PEOPLE WHO WORK IN FILM *Even when significant revenues are generated by their films, very little can flow back to the filmmakers.*Too often, talent (film-makers) seeks workabroad or has to fall back on opportunitiesoutside film to survive. This is a weak foundationfor building a creative career and it means thataudiences are deprived of the contribution thatsuch talents can make to British films. *The high risks and opportunity costs of film careers mean it is vital that creative talent is able to benefit from success in order for it to survive and continue.
THE AIMS OF THE FILM INDUSTRY*To reward success*To incentivise the creatives at the heart of the filmindustry in order to better connect their films toaudiences.*To nurture the creative talent more effectively andhelp build careers for the benefit of the industry andUK audiences.*To ensure a percentage shareof revenues generated by afilm‟s success with audiences isaccessible by the key creatives– the director, writer andproducer – as fair reward for thesuccessful generation andexploitation of their intellectualproperty.*To welcome the commitmentby the trade bodies WGGB,DUK and PACT to worktogether on new contracts toensure these revenues areshared fairly.
Television is still the single most important platform for filmconsumption in the UK, judged by the yardstick of viewernumbers.*In 2010 there were 3.7 billion viewings of feature filmsacross all television platforms, which is over 20 times thenumber of cinema admissions.*On average, television accounts for 80% of the total filmswatched all together.*This represents approximately 64 film viewings ontelevision per person per year, compared with 2.9 cinemaattendances.
Films deliversubstantialeconomic value tobroadcasters, estim For example, the mostated to have been popular film on£1.2billion in terrestrial television in2010, and still offer 2010 was Shrek thea way of generating Third, which attractedlarge audiences for 7.8 million viewers toboth free-to-air and its premiere on BBC1.pay television.
Because it is the primary means by which films are delivered toaudiences, television plays a crucial role in engaging domestic audiences inlocally produced films as well as those from Hollywood, and can also play akey role in the economic viability of the film value chain.This remains true despite the creation of new platforms such as video-on-demand, which as yet attract relatively small numbers of viewers and correspondinglygenerate relatively small revenues. By contrast, the five main Public ServiceBroadcasters (PSBs) still commanded 73% of all viewing hours in the UK in2010, despite the rise of multi-channel television.
“Deep-rooted structuralconstraints – such as theunusual economic propertiesof cultural products, theoperations of theirmarketplaces, and the powerof scale industries – canrestrict the production anddistribution of locallyproduced films and obstructthe establishment ofdomestic film industries.”Some countries have used legislation to oblige TV broadcasters toinvest in feature films. In France, broadcasters have long beenrequired by law to invest directly a percentage of their annualrevenues in film, resulting in an investment totalling over£420million in French film in 2010.
In the UK, the level of engagement in the film sector bybroadcasters varies greatly. The BBC and Channel 4 show filmacross their primary channels and other free-to-air digital channels.Channel 4 also has a dedicated free-to-air film channel, Film4, onwhich British, continental European and other non-American filmscomprise around 40% of the schedule.„Sky‟ operates a suite of dedicated pay-TV moviechannels, grouped by genre. More specialised films are alsoshown on its „Sky Arts channel‟. ITV and Channel 5 show film ontheir primary channels and their other free-to-air digital channels.
THE PANEL RECOGNISES*Broadcasters are facing economic challenges due toincreased competition from other platforms driven bytechnological change.*It is possible that with the decline in DVD, and theproliferation of catch-up services – many of which areoperated by television companies – the viewing of filmsthrough media controlled by broadcasters, will increase.*Some of the value which was traditionally captured byretailers selling or renting DVD‟s, may now be re-capturedby platforms operated by broadcasters.
“It is our conclusion that evidence shows televisionbroadcasters are a critical element of the success of local film industries in other countries. It is also clear that thevariation in levels of contribution by UK broadcasters is a clear obstacle in creating a more successful British industry.”
Given that the majority of peoplewatch most of the films they see ontelevision, an increased commitmentto screening British films would alsohave an important impact on thevitality of cultural life in the UK.Similarly, the broadcasters could be apowerful force for making availableinformation and knowledge about thebreadth of film available – throughincreased programming about film,online content and mobile ‘apps’.It is important to recognise that eachbroadcaster is different, and couldcontribute to UK film differently, goingwith the grain of their individualhistories, cultures and businessmodels. A ‘one size fits all’ approachmay not be appropriate.
“We also recognise that there is a long history of failure toconnect policies for the film and television sectors. We want public policy to encourage the two sectors to engageproductively in ways which could be mutually advantageous in a digital era.For example, by working together, the sectors may be able to identify shared opportunities across the value chain.”
REVIEW AIMS*To ensure that all major broadcasters engage with andsupport British film in a significant way on an ongoingbasis.*To show a good proportion of British films as part of theoverall mix on their TV channels.*To ensure they recommend that the Government initiateimmediate discussions with each of the major broadcasters– BBC, ITV, Channel4, Channel5 and „Sky‟
BBCThe review welcomes the significant £12million per annuminvestment made in UK film by the BBC through its specialistproduction business unit BBC films.They also appreciate the BBC‟s promotion of cinema andfilms, and the encouragement to build up independent filmcompanies.Recent UK films as a percentage of total films broadcastshows a decrease in recent years from BBC1, but an increaseon BBC2. 2008 2009 2010 BBC1 14.2 12.7 10.0 BBC2 8.6 9.5 13.7
How can the BBC help improve the UK film industry in thefuture?*They should feature more films on BBC1 as this is morewidely accessible as a main channel. This is consistent withresearch by BBC films that show “respondents unanimouslyagree” the BBC should spend the licence fee buying andmaking British Films.*The BBC could play a very significant role in championingBritish Film. For example, by revisiting a new BBC channelstrategy exploring synergies between such strategies andcompanies such as the Digital Space Network.http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2011/10/digital_public_space_idea.html*They also want to see the investment safeguarded andpossibly increased.
ITV*60% of the top movies on TV in 2010 were screened on ITV1. In addition, 80% of thetop 10 films on free-to-air digital multi-channel TV in 2010 were screened in ITV2. *ITV had particular success in investing in British films such as The Queen. These show that ITV has a especially strong role in promoting UK film. *Recent UK films as percentage of total films broadcast show an increase over recent years, however still consistently remain low percentages. 2008 2009 2010 ITV 6.3 8.1 10.0
Channel4The review recognises Channel4‟s significant on-going investment in UK filmthrough its specialist production arm, Film4. And in particular, welcomes theincrease of Film4‟s budget to £15million a year for five years from 2011.How can Channel4 help improve the UK film industry in thefuture?*Safeguard investment, and grown if possible, welcoming the introduction in the DigitalEconomy Act of obligation for Channel4 to invest an screen a diverse range of film.*They should recognise the important role of Film4 in talent development and the qualityand range of film output and their cinema promotion.*They make British films available as Channel4 is a public service broadcaster.FACTS50/59 foreign language films were shown on terrestrial television in 2010.There were 96 British films shown on Channel4 in 2010, but only 32 were recentBritish films.Recent UK films as a percentage of total films broadcast show a highly lowpercentage that dropped in 2009, but was increased slightly in 2010. It has beenconsistently low and therefore this issue needs to be addressed. 2008 2009 2010 Channel4 6.8 5.9 6.1
Sky The review welcomes the £2billion investment in content every year, including several hundred million pounds in film rights from Hollywood.They plan to increase their exclusive high quality and original content for itsplatforms by raising their budget for this to £600m by 2015. They also areinnovating in creating a global hub for 3D production.This expansion allows the UK film industry to grow, meaning even the mostmodest of changes would have affect. This could be increased even more,by utilising its 3D expertise and building on its experience in family films.
The UK Film Acquisition MarketIn 2010, the number of recent British films broadcast on terrestrialtelevision was 160; only 7.7% of the total number of films broadcast.This shows a very small share for British film, and the review suggeststhis should be addressed.Online services – future-proofing UK film policyThe Review recognises that broadcasting is in a period of dynamicchange and that online services (such as Apple, LoveFilm and Netflix) arebecoming a significant part of the UK’s audiovisual sector and filmmarket. As these services gain scale, they should be expected to play arole in supporting British film just as the panel argues that broadcastersare expected to do.