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What is the UK version of A24? If there isn't one, why not?!

I'm interested if anyone thinks we have a company that is seemingly focussed on allowing filmmakers to create the art they have in their minds. But also working with filmmakers who are breaking moulds and not creating the expected type of independent productions. Is it not possible as we don't have the same style of production companies over here? Or because these examples are distributing too?

Also, what it is we think of companies in the states like A24 and Blumhouse and Neon?

  • If you were to ask a bunch of American filmmakers about the UK film industry they would probably say something like - you guys produce some really great actors and we love your period films and TV.

    The UK has a strong TV industry that's rapidly losing ground to the internet and we have what you could describe as a 'boutique' approach to feature filmmaking as opposed to a full-on industrial approach. The UK gets extra kudos in the States because we are English-speaking and so our films don't generally require subtitles in the U.S and our actors are great with American accents.

    So, there's really no basis for comparison with what goes on in the U.S. Our best producers, directors, actors and writers are either already based in the U.S.or spending lots of time over there, and so there's really no chance of developing a matching industry in the future.

    Finally, the US industry is really a global - and not a national industry - and has relied on expatriate talent right from the start.

    9 months ago
  • I’m not too sure whether A24 just buy films and distribute, or if they fund work before production which is why their releases are consecutively impressive, but if you take a look at who the UK distribution companies are for a lot of their big films, the closest I’d compare is Altitude (Mid90’s, The Florida Project, Beats) or Thunderbird (High Life, Shoplifters, Burning, Thelma). But as mentioned above, the distribution models for US and UK are very different.
    A lot of the films in question already have US distribution before they sell in the UK, so it’s more of a sales pitch for the best money once they get here. A better example is smaller distributors (BFI, Picturehouse) who find the smaller UK indie films and give them a deal, despite them not being screened in The States.
    Curzon Cinemas distribution arm Artifical Eye have also managed to secure some pretty decent films recently!

    9 months ago
    • Maybe Plan B would be a better example then, of a production company that is focussed on producing art over commerce (to an extent of course). I feel like there is space for it over here as the BFI especially are trying to do that themselves. During a meeting with them I got the sense that they want to create original works that aren't the typical British movie. But they are also a massive company with a lot of people to please and have the money, so they won't be as free minded.
      Altitude I've worked with and they fund anything from b-action movies to art house movies.

      My main thought is if there are any companies who are focussed on interesting filmmaking. An artistic focus, who are willing to take hits on movies that don't do well. But wonder if the British system (especially as it's almost entirely funded by BFI, BBC and F4) allows for this. And as said above, due to the UK films having such a minimal reach, whether that's possible to do without going through a US distributor.

      We need to get some production companies over here to reach out to these cooler US companies and get them to take a look at our stuff!

      9 months ago
    • @Simon Frederick The lovely guys at Renaissance put a lot of work into upmarket production, FWIW.

      8 months ago
  • A24 is based in New York City, right? That's further away from Hollywood than London is from Moscow, or pretty much anywhere in Europe. New York does not have as big of a film community as London (1 percent of the UK economy is advertising, for a start.)

    "If there isn't one, why not?"
    Basically, it's because you and I and the other shooters here didn't start one. We didn't write the business plan or approach investors with the idea.

    UK films can have a huge reach. Ken Loach's films reach through Europe just as much as Woody Allen's (and are often more popular with audiences). UK War films and period pieces go as far as China.

    The UK film industry were willing to expand to become a European film industry, it could definitely compete with Hollywood (and Bollywood.) If anyone reading this would like to invest in a European production and distribution company that makes innovative films, feel free to email me. udigrudi at gmail.

    8 months ago
  • There are UK producers and production companies that produce cool creative film and TV. It's definitely not only the US that funds interesting projects. Marriage Story and Once Upon A Time in Hollywood for example were co-produced with a UK company. If you look at recent TV and film hits/winners at festivals such as TIFF, Cannes, Venice, Sundance, Berlin you'll see they have UK Co-producers.

    The companies you reference still look for international co-production partners. If you have a good project/producer/package it's possible to reach those companies but personally I think we're in an age where producing small budget projects and then shopping them around can be more advantageous than trying to sell an idea if you don't have enough on-paper/visual credits.

    8 months ago