The most important film industry in the world?!

We had a budget today and according to the Beeb,

A revamped film tax system, unveiled in Chancellor Gordon Brown’s Budget, will come into force on 1 April.

some people think it’s bad news for the UK film making industry as films like the ‘Constant Gardner’ would not in future attract all the tax breaks that it did as the rules have changed regarding where such films can be made.

Not that that should bother me much since the most exotic location I’ve managed to do any filming in is Wolverhampton.

Anyway, others think it’s a good thing and that Britain will attract more film making funding from abroad. But I think the prospect of foreign lucre engorging producers’ war chests has gone to some people’s heads as again according to the Beeb,

UK Film Council chief executive John Woodward said: “Today’s announcement by the chancellor is good news for the British film industry and makes the UK an attractive place to make films.

“It provides the certainty the industry needs to operate and will help the UK consolidate its position as the most important film industry in the world after the US.”

Really? … So what does he think they make over in Paris, Mumbai and Hong Kong — some nice food?

Is this measure really going to directly help the independent UK film-maker who wants to make an independent UK film?

The fact is a lot of film making goes on in the UK and British casts and crews are involved in some of the biggest films on the planet but the money usually comes from and, more pertinantly, goes back to investors in the US.

In a sense the UK is an off-shore production facility for Hollywood — a skilled workforce who cost less than the locals. Not that dissimilar in concept to a Bangladesh T-shirt manufacturer being an off-shore production facility for Walmart.

But who am I to wretch at the flies in this ointment — I’m sure the UK Government is as proud of it’s film industry as the Bangladesh Government is of it’s garments industry.

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