Making a Horror Film – Not so Scary?

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a film premiere to celebrate the release of a new horror film produced by a Barnes Roffe client. This was a slightly more unusual conclusion to my day than I am used to on a Monday night and it does raise the question how did I end up in such a position?  It seems to be that there are new British film companies coming on board with Barnes Roffe every week, so why is this?

The British film industry is being strongly backed by the government and there have been further plans approved to extend tax breaks on UK films by the EU. This means that investment in a British film is becoming more commonplace and it is clear to see why:

Operation of the UK Film Tax Relief:

  • For films of all budget levels, the Film Production Company (FPC) can claim a payable cash rebate of up to 25% of UK qualifying film production expenditure.
  • For films with a core expenditure of more than £20m, which completed principal photography before 1 April 2015, the FPC can claim a payable cash rebate of up to 25% on the first £20m of qualifying UK expenditure, with the remaining qualifying UK expenditure receiving a 20% tax rebate.

The government’s Film Tax Relief has supported almost £8 billion of production expenditure since its introduction, including films such as Oscar winning Gravity, Maleficent and Harry Potter. It supported 222 films in 2014 alone. This shows that from a gigantic box office budget to a small local film production there is an abundance of relief available to help in this industry.

Information about film tax relief:

  • According to official BFI statistics, 222 films started principal photography in 2014, spending £1.4 billion in the UK – an increase from £1.1 billion in 2013 and the highest figure on record
  • Examples of films that have qualified under the cultural test for film tax relief include: Skyfall, World War Z, Paddington, The Theory of Everything, Mr Turner, The Imitation Game, Gravity, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • UK’s thriving creative sector industries employ 1.7 million people and added £76.9 billion to the economy last year.

With the government backing the industry so strongly and the investment being encouraged at all levels by a range of schemes including EIS and SEIS, it is difficult to see the UK film industry growth slowing down anytime soon.

Everyone will have dreamt about being a movie star at one point in their life so perhaps becoming involved in the film industry is not as far-fetched as it once was. I know I will certainly be looking to build on the strong background and reputation that Barnes Roffe has developed in the UK film industry, and who knows I might even get invited to another premiere!

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