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Why British films are so poor.


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Old 29-06-2013, 21:12
theonlyweeman
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The big six studios/distributors all have their headquarters in America, as does Dreamworks, MGM and Lionsgate. The offshoots are American based. Our companies do not have the money to solely fund many movies. We are doing ok though.

Kiss-Ass, Robin Hood, Skyfall, Nanny McPhee, Clash of the Titans, Harry Potter, The King's Speech, Seven Psychopaths, Chronicles of Narnia III, Paul, Tamara Drewe, Bronson, Les Miserables, The Woman in Black, We Need to Talk About Kevin, Mamma Mia and Slumdog Millionaire. All of these movies had strong British connections.
80% of that list have been financed by Americans. In Fact, Kick-Ass, King's Speech, Seven Psychopaths, The Woman In Black, Kevin and Slumdog are the only real British ones there... And a couple had co-financing from the US (Slumdog and Seven Psychopaths and possibly King's Speech)
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Old 29-06-2013, 22:44
L_Roberts
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80% of that list have been financed by Americans. In Fact, Kick-Ass, King's Speech, Seven Psychopaths, The Woman In Black, Kevin and Slumdog are the only real British ones there... And a couple had co-financing from the US (Slumdog and Seven Psychopaths and possibly King's Speech)
And?

Even our biggest film companies are tiny compared to the likes of Warner Bros and Fox. Something like the film side of Sony has higher revenue than the entire BBC. Unless a team strikes lucky and creates a sleeper hit, there has to be funding from somewhere, to attact stars and create quality sets. It so happens that the companies with large amounts of cash are based in LA or New York.
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Old 29-06-2013, 23:01
theonlyweeman
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And?

Even our biggest film companies are tiny compared to the likes of Warner Bros and Fox. Something like the film side of Sony has higher revenue than the entire BBC. Unless a team strikes lucky and creates a sleeper hit, there has to be funding from somewhere, to attact stars and create quality sets. It so happens that the companies with large amounts of cash are based in LA or New York.
The article was referring to films financed entirely in Britain (of which there are few). Of course all of those films are British, but the article was about films made and financed entirely within the UK.
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Old 30-06-2013, 00:17
Big Boy Barry
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since when have british films just been 'kitchen sink dramas'???
They haven't just been those

The rest are mostly either period pieces or proper geeza gangsta movies.

I hate both of those genres too.
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Old 30-06-2013, 00:32
Aneechik
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People who work in British media do quite often make the claim that "the British like realism", which is patently untrue since the highest grossing movies are usually from Hollywood and the highest grossing British movies are things like 28 Days Later, Four Weddings, etc.

The reason the British "like realism" is because that's all they ever get offered. Film is a part of the media establishment, and there's nothing the media establishment like more than obsessing about underclass life.
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Old 30-06-2013, 10:10
theonlyweeman
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People who work in British media do quite often make the claim that "the British like realism", which is patently untrue since the highest grossing movies are usually from Hollywood and the highest grossing British movies are things like 28 Days Later, Four Weddings, etc.

The reason the British "like realism" is because that's all they ever get offered. Film is a part of the media establishment, and there's nothing the media establishment like more than obsessing about underclass life.
Most of the big films are fantasy, but most of the indies are "realistic".

I thought this data might be of use in the discussion:
Here's the Top 10 UK qualifying films at the worldwide box office, 2011, according to the BFI.
1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (UK/USA) - 1, 328
2 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (UK/USA) -1,044
3 The Kingís Speech (UK) - 389
4 Captain America: The First Avenger (UK/USA) - 369
5 X-Men: First Class (UK/USA) - 354
6 Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (UK/USA) - 237
7 Gnomeo & Juliet (UK/USA) - 194
8 Gulliverís Travels (UK/USA) - 181
9 Johnny English Reborn (UK/USA) - 160
10 Arthur Christmas (UK/USA) - 147
Don't entirely understand how half of those were classed as British, but it's accurate.

Here's the Top independent UK films at the worldwide box office, 2011. Also from the BFI
1 The Kingís Speech (UK) - 389
2 The Three Musketeers (UK/Fra/Ger) - 132
3 The Inbetweeners Movie (UK) - 92
4 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (UK/Fra) - 80
5 Jane Eyre (UK) - 32
6 The Eagle (UK/USA) - 30
7 My Week With Marilyn (UK/USA) - 27
8 One Life (UK) - 13
9 Horrid Henry (UK) - 12
10 We Need to Talk About Kevin (UK/USA) - 6
Source: http://www.bfi.org.uk/sites/bfi.org....2012-03-29.pdf

There's probably more recent data available, I'll have a look for it later...
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Old 30-06-2013, 10:35
Grabid Rannies
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I don't really want to read a Guardian article but I would agree that genuinely (ie not counting American etc funded but technically 'made' in Britain) British films seem to mainly consist of dreary studies of council estate life, at least that's if the ones that make it to TV are anything to go by. Even when not 'kitchen sink dramas' as such there's usually always some angle of the protagonist being in poverty/resorting to having to be involved in drugs and crime/ethnic persecution etc etc etc. And almost without fail nowadays all shot in the 'shakycam and pointless rapid editing' style. If anything, for all their 'quaintness' I find the 50s and 60s style of 'real-life' British film more honest to say nothing of entertaining.
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Old 30-06-2013, 11:46
ironjade
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People tend to equate British Films with the British film industry and they are not interchangeable.
The industry is in good shape by helping to produce movies from all over the world but British films themselves are parochial, cheap-looking, unimaginative (how many more hoodie/gangster/period waxworks do we really need?) and dull.
Even back in the 30s (according to Mass Observation) British audiences hated British movies, probably for the same reasons.
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Old 30-06-2013, 18:53
cobwebsoup
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A lot of British films are fantastic. That article is absolute rubbish, and since when are all British films kitchen sink dramas? Nonsense.
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Old 30-06-2013, 20:01
Fairyprincess0
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In addition to my other lists on the subject.... Have you guys seen telstar? I strongly recommend.

It annoys me when people talk shit about British film, but don't take a good enough look for the good stuff.

The problem is we've become so mesmorised by American films we don't support home grown movies. But there's enough good british films out there.....
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Old 30-06-2013, 21:16
theonlyweeman
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In addition to my other lists on the subject.... Have you guys seen telstar? I strongly recommend.

It annoys me when people talk shit about British film, but don't take a good enough look for the good stuff.

The problem is we've become so mesmorised by American films we don't support home grown movies. But there's enough good british films out there.....
It's easy to blame the audience for not seeking them out, but if they're that good, why should we have to? The blame must also fall onto distributors and cinemas who aren't really doing their part to support independent cinema, let alone British cinema...
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Old 30-06-2013, 22:58
mike65
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It's easy to blame the audience for not seeking them out, but if they're that good, why should we have to? The blame must also fall onto distributors and cinemas who aren't really doing their part to support independent cinema, let alone British cinema...
Indeed, the distributors are king and the big ones who control 80% of film product in the UK are all American.

Good book about this and other UK film industry matters here

http://books.google.ie/books?id=QQsR...panies&f=false
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Old 30-06-2013, 23:30
mrprosser
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Probably because are domestic market is quite small (in comparison with other nations) The sort of films made here would have to be of interest to the USA to be able to turn a significant profit.

To make it of interest to the US studios they seem to want some sort of leverage (ie providing finance)

If JK Rowling hadn't been as insistent (and the books such a huge hit), Harry Potter would have been made on a soundstage in California while kids with perfect teeth, (and terrible accents) portrayed her characters. As it was Warner Bros had to accede to her terms or risk losing to a competitor.
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Old 30-06-2013, 23:46
theonlyweeman
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Probably because are domestic market is quite small (in comparison with other nations) The sort of films made here would have to be of interest to the USA to be able to turn a significant profit.

To make it of interest to the US studios they seem to want some sort of leverage (ie providing finance)

If JK Rowling hadn't been as insistent (and the books such a huge hit), Harry Potter would have been made on a soundstage in California while kids with perfect teeth, (and terrible accents) portrayed her characters. As it was Warner Bros had to accede to her terms or risk losing to a competitor.
I believe we're the third largest international market (behind China and Japan, I think - US is considered domestic and therefore not counted).

I think that's just the attitude that they need to control everything, and it's slowly seeping into British. Though the fact British directors and writers shy away from "populist" films certainly doesn't help.

And good on Ms. Rowling for being so insistent, I don't think an American Harry Potter would have worked...
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Old 01-07-2013, 13:48
shades1
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give me a realistic british film over a vastly exaggerated hollywood movie any day .
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Old 01-07-2013, 22:09
onecitizen
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give me a realistic british film over a vastly exaggerated hollywood movie any day .
British films, guaranteed to depress, but at least they're "real".
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Old 03-07-2013, 16:21
stripedcat
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It's partly a funding issue - as having to rely on US money for a lot of films and also a distribution issue - again mainly down to Hollywood's influence. You only have to look at how difficult it is for foreign language films to get a general release in cinemas.

Another issue is that because of the small scale a lot of the talent ends up working in TV.
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Old 03-07-2013, 16:35
Spacedone
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So the definition of a 'British' film isn't a film written, starring, directed and produced by British people and crew, it's a film financed exclusively by Britain?
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:55
MrGiles2
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I have always been a fan of British films since the 1950s. Alright, I have liked some of the American films too, John Wayne, Lewis and Martin (Honest!!) the biblical epics, the occasional drama.

But, overall, I still think the Brits have made some great films over the years, too many to mention here. Many of them were filmed at Pinewood, Bray, Shepperton etc.

Recently though I have noticed that too many American films have been pretty poor, and I for one, certainly would not waste my pension money on going to the local Cineworld which charge high prices, even for pensioners.

No, I still enjoy home made films, many of them end up on Film 4.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:47
theonlyweeman
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So the definition of a 'British' film isn't a film written, starring, directed and produced by British people and crew, it's a film financed exclusively by Britain?
For the article and the thread, yes.

And in real life most people would agree with that. Inception was written, directed and produced by Chris Nolan. As well as co-produced by his British American wife Emma Thomas. It was co-financed by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. Most people would consider it American rather than British...
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Old 04-07-2013, 18:26
TheToonArmy
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Gangster No 1

There are great british films, would rather watch them than some Hollywood films
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Old 05-07-2013, 14:35
pazza_73
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There are good films made in the UK, and there are bad films also made there.
There are good films made in the USA, and there are bad films also made there
There are good films made in France, and there are bad films also made there.

Ad infintium...

The usual trolling thread on any movies forum
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Old 05-07-2013, 15:17
Verence
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OP, that of course does not include Ken Loach films, universally recognised as very high class.
I go to the cinema to be entertained not preached at
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Old 05-07-2013, 15:26
Spacedone
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For the article and the thread, yes.

And in real life most people would agree with that. Inception was written, directed and produced by Chris Nolan. As well as co-produced by his British American wife Emma Thomas. It was co-financed by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures. Most people would consider it American rather than British...
Whereas something like Harry Potter, whilst funded by the US, is undeniably British in every meaningful way. Cast, crew, directors, writer, filming location etc etc. There has to be a tipping point from when a film is consider one or the other.

And I disagree that most people would agree with. BAFTA certainly have a less restrictive definition that simply where the money comes from, a definition that falls down when you consider that quite a number of films now get funding from more than one country.
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Old 05-07-2013, 22:16
onecitizen
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I go to the cinema to be entertained not preached at
I think that is a good point. Far too many UK films for quite a while have been depressing and preachy. If people like that type of movie then great, fill your boots. I've learnt from experience to give most British films a very wide berth.
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