Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Done In 60 Seconds Competition 2015
Guide To Marvel's Infinity War
The Making Of The West Wing
Get 12 Issues For Only £25 Today
The perfect gift this Christmas
London Film Festival 2014
Our round-up of the galas, films and interviews
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
James Cameron Talks Avatar Sequels
‘They’re gonna to be bitchin’’
Andy Serkis Talks The Avengers: Age Of Ultron
As Empire heads into The Imaginarium...
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
14 December 2011
Scodelario Learns Truth About Fishes
Replacing Rooney Mara in indie drama
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
The Pool (2012)
Empire Star Rating
Brighton Rock (2011)
Empire Star Rating
The King's Speech (2011)
Empire Star Rating
Collapse (2010)
Empire Star Rating
Black Death (2010)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Chris Smith's UK Film Report Published
ITV and Sky told to step up

17 January 2012  |  Written by Owen Williams  |  Source: DCMS

submit to reddit

Chris Smith's UK Film Report Published

A week on from David Cameron's controversial comments apparently advocating the mainstreamification of the British film industry, Lord Smith's review has now been published, proving less inflammatory than we might have feared. The report champions "as wide a range of films as possible," Smith promised, "from the overtly commercial to the overtly arty and much in between."

The Prime Minister "understands, just as we do, that there is a whole range of movies and types of movie that we are supporting. He is very clear on that," he added. "We are not trying to dictate an artistic vision. We are trying to set in place a range of financial and legislative arrangements which will enable a broad range of movies to be made. We are not making a distinction in the review between something called mainstream and something called... something else."

The report's 56 recommendations include increased film education in schools; a scheme to get projection equipment into communities that don't have a local cinema; stronger investment in training and skills development, with a beady eye on new technologies; increased measures to combat piracy; and the inauguration of an annual celebration, such as a "British Film Week" to "provide audiences across the UK with access to the full spectrum of British film, giving them a greater insight into its breadth, depth and originality."

Outside that British Film Week however, the report doesn't have much to say about the distribution systems which can make independent British films difficult to catch in UK cinemas. So if you're outside London and you're not lucky enough to have a Watershed or a Cornerhouse or your own regional equivalent, you may still struggle to see a fraction of what's produced.

Call-Me-Dave's comments about the industry becoming more "dynamic and entrepreneurial", do have some roots in the report's recommendations for moving away from an "overall dependence on public funding" and rewarding commercial success. The report advocates the use of test screenings to gauge potential audience response before a film is finished, so that it can be adjusted accordingly (as is common Hollywood practice). And it suggests that a film's profits go to its producers, director and writers (rather than their having to return their lottery funding) for reinvestment in future projects.

"The principle of rewarding success is important because if [film-makers] have done it once, they're likely to do it again," said Smith. The government will not dictate to the BFI which films should receive its support, but the BFI "should bear the audience in mind."

Lord Smith's independent review panel also singled out broadcasters Sky and ITV for not doing enough in their support of British film. "They are doing very little, and we believe they should be doing more," Smith said. "We have suggested the government sits down with each of the broadcasters to see if an agreement can be reached to ensure greater investment in and acquisition of British films. We have also suggested that if agreement turns out to be impossible it is something the government might turn its attention to in the Communications Act which is proposed for some time in the next year or two. We hope that won't be necessary and broadcasters would want to step up to the plate voluntarily."

Both Sky and ITV protested this via statements, with Sky saying it plans to increase investment in "homegrown content" to £600m by 2014, and ITV trumpeting that it makes Downton Abbey.

Labour welcomed the report, with shadow Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Harriet Harman saying it "offers an important opportunity for the Government to give the film industry the support it needs and deserves, and to welcome a new era for British film."

Shadow Culture Minister Dan Jarvis said, "The Government now needs to listen to Lord Smith’s review and create a climate in which our film industry can continue to flourish."

Ed Vaizy, the Conservative Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, who commissioned the report, says the government will make a formal response in a few months time.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Ti West Feels The Side Effect
House Of The Devil director gets spaced
Denzel Washington Could Be The Equalizer
Update: He's in!

Your Comments

facebook
<ahref="http://www.facebook.com>Facebook< /a> More

Posted by ChrisSmithUK at 21:51 on 28 May 2012 | Report This Post

facebook
<ahref="http://www.facebook.com>Facebook< /a> More

Posted by ChrisSmithUK at 21:51 on 28 May 2012 | Report This Post

basically this can be boiled down to "politicians and out of touch morons desperately trying to appeal to as many as possible, while simultaneously confirming everything we've ever thought about them." Hows about they do something useful, like introduce more tax breaks and other such incentives to get productions up and running, hell they could even set up some kind of group, an organization....no, no, i've got it. A COUNCIL. What the UK needs is a COUNCIL to help people interested More

Posted by clarkkent at 20:23 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

basically this can be boiled down to "politicians and out of touch morons desperately trying to appeal to as many as possible, while simultaneously confirming everything we've ever thought about them." Hows about they do something useful, like introduce more tax breaks and other such incentives to get productions up and running, hell they could even set up some kind of group, an organization....no, no, i've got it. A COUNCIL. What the UK needs is a COUNCIL to help people interested More

Posted by clarkkent at 20:23 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Losing Out
L: spark1 it is true that too many UK producers, desperate to get funding, sign away potential profits that could come to them if the film becomes a hit. hose profits have to pay for all the middle men and women who do nothing but claim money back on drinks, lunches, dinners, hotels, etc. in the name of "networking". More

Posted by Tech_Noir at 19:47 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Support?
L: attakdog L: ofthesun I am trying desperately to find the catch here. The government wanting to be POSITIVE about the British Film Industry? Although they do call for more investment from Sky and ITV. Which can only be a good thing, I suppose. Although, I hope this means we are not continually saturated by period dramas and awful cock-er-ney gangster movies staring Danny od movie" Both channels (and BBC/Channel4) should have a look at their syndication policies too. Fo More

Posted by Osric at 19:33 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Support?
L: ofthesun I am trying desperately to find the catch here. The government wanting to be POSITIVE about the British Film Industry? Although they do call for more investment from Sky and ITV. Which can only be a good thing, I suppose. Although, I hope this means we are not continually saturated by period dramas and awful cock-er-ney gangster movies staring Danny od movie" Both channels (and BBC/Channel4) should have a look at their syndication policies too. For every "friends hope More

Posted by attakdog at 17:29 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

Sky
I have always wondered why Sky don't have their own film making arm, just to add to the prestige of the Sky Movies brand. ITV invest enough in bollocks on a saturday night and I doubt it would cost that much more to have a film unit the scale of Film4. More

Posted by RhysH101 at 16:13 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

The responsibilities of Distributors & Cinemas
I live in Guildford where the local Odeon's attitude to British Movies and independent film is absolutely atrocious. "Attack The Block" was released during the chain's "Celebrating British Film" season in the summer. What was chosen to represent the best of Brit film in Guildford? Harry Potter. Attack The Block wasn't even shown. What chance does British film have if even the most commercially viable of indigenously produced work can't get exposure outside of London? More

Posted by albumental at 14:28 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

Dear ITV ...
... Downton Abbey is not a film. You f*cking morons! Also, it is for old ladies. SKY and ITV don't need to fund British movies, they just need to put some ON once in a while. SKY box is becoming the 'Friends and QI' machine and ITV is a channel I simply haven't watched for years, because I f*cking hate talent shows (which are also not films, ITV) as much as I hate Ant & Dec. Why don't these channels COMMISSION new films from independent filmmakers and f*cking put them on, thereby getting new More

Posted by Nicky C at 13:28 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

Exhibition must be addressed
The government can go on about producing more of any kind of film but it makes no difference if people can't see them. They should insist that a certain percentage of screens at multiplexes must show British films so that more people are able to see them. The amount of "arty" films I would go and see if only they were played near me! More

Posted by spinalgaz at 11:29 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

Losing Out
it is true that too many UK producers, desperate to get funding, sign away potential profits that could come to them if the film becomes a hit. More

Posted by spark1 at 11:03 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

Support?
I am trying desperately to find the catch here. The government wanting to be POSITIVE about the British Film Industry? Although they do call for more investment from Sky and ITV. Which can only be a good thing, I suppose. Although, I hope this means we are not continually saturated by period dramas and awful cock-er-ney gangster movies staring Danny "one good movie" Dyer. Both channels (and BBC/Channel4) should have a look at their syndication policies too. For every "friends More

Posted by ofthesun at 09:26 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

Christ, so we get a report from the Richard Curtis fan club basically saying lets make a lot of films.. what a ridiculous waste of time and resources More

Posted by chris wootton at 09:20 on 17 January 2012 | Report This Post

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 48% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Jurassic World Trailer Tour
We guide you, Richard Kiley-style, through the secrets of the new park

Empire's Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies Covers
Five armies. Five covers. The eagles, dwarves, elves, men and orcs prepare for battle in our Peter Jackon guest-edited issue

Empire’s Peter Jackson Issue Subscribers' Cover Arrives
Five Armies, three elves, two heavenly creatures and one giant ape

Empire's Farewell To Middle-Earth Issue:
Guest -Edited By Peter Jackson

The countdown to Empire's stunning new issue begins here...

Josh Hutcherson On The Hunger Games Phenomenon
'I've done my fair share of young adult material now'

What Is A Squidward? A Beginner's Guide To SpongeBob SquarePants
If you aren’t already a massive fan, prepare to become one

Classic Feature: Gods Among Us - Robert De Niro
The heavyweight champion of character immersion, explosive rage and jawdropping subtleties

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save money on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)