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Mark Hill

Mark Hill

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  • Comment on: Only 7% of UK films make profit

    Mark Hill's comment 8-Dec-2013 2:56 pm

    I wish to add my concern that a major flaw in this research conclusion is that the BFI and its forerunners clearly do not look at film primarily in commercial terms. As an example look at the recent film 'Spike Island' one of their highest awards to date. A total of £ 940,000 of production awards was granted so the budget is presumably around £ 2m, which anyone with knowledge of the current market is completely unviable. Then £ 300,000 of "big audience" distribution funding was given, which is match funding so the P&A budget was at least £ 600,000. As far as I can ascertain the film grossed about £ 110,000 so after Vat, exhibitor and distributor fees, a net of around £ 25,000. So the distribution award recoups nothing as the distributor P&A contribution is repaid first and the film is unlikely to make any money back from the UK, its main market, to repay the production award as the distributor P&A is still to be recovered. Any overseas sales will be swallowed up in sales costs and finance senior to the BFI award, so I expect the BFI will be making a 100% provision against the film in the accounts soon. Total investment incl. development £ 1,254,550. So I don't think the record of those who make this kind of financial decision can be used to reflect on the financial performance of UK film generally. Comparable films without BFI backing are being made for 30-50% of this amount, and if they are not tipping into profit are at least giving their backers most of their investment back.

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