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27/01/2005

UK film production spending totals £800 million in 2004

Film production spending in the UK totalled more than £800 million last year, with 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' and 'Pride and Prejudice' helping to make 2004 the second best year ever for film production spending in the UK.
According to UK Film Council analysis, which covers films with a budget of £500,000 and above, production spending in 2004 totalled £807 million, with UK involvement in the production of 132 features.
Although 2004 was, as expected, lower than 2003’s exceptional record spending of £1.15 billion, overall last year’s total was still the second best year on record for film production in the UK, with spending 47% up on 2002.
The study covers indigenous UK film production, inward investment productions (films originating overseas but filmed mainly in the UK using British crews and facilities), and UK co-productions filmed both in the UK and abroad using UK crew and expertise for the calendar year 2004.
The analysis, which is based on confidential financial information supplied by the industry, found that: the UK was involved in the production of a total of 132 films, including 27 UK feature films, 20 inward investment films produced in the UK, and 85 co-productions; the overall number of films (132), although down on 2003 (173), was 11% higher than 2002 (119); although total inward investment in 2004 was 30.4% lower than 2003, it was 46.8% higher than in 2002; total film production spending of £807.90 million was the second highest ever recorded, coming second only to 2003’s £1.15 billion figure; the trend towards filmmaking involving more than one country continued, with £141.61 million spent on such co-productions in the UK, an increase of 13% on the 2002 total of £128.23 million, while spending on last year’s UK productions totalled £117.81 million, down from £156.36 million in 2002; and inward investment from international filmmakers, such as major Hollywood Studios, locating their productions in the UK brought £476.92 million into the British economy. A further £71.57 million was generated from such films co-produced with the UK.
Commenting on the figures, British Film Commissioner Steve Norris, Head of the UK Film Council’s International Department, which compiled the figures, said: “While lower than the record film production spending of 2003, these figures show that the wealth of talent in the UK film industry, together with our outstanding studios and facilities and our fiscal incentives, continued to attract a huge amount of international production in 2004.
“The reduction in indigenous (solely British) film production is the product of a number of factors, including the long-term trend towards co-production of films in more than one country, and changes to financing arrangements during the year undoubtedly had an effect. While indigenous film production levels in 2004 were lower than in 2002, both the number of and spending on co-productions was higher.
“If we are to continue to develop the UK’s film industry we need to ensure that we continue to offer the skills, infrastructure, and incentives necessary to encourage and attract both UK and overseas film-makers to make their films in the UK.”
(GB)
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