On a whistlestop tour of Los Angeles, UK culture minister Ed Vaizey has been meeting with studio heads in a bid to encourage US films to shoot in the UK, in the light of the recent extension of the UK film tax relief.
“Everyone has been very enthusiastic about the UK,” Vaizey told Screen. “They love what we do and the quality of our work. They are happy about the extension of the tax credit and the exchange rate helps.”
Vaizey has met with top brass at Warner Bros, Disney, Sony, Universal, Legendary Pictures and DreamWorks. He was planning to meet Paramount executives on Wednesday (Nov 30).
“We want to make sure we build on what we are doing already. It’s important we bring people like line producers out on a regular basis to meet the studios. It was important for example to discuss with Warner Bros what’s happening at [Warner Bros-owned] Leavesden Studios.”
Vaizey said it was his understanding that the studio was keen to open The Harry Potter Experience in spring 2012 in time for the London Olympics.
He continued: “It was important for example to understand from Disney that their ‘outside-US’ business has tripled over the last few years. DreamWorks stressed they had deep familiarity with the UK.”
Vaizey was due to attend BAFTA/LA’s Britannia Awards on Wednesday night before heading up to San Francisco later in the week to meet technology companies.
He is accompanied on the trip by BFI chief executive Amanda Nevill and Film London’s Adrian Wootton in his capacity as CEO of the British Film Commission.