U.k. Film Production Slumps As U.s. Producers Go Elsewhere
ritain's Pinewood Studios may have picked the wrong day to announce that it has applied for permits to add some 300,000 square feet of studios, stages, workshops, production offices and streetscapes. In a statement, Pinewood CEO Ivan Dunleavy remarked, Global demand for filmed entertainment is increasing and the U.K. remains one of the leading destinations to produce creative content. ... Without infrastructure to meet the rising demand, the UK will inevitably turn away business. Unfortunately, the Pinewood announcement came on the heels of a report noting that U.K. film production plunged 30 percent last year as U.S. studios scaled back activity in the country. In an interview with the Financial Times, Paul Brett, a director of film financing company Prescience, blamed the cutbacks on the government's 2010 shutdown of the British Film Council, the group that helped attract U.S. producers largely by funneling proceeds from the British Lottery to them. People don't like change, he told the FT. The closure of the Film Council two years ago caused Hollywood to catch a cold. It has taken diligent work ... to calm them down.