the rest of the world and make sure that we are seen how we want to be seen by the rest of the world. I don't think the British film industry is there to simply make money, its there to make sure the culture we want to show survives and gives off a positive view of the British culture. In a way, it is there to promote the British culture, but not in a snobbish fashion. Rather a way to show that we can be what people want to see (including what our own nation wants to see).

No comments:

Post a Comment