Record-breaking figures released at the end of January 2018 highlight the strength and creativity of the UK’s film and high-end TV industries, with inward investment spend from major international productions topping £2.37 billion ($3.35 billion).
Many of the titles, including Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom, Trust, The Outlaw King and Wes Anderson’s animated feature Isle Of Dogs received direct production support from the British Film Commission (BFC), the UK agency responsible for attracting and supporting major international films and TV productions.
The figures, released by the BFI’s Research and Statistics Unit, show inward investment spend on feature films reached £1.69 billion ($2.39 billion) – the highest figure since records began and a 23% increase on the previous year’s figures. UK-shot titles contributing to this stand-out year include Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sequel and Mission: Impossible 6. As well as productions making the most of the UK’s world-class studios and diverse and unique locations, the VFX and post sector has also had a busy year with major titles including Altered Carbon, season 2 of The Last Kingdom and Disney’s live-action re-imagining of The Lion King, all based at award-winning facilities in London.
2017 was also a standout year for high-end TV production, which generated a record £684 million ($965.9) in inward investment spend – a 27.6% increase on 2016. Each of the UK’s regions and nations served as a significant draw for high-end TV projects, often benefitting from ‘return business’: Scotland saw the return of Outlander for its fourth season; the final season of Game of Thrones is currently in production in Northern Ireland and Wales-based drama Requiem was recently broadcast. Meanwhile England’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ – including Yorkshire and the cities of Manchester and Liverpool – demonstrated its status as a creative force to be reckoned with, hosting returning series Peaky Blinders and Victoria and feature biopic Tolkien.
2018 has started equally strongly with several major features in pre-production in the UK including The Voyage Of Doctor Dolittle and Artemis Fowl and TV dramas including The Little Drummer Girl, Curfew and season three of Fortitude, confirmed to be based at Bristol’s Bottle Yard Studios.