The UK Film Industry is Booming, Here’s Why…
The growth of the entertainment industry and the competition between streaming providers to produce more and more unique content has led to an increase in new film studios – for the UK!
Streaming and entertainment mammoths like Netflix and Sky are choosing to create film studios and their next big titles in the UK instead of more expected destinations like Hollywood. The UK, as per Wired, has an abundance of talent, disused industrial space and available tax credits and this is driving the boom. Film producer Victor Glynn says:
“I’ve been doing this for nearly 40 years, and I’ve seen the sun rise and the sun set on UK film studios so many times, but the sun is definitely shining at the moment.”
The UK has delivered a number of international hit shows in the last decade including Game of Thrones, His Dark Materials, Downton Abbey and Chernobyl. There’s also Harry Potter, the UK’s part in Star Wars, and then shows like Doctor Who and Sherlock. Sky Studios CEO Gary Davey explains:
“What’s interesting is the global audience, including the American audience, has embraced European accents, locations and themes like no TV shows in history.”Sky Studios CEO Gary Davey
A host of new film studios for the UK
Cable giant Sky will be building its new movie studio complex near to Borehamwood’s Elstree Studios on a 32-acre site. Disney is taking over the UK’s Pinewood Studios and streaming magnate Netflix has agreed a decade long contract for a production site in Shepperton which will have 14 stages.
Glynn says Oscar-winning special effects studios Framestore and the Moving Picture Company contribute to the UK’s film talent pool, adding:
“We have a vastly experienced craft background in terms of our crews and technicians, both in terms of shooting and post-production.”
Briony Hanson, the British Council’s director of film says the UK is having a cultural period similar to the eras of punk or Britpop, adding that the UK “feels like it’s flying,” in terms of talent. She says there has been an increase in “diverse, vibrant voices” finding new UK and International audiences.
Old industrial sites are popular choices for studio developments
The potential demand for studio space in the UK has seen former industrial sites picked up. Independent production firm Rebellion is spending $78 million on an old printworks in Oxfordshire that’s set to become another new studio complex. It’s not just southern and central England that’s benefiting, there is activity across the UK creating thousands of jobs both in construction and in production and auxiliary roles.
In the 1990s Elstree Studios struggled to survive because of a lack of demand in the UK, now a resurgence and an expansion of the UK’s role in the global entertainment industry is turning the country into a potential powerhouse.