Understanding the film and TV sector in North East England using social network analysis Jon Swords Northumbria UniversityPresentation to Employment Research Institute, Edinburgh Napier University (5th December, 2012)
StructureBackgroundPrevious researchChange over last decadeBeyond the regionExamining project networksEarly conclusions
North East CrisesEconomic powerhouse in industrial revolution25% of global ship production early 20thcenturyManufacturing boom post warMicrochip manufacture in 1990sCreative industries?
Creative Industries in North East England Much of the region’s creative industries are characterised as: -operating self contained and regionally bounded working practices -being isolated cognitively and physically from creative hubs -using passive or serendipitous engagement strategies to engage non- locally -facing barriers to engage non-locally (Swords and Wray, 2010) Swords, J. & Wray, F. (2010) "The Connectivity of the Creative Industries in North East England: The Problems of Physical and Relational Distance" Local Economy 25(4) 305–318
• “There is no industry anymore…if I don’t find a new project soon I’m moving to Glasgow.” • (Producer D)
What’s happened?Why did it happened?What are the consequences?
Productions made (at least in part) in NEProductions involving NE based productioncompanies
Impacts of DeclineRegional firms 3.5x more likley to film locally“Very little creativity on set, mainly routinestasks and fetching and carrying. Intensivecreative period is pre-production.” (Producer H)Loss of capacity
Moving beyond the region Bounded regional space of workers vs multi-scalar relational spaces of production networks “...the key domains of finance, distribution and exhibition that exert a massive influence on the organizational structures and geography of the industry.” (Coe and Johns, 2004: 188)
Geographies of the project network of a feature film shot in Liverpool Johns, J. (2010) "Manchesters Film and Television Industry: Project Ecologies and Network Hierarchies" Urban Studies, 47(5) 1059–1077
Skeletal Remains of Project Ecologies“project ecologies denote relational space whichaffords the personal, organizational, andinstitutional resources for performing projects.This relational space encompasses social layerson multiple scales, from the micro-level ofinterpersonal networks to the meso-level of widerinstitutional settings.” (Grabher and Ibert, 2010: 176)
Crew listsCompanies involvedOther organisations ...for productions linked to north east England
CaravansProductions which travel from location to location to filmMinimal impact on local industry (e.g. Atonement) Source: pierre c. 38 @ Flickr
Using SNA+ overcomes missing geographic data+ useful to identify key (powerful?) nodes+ help identify areas for further investigation (School forSeduction)+ nice visualisations- partial data- SNA measures skewed
Competing Narratives1. Buoyant industry connected to Hollywood and London? • branch plant relationship?2. Declining industry hemorrhaging jobs? • yes, but... more resilient firms? • Growing short film focus.
Creative De-industrialisation? Decisions leading to decline: • cancellation of series • (dis)investment decisions • choosing overseas locations • loss of regional bodies ...are made outside the region. History repeating?