The venture aims to fill a “gap in the market” to serve the needs of international film-makers wanting to shoot in the UK.
Former British Commissioner Steve Norris has teamed up with Pinewood Studios and Framestore to launch a new production services company aimed at encouraging more international film productions to shoot in the UK.
Apollo Productions will advise on all aspects of film production in the UK, from film qualification and the UK cultural test, to co-production status and tax credits, as well as managing the production process for its clients.
The company, which will be based at Pinewood and in central London, plans to target independent producers from around the world - from European production companies to US mini majors - to fill a “gap in the market”, Steve Norris told Screen, especially in the light of recent figures released by the UKFC which showed that co-productions in the UK were down from 26 to 19 in 2010.
“If a leading European film-maker wanted to come and do an English-language film in the UK, who would they go to? Unlike other jurisdictions, there aren’t any full service production companies here,” said Norris.
“People said that Woody Allen would never make a film outside New York, and that turned out not to be true, so wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could create a way for someone like Almodovar to come and do something here as well.”
He added: “One of my worries has been that with all this big feature production coming to the UK, other film-makers look at the UK and might start to see it as the domain of the bigger international movie, but actually it’s not. The reality is, I think we are as competitive, or more so, than almost anywhere in the world and I think we can work at every level.”
“So we’ve created something that can hopefully enable us to re engage slowly with independent film-makers from Europe or the US. The trick is to make it easy for them. We want to see a whole new generation of film-makers coming to the UK,” said Norris, who was managing director of post production house Framestore until 2009.
Nick Smith, commercial director for Pinewood Studios added: “If you look at central Europe, its common for German films to be made in Italy, or Italian films to be made in France. The common thing is, none of them come to the UK. But actually, looking at the relationship between the euro and the sterling, it makes financial sense for them to come to the UK. And we can help them to do that.
“We will go out and meet with relevant producers, and budget on their behalf, and say, this is how we will do this film. They might just be surprised,” added Smith, who together with Norris, will be in Berlin to launch the new venture.
Apollo’s website is now live.