The start of a New Year brings with it a slew of unobtainable resolutions along with award ceremonies and TV programmes that countdown everything from ‘best soap deaths’ to ‘top 10 worst celebrity reality TV moments’.
Created for our entertainment, the award ceremonies remind us of the amazing talent we have that is the British film industry. From actors and actresses to the behind-the-scenes crew including lighting directors, camera operators, costume designers and more.
But there is more to the British film industry than James Bond, although no one can argue that the franchise of the spy with the golden gun and an eye for the ladies was possibly one of few British based films that kept the industry afloat.
Accustomed to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, the British film industry looked a poor relation for many years. And it was. Lack of funding and backing meant great films were destined to stay as unread scripts on a shelf, gathering dust.
But there has been a revival. And its gathering strength and momentum.
But why? What is fuelling this growth in the British film industry? What is behind this revival and upsurge which has seen the British film industry labelled it ‘the most rapidly growing sector of the British economy’?
Top of the list is money, money, money. Not so much the big bucks of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ but the tax breaks offered in the UK to encourage companies to make films in Britain is paying off.
The UK Film Tax Relief Scheme is accessible for all British qualifying films of any budget. The film production company can claim a cash rebate of up to 25% of UK qualifying expenditure.
A chance to get cash back and not pay as much tax is great news for any industry but for the then-beleaguered British film industry, it was more than just great – it was the financial break that it needed.
We’ve already mentioned the James Bond franchise with the simmering broodiness of the current Bond, Daniel Craig, has retained the air of ‘Britishness’. Aside from Bond, there are other big British blockbusters that are British to the core.
We couldn’t discuss the British film industry in a blog and not mention Harry Potter, and neither could we hold our heads high without also mentioning Star Wars as the next big blockbuster made in Blighty!
As well as revenue and the colossal fame of such huge cinematic hits, there is also the burgeoning skilled workforce behind each one.
Revival, after all, is not just swelling the coffers but swelling the skill and talent base too.
And then there is the language, the precise pronunciation and the quirky accents from the drawl of the East End to the clipped tones of the Queen’s English, also known as BBC English.
With every breathy ‘H’ and clipped vowel, the Americans (and others too!) just ‘love ya accent’.
When not dribbling over the English language, there is also the fact that London is home to some of the world’s leading cinematic special effects companies and talent.
These four factors combined are a powerful force, possibly stronger than the force Hans Solo promised Luke Skywalker, that propelled the British Film Industry from wallowing in the doldrums some three decades ago to the multi-billion industry it is today.
But there are challenges ahead. No one is certain how Brexit will shape the future of the industry, or the swathes of foreign skilled workers it employs along with other billion-pound industries in the UK.
But overall, it’s great news. An already billion-dollar industry could double in size over the next five to 10 years and that means not only great cinema experiences for us but unparalleled opportunities for the screenwriter, production teams, professional extras, actors and actresses too.