×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

DVD aims to boost Brit TV, pic prod’n

'Big Picture' promo to shorten gap between L.A. and London

High-profile British industryites rallied at the U.K. consul general’s residence in Hancock Park to launch “Britain — The Big Picture,” a promotional DVD guide to film and TV production in Blighty.

“Opening the British Film Office in Los Angeles a year ago was our first step in bringing the industries in the United States and the United Kingdom closer together,” Janet Anderson, the U.K. minister for film and broadcasting, said Thursday. “Now a DVD on the British film industry, made jointly by government and industry, sends another strong signal of support for producers and directors on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The DVD is part of a major drive to draw more business to the U.K. at a time of greater competition from locations such as Australia and Canada.

Australia recently spirited away “Mission: Impossible II” and the next “Star Wars” prequel pic. Both franchises had previously shot or done major post work in Great Britain. (However, “Mission II” is doing f/x work in U.K.)

Pound problem

The U.K.’s biggest handicap is the pricey pound, which eats up tax benefits or production efficiencies one might enjoy in Britain. But the Brits insist that quality work doesn’t come cheap.

“The British have always been slow at blowing their own horn,” said helmer Alan Parker, chairman of the Film Council, the nation’s new film funding umbrella org. “This DVD is a comprehensive way of showing what we can do.”

The two-hour, 40-minute DVD features more than 100 interviews with industry professionals including George Lucas, Ridley Scott and Richard Attenborough. Topics include finance, filming in the U.K., talent and post-production Disc also includes case studies of recent productions such as Bond pic “The World Is Not Enough” and a contacts directory of more than 700 companies.

The DVD will be distributed to the studio and independent sectors.

The disc launch and the two-year BFO plan are backed by public funds to the tune of about $350,000. “It is an indication of how much the government values the British industry,” said John Houlton, director of the BFO.

The British Film Office has bulked up with a 20-member executive committee and an eight-member board of governors, chaired by Intermedia’s Nigel Sinclair.

The British Film Office and the British digital effects industry will further appoint a representative to be based in Los Angeles to advise on f/x work in the U.K. “Many of the effects companies are quite small and entrepreneurial and don’t have the resources to market themselves individually,” said David Scammell, head of strategic development for post-production equipment manufacturer Quantel. “This takes care of that.”

More TV

  • MMA Alters Faces of Asia Sports

    MMA Alters Faces of Asian Sports Broadcasting

    Bruce Lee was ahead of the curve by about four decades when he predicted back in the early 1970s that combat sports would one day take the world by storm. Hong Kong’s favorite son had encouraged his own students to mix up the styles of martial arts they were being trained in — to combine kung fu [...]

  • Variety Kit Harington Game of Thrones

    Kit Harington on How 'Game of Thrones' Mirrors Real-World Politics

    In Variety‘s March 19 cover story, Kit Harington opens up about the final season of “Game of Thrones” and growing into adulthood as part of the biggest show on television. In a conversation in London in December, Harington opened up about the similarities between the series’ politics and our own. “I think it’s always been about [...]

  • Chris O'Dowd

    TV News Roundup: Chris O'Dowd to Star in 'Twilight Zone' Episode

    In today’s roundup, The CW has released two clips from the upcoming “Riverdale” special “Heathers: The Musical,” and Chris O’Dowd will star in an episode of “The Twilight Zone.”  CASTING Chris O’Dowd will star in CBS All Access’ rebooted “The Twilight Zone” episode titled “The Blue Scorpion.” The series will premiere with two episodes on [...]

  • Kevin Tsujihara

    Kevin Tsujihara's Ouster Kicks Off a Week of Major Disruption in the Media Business

    The sudden ouster of Warner Bros. Entertainment chief Kevin Tsujihara kicked off what is likely to go down as one of the most extraordinary weeks in Hollywood history, spelling enormous turmoil and transition across the media landscape. In addition to the news about Tsujihara, which comes amid a wider shake-up of leadership at AT&T’s WarnerMedia, [...]

  • Wendy Williams Sober Living House

    Wendy Williams Reveals She's Been Staying in a Sober-Living House

    Wendy Williams, during an emotional monologue on her talk show on Tuesday, revealed through tears that she has been staying at a sober-living house. “So you know me for being a very open and truthful person,” she began the segment on “The Wendy Williams Show,” fighting through tears. “And I’ve got more to the story [...]

  • Hong Kong Industry Executives Seek Clarity

    FilMart: Hong Kong Industry Executives Plead for Clarity on Mainland Chinese Tax Policies

    At a time of heightened scrutiny of tax affairs in China’s entertainment sector, even industry veterans in Hong Kong are struggling to figure out how to operate in the new financial environment and pleading for more clarity from the Chinese government. Hong Kong produces about 60 films a year, three-quarters of which are typically co-productions [...]

  • Michael Jackson R Kelly

    'Leaving Neverland,' 'Surviving R. Kelly' Composers on How They Scored Sexual Abuse Docs

    How do you put music to child sexual abuse — especially if the accused predators are musical icons? That’s the challenge composers Chad Hobson and Nathan Matthew David faced as they scored HBO’s “Leaving Neverland” and Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly,” respectively. The documentaries are built around interviews with the alleged victims of Michael Jackson (two [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content