Monday, 7 May 2007

If British film industry loses its incentive, can low-budget Welsh film production still prevail?

Photo from BBC Film Network

Pictured above: The Baker (2007) filmed on location in Cardiff, South Glamorgan, Grosmont, Abergavenny, Gwent, and the South Wales Valleys, Wales, UK, directed by Gareth Lewis and starring Damian Lewis.

London-based productions tend to be bigger films that need 'gap financing' to get made -- many Welsh film productions are 'low-budget' and have 'limited pre-sales potential' (although we believe expanded marketing imagination, investment capital, and persistance could change this . . . )

So the question is, while larger London productions are sitting around waiting for funds, can the 'lean and mean' Welsh Indie Film Production cadres slip ahead of the British pack, this year?

Adam Dawtrey writes in the London Eye Feature Article for Variety:

"But even in a good year, the British film industry doesn't generate anywhere close to $400 million of indie production. And 2007 is not shaping up to be a good year."

"Word on the Soho street is that production activity is grinding to a halt, as the effects of the end of sale-and-leaseback kick in. Other factors in the slowdown include the transition to the tax credit, the weak dollar, and the double clampdown in March on GAAP equity funds and Enterprise Investment Schemes."

"Limelight would have to scoop up every single film made in Blighty this year, and then some, to reach anywhere near its target. And while its terms certainly look attractive for some projects -- notably low-budget films with limited pre-sales potential -- bigger movies needing gap finance might find other deals more competitive."

A coalition of Welsh Indie production groups seem poised to seize the opportunity, should financing for 'low budget films' be the only level of funding in Britain, for the time being.

AC (Teledwyr Annibynnol Cymru/Welsh Independent Producers) and Pact, the trade bodies representing the interests of the independent television sector in Wales and UK respectively, have announced in December 2006, the approval of joint heads of agreement to move towards a formal merger.

Dafydd Rhys Chairman of TAC TAC/ says of the merger of TAC Welsh Indie Producer's Group with PACT:

Dafydd Rhys, Chairman of TAC, said, “This is very good news for the future development of a vibrant independent sector in Wales. TAC, which was established in 1984, currently represents some 70 businesses primarily involved in the production of programmes and content for Welsh based broadcasters and other providers of audio visual services.

TAC (Teledwyr Annibynnol Cymru/Welsh Independent Producers)


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© 2007 Mark Leslie Woods

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