PM Wants More Mainstream Filmmaking
David Cameron visits 007 studio
Now, we usually steer clear of politics on Empire's newsfeed. It's not because we don't care or carry opinions; more because we're planning our own Equilibrium style dictatorship and don't want to play our hand too early. David Cameron, by contrast, has made no bones about opinionating on British film industry prior to Lord Smith's review on the government's film policy.
Ahead of a visit to Pinewood Studios, the prime minister praised the British film industry for its "incalculable contribution to our culture", but tempered his words by claiming that British filmmakers need to be more ambitious and "aim higher".
"Our role, and that of the BFI, should be to support the sector in becoming even more dynamic and entrepreneurial, helping UK producers to make commercially successful pictures that rival the quality and impact of the best international productions," said the man with Armageddon on his DVD shelf.
Cameron continued: "Just as the British Film Commission has played a crucial role in attracting the biggest and best international studios to produce their films here, so we must incentivise UK producers to chase new markets both here and overseas."
How this will translate into the BFI's distribution of lottery funds remains to be seen, but it's surely not good news for anyone hoping to make films like Tyrannosaur (£200k of lottery funding) or Hunger (£250k) in the years ahead.
Cameron has forgotten that nobody could have predicted big box-office hits like The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire, Ken Loach told BBC Breakfast. "This is a travesty. If everybody knew what would be successful before it was made, there would be no problem," said the veteran filmmaker.
"What you have to do is fund a lot of different, varied projects and then some will be successful, some will be original, some will be creative, and you will get a very vibrant industry."
Loach expressed a concern "that this review signally will fail to challenge" was "the ongoing monopoly of multiplexes where you get a very narrow range of films". Ken, we've got five words for you: The King's Speech 2: Speech Harder.