reasons to choose UK TV & Film
1. History and influence
The UK has created some of the most influential and celebrated cinema and television in the world. Its long history in filmmaking, TV production, animation and special effects is recognised globally, with much of the world’s best-loved and most critically-acclaimed screen content made in the UK. See a showreel here.
The success story encompasses the imaginative fantasies of Harry Potter and Doctor Who, the compelling TV series Game of Thrones, Line of Duty and Peaky Blinders, the Planet Earth and Blue Planet nature documentaries, and action movie franchises including the Bond series, Star Wars, and Avengers: Infinity War.
The UK’s independent television production sector is robust, with revenues of £3bn, and a reputation for creating formats and content that draw in the domestic market and are coveted by buyers the world over.
The UK Television Exports Report estimated that total revenue from the international sale of UK TV programmes and associated activities was a record £1.48bn in 2019/20, up 6 per cent over the previous year.
The importance of TV, film and animation is recognised by the UK government through its supportive fiscal environment which encourages investment by UK and international film-makers in Britain.
There were 300 British films completed in 2019-20 which claimed Film tax relief (FTR), with UK expenditure of £2.5 billion. In 2019-20, £522 million of FTR was paid in response to 785 claims, representing 740 films. A total of £3.9 billion has been paid out to 6,080 claims since the current film tax relief was introduced in 2007. (Source: HMRC, Aug 2020)
2. Creativity and innovation
UK filmmakers and TV producers are recognised around the world for their craft, originality and creativity. It is inconceivable that the likes of The Office, Wallace and Gromit, The Thick of It and The Queen could have been made in any other country.
The independent television sector is responsible for some of the most iconic and groundbreaking television formats seen around the world. From formats like The X-Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and Love Island to scripted dramas like Sherlock and Downton Abbey, the UK’s original programming has become must-see viewing from China to the Czech Republic.
The UK’s visual effects industry often leads the way in innovation – the CGI which wowed audiences in Gravity, The Dark Knight Rises and the Harry Potter series was all created by UK-based VFX houses.
3. Unique locations and facilities
The UK offers both state of the art studio facilities suitable for the biggest movie productions and a variety of locations that encompass gritty urban scenes, unique historical sites and attention-grabbing natural backdrops.
The HBO series, Game of Thrones, made Northern Ireland its production home, and big budget movies filmed in the UK include Avengers: Infinity War, Gravity and recent Star Wars movies. UK locations also attract screen-related tourism, with estimates that this source of tourism generated about £598m in 2016, supporting jobs and UK tax revenues.
In addition to filming locations, the UK has a network of respected film and television educational establishments including the National Film and Television School. In 2013, NFTS students won the prize in all of CILECT's (the main international film and TV school association that includes 160 schools from 60 countries) three competition categories. NFTS was the first school in the 58 year history of CILECT to achieve the clean sweep of all 3 prize categories. (Source: The Observer).
Watch a showreel of recent high profile UK-made films below.
4. A competitive market
Tax reliefs for film, high-end television and animation have made production in the UK more attractive than ever. The reliefs are tempting UK productions back to Britain – and the tax credits are also proving attractive to Hollywood and major US television companies. The UK has a long history of negotiating successful co-productions with international partners, and attracting inward investment from the likes of Warner Bros, Disney and other major studios.
An estimated 64 inward investment and co-production high-end TV productions delivered £794.5m in 2019. (Pact 2019 UK Television Census)
In film public funding of £634m was available, with the biggest element - UK film tax relief - accounting for £469m of this figure, equivalent to 74 per cent of the total.
5. strong growth
The film and television sector is a major contributor to the UK creative industries economy. The core UK film industry contributes over £4.6 billion to UK GDP and supports over 117,00 jobs, taking into account direct and indirect employment. (Source: Oxford Economics study for the BFI)
The independent TV production industry is worth about £3bn a year in revenue. (Source: Pact 2019 Census) In just 10 years, indie TV production has grown from a cottage industry to a world-beating multi-billion pound sector. Indie TV production companies have shown their innovative instincts, first utilising their intellectual property to dominate television programming in the UK – and now the world. They are expert in exploiting their intellectual property in new markets.