Film Gravity shows significance of creative industries

By | Business
Gravity director Alfonso Cuarón on right of picture - credit via

The film Gravity has recently received many accolades including winning seven Oscars this year and the best British film award at the BAFTA ceremony. It was one of the biggest hits of 2013 bringing in $705million on a budget of $100million. The film was up against many other popular movies at the Oscars including American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Almost everything on screen was conjured up on computers at a studio in Soho. The two main actors in the film, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock filmed the movie in Buckinghamshire. Plus, with its British producer, David Heyman, Gravity qualifies as a British film.

Some people have suggested that isn’t a British film. Weighing into the debate, the film’s director Alfonso Cuaron said, “It is challenging to tell from my accent, however I consider myself part of the British film industry. I have lived in London for 13 years and done almost half of my movies here. I make a very good case for curbing immigration.”

The UK’s creative industries film, television and music industries, are now worth £71.4 billion per year to the UK economy, with them generating just over a staggering £8 million pounds an hour. The UK creative industries are renowned across the globe driving growth, investment and tourism.

Employment in the creative industries increased by 8.6 per cent between 2011 and 2012 a much higher rate than for the UK economy as a whole, which was 0.7%. The value of services exported by the creative industries was £15.5 billion in 2011, 8.0 per cent of total UK service exports. Between 2009 and 2011, the value of service exports from the creative industries increased by 16.1 per cent. This is compared to an increase of only 11.5 per cent for total UK service exports.

Filmmaking has been growing faster than the rest of the economy and has been a positive factor during the biggest recession of modern times

Creative Industries Council chair, Nicola Mendelsohn, said, “These figures amply demonstrate the huge contribution our sector makes to the economy and it’s vital that the right framework is in place to nurture and support the industry. We are working with Government on developing a growth strategy for the sector which will identify how all involved can ensure the creative industries continue to go from strength to strength.”

In the future two major films are set to be made in the UK; the next Star Wars movie and Avengers: Age of Ultron. The main reason sighted for many films being based in the UK is because of the recent change in tax for the film industry. In his autumn statement George Osborne stated that films only need to now spend 10% of their budget within the UK to qualify for tax relief, where previously they had to spend 25%.

The measures are intended to make the UK a more enticing location for filming special effects, sound and location shooting work, following fears that the industry would lose its world-leading position, and talent, to countries such as Canada, which already offer significant tax breaks.

Also from April this year the first £20m of a film’s production budget that qualifies for a UK tax break will receive 25% relief, and above that the level is 20%.

George Osborne, speaking about the industry said, “These fast growing sectors are creating jobs across the country and each new job means security for another family. I want to build on this success and showcase the world class talent this country has, encouraging more films and TV programs to be made here.”

Animation continues to be a massive draw for UK audiences, with Despicable Me 2 becoming the highest-grossing film of 2013, and Frozen, Monsters University and The Croods all in the top 10. The top five also included The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Les Miserables and Iron Man 3.

Philomena, which took £11million, topped the big independent UK films last year followed by Quartet, I Give It a Year, and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.

Where can other creative areas for example, writing and music be given more investment as they could also help the economy grow or can investment be given to create more private sector jobs?


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