Cont Brit Cinema Industry

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  • 1. Contemporary British Cinema The Industry
  • 2. Brief History • The industry has experienced a number of booms and recessions since the industry’s first boom in the 1930s. • Alfred Hitchcock’s films, prior to his move to Hollywood, were some of Britain’s earliest successes. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The 39 Steps (1935) and The Lady Vanishes (1938) • The 1970s to 1990 were the most recent recession for the industry.
  • 3. Recent Renaissance • 1990s - Successful British costume dramas • 1994 - release of Four Weddings and a Funeral • Box office success • Implications for British Film
  • 4. Renaissance continued • British comedy success - Brassed Off (1996) and The Full Monty (1997) • Impact of the National Lottery • UK Film Council (more on this later) • American productions return to the UK
  • 5. Behind the Scenes • The life-cycle of a British film • Who gets involved • Understanding the roles and relationships • Key examples of institutions
  • 6. Scriptwriters • Most scriptwriters start their careers writing on speculation. That means they write without being hired and paid for it. • Scriptwriters often develop their scripts with small production companies or independently with support from a funding body (more detail on these later) • Richard Curtis and Stephen Knight.
  • 7. Funding • UK Film Council • Regional screen agencies • Production Companies
  • 8. Production Companies • The production company is responsible for the physical development and production of the film, and in some cases for raising funding. • Working Title - most successful British production company - why?
  • 9. Distributors • The distributor is the link between the film producers and exhibitors (the cinema chains) • Independent distributors vs. distributors affiliated to studios • Challenge for distributors • Marketing/ advertising
  • 10. Actors and Directors • Successful British Actors (Hugh Grant, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightly, • Crossover actors (Ewan McGregor) • Stage to screen (Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith) • Established Directors (Kenneth Branagh, Guy Ritchie, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Shane
  • 11. On the screen • The exhibitors • The programmers • Release patterns • The Digital Screen Network
  • 12. The exhibitors • Mainstream cinemas (Odeon, Cineworld) • Independent cinemas (Picturehouses) • One off independents (Cornerhouse in Manchester)
  • 13. Programmers • Different programmers have different remits • Culture vs commerce • Picturehouse remit • Problems?
  • 14. Release patterns • How can cinemas retains an audience? • Use of pay per view services i.e. Sky Box Office • Most specialist films don’t go into profit until DVD release • Pans Labyrinth case study • Use high profile slots to encourage audience to take a chance - West End
  • 15. The Digital Screen Network • UK Film Council set up the Network in 2005 • Remit = To install state of the art digital projection facilities in 240 screens in 210 cinemas, including multiplexes and independents, with cinemas guaranteeing a number of specialist screenings in return. • UKFC - Prints and Advertising Fund
  • 16. Important debates • The choices for the British film industry= • 1. Make low budget films targeted at mainstream British audiences • 2. Make low budget films for niche ‘arthouse audiences’ in the UK and abroad • 3. Look for partners in Europe and/or America and aim for more clearly an international audience
  • 17. Relevant questions • How has the British film industry managed to survive? • Why is it important for Britain to have a successful film industry? • ‘The country of origin of a film is irrelevant. Why should we be bothered if all films at our cinemas were made in the USA?’ Discuss this view. • What factors have contributed to the success in the UK and/or abroad of British films produced since 1990?