Sometimes films just come to the U.K., and sometimes the British Film Commission goes and grabs them.
Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter” is an example of the proactive approach that the BFC has adopted under commissioner Colin Brown, an extroverted Scot with high-level studio contacts.
The “Hereafter” team was always planning to split the shoot between the U.K. and France, but the BFC’s efforts persuaded them to reschedule a greater proportion of the shoot in London than originally envisaged.
Even before Warner Bros. had greenlit “Hereafter,” the org paid location manager Martin Joy to give Eastwood, producer Rob Lorenz and exec producer Tim Moore a tour of key London sites, such as the disused Aldwych tube station and Smithfield market. It drew up a spec budget, and found Eastwood a deal at the Mayfair Hotel.
Aside from the cash value of bringing more of the production to London, BFC officials were particularly keen to impress Eastwood because of his influence on other Hollywood filmmakers. Eastwood hadn’t shot in the U.K. since “White Hunter, Black Heart” two decades earlier.
“If he goes back and says he got a good service in London, that’s very valuable to us,” Brown says.
Eastwood was subsequently one of the loudest Hollywood voices protesting the abolition of the U.K. Film Council. –
Transfer of power in the U.K. | Snaring the Hollywood money | Educating Eastwood on mighty Blighty | Soho hothouse