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U.K. courts H’w’d prod’n

Touting the advantages of lensing across the Atlantic, the British Film Commission Thursday tried to woo Hollywood filmmakers into considering a shift of some of their production to the United Kingdom.

Sir Sydney Samuelson, British film commissioner, led a U.K. delegation to join U.S. mavens in a day-long sched-ule of briefings on production, finance and legal issues involved in coordinating with Britain’s film industry.

In a keynote address to about 70 industry execs and financiers at “The British Film Conference ’97: Framing the Future,” Polygram film chief Michael Kuhn addressed the numerous business benefits to lensing in Britain.

“The U.K. studios have A-1 work forces, facilities, post-production, camera, lighting, equipment and supplies,” Kuhn said, to a luncheon audience on the Warner Bros. lot. “It’s less expensive and much like working at home in the U.S.”

He said that despite the strength of the British pound, the advantages include quality production crews at often half the cost in the U.S.

“Many currencies are weak against the U.S. dollar, but you wouldn’t want to shoot in those countries,” Kuhn said.

At Thursday’s conference, the British Film Commission also officially launched its web site (www.britfilmcom.co.uk), which is narrated by Pierce Brosnan. Visitors can use the page to scout locations and develop industry contacts.

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