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An introduction to British Cinema


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Brief outline of how the British Film industry works including funding. Used as part of a WJEC Film Studies course

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An introduction to British Cinema

  1. 1. What is a British Film?
  2. 2. <ul><li>Diversity makes a defining a ‘British’ film very challenging. </li></ul><ul><li>Some UK Film Council definitions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Films principally shot in the UK, using a British crew/cast </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Film’s financed from within the UK </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Film’s that are set in the UK </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Film’s that address British Identity and Society </li></ul></ul>What is a British film?
  3. 3. <ul><li>Range of definitions – 32 in total, but to qualify as a British film only 16 must be met. </li></ul><ul><li>One is that the film represents/reflects a diverse British culture, British heritage or British creativity (so we don’t just make lots of imitations of American films) </li></ul>UK Film Council Cultural Test
  4. 4. <ul><li>Yes:- </li></ul><ul><li>Director – Paul Greengrass is British </li></ul><ul><li>Large section is filmed in London , some studio work at Pinewood </li></ul><ul><li>Largely British crew </li></ul><ul><li>No:- </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t reflect British themes or concerns </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of other locations </li></ul><ul><li>Produced by Universal – Frank Marshall and Doug Liman are American </li></ul><ul><li>Universal are American owned company </li></ul>Is ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ a British film?
  5. 5. <ul><li>Yes:- </li></ul><ul><li>Director – David Yatesis British </li></ul><ul><li>Large sections is filmed in England and Scotland , </li></ul><ul><li>Largely British crew including producers </li></ul><ul><li>Largely British Actors </li></ul><ul><li>Based on the work of an British Author (Rowlings) </li></ul><ul><li>No:- </li></ul><ul><li>Produced/Distributed by Warner Bros – they are American owned company </li></ul><ul><li>Some key personnel were not British eg Portuguese Cinematographer </li></ul>Is ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ a British film?
  6. 6. <ul><li>UK Film Council- British Film Institute </li></ul><ul><ul><li>fund script development, film production, short films, film export and distribution, cinemas, film education, culture and archives, festivals and audience support schemes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Film Fund 15 mil per year (90% of applicants will be rejected) and money from Lotteries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation Fund – to help move to the digital age esp in rural areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Co Production deals which BfI can help set up </li></ul><ul><li>Tax Breaks </li></ul>Funding for British Films
  7. 7. <ul><li>Harry Potter and the DH was funded all by Warner Bro but the first one was a co production. </li></ul><ul><li>The Kings Speech </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The UK Film Council awarded The King’s Speech £1,021,080 of Lottery funding. The UK Film Council stands to recoup 100% of its investment plus significant net profits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>London’s Prescience Film Finance stepped in to provide two-thirds of the film’s £9 million ($14.5 million) budget using its £25 million Aegis Film Fund </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Four Lions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Film 4 finally ended up funding this (rejected by BBC and Channel 4) along with Warp Films (2.5 mil) </li></ul></ul>Case Studies
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  12. 12. <ul><li>Very different to the US set </li></ul><ul><li>Govt support </li></ul><ul><li>Independent Film Production Houses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Working Title, Warp Films, Ealing Studios </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Need to team up with a distribution company </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘British’ Distribution Companies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Can be very hard to get films made in Britain and they are not necessarily very profitable (Harry Potter/James Bond) </li></ul><ul><li>Need to be distinctively British. </li></ul>Producing British Films
  13. 13. <ul><li>How are images of the ‘British’ used to market films? </li></ul>Possible Questions
  14. 14. <ul><li>Do British films have to say something to their audience about the ‘British experience’ to be a success? </li></ul>Possible Questions
  15. 15. <ul><li>What obstacles or problems do you think a British studio would face in trying to find an audience for it’s films? What might stop that film from being a success ? </li></ul>Possible Questions
  16. 16. <ul><li>How important for the British Film industry is the use of UK 'talent' in films financed outside Britain? </li></ul>Possible Questions
  17. 17. <ul><li>What strategies do you think can be used to create a successful British Film Industry? </li></ul>Possible Questions
  18. 18. <ul><li>Why is the film industry dominated by US film and what chance does the British Film Industry have? </li></ul>Possible Questions
  19. 19. <ul><li>How important is it for the British film industry to have internationally recognised stars? </li></ul>Possible Questions