Pi­ne­wood Stu­dios consi­der new Lon­don site

L’in­dus­trie ci­né­ma­to­gra­phique Bri­tan­nique en pleine crois­sance.

Vocable (Anglais) - - Édito | Sommaire - MARK SWENEY

Les stu­dios de ci­né­ma bri­tan­niques pour­ron­tils bien­tôt ri­va­li­ser avec les stu­dios hol­ly­woo­diens ? Tout porte à le croire. En 2017, quelques-uns des films les plus ren­tables du box of­fice an­glais ont été tour­nés au Royaume-Uni, et 2018 ne se­ra pas en reste avec le tour­nage de grosses pro­duc­tions an­non­cées. Les stu­dios Pi­ne­wood, fon­dés en 1936, comptent bien pro­fi­ter d’une in­dus­trie ci­né­ma­to­gra­phique qui a le vent en poupe.

The film stu­dio be­hind the James Bond and Star Wars fran­chises has ex­pres­sed in­ter­est in buil­ding a new site in east Lon­don, as the Bri­tish film in­dus­try struggles to ac­com­mo­date de­mand for TV and block­bus­ter shoots.

PI­NE­WOOD’S EX­PAN­SION PLANS

2. Pi­ne­wood, a cor­ners­tone of the UK’s film and TV pro­duc­tion sec­tor, is loo­king at a 20-acre site in Da­gen­ham af­ter the Lon­don mayor, Sa­diq Khan, an­noun­ced plans for a stu­dio in the east of the ca­pi­tal. The “Made in Da­gen­ham” move comes amid gro­wing evi­dence of a space squeeze in the film in­dus­try, with at least two recent big-bud­get re­leases – last year’s Alien and Blade Run­ner se­quels – mo­ving pro­duc­tion to other coun­tries be­cause there was no room in the UK.

3. Pi­ne­wood can film two block­bus­ters at a time at its stu­dio, on the outs­kirts of west Lon­don, and one at a near­by sis­ter site in Shep­per­ton. It is mid­way th­rough a £200m ex­pan­sion to double its size to keep pace with de­mand.

4. The UK’s po­pu­la­ri­ty as a fil­ming base is gro­wing so fast – the amount spent on film and TV pro­duc­tion rose 11% last year to a re­cord £2.8bn – that Pi­ne­wood is un­ders­tood to have in­qui­red about de­ve­lo­ping and run­ning the new Da­gen­ham stu­dio.

5. Paul Gol­ding, chair­man of Pi­ne­wood, said the stu­dio was loo­king ahead to its next growth phase. “We have suf­fi­cient ex­pan­sion abi­li­ty to meet de­mand for the next th­ree to five years. But we have al­rea­dy iden­ti­fied fu­ture ex­pan­sion op­por­tu­ni­ties.”

6. As well as plans for the Pi­ne­wood site, which in­clude de­mo­li­shing di­su­sed buil­dings and crea­ting new fa­ci­li­ties, there are pro­po­sals to more than qua­druple the size of the Shep­per­ton stu­dios from 25 to 125 acres. Da­gen­ham is now po­ten­tial­ly being li­ned up as a third site.

Bri­tish film in­dus­try struggles to ac­com­mo­date de­mand for TV and block­bus­ter shoots.

7. Dar­ren Rod­well, lea­der of Bar­king and Da­gen­ham coun­cil, said that he cham­pio­ned the de­ve­lop­ment of the site on di­su­sed in­dus­trial land af­ter lear­ning that ma­jor films were being for­ced to look overseas due to space and sche­du­ling is­sues at stu­dios in the UK. 8. “There is a wealth of op­por­tu­ni­ty and we have had an ex­cee­ding amount of in­ter­est, around 20 ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est [to de­ve­lop the Da­gen­ham pro­ject], and we are ex­ci­ted about ta­king it to the next stage.”

A BOOMING DE­MAND

9. The UK’s top-qua­li­ty stu­dio fa­ci­li­ties and pro­duc­tion ta­lent, along with lu­cra­tive go­vern­ment tax breaks, have fuel­led a boom in film­ma­king that is lea­ding to concerns about ca­pa­ci­ty and skill shor­tages. Four of the top five ear­ners at the Bri­tish box of­fice last year – Star Wars: The Last Je­di, Beau­ty and the Beast, Dun­kirk and Pad­ding­ton 2 – were ba­sed in the UK.

10. Growth conti­nues to be dri­ven by the de­mand on space and skills re­qui­red to make big Hol­ly­wood films, with in­vest­ment in UK-fil­med block­bus­ters gro­wing 23% to £1.7bn last year. Up­co­ming ma­jor mo­vies made in Bri­tain in­clude Tim Bur­ton’s up­co­ming Dum­bo, Ron Ho­ward’s So­lo: A Star Wars Sto­ry, Mis­sion Im­pos­sible 6, and Fan­tas­tic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2.

11. “The is­sue is more than loo­ming. Space is at a pre­mium in the UK,” said Adrian Woot­ton, chief exe­cu­tive of the Bri­tish Film Com­mis­sion. “The space at the most pre­mium, eve­ryone would re­co­gnise, is for real­ly huge fea­ture films. It is fair to say that we can’t ac­com­mo­date eve­ry ma­jor mo­vie at any par­ti­cu­lar time that wants to come here.” Woot­ton said that, while there isn’t yet a “cri­sis”, due to stu­dio space in the UK dou­bling in the last four years, the le­vel of de­mand means there is a constant chal­lenge to ex­pand qui­ck­ly. 12. The squeeze on re­sources has been exa­cer­ba­ted by a booming TV sec­tor, thanks to Net­flix, Ama­zon and Apple. Spen­ding on high-end TV pro­duc­tion in the UK, from Game of Thrones to Pea­ky Blin­ders and The Crown, rose 9% to a re­cord £938m last year. Al­most th­ree-quar­ters of that, £684m, came from overseas com­pa­nies.

13. While TV pro­duc­tions do not com­pete di­rect­ly with block­bus­ter films for stu­dio space, they do use the same pool of crea­tive ta­lent, from di­rec­tors and set de­si­gners to make-up ar­tists and ca­me­ra­men.

14. The BFI has es­ti­ma­ted that the in­dus­try will need up to 10,000 new wor­kers in the film in­dus­try across a range of roles in the next five years to keep pace with de­mand. “I think it could well be hi­gher,” said Gol­ding. “Net­flix is spen­ding $8bn this year, Ama­zon $4.5bn, Apple $1bn. These are huge num­bers and you have to pro­vide the crews and space or you will miss out.”

(Adrian Den­nis/AP/SIPA)

Bri­tish ac­tors John Boye­ga and Dai­sy Rid­ley speak as Bri­tain's Prince Har­ry meets with the cha­rac­ter Chew­bac­ca du­ring a tour of the Star Wars sets at Pi­ne­wood stu­dios in 2016.

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