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Film News FDMX works with industry partners in the film sector to offer new entrants, employees and freelancers information, opportunities and activities relating to the film industry and what it needs.

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Old 31st Jul 2009, 02:08 PM   #1
mitalad
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Wink Key developments affecting filmmakers in financing, producing and distribution

Finance

UK box office for the first half 2009 at seven-year high
UK hit "Slumdog Millionaire" and the popular "Monsters vs. Aliens" and "Star Trek," have produced the most successful ticket sales for the initial six-months of the year since the same period in 2002. The Cinema Advertising Association reports that the second half of the year also looked strong.

UK Film Council‘s ‘Film Nation’ wins 3m for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Aimed at young filmmakers to make and show films that reflect contemporary society, the new cultural funding includes ‘Film Nation Shorts’, a filmmaking competition for young people; ‘Film Nation Dreams’, a documentary project following young Olympic and Paralympic contenders; ‘Olympic Schools Film Week’, showing films from the Olympic nations; and ‘London International Film Talks’ masterclasses with some of the world's greatest filmmakers. http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk

London Borough Film Fund Challenge - 90 Seconds competition announced
Film London’s LBFFC is a short film-making competition open to residents of participating boroughs. Offering 500 - 4,000 towards the production of a short film, twenty-three boroughs will be involved (up from 15 in 2008). The best 90 second film from each participating borough will be awarded 300 and all completed films will have the opportunity to be shortlisted for Film London’s Best of Borough Film Awards (BoBs). Submission date tbc. http://www.filmlondon.org.uk

Power to the Pixel announce new cross-media pitching forum ‘Pixel Pitch’
Up to ten of the best UK and international cross-media film projects will be selected that can span film, TV, online, mobile and gaming. Each pitch is to be presented to a select group of financiers, commissioners, tech companies, online portals and media companies in front of an audience and compete for the Babelgum Pixel Pitch Prize of 6,000. The competition will take place as part of PTTP’s London Forum at the Times BFI London Film Festival 14-16 October 2009. http://www.powertothepixel.com

Regional screen agency Northern Film & Media new 3m ‘North East Content Fund’
Aimed at supporting film, TV, games, interactive media and music projects across the region the new money has allocated 100,000 for film development and 200,000 for film production; up to 200,000 for new series with returning potential and up to 50,000 will be given out to projects for programme development. Northern Film & Media’s projects include ‘This is England’, ‘Control’ and ‘Hustle’ as well as games such as ‘Grand Theft Auto’ and ‘Guitar Hero’. http://www.northernmedia.org

Public Service Broadcasting Report shows 15% drop in original programming in the past four years.
Last years overall spending was 2.6 billion (down from 3b in 2004). The figures also indicate a 3% decline in the total hours of U.K. generated programming on the five main PSBs BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five (between 2004 and 2008). PSB totaled 33,177 hours a year with the biggest drop in Children's programming. Network news and current affairs fell from 289m to 250m. http://www.ofcom.org.uk

Tipping Point Film Fund extending ‘crowd funding’
Supported by The Co-operative, the new TPFF is extending ‘crowd funding’, to enable independent filmmakers to tap into their networks in order raise production funding. TPFF aims to reach out to campaigning networks, independent film goers and online social networks, through a mix of regular giving, one-off donations and support from major donors. Creating a rolling, sustainable fund large enough to allow creative independence. Equally important will be TPFF’s involvement in the outreach of the film. TPFF founders are film and campaign professionals exploring the potential of traditional charity donors and funding films that advance public and political debate. http://www.tippingpointfilmfund.com

The Pirate Bay file-sharing site sold
Pirate Bay said the profits from the sale would go into a foundation to "help with projects about freedom of speech, freedom of information and the openness of the nets." The new owners the Swedish software company Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) said the deal involves buying Peerialism, an IT company which has developed a new data distribution technology. "Filesharers are our best friends." "For the great majority it will be free of charge, for a minority it will actually make them money, and for a small portion it will cost them."

Their new business model involves a monthly subscriber’s fee which can be off set by sharing downloaded content or lending storage capacity. Advertising will be introduced and by making the filesharing more local e.g. interconnecting users in the same city (rather than across multiple borders), plan to make it more efficient and cheaper for ISP’s.

Production

UKFC annual statistical yearbook - Overseas investment in production at six month high
UKFC head of research and statistics unit David Steele said the first six months benefited from of a strong dollar making it more attractive for U.S. studios to return to the UK after the uncertainties caused by the US writers' and actors' strikes, including ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘The Deathly Hallows Part 1,’ ‘Clash Of The Titans’ ‘Gulliver's Travels’ and ’Never Let Me Go’. With an overall total of 48 overseas projects being brought to the UK, spending increased to 535.1m in the first half of 2009 (cf 363m in 2008).

The production statistics also show a modest increase in the number of purely UK made films with budgets of more than 500,000, although the actual total fell. The 33 UK originated films in production in the first half of 2009 spent 89.9m (cf 29 titles spending 113.8m in 2008) with an average budget of 3.3m (cf 5.6m in 2003). But the biggest drop was in the number of co-productions with only three co-productions in the first six months of this year, compared to 14 in 2008. The 78% decrease is attributed to the UK producers tax relief only rewarding the UK spend rather than the full production budget. Meanwhile the government is currently reviewing the tax credit, the role of the UKFC and a committee report is due by the end of the year. UK Film Council’s Statistical Yearbook: ukfilmcouncil.org.uk

Distribution

BBC plans to share video news on newspaper websites for the first time.
The BBC’s new public service partnerships are to share content, expertise and technology by providing a limited range of BBC video news content to Mail Online, guardian.co.uk, Telegraph.co.uk and Independent.co.uk. The free content covers four areas: UK politics, business, health and science and technology with "no intention" of extending the range of content to entertainment and sport news. To use it there must be no advertising (e.g. pre-roll or post-roll ads, around any clips); the video will carry BBC branding; and will be geo-blocked so that it can only be viewed in the UK.

Zombie micro-feature gets UK distribution deal‘Colin’ written, directed, filmed and produced by Marc Price took 18 months to complete and was edited while he was working for a courier company. Filmed in London and Wales on a camcorder the film is being distributed by Kaleidoscope Entertainment in time for Halloween. The Frightfest fantasy and horror film festival in London will be screening a sneak preview in August. http://www.frightfest.co.uk/

UKFC new 1.2m fund for pilot digital scheme for three remote areas
Pete Buckingham, the UKCF’s head of distribution and exhibition, aims to bring the latest digital cinema equipment to film fans in remote communities without the need to travel long distances.

Opposition to merger between BBC Worldwide and Channel 4
Super indie FremantleMedia is arguing that BBCW should be made to give up its first-look agreement to distribute BBC programming. CEO Tony Cohen believes the merger supported by last months government's Digital Britain report, would fundamentally change Channel 4's remit and represent "a serious threat to the basis for one of Britain's great export successes the U.K. production sector."

Joost shifts business strategy from content portal to providing technology
Joost has given up being a content portal and will refocus on technology provision. Launched in 2007 they struggled to secure key content rights and compete with YouTube, Hulu and Daily Motion, even with "Twin Peaks," and securing news providers including ITN and CBS News. Joost said it will focus on building "world-class video portals" by providing cost-effective video publishing capacity.

London National Theatre’s live cinema filmed in high definition and broadcast via satellite
City Screen sub-licensed the live NT broadcast of Phedre’ (staring Helen Mirren and Dominic Cooper) to an audience of 14,000 on 73 screens across the UK and another 200 screens internationally along with behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. The NT’s Live season includes performances of Shakespeare’s ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’ in October, a live matinee of ‘Nation’, based on the novel by Terry Pratchett in January, and Alan Bennett’s ‘The Habit Of Art’, in early 2010.

France reduce film release windows for theatrical and other platforms
Release windows in France are cautiously overseen by the government, and the industry who are aiming to offer attractive and legal alternatives to illegal filesharing sites. The newly announced two-year window means films will be available on pay-per-view video-on-demand only four months after their theatrical release, (compared with the previous seven and half months) bringing VOD in line with DVD releases.

Compiled by Malcolm Moore of Planispheres.

DISCLAIMER This report has been prepared for FDMX for general information only. No liability arising from the interpretation or use of any opinions offered is accepted. Planispheres cannot be held responsible for any losses or claims howsoever arising from its use or reproduction

Last edited by mitalad; 31st Jul 2009 at 02:09 PM.
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