03.10 2009

Save the british film industry LogoLatest Update 6 March 2014

Jonathan Stuart-Brown for SAVE THE BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY.

This website will now be used for a much  more specific and also a much wider purpose than previously.

We will not bang on that it was us and us alone who told Pinewood Studios to expand in South Wales in 2009 – just got ridicule in return – and have now been totally vindicated by their 2014 expansion into… er.. Cardiff in South Wales.

No we will move on from trying to manage Pinewood Shepperton from the sidelines.

Instead we will continue to campaign for the 250 000 film jobs that we can have in the UK by building sound stages and sets across the UK. But we will focus on one very specific town: Walsall in the heart of England. Named by the way WALES HALL and not too far from East Wales.

It will campaign for a major film and tv studio  cluster in the West Midlands  - most especially Walsall which is in the middle of the present film and tv studio hubs: Cardiff, Salford, West and North London. Thus it will mean another 10 million people will live within daily travelling distance of a film and tv studio. It will make viable for at least 5 million people to apply locally to the bottom of the film and tv industry jobs’ ladder. If you can not get on the ladder, then you can not get to the top.

It can also regenerate and gentrify a town of over 200 000 and a Black Country and West Midland region of at least 4 million people. It can create beauty, hope, inspiration, joy, and prosperity. It can defeat fear, despair, misery and unhappy hopelessness where third generation jobless families are not unusual.

Buildings really really matter.

Just as you can have the greatest talent base for a football industry, it is useless without the required physical football stadiums.

Just as you can have the greatest convention and conference centre skill base, it is useless without the physical buildings in which they can all work.

Try making cars without a car factory – regardless of level of skillbase.

So it is with film and tv industry talent (creative, white collar and blue collar).

This website  will campaign for The BBC to put the revenue back into the West Midlands, East Midlands and East Anglia which it takes out. It gets over 25% of its revenue from these regions and puts only 2% back. In an era of tax fairness (championed by all four major political parties) this is unjust and greatly adds to the decay and disintegration of the Middle of England and of Britain.

This website  will expressly oppose the Polo Mint economy . An economy with a huge hole in the middle.

Polo Mints are fantastic mints but not a model for an economy or stable happy society.

UK Governments of every political colour have been  building the polo mint economy since at least 1984 and to some extent since the late 1960s. Then again people across the UK used to pray in homes, schools, hospitals, universities, churches, cathedrals, even private companies and houses of Parliament for wise just moral political leaders. Maybe as the prayers stopped, so did the answers.

We will occasionally update on the original reason the website emerged in 2009. By now the threat to the sound stages which exist in the UK has been very well aired and may even yet be finally heeded.  There is fresh hope despite years of sowing in tears. Pinewood, Shepperton and film quangos repeated and obstinate failure to expand these sound stages across the UK has cost the nation 200 000 high quality jobs, ideal for Neets to aspire to. However, some interesting connected people are now listening. So there may yet be a very happy ending.

Many across the nation have had countless opportunities to act –  and confidentially some have at least come to the water – but ultimately the ‘club’ which wants to keep film industry in the UK a cottage industry have so far continued to succeed. However they may in the coming months have much more formidable financial and political players pushing a UK expansion of the vital film industry infrastructure. The case for the West Midlands is especially strong.

Thankfully others are heeding our message – and here we are sworn to confidence – but do watch out for exciting good news in the forseeable future.

We could via the film industry -with physical infrastructure spread across the UK – regenerate this nation, increase its beauty and get out of debt.

We can get £25 billion a year from the UK based film industry – over five times more than now – and 250 000 jobs.

But The Government needs to realise this must be a UK wide expansion of film sound stages and sets doubling state of the art theme parks. They must be built in the ugly places where there is no tourism and no hope. They must bring beauty, tourist revenue and the film industry glamour. the talent and hunger is there. Indeed ironically London is the least creative city per capita in the UK, but has systematically misused political muscle and manipulated control of capital and media infrastructure to stop other UK centres of creativity emerging.

It is time to be one united nation, with everyone team players not selfish short-sighted lemmings.

The website will  still cheer-lead and provoke debate on building physical film and TV industry infrastructure (sound stages and film sets across the UK) as well as helping co-ordinate, network, guide specific initiatives with interested private investors (usually well away from the public part of the website).

This campaign started to get the physical infrastructure built in each region so that a real film industry in the UK which employed 250 000 could emerge and happily survive in the longterm on private money not public subsidy.

Once the physical infrastructure has been built in every region, we really would not require further public monies.

We want the government to give the nation a real legacy. To get   10% of this sum needed for HS2 in creating physical infrastructure and creating 250 000 dynamic  film, TV, radio drama, other creative industries and tourism jobs before 2020.

www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

Free marketing and publicity is so vital to industry that it follows media hotspots for contacts and connections in the exact same way that lobbyists follow MPs, Ministers, interns to grab access for their clients to grants and Government contracts.

The campaign focused first on building upon the existing facilities of Pinewood and Shepperton Studios and the international reputation they have achieved over many generations. Their ownership was in the balance -with competing visions of whether to invest in film making heritage or West London property prices-  but has now firmly been decided. The present majority owners are long term property developers who use the film industry naiveity to pursue a West London property development even if it takes until 2020 to get planning permission.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/297042/Pinewood-reeling-as-studio-plans-fail

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-24029709-pinewood-shares-dive.do

http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/business/s/1471461_200m-pinewood-shepperton-development-rejected

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-16645944

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/marketforceslive/2012/jan/20/pinewood-loses-planning-application?newsfeed=true

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5juM3T3egiI7Nu4-eyt5w9ZwUqE8w?docId=N0035231327066107288A

http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/sns-201201201114reedbusivarietynvr1118048940jan20,0,4757479.story

http://www.sloughobserver.co.uk/news/slough/articles/2012/01/20/56581-planning-permission-for-project-pinewood-refused/

http://www.screendaily.com/news/corporate/pinewood-shepperton-refused-planning-permission-for-project-pinewood/5036717.article

http://www.deadline.com/2012/01/project-pinewood-development-refused-local-planning-permission/

http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/technology/government-blocks-pinewoods-development-plans/5036715.article

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/pinewood-review-situation-british-gov-283529

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/government-blocks-uk-film-industry-boost-140059212.html

http://www.placenorthwest.co.uk/news/archive/10940-pickles-knocks-back-pinewood-residential-plans.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/jan/20/pinewood-pulls-plug-hollywood-project?newsfeed=true

http://www.newstatesman.com/film/2012/01/pinewood-plan-government

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d8b50ac4-4377-11e1-9f28-00144feab49a.html

http://www.uxbridgegazette.co.uk/west-london-news/local-uxbridge-news/2012/01/20/project-pinewood-plans-rejected-after-inquiry-113046-30164614/

The Public Inspector’s Report  (2011) on the last property scheme- which almost no one in the film media nor film industry nor Department of Culture, Media and Sport has bothered to read in full –  is devastating.

We await the second Public Inquiry report.

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/planning-callins/pdf/2070908.pdf

http://www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/decisionsplanning/secretarystate/recentsecretary/pinewoodstudiosiver/

Unlike the present Board and management, the previous six decades had passionate patriotic brilliant film makers at the helm.  Often Bible believing lay preachers to boot. They were not interested in building houses at huge profit disguised as a film set. They wanted to make great films, employ film makers both blue and white collar, and bring credit to Britain. Originally the founders of Pinewood Studios were passionate Christians who wanted to make moral movies which glorified Jesus Christ the Creator of The World.

They wanted to give not take.

They were not asset strippers nor property developers. Nor did they aspire to be. Pinewood Studios and Shepperton Studios founded in the 1930s ceased to exist in 2004 when the merged entity became a plc, when just as with Elstree Studios before it, property developers could buy up the shares for the land values not the film making heritage and future.  The last Government were not vigilant nor even aware of this because they were distracted elsewhere by the most venal dishonest grasping culture of fraudulent expense claims and much worse. They were so greedy  and so corrupt  sleeping with the greediest and most reckless of bankers, asset strippers, cheats and deceivers of every type. They had no time to look at the implications for the film industry of playing Russian Roulette with its greatest asset: the film studio physical infrastructure of which the chief is sound stages at Pinewood, Shepperton and to a lesser extent Elstree and  Leavsden.

As we kept flagging up, briefing MPs, saying on over 50 radio interviews and a few on TV, Pinewood Shepperton Studios are the magnet which brings big Hollywood financed movies into the UK. They need (or needed until very recently) the 60 000 square feet and 30 000 square feet  (which only the UK had)  sound stages even more than tax credit subsidies (which every country offers). So almost every UK film star, director, producer, crew member has been employed in big prestige movies in the UK because these sound stages were here and nowhere else.  This is why ‘Pirates of The Caribbean’, the 007 and Jason Bourne movies, ‘Mission Impossible’, ‘The Mummy’, ‘Snow White and The Huntsman’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Sherlock Holmes’, ‘Batman’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘Indiana Jones’ and several hundred major movies have been made here in the past few decades.

However, there was always Pinewood, Shepperton, and occasionally Elstree batting to get this work in Britain.

Elstree was purchased by property developers who sold off 80% of the land where ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ was made. The rump was still big enough to host  ’The King’s Speech’ which took over $400 million worldwide. But it only exists at all because after a fierce legal battle a plucky, small, local council bought it from greedy property developers who would have closed it to film making. So three cheers for Hertsmere Borough Council.

The other nations we wish well. But they know when Hollywood places a big film production in a studio facility that most employment of cast and crew  is local. Most stars start as minor role actors but without this break they remain unemployed.  The present UK stars  and crew almost all owe their careers to the physical film industry infrastructure built by Christian visionaries in the 1930s and nutured for over 75 years.

The next generation of stars and crew will be local to Canada, Germany, Malaysia, Dominican Republic, China, France and not the UK unless we defend and expand the physical infrastructure lead we held for over 70 years but are now losing rapidly.

Every country offers tax credits. France could not get huge Hollywood movies made there with tax credits. It had no big sound stages. In a few months it will have.

We wish these nations well, but we exist to warn that the moment to act is now.

The UK tax credit for films has been gazumped by Georgia in the USA. Pinewood is opening there next year, along with Malaysia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Germany, etc etc anywhere but the UK regions. So after 2014 be not surprised if the films placed at Pinewood by film financiers are nowhere near the UK.  Unless a really stellar international box office name and/or top of the tree crew member of many years experience, the jobs will not go to Brits but to locals of the studios which get the work. Thus they will gain the experience and Cvs to displace the next generation of UK talent.

We really really can still get £25 billion a year from the UK based film industry – over five times more than now – and 250 000 jobs. But The Government needs to realise this must be a UK wide expansion of film sound stages and sets doubling state of the art theme parks. They must be built in the ugly places where there is no tourism and no hope. They must bring beauty, tourist revenue and the film industry glamour. the talent and hunger is there. Indeed ironically London is the least creative city per capita in the UK, but has systematically misused political muscle and manipulated control of capital and media infrastructure to stop other Uk centres of creativity emerging. It is time to be one united nation, with everyone team players not selfish short-sighted lemmings.

Very many do not want a big film industry in the UK. They want it small, elite, the most exclusive membership club in the UK. Many wanted to be worshipped. The idea that to work in the film industry is as normal in the UK as to work in the Health service is their true fear. Yet this can happen quickly and easily. It can get the nation out of debt. But not without a Government and media which wakes up to the unique opportunity which now exists.

It is time to get back to the values of the founders of Pinewood Studios and indeed The Hollywood Studios themselves:  Judeo-Christian Bible values.

Just like road building and bridges, the Government should supervise film and tv physical infrastructure allocation and not leave it to a free for all.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North


http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

The question now becomes how best to serve the cause of film making in the UK and of this website.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

May The Blood of Lord Jesus Christ bless and protect us all and deliver  film making in the UK from evil.

Jonathan Stuart-Brown

www.savethebritishfilmindustry.com

SAVE THE BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY.

Our bottomline is  getting 250 000 film industry jobs in the UK  by expanding sound stages (which attract the $100 million to $300 million Hollywood budget movies) around The UK.  Ideally minimum four in in every county in The UK.  We also want state of the art film sets across the UK on ex-industrial land which will give UK film production and tourism an unbeatable edge while regenerating towns and cities and creating jobs and great inspirational beauty in every county.

We are talking over 250 000 jobs and £25 billion a year turnover. Chancellor George Osborne should be very interested in this.

Sound stages are just glorified factory warehouses. If they are not near you, Hollywood will not be investing in your city or town.

If sound stages are not built near you, Your local people will not be getting into the film industry no matter how talented nor how motivated.

REPEAT

If sound stages are not built near you, Your local people will not be getting into the film industry no matter how talented nor how motivated.

It does not take huge film industry experience to build or convert glorified warehouses.

But there are forces spending over £10 million a year in political lobbying costs to prevent them being built outside the present usual suspects. This would not matter so very much if these were themselves truly committed to film making in The UK or competing healthily with each other. Sadly neither scenario is the case.

The BBC and most national newspapers – and most blogs – are absolutely clueless on the film business compared to say the football business. Most fans of clubs know whether the new owners are in debt, really have the monies or intention to invest in the team in the transfer window, or are just asset strippers looking to sell off the ground for its property value.

If the UK film studios were Manchester Utd, Liverpool FC, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham Utd, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers, West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield Utd, Cardiff City, Swansea,  Portsmouth FC, Southampton,  Nottingham Forest, Derby County, or even MK Dons, Brighton, Walsall, Swindon Town, Peterborough, Kidderminster Harriers or Wimbledon  THEN the media would know what questions to ask, how to know when an answer rang true, and how to check whether promises were in fact kept.

In fact the poor quality of UK media reporting on the business of the film business is not journalism but churnalism. The City Desks are usually – but not always – as bad. They will report any PR handout unchallenged and untested. The BBC News  has proved itself the very worst offender.  Its reporting has fallen to the level on the film industry akin to getting soccer results wrong.

Given it is very heavily compromised already in regard to a main player in this drama, it is dancing with what is left of its reputation for integrity and accuracy.

One BBC report  – if translated into football reporting would have Real Madrid beating Barcelona ten nil even though we all saw on live TV Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-0.   One Washington Times report would have Wayne Rooney transferring to Liverpool FC. These stories are untrue, and obviously untrue, but The BBC put out their direct equivalent in March and April 2011.

The BBC would also, in soccer terms, have you believe that Manchester Utd, Manchester City, Birmingham City have no debts whatever. Again untrue, but this is where The BBC are at with film business reporting. The Arts section is not dishonest just incompetent, naive and probably too low calibre to learn.

Alas this matters as most  MPs and  Government Ministers depend on The BBC and national newspapers to give them any information on the film business. Some MPs would doubtless believe Wayne Rooney had signed for Manchester City if The BBC announced it, even if a quick google search revealed it was untrue and a hoax. But sadly almost all believe the most outrageous PR handouts which just get printed and broadcast unchecked, unchallenged and untested.

This really really matters in our economic crisis as we can with minimal effort get massive jobs and revenue with just a little knowledge and focus….although literally a handful of people who are doing very nicely out of our present cottage industry will be unhappy.

The startling truth is that The UK can within five years have a £25 billion annual  inward investment in our film, TV, tourism, film theme park, merchandising and gaming industry. We can have 250 000 people working in the film industry and film theme park industry. But it involves building sound stages  and fantastic sets around The UK on ex-industrial land.

Ideally we put The Pinewood Studios brand or at least The Elstree brand on these new sound stages in some of the  regions. Although having said that The Pinewood brand is being diluted and diminished within the real industry and anyone taking business consultancy advice from them is just a sucker based on their track record since floatation in 2004.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Business/Pinewood-Sheppertons-Biggest-Shareholder-Has-Again-Demanded-Chairman-Michael-Grade-Must-Quit/Article/201103215948197?lpos=Business_First_Buisness_Article_Teaser_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15948197_Pinewood_Sheppertons_Biggest_Shareholder_Has_Again_Demanded_Chairman_Michael_Grade_Must_Quit

Elstree – in a town with  only 94 000 people -   invested in 6 sound stages and has Hollywood finance coming out their ears. Elstree  is fully booked for two years, desperate to expand  and starting to get other private sector investment and jobs in very many fields magnetised to their town. Other towns could and should copy them.

http://www.savethebritishfilmindustry.com/2010/07/simon-cowell-would-approve-as-elstree-studios-expands-to-6-sound-stages-grabs-sherlock-holmes-and-is-gunning-for-007-james-bond/

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

Elstree in the 70s inspired a young local boy who literally lived next door. As he became a teenager, he got a job as a runner getting coffee for Oliver Reed, Jack Nicholson, Steven Spielberg and the cast of Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Who was he ? Simon Cowell of ‘American Pop Idol’, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’,  and the ‘X Factor’. Living next to Elstree Studios sound stages inspired Simon Cowell  to try showbiz and has employed very many people as a result and earned hundreds of millions for The UK, let alone the pleasure it has given the nation and the world. This type of inspiration needs to be spread around The UK. If Simon Cowell had lived fifty miles from a sound stage, then it is probable he would not have entered showbiz. It is a ‘who you know or who you get to know business’. There is no reason why everyone in The UK should not have a chance in their own county to get to know someone who can get them on the ladder to go as far as their talent, courage and work ethic will take them. Sound stages in every county will achieve this.

We expressly want this Government to grab the chance to encourage the building of  the genius  vision Big and Bold film industry infrastructure around The UK to create a £25 billion annual film, tv, tourism, film theme parks, merchandising and gaming industry paying taxes and employing 250 000 people.

We want to put on ex-industrial land sets for Venice, Paris, ancient Rome, Amsterdam,  Parliament, Buckingham Palace, the White House, Paris with Eifel Tower, The Pyramids, space ships, sci-fi, etc. Whether it is called Pinewood is a thing we are increasingly flexible about (and the value of their brandname is falling steadily), but ideally it still will be called Pinewood Studios.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Business/Pinewood-Sheppertons-Biggest-Shareholder-Has-Again-Demanded-Chairman-Michael-Grade-Must-Quit/Article/201103215948197?lpos=Business_First_Buisness_Article_Teaser_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15948197_Pinewood_Sheppertons_Biggest_Shareholder_Has_Again_Demanded_Chairman_Michael_Grade_Must_Quit

It could be a “cracking business” with good management.

The ebbs and flows of Pinewood Shepperton plc (now delisted from The Stock Exchange) were alas a thing we had to monitor every trading minute in 2009, 2010 and 2011. So far every prediction we have made has proved 100% accurate. The cold fact is that whoever bought Pinewood Shepperton shares decides the fate of 34 out of 44 of Britain’s sound stages, and moreover it has all the very big ones which other countries will not have for another year.

It is these sound stages which have brought the huge Hollywood productions and jobs to the UK (at least the south-east of the UK ).  Without them, there would not be 36 000 British people  working in films and of these most would be working in other Continents (if they can get work permits).

We want The UK to be a one-stop shop of a country to film any film or TV project in any language….cheaper and faster but higher quality. This with the sound stages and skill base will attract in the film and TV budgets from every Continent in the world.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

The only place it can not and should not be built is on greenbelt land -especially in the South East – double especially on the greenbelt firewall around The M25 which is designed to contain London from growing out towards Oxford, Bournemouth and Brighton.

Because of the stellar success in defeating the many millions spent by property developers, they will not now tear down the greenbelt barrier surrounding London and open up the concreting over of every greenbelt  to Bournemouth and Oxford. Other property developers who were hiring lobbyists are looking at concreting over things like The New Forest to build houses and earn over £200 billion, have snapped their pencils in anger at the defeat of Project Pinewood’s planning appeal.  There was a sinistre logic to the many schemes seeking to concrete the south-east of the UK. Huge profit for the very few, huge misery for the masses. We plated a big part – perhaps the biggest part – in stopping this. We certainly applaud Eric Pickles, Minister for Communities and Local Government.

Of course  they were cheering on the loss of greenbelt linking Pinewood Studios to the M25 and West London. They wanted to misuse the precedent   to cloak a thousand asset strips and threat to Oxford University colleges and The Royal Dorset Yacht Club. Maybe someone will make a film about it.

The loss of the 100 acres of greenbelt for 1400 houses  on the basis of, “it is vital for The UK Film Industry”  and “national interest” would  sadly have set the precedent for other property developers to  misuse. Any bank, supermarket, or other business could have offered to set up a national training centre and housing development to accommodate staff on greenbelt. As Eric Pickles and Public Inspector Eva Hall said in effect ‘Nice try but No chance’.

The first 100 acre greenbelt thin end of the wedge would have led to 500 000 greenbelt acres being lost between now and 2016. The enemy was defeated and nipped in the bud.

Even in brutal economic times, the UK film industry could  be paying around £10 billion tax a year to Chancellor George Osborne to pay for schools, hospitals, firemen, disabled care workers and police to keep our streets safe.

We can not get a 250 000 strong film industry without some basic film industry knowledge.

Anyone can watch a football game, have an opinion, even understand off-side  but never have any clue about the business end of football. Thus film reviewers – even famous reviewers – usually have zero idea on the business of the film industry. The sad thing is that self-importance and pride stop them admitting it and stop them learning by seeking knowledge.

It is always stupid to say that Pinewood Studios has announced X,Y or Z  from a PR handout without adding some context or perspective.

The truth is that no-one, repeat no-one knows who will be owning/running Pinewood Shepperton  by September 2014 because the shares can be bought and sold freely…and it is possible by 2014 the new owners could  be someone who has no interest in film making based in Britain.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/organgrinder/2009/apr/23/micheal-grade-itv

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/tv-radio/fall-from-grace-of-michael-grades-itv-1637720.html

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/pinewood-puts-peel-group-on-board-to-block-moves-to-oust-michael-grade-tele-1d7de58f7d87.html

http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/pinewood-shareholders-back-board-ftimes-6b4a49cd8928.html

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

We could rescue the total shambles this Board has made of a potentially cracking  business which has just had twelve years of ideal business conditions.

BUT our brief is to expand sound stages around the UK, to create 250 000 British based film industry  jobs, to get a £25 billion a year annual turnover and inward investment,  to get the greatest movies made which have ever been made, and to get great beauty, hope, inspiration in every corner of The UK. To that end we will work with anyone.

The merger of Pinewood-Shepperton-Teddington which created a monopoly after 60 years healthy competition was said to be so Britain could compete with these countries’ studios viz getting big Hollywood budgets. Now the British based studios are prevented from competing with them and $200 million movies such as ‘TOTAL RECALL’ go to Canada not The UK, yet still the Pinewood Shepperton PLC get the fee. Only the British based film workers miss out.

We salute Canada, Germany, Malaysia, The Dominican Republic. Good for them. But they are very big boys and can look after their own industry. Our brief is look out for British based film making and employment. Charity begins at home.

If only a clued in MP with real business experience and acumen such as Peter Bone MP were given Culture Secretary portfolio…we would get 250 000 jobs  in the UK, hope, inspiration and great films (plus he is actually good on Sport which is an odd bedfellow in The Department of Culture, Media and Sport).

It is a sad mark against Prime Minister David Cameron that he excludes from his Cabinet the very few MPs with proven business experience such as Peter Bone, David Davis, and work ethos of John Redwood while promoting those from the disreputable side of the PR industry and student political hacks with absolutely no experience of the real world. Movies are financed, manufactured, distributed and paid for by customers in the real world.

Britain suffers as does the British Film Industry by David Cameron’s  inept Ministerial appointments.

Even the LibDem element is very poor and should include talent such as John Hemming who knows gas, energy, IT inside out. How Chris Huhne ever had a Minister’s job in charge of national energy supply is a question no sane person can answer.

Ministers manage huge staffs and budgets, yet David Cameron excludes the few who are up to the task.

The now defunct UKFC  used their public mega millions to oppose building film sound stages outside of a cosy south-east cartel and cheered as every initiative was derailed by their treasonous sabotage. Thus we only at their peak had 36 000 people employed in the film industry whereas an expansion of sound stages to each region would let us have 250 000.

Very many in the existing film quangos should resign and volountarily disband  in shame, but instead they cling to 6 figure fatcat non-jobs in an era of public cuts in which nurses,doctors,police, firemen will lose their jobs. They should be sounding the alarm that Pinewood and Shepperton 75 year history and the magnet of their 34 sound stages for Hollywood investment of over £1 billion a year in The UK is on the point of being sold off for houses, property, car parks, warehouses, supermarket distribution centres, whatever makes the most commercial sense given their location. Instead they gorge on public purse expenses in the most expensive restaurants, travel first class to five star hotels. There are exceptions.

At the moment despite the recent run of success thanks to Hollywood investment being attracted here by our sound stages, very soon we may be reading that the film work is going abroad. The dumb, dim, lazy official watchdogs are sleeping.

The Government Business Minister Vince Cable, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and Creative Industries Minister Ed Vaizey should intervene now…and axe the film quango non-jobs. Jeremy Hunt axed The UKFC  but most of the people are re-employed in other West London quangos.   Building a UK wide Film Industry was never the UKFC  aim.  Nor is it the aim of most people in the new West London quangos, if it means the regions can genuinely compete with West London and threaten their cosy cabal. The very idea has them sneering and choking with Gestapo style laughter.  Off the record, away from microphones, some even boast they  exist to stop it happening.

The only plus of Pinewood Studios and Shepperton Studios being sold off would be to see the Government Ministers and overpaid quangos squirm as they see the world sees that the West London film industry collapsed on their watch.

Can asset strippers seeking to sell Pinewood and Shepperton land really do this ? All thanks to The UK Film Council, they can sell off the British Film Industry crown jewels.

There are many asset strippers we know of who would gladly buy Pinewood and Shepperton NOT for the film making factory facilities but other commercial use.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

Manchester United, Liverpool FC, Manchester City, Harrods were all sold by the owners when the price was right. The present owners may sell Pinewood Shepperton if the price is too big to refuse.

Of course almost any football fan and football reporter knows this. They know some buyers of shares have big promises but no real money. That they mortgage the club to the hilt gambling on future income to pay the interest. That success on the pitch does not pay the interest. That if you do not pay the interest, you go bust and the club can go into liquidation and the ground turned into a supermarket or car park.

Most actors, directors, MPs, Government Ministers, Civil Servants, film fans, BBC Art journalists DO NOT UNDERSTAND THIS !!

There are of course a few exceptions.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Business/Pinewood-Sheppertons-Biggest-Shareholder-Has-Again-Demanded-Chairman-Michael-Grade-Must-Quit/Article/201103215948197?lpos=Business_First_Buisness_Article_Teaser_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15948197_Pinewood_Sheppertons_Biggest_Shareholder_Has_Again_Demanded_Chairman_Michael_Grade_Must_Quit

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

Pinewood Shepperton has already lost THREE years profits in chasing this housing on greenbelt land quest.

The present business -without the houses – is making minimal profit.

It may be sold to a new buyer looking to extract the land value.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

Just like a new Chairman of a football club sacking the manager SO the old manager’s ideas on team selection, transfer policy etc are meaningless. Of no legal force.

Most new Chairman TALK BIG TRANSFER MONEY but often it never happens. These PR media handouts are not legal promises.

The BBC still reports sport results accurately, and also is still on top of most football business stories. If only they could educate themselves and the public who trust them about the British Film Industry we would be much nearer 250 000 jobs.

The true hero,  The UK regions wait in the wings. We know Pinewood Studios would love us and be very  happy with us if they expanded into us rather than every other Continent. We could conquer the world together.

The Government should urgently intervene and stops Pinewood and Shepperton being sold off for non-film making use…and stop it expanding the brand in non-EU countries such as Malaysia, China, and get ready for Brazil and India.

There are revenue streams tied to film making they have never considered. Pinewood and Shepperton Studios can expand into The Midlands, Wiltshire, Yorkshire, Wales, etc on the massive landbanks available for regeneration. They can build sound stages (the one pre-requisite of Hollywood investment of $100 million dollar movies) in any part of The UK which does not have them. These need about 2-3 acres per sound stage  and they look like most factory warehouses.  Ideally you start with 10 acres and build 4, or you get 20 acres and build 6.

The rising star, the lesson to The UK is Elstree in Borehamwood. It  has six sound stages for rent and is block booked by Hollywood for two years with the likes of $120 million Sherlock Holmes 2 which will employ a huge number of local people on freelance contracts…from electricians, chippies, security, painters, drivers I.T. to actors and cameramen . The private sector investment in all business fields tiny Hertsmere is booming as a result. Five hotels are opening. The film industry magnetises businesses which want to be near them and ride on the free marketing media profile they bring.

Gisela Stuart MP has tried to negotiate with Pinewood Studios (Pinewood Shepperton PLC) last Board about expanding inside The UK, to Birmingham and The West Midlands, but they were hostile as it spoils their plans to move jobs outside The UK while selling off the land value of the present sites with the sky high London values.

John Hemming MP has written letters and shown a keen interest.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

It actually needs one top of the line luvvie to get it to.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/oct/27/pinewood-studios-green-belt

Pinewood are now moving the jobs to Malaysia, but spinning that it is a good thing for Britain. 99% of technicians and 95% of British based actors will not be employed in projects they quietly move to Canada (such as a recent Daniel Craig movie and $200 million TOTAL RECALL), Malaysia and next up China. The negotiations in Shanghai  seemed to go well. Well for China but not British based jobs.

We salute other countries, we wish them well, but our duty is to defend British based film making and British based jobs. We welcome the world and their actors to film here, provided they use British based crews and at least some of our British based actors.

Read more at:

and

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118010218.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

http://www.bucksfreepress.co.uk/news/4695623.Full_story___Project_Pinewood__rejected_after_unanimous_vote/

http://www.buckinghamshireadvertiser.co.uk/south-buckinghamshire-news/local-buckinghamshire-advertiser-news/2009/10/21/pinewood-plans-rejected-by-councillors-82398-24986420/

http://www.maidenhead-advertiser.co.uk/news/article-13364-pinewood-studios-homes-bid-rejected/

http://www.sloughobserver.co.uk/news/roundup/articles/2009/10/21/42348-project-pinewood-bid-given-chop-by-planners/

SAVE THE BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY.com urge The Government to draw up urgent contingency plans to intervene if need be to rescue British based film manufacturing.  The buildings are 75 years old and both could and should get protected status SO they can not be sold off as houses or car parks or other commercial use.

SAVE THE BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY.com urge The Government to help facilitate building 400 sound stages around The UK starting in Wiltshire then the Midlands and The Heart of England.  They can also regenerate the nation and make it more beautiful, more inspiring, more brilliant than ever  by taking the  Pinewood Studios genius world class expansion plan to ex-industrial sites in The West Midlands, Wales, South-West, North, East Anglia, Scotland and all around in The UK regions thus creating over 250 000 jobs.

http://www.projectpinewood.com/video.asp and  http://www.projectpinewood.com/benefits.asp and

http://www.projectpinewood.com/B_Creative.asp and

http://www.pinewoodgroup.com/projectpinewood/overview/index.html

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

You start expanding towards the centre, Wiltshire and Northamptonshire. You then come to   The West Midlands and The Black Country where there have been more than 150 000 private sector jobs lost in the last decade.  This will bring realistic hope of a dynamic future to the  Midland region of sky high manufacturing skill, huge unemployment and abundance of ex-industrial land ideal to rescue Pinewood Studios. It will reduce dramatically the cost of public purse welfare benefits and the huge economic costs to the tax payer (police, NHS, social services) of problems associated with longterm unemployment. This film factory infrastructure can legitimately and easily be financed out of The Lottery Fund. In fact this is a much better use of The Lottery Money as it creates longterm infrastructure which can create jobs and monies until the Second Coming.

Other savings can be made by axing the fat cat bureaucratic film quangos and  regional screen commissions. It is SOUND STAGES which bring in the Hollywood investment…much more than tax credits.

SAVE THE BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY.com urge The Government and all parties to commit to build unique film factory manufacturing infrastructure out from The  Midlands mothership in a ten year plan to have minimum 15 acre sites (bigger than the size of Elstree Studios) from Cornwall to Scotland, and West Wales to East Anglia so that every county has them. Every county can then pitch for Hollywood blockbuster contracts. Most towns are bigger than Elstree Studios, every county has a spare 15 acres.

This is to capture over 50% of all film and TV production finance in the world (£25 billion annually) in every language and to create over 250 000 jobs.

In any event the Pinewood Studios, Shepperton Studios, Teddington Studios, Ealing Studios and Elstree Studios in The South East can quickly be linked in a unique national integrated  film factory infrastructure to Media City http://www.mediacityuk.co.uk/ and BBC Manchester in The North West and The BBC major expansion planned for Cardiff (home of drama productions such as Dr Who).

Just as the first factories in the Industrial Revolution, then canals, then railways, then bridges and then motorways each in turn gave Britain an infrastructure lead over other nations, so this is the new infrastructure lead which can bring in inward investment and export products the world wishes to buy.

SAVE THE BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY.com urge the Government to intervene in this crisis, create real jobs, increase UK prestige and kudos, invest in a real future which can even be the  NEETs solution.

SAVE THE BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY.com urge The Government to use the monopoly legislation to prevent the global brand names Pinewood Studios and Shepperton Studios leaving The UK and indeed The EU. They and their 75 year history need to be confined to British based manufacturing providing British based employment and not relocated to The Far East (China and Malaysia).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/6210282/Bond-studio-targets-Far-East.html

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&source=hp&q=pinewood%20studios%2C%20iver%20heath%20%20&rlz=1R2ADFA_enGB336&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&source=hp&q=pinewood%20studios%2C%20iver%20heath%20%20&rlz=1R2ADFA_enGB336&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&source=hp&q=pinewood%20studios%2C%20iver%20heath%20%20&rlz=1R2ADFA_enGB336&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl

Now Pinewood Studios proposed EXPANSION and future EXPANSIONS relocated to The West Midlands, or even Kent and High Wycombe, OR even Llangollen, Yeovil,  Wellingborough, Corby, Exeter, Chester, Bournemouth or Bath, or even Ipswich, Cambridge, Stratford-on-Avon, Telford, Sunderland or Hull, Dundee, Cowdenbeath, Shetland or Ffestiniog, Sheffield, Barnsley, Derby, Nottingham, Birkenhead,  WELL then this is clearly outside the M25.   We would wish the Government to draw up plans to have a minimum 15 acre film and TV facility in EVERY county in The UK…and preferably with the Pinewood Studios brand on it. Local access to national infrastructure plugged into Hollywood Finance.

By the way what is at present on The Pebble Mill site which was BBC Birmingham, the second biggest TV production centre in The UK and one of the biggest in Europe, for over 30 years ?  Turned to gravel because of clerical error ?

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&source=hp&q=pinewood%20studios%2C%20iver%20heath%20%20&rlz=1R2ADFA_enGB336&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_Mill_Studios

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/298669/Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North-Backlash-as-BBC-s-500m-media-city-fails-to-help-North

Axed because of an error in The BBC Accounts ? This is a matter we think The Attorney General and Justice Minister should call The Fraud Squad in to fully investigate given that very many tens of millions were involved, and The BBC refuses to let the National Audit Office have unfettered access to its accounts concerning Pebble Mill.  It certainly means West Midland licence fee payers are only getting 15% of their money spent in their region while 85% subsidises BBC employment and fat cat boss six figure salaries, millions on taxes, many more millions on £2000 lunches in London. London licence fees only pay for 20% of the employment created by The BBC in London. The destruction of regional media infrastructure by The BBC has led to national newspapers and magazines withdrawing staff from the regions and centralising everything in London.  Private sector investors in all businesses now want MEDIA JUICE for new businesses…free marketing and publicity ONLY easy access to and networking with media can bring. So for example Birmingham has lost not only The BBC Pebble Mill but straight after 61 000 private sector jobs. Only one private sector job in 10 is being created in The West Midlands for 10 in London or near Pinewood Studios in South Bucks.

The Government is now being advised to let Birmingham, The West Midlands and many other UK cities and regions just have officially DETROIT-IFICATION.  To have mass evacuation and movement to the south-east. Every greenbelt including The New Forest and all of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire will have to be concreted over to house them destroying the south-east beauty and quality of life.

http://www.thestirrer.co.uk/?p=682

http://www.centreforcities.org/assets/files/10-06-07%20Private%20Sector%20Cities%20web.pdf

Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell and many Northern Cities need to see what De-troitification looks like first hand. In Detroit over 1 million people have left, houses sell for $1, only the drug gangs are hiring, people leave at the rate of 1000 a week, and still among those left there is 30% unemployment.  It is the debt capital and murder capital of The USA.

However, an antidote to this in the UK is building the original vision in Project Pinewood bigger and bolder around the regions. Jobs, tourism, film glamour, inspiration, regeneration, strong stable communities.

http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&source=hp&q=pinewood%20studios%2C%20iver%20heath%20%20&rlz=1R2ADFA_enGB336&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pebble_Mill_Studios

We are Save the British Film Industry and we are not averse to saving access to British TV production at the same time NOR of saving the whole UK economically, culturally, artistically and socially. This is a noble campaign.

It is for God and for others to save it spiritually and morally.

Having said that  -  the stakes get ever higher with real consequences depending on the outcome, we most sincerely welcome your prayers to create 250 000 film industry jobs in The UK.

http://www.savethebritishfilmindustry.com/2011/06/the-salford-star-rocks-and-shows-where-pinewood-studios-007-james-bond-24-and-the-next-pirates-of-the-caibbean-may-be-heading/

http://www.salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=1007

http://www.savethebritishfilmindustry.com/2011/06/the-salford-star-rocks-and-shows-where-pinewood-studios-007-james-bond-24-and-the-next-pirates-of-the-caibbean-may-be-heading/

http://business.scotsman.com/retail/Jeweller-raises-studio-stake-despite.6787016.jp

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13807257

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-2004856/Pinewood-Shepperton-takeover-saga-takes-twist-deserving-blockbuster-movie.html

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8cc91cb0-9916-11e0-acd2-00144feab49a.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/8580526/Peels-Pinewood-deal-in-doubt-as-jewellery-chain-takes-a-stake.html

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/96351ece-9836-11e0-ae45-00144feab49a.html

http://www.how-do.co.uk/north-west-media-news/north-west-broadcasting/warren-james%92-pinewood-ambitions-set-to-stymie-peel-takeover-bid?-2011061711286/

http://www.insidermedia.com/insider/south-east/54288-peel-rallies-shareholders-following-pinewood-twist/

http://www.thebusinessdesk.com/northwest/news/181093-stockport-jeweller-buys-pinewood-shares.html?news_section=28384

http://www.shropshirestar.com/business/city-news/2011/06/17/new-twist-in-pinewood-bid-saga

Pray  really really hard that by some absolute miracle billionaire John Whittaker, the new King of Pinewood Studios and Shepperton Studios, suddenly decides in his 70s that he really wants to make movies after all !

May The Blood of Lord Jesus Christ bless and protect us all including our families and deliver  film making in the UK from evil.

Jonathan Stuart-Brown

www.savethebritishfilmindustry.com

36 comments so far

Add Your Comment
  1. A very good case and a well rounded argument. I hope the government shows its support for something that will regenerate the region.

  2. Well done Jon. Such an obvious solution, it would be mad not to move here. Next move is national news!

  3. Yes, I must agree! It is time that the Midlands began see some of the action! We have such great talent in this region and we should all be supporting this brilliant effort to bring Pinewood here!

    Well done Jonathan and others! You really seem to be maker tracks :)

    Andrew Walker
    Black Country Cinema
    blackcountrycinema@hotmail.co.uk
    blackcountrycinema.wordpress.com

  4. Manjeet and Andrew, your encouragement both in the early days and now has been outstanding. Literally outstanding. A big thankyou also to Kaz Mohammed for his daily help with logistics, planning and morale. Thanks as ever to Amit at
    http://www.webmirer.co.uk
    Lindsay Doyle, Satnam Rana, Nadine Towell, Colin Roobottom, Phil Upton, and all the others for The BBC Midlands Today and BBC Radio WM coverage. Thankyou to Central TV News. Thankyou to Jonny Greatrex at the Sunday Mercury. Thankyou to the staff of Variety in Hollywood still the best publication on the whole planet http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118010218.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&query=pinewood+studios
    especially to Bobbie Whiteman. A huge thankyou to Adrian Goldberg of the Stirrer and his TalkSport Radio audience, and the brilliant national show last night. The biggest thankyou to BBc Radio Berkshire for the coverage today and as ever a giant thankyou to BBC News Economics Hugh Pym and all The MPs most especially Gisela Stuart MP. We also thank Charlotte at St Modwens, The Longbridge developers, Donovan Campbell, Mayor of Walsall John O’Hare, and Connie and Patrick, Anne and Karen, Amal and Anne, Gerard and Clare , all the guys on
    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=515888&page=16
    especially Ian Wood, Jon, Simon, Rob, Mikey, and
    …there are far too many to list who are working to pull this all together. A huge thankyou to Ronnie Lamb.
    Jonathan Stuart-Brown
    http://www.savethebritishfilmindustry.com

  5. We further wish to thank Matthew Bott for his eloquent and brilliant lobbying of MPs and the website MI6, Mark McDonagh, Grady McLean, …thanks guys.
    Jonathan Stuart-Brown
    http://www.savethebritishfilmindustry.com

  6. Birmingham hurry! Bond 23 start shooting end of next year!

  7. Jonathan, what about Valleywood-Dragon Studios? I cann’t find it on the web?

  8. Charles forgive my delay in getting onto this. If I have not in a few days, please prompt me.

  9. You cannot keep asking the goverment to baily out the film industry everytime there is a recession or the American do not come, also the film industry know world wide.
    where the producer can work somewhere cheaper in the world that is what they are going to do.
    I have been working in the film industry as projectionist for the last 28 years working in films studios, location and cinema. I have seen a big change from the technology side. Which will make the filming of a film a lot easier.

  10. Stephen,

    Thankyou but you miss the point.

    Pinewood has been bailed out, subsidised by public purse and by the BBC for decades. But it does not need to be.

    We are looking for a robust £25 billion a year private sector UK film making infrastructure
    along with additional tourism and merchandising and gaming. One which pays taxes.
    The Government has on its hands mass land banks across The UK, some well over 400 acres, and if derelict they inspire crime….and public cost.

    It has mass unemployment and its focus on banks, bombs and a little pharamaceuticals is a bust model to pay off the national debt.

    The film industry has always gravitated to where land is plentiful and cheap, and where skill base and work ethic high and wages low.
    In the 1930s this was in the land west of and north of a much smaller London. They could not afford lands in the industrial West Midlands (then the world leader), North West and parts of Wales, Scotland, etc
    Now the situation is reversed.
    Lands just north and west of London are far too high for sane film makers to make films as opposed to market them.
    Lands across the UK are plentiful and derelict while skill base FAR FAR higher than the south east, labour costs much much cheaper.
    The quangocracy around film making defends the south-east only infrastructure to defend their own non-jobs from the public purse.
    Moreover, they exclude most of the south-east from the party.
    In the 1960-76 period British pop and rock artists had over 40% of global market BECAUSE the infrastructure was in place to find the musical talent across The UK. 90% was from outside London and less talent per capita found in London.
    Moreover, the infrastructure which launched The Beatles no longer exists outside of London so they would now be working in call centres or diversity liasion counsellors.
    The infrastructure for films HAS NEVER existed outside a very tiny part of the South East, and as there is no factory to hire or precedent, the regional risk capital investors (who set up laundrettes, restaurants, fast food places, car washes) do not put their money into films. It is only critical mass which creates a private sector business model such as Hollywood. All others depend on public subsidy except in India.
    The London film industry has never attracted even third class business talent, although it does have some first class creative talent. Well under 10% of the UK first class creative talent but hey it is a start.
    The real business talent and over 90% of creative talent is excluded.

    Do you want a £25 billion annual business in The UK or not ?

  11. The reputation of these large studios is without doubt superb and they represent the history of the British film industry but they are not the British film industry..

    The future of the larger independent movie studios was always going to be in doubt as they are basically “dry hire” facilities – and can all too often be competed with by anyone with an airfield or some old factory units and who fancy a stab at the movie business…people who don’t have the same costs and don’t necessarily need to be in the movie business next week….and they need little experience as the movie is more or less just renting space..

    Even with diversification into TV and space rental to supplier companies, it was inevitable that the only way to change these real estate intensive elements of the big studios ( the sound stages ) was for these businesses to become more involved in the multiple-margin model – where the studio doesn’t simply rent the stage area but gets involved in supplying the people, equipment, lighting, power, and facilities – thus increasing the available margins per square foot..

    The model needed to change… This is how the TV studios, graphics studios and post production studios work.

    In order for the large studios to do with without upsetting the applecart culturally was to invest in the supplier companies, locking them in on rental agreement to be at your studio but also making a margin even if they lit the production at the guy down the roads’ studio… surely the only way to grow the business – dry hire is too volatile and if your a big studio especially so… feast or famine

    The only other option was grow and grow and grow and grow…

    With a huge amount of valuable real estate and a huge utilization to fill – what is the value of a major studio’s space versus an old factory when even at the major studios your movie production will bring in most of its resources from outside companies.

    And so the model of a UK movie studio was always going to be the used car lot at ridiculous discount rates, or bigger studios getting bigger and not stopping..

    And even with a thriving independent production resource wherever its located, is that a film industry ? I argue not.. A film industry is built on product – product that is encouraged and protected and valued and most importantly of all invested in – in the longer term not just immediate box office…or selling out to Hollywood as soon as its off the blocks..

    To make this sort of investment attractive surely must be the key…
    and perhaps to go back to a model of where studios and production entities have a more direct relationship than simply as independent facility providers..

  12. Meanwhile… “Planning permission in a Green Belt…”

    How Alex Korda managed to obtain planning permission in a Green Belt (!) for his Denham Studios… and how Pinewood saved him…

    http://www.britmovie.co.uk/studios/Denham-Studios

  13. Steve Gunn,
    My english is not so good but I think you describe the situation that was not profitable in the past. Or am I wrong?
    Holland has no film industry (and no World Cup) but England does, I thought!
    I think, it doesn’t get any better than this.

  14. Charles, the return on investment for simply “dry hire” or “4-wall hire” has never been high against the value of the space it occupies, and the higher the land value the harder it is to make that investment make sense. This has been true for any independent studios

    And movie businesses is unique ( against TV or Sound Studios ) in that it primarily hires out space not production facilities..

    And with no shortage of space to make movies now, including old factories and airfields etc how can the big studios package the value of their space to compete at increasing rates in to offset the land value….- thats the issue and has been the issue for a long time ..

    The question is does the culture of movie studios change to become Studios, where they own production facilities and services and they tie them in, making their offering much more than just space… or they invest in productions and thus become less independent..

    But whats been very clear for a number of years is that the old model was going to find it harder and harder to survive, especially ones that occupy prime land.

  15. Steve,
    You seem to be on the ball.
    The key to Pinewood in Iver Heath just West of London AND Shepperton in London is that its land is as PRIME as it comes. Add the 2012 Olympics – try booking a hotel room for this month – and you see that it can make more money from non-film factory hire than continuing with it. The solution ideally is co-invest in films made there, but no-one among The Board or shareholders is up for this.
    So they try to get houses on greenbelt as a shortterm fix, and this is now in Public Inquiry. If they got it, the same problem still exists…PRIME LAND able to make £1 billion and more rather than profits of £4 million a year.
    So they try franchaising the brandname to non-Uk countries which should cut off overnight any UK taxpayer and Lottery subsidies if the Government wake up to them exporting jobs.
    The key is regional expansion of sound stages and lavish must-see sets, tourism, merchandising, gaming.
    The high visibility of studios/factories and the quality of sets WILL get Dragon’s Den type entrepreneurs to put monies into productions.
    Volume of production (hits and misses) produced Hollywood.
    People now invest in shops, restaurants, hotels, laundrettes, products, golf courses, ice cream vans, McDonald’s franchaises, pizza taleaways, bowling alleys ..even dare I say it OCADO which is seeking another £400 million in a floatation. If these same people see, feel, touch, get comfortable with the concept of risking money on productions THEN they will finance them.
    The British Film Industry does not lack the talent in The UK…it has lacked the business brains and the numpties who lose inherited monies put off the real investors who will emerge if the studio facilities are visible and BUSINESS accessible and understandable.

    Simple formula…Great idea, great story, actors and crew to make it below price X, sell it to shops (cinemas or DVD or TV) for more than X. Film markets where buyer meets seller make it easier.
    If the producer gets a great publicity and marketing pre-sale to shops, it is easier.
    If the producer agrees a profit share with shops, then the marketing and publicity need to hook the audience…customers…and keep them coming back with more friends.
    If The producer can get toys, video games, merchandising as bonus money..fantastic.
    Not much different to designing and marketing and distributing a car…except films are one-off creations with a three year shelf life UNLESS you get a sequel and franchaise.
    The key is know what the customers want…deliver it on budget and on time..as in any business.
    Here The UK business dunces have failed…and the public funded stuff just pleases the quango panel of three NOT the public who avoid watching the films.
    Know what the public wants.
    The more the studio facilities are spread around The Uk, the more this will happen.

  16. These guys deserve encouragement
    http://www.mancattan.co.uk/

  17. http://omarimccarthy.blogspot.com/

  18. Ended up on this site accidentally. Most of the comment is out of my league but it gets me pretty upset at how difficult it is to stop vested interests. I’m just an occasional filmgoer because I’m sick of US junk films cluttering up our cinema schedules with rubbish plotlines, predictable to the point of narcosis; two-dimensional characterisation that’s totally forgetable; deafening soundtrack; obligatory car chases; etc. etc. etc. But worse than that, when an interesting film comes along what happens? The distribution is so patchy you can’t see it even if you want to. So it’s not just the BFI that’s falling apart. I live in a very rural area with cinemas few and far between. Two of these are currently threatened with closure. In the case of one of them it’s not because the cinema side of the enterprise isn’t making money, it’s the bingo element that’s going down the pan. So the cinema is being closed to sell the whole site off to a pub chain in a town with too many pubs already. And the second cinema? It’s in a town 20 miles away, owned by the same entity. It’s not making a profit – probably because its schedules are crazy. Why show Nanny McPhee for three weeks for God’s sake? In a town of less than 6,000 souls? Even allowing for tourists, this didn’t make sense. So unless there’s a total rethink about the whole UK film scene, I can’t see things improving. Is there room for Ordinary People with a Passion for British Films to become Angels? Even little ones? Just wondering.

  19. Whereabouts do you live Judith?

    There are good independent cinemas – The Ultimate Picture Palace in Oxford is one of them. But you are correct.

    The problem is that many Brirish Films simply do not get distributed.

    Watch the following link (begins about halfway through) from one of our leading actors and you’ll get the picture’

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A88dwqSN9j4

    Some say its because the British make the wrong kind of pictures – maybe- but thats constrained by budgets and budgets by distribution – it is a vicious circle. Also we need to make ALL KINDS of films since the market is diverse – it isnt just about making blockbusters.

  20. To Vigo

    In answer to your question, I live at a T-junction in rural North Cumbria. Need a car to get anywhere – and decent weather. Nearest town (3 miles) hasn’t got a cinema. Nearest city (12 miles) has a multiplex which only advertises on-line, effectively denying 60% of the local population any information. (Advertising in local papers is clearly too archaic.) Next two nearest cinemas are 20+ miles away, one to the SE, the other to the SW and they are the 2 currently under threat of closure. (Just got back from a stopover to see ‘The King’s Speech’ at one of these. Lovely seats, fantastic sound and full house. The next nearest cinema after that is 30+ miles to the W on the coast. It might as well be on Mars.

    I had a look at the youtube clip. Very dispiriting. The regurgitating of played out formulaic US plotlines is precisely the sort of film I’m not interested in – and I venture to say none of the audience I was surrounded by two nights ago would be interested in it either. Maybe if more British Actors fought for their product, someone might sit up and take notice. Giving up looks a bit sad. Maybe I’m doing RC an injustice.

  21. Good for you on liking British film.

    The thing is that Robert Carlyle is an actor – not a film distributor.

    I have not yet seen the two British films he refers to (later in the youtube clip) which he says were not properly distributed and which are the comments of his I was specifically referring to – but I think you are right about more British actors needing to fight for British cinema.

    If there was a vocal campaign by leading British actors and film directors saying how this is wrong maybe there would be more pressure on the Government to do something. Perhaps the truth is that theres a kind of ‘in club’ who are ok because they get funding and finance for their films and they base themselves in LA- so perhaps they wont ‘rock the boat’ – I dont know.

    Steve Gunn (above) said;

    And even with a thriving independent production resource wherever its located, is that a film industry ? I argue not.. A film industry is built on product – product that is encouraged and protected and valued and most importantly of all invested in – in the longer term not just immediate box office…or selling out to Hollywood as soon as its off the blocks.

    To make this sort of investment attractive surely must be the key…
    and perhaps to go back to a model of where studios and productionlli entities have a more direct relationship than simply as independent facility providers’

    end quote

    This is absolutely correct.

    Also-

    We must have hundreds (thousands?) of media/acting/film school graduates in the uk who are out of work or who retrain in different areas or who emigrate to find work.
    Yet they dont post here, do something about it or support the savethebritishfilmindustry ideas… Its a mystery.

    Film-makers themselves were completely hoodwinked when the National lottery gave millions to Arts Alliance to install digital projectors in cinemas. Arts alliance CEO Hoeg was on the board of the UK Film Council – this idea would have give film-makers the ability to distribute films made on a relatively low budget (and here I am not necessarily talking about films which have to look low budget -) it would have led to a flourishing employment sector overnight since a major cost in film was in distributing prints – BUT they stymied this idea by insisting on a (totally unecessary) encryption fee which made this unaffordable.

    It was a way of protecting the status quo. Multiplexes are for the most part distribution houses for Hollywood product and were to remain so – even though digital technology meant that a new British Film industry (including cinemas) could flourish.

    I read about the cinema you referred to and the online campaign to save it (Jonathan Stuart-Brown take note!) What is interesting are the comments by the cinema manager ie; THAT THE CINEMA WAS A FINANCIAL SUCCESS – IT DID NOT MAKE A LOSS.

    There are many methods to secure a British Film Industry. They are not difficult to implement. They are easy. They are ideas which create jobs and keep rural cinemas – and cinemas everywhere open. Jonathan Stuart Brown is not incorrect when he says that sound stages are economically viable. They are ideas which worked before and can do so again.

    As the screenwriter Jonathan Gems has said;

    ‘It’s almost shocking how easy it would be to revive British Cinema.’

    http://www.puremovies.co.uk/articles/why-we-dont-have-our-own-cinema/

    If you ever wanted a look at vested interests look no further than the British Film Industry over the past couple of decades;

    http://jw48.wordpress.com/shocking-facts-whos-who-on-the-uk-film-council-board-of-directors/

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2010/dec/07/golden-age-quotas-british-cinema

    Dont ever believe the rubbish that British Films are commercial flops. They are not.
    When British films are properly distributed they are every bit as succesful commercially as Hollywood movies. As you said in your first post – there are vested interests – these vested interests feather their own nests at the expense of the country, its cinematic culture and the wider economy.

  22. A new British film, A Fantastic Fear of Everything, is the first film to receive support from ‘Pinewood Films’ – an initiative launched earlier this year following an announcement that the Company is making a return to investing in film production, supporting independent, British films.

    http://www.pinewoodgroup.com/2011/07/pinewood-announces-support-for-first-british-film-production/

  23. Well as the BBC is most people in the UK source of information and news. It is hard to blame the readers if they believe what they read. The BBC is no longer as independent as it ones was..

  24. PROJECT PINEWOOD
    Pinewood Shepperton plc is disappointed by today’s decision by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to refuse planning permission for Project Pinewood. Pinewood will now take time to review the decision in detail.