Hollywood producers, crews and casts are finding a welcoming new hub in the UK, especially in London. And as they migrate to the area, production companies are bringing their big budgets with them. Big studios and big franchises (like DC Comics and Star Wars) are eyeing up the UK landscape and the budget-friendly benefits of filming and working in and around this historic city. In fact, 18 US studio films were produced in the UK in 2017, and there are several reasons why the London vicinity can expect even more Hollywood activity during the next few years.
The UK tax incentive, according to the President of Physical Production at Paramount, “is reliable and consistent,” unlike incentives in the US which can vary widely or may appear and disappear in accordance with the decisions of local governments. In the UK, the government tends to boost incentives and look for ways to reinvest in the film industry.
Since 2007, UK Film Tax Relief has provided rebates to producers for a wide range of production costs, including post-production and visual effects services if they’re obtained in the country. Additional credits have been implemented in 2013 and 2014, providing a big boost to UK film and television industries.
In addition, local film crews are highly trained and qualified, thanks to initiatives like the BFI Film Academy Future Skills Program. In a partnership with Lucasfilm, BFI placed 28 trainees on the production of the most recent Star Wars movie, “Solo: A Star Wars Story”, produced in London. The program aggressively recruits and trains a diverse base of production employees from all backgrounds.
The growth credited to tax incentives and local film crew training extends to other areas of the UK as well; Northern Ireland, Scotland, Bristol and Wales are seeing big surges in interest as a result of shooting projects for “Outlander”, “Game of Thrones” and the “Mission: Impossible” franchise.
Is the film industry concerned about the future of Brexit? Not yet. So far, most concerns involve production within the domestic European market and the free movement of labor around the EU. Negative effects aren’t yet making an impact and at the moment, the partnership between the UK and the global film industry seems to be entering a golden age.
Case in point: keep an eye out for DeZerlin Media’s “WATCH THE SKIES”, which I represent, a new animated film featuring an all-star British voice cast and co-produced by UK-based Zycon Media, taking the stage in global cross-platform entertainment. Click here for the September 4, 2018 press release!