A friend on Twitter (rapidly rising Danny Lacey (@dannylaceyfilm)) yesterday pointed me in the direction of this video of KICK-ASS director Matthew Vaughn talking about all things moving image on the Film4 website. It’s a fascinating and illuminating piece, not least for his comments on the British film industry.
In the video he says:
“The only movies that we finance [in the UK] are normally small little arthouse films or the films that Hollywood won’t make and therefore there’s no sort of commercial justification for making the movies.”
Which got me thinking: is it a bad thing that British filmmakers are making movies that Hollywood can’t, won’t or don’t want to? I’m not sure.
I’m not going to deny that the industry in the UK is chock full of mediocre kitchen-sink dramas and over-the-top, over-the-hill gangster flicks, nor that it would be refreshing to see some diversification (see: KICK-ASS).
But can the same not be said for the USA? For every over-inflated, blockbusting cash-cow made with American dollars, is there not a host of low-to-no-budget remakes, rip-offs and trashy wannabes?
Around the world from the USA to the UK, France to Korea, each territory has its own niche; types of film that are consistently funded across the board. Does that make all the money men wrong? Mathematical algorithms are the single biggest driving force behind all of Relativity Media’s silver screen investments and they seem to be doing pretty well by it, so it makes sense for film financiers to stick with what they know. Doesn’t it?
Don’t get me wrong, the UK film industry is in dire need of a boost. Not just financially, but in self-confidence, too. In the interview, Vaughn sums up my patriotism perfectly when he analyses things like the Harry Potter and James Bond franchises, saying that we Brits make them but we don’t profit from them:
“I just think the talent base we have we could be the biggest film industry in the world, we could beat the Americans at their own game – if we had the money the Americans have, we could be far more successful.”
What do you think? Are the Brits the best at what they do, just drastically underfunded? Or is our lack of confidence, lack of innovation within our own market and apparent unwillingness to take Hollywood on the biggest issue?
Some other posts you might like:
- Nope, we got nada!