Shock Horror - Surveys show public would rather watch British Films!

Jon Williams

Boss Bad Lad
Cast & Crew
Messages
116
Likes
0
Points
18
#1
The government’s recently published report: “A Future For British Film: It begins with the audience...” is pretty good when it comes to identifying the problems, but sadly not so hot when it comes to proposing solutions.

Right from the start it outlines a key conundrum: if the public want to watch Hollywood movies, how come cinemas are 80%, that’s right 80%, empty? The main reason behind this is not only that Hollywood supplies the blockbusters as part of a package involving other of their films, but that these films have to be screened a minimum number of times – even if there’s no one actually watching them! And what would the audience rather be watching? Turns out to be: more British films.

A recent study, “How film contributes to the culture of the UK – by Northern Alliance and Ipsos Media CT” found that 84% of the population want to see more British films being made, and that those films should represent all the countries and regions of the UK. More than 50% said that they didn’t think enough British films were being shown in cinemas.

These findings have been borne out by two other recent surveys. A survey of over 16,000 Odeon customers found that 92%, that’s right: 92%, wanted to see more British films released. And Lovefilm found that 85% of the audience thought that British films were as good as Hollywood ones, with 40% thinking that they were actually better. Only 14% said that they thought Hollywood made the best films.

So much for all the nay-sayers who go on about how our Cinemas are full of American films because that’s what the public wants to see; so much for David Cameron and his exhortations that we need to make better and more commercial films if British film-making is to succeed. No, the whole problem is that Hollywood uses its muscle to monopolise the screens and keep our cinemas to themselves.

Sadly the report has little to recommend as to how to change all this, other than to say it patently isn’t fair. They point out that there’s a difference between the Friday and Saturday night audience: predominately young with escapist entertainment uppermost in their minds, and the week day audience which tends to be older and more reflective. And so they end up making a not even explicit appeal to Hollywood to allow cinemas to be ‘more flexible’ in their programming, so that they can screen the sorts of films that the day-time and week-day audiences actually want to see.
 
F

fromascreenwriter

Guest
#2
Interesting. At the time of, and following the abolition of the UKFC, there was a good momentum of opposition film-makers and writers who mysteriously seem to have quietetned down recently. As pointed out by non-capital(ised) film-makers before, everything is focused on London, with the Hollywood majors dominating. So even with the abolition of the UKFC it still seems business as usual.

Camerons remarks merely show that he just repeats old cliches and that he has no interest in the British Film Industry or changing things - whereas the Labour luvvies just look out for an elite clique of London based celebrities and pals of the various Govt.agencies - but equally the importance is on how those who have voiced an opposition themselves organise to make sure there is a change which becomes more than just seeing that their own film gets made and publicised. So what is the opposition doing to get organised and make sure they are listened to....?
 

Jon Williams

Boss Bad Lad
Cast & Crew
Messages
116
Likes
0
Points
18
#3
What's particularly interesting is that the report also finds that British films hardly get a look in on broadcast television either, which is pretty obvious. But here they not only demand action, but also threaten legislation if the broadcasters fail to do anything about it:

32. The Panel recommends that the Government initiates immediate discussions with each of the major broadcasters – the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and BSkyB – with the aim of agreeing a Memorandum of Understanding with each broadcaster setting out its agreed commitments to support British film. Should this approach prove unproductive, then the Government should look at legislative solutions, including new film-related licence requirements to be implemented in the new Communications Act.

So there you have it, the threat of quotas for films on TV, but not even a call for action to be taken to voluntarily limit Hollywood's monopoly practices, which even require cinemas to screen their films to empty auditoria, and stop theatre managers from engaging with their local audiences and putting on the sorts of films which such as the week-day audience wants to see.
 
Top