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British Film Industry - Essay Example

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Compared to American cinema, the relation between British television and cinema has been viewed as rather hostile. During the 1950s, the sell of films to television created disputes and this is one of the reasons why the relation had soured [1]. The British film industry was of the view that the only way they could protect a declining trade, was by refusing to sell films to television - the new kid on the block…
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British Film Industry
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"British Film Industry"

Download file to see previous pages In spite of the tension caused by refusal to sale feature films to television, the decade broadcasted television cinema programmes such as Current Release, Picture Parade and Film Fanfare, which kept the two industries connected.
However, this is only a partial perspective and does not cover the true dynamism and depth of the relation. To view this relation in the proper light, one has to consider the economic interdependence of both media. As different delivery systems, such as video cassettes, cable and satellite and then the new age media such as Internet and i-phones have broken technological barriers, they have revolutionised the business of film production. Hollywood had also gone through the same experience. The remarkable revival of the US film industry from the end 1980s, after its slump in the end 60s and early 70s, was a result of Hollywood taking advantage of pay television and video market. This is evident from the revenue figures of the studios during the 1980s and 1990s. Theatrical releases, which accounted for 76 percent of the studio revenues in the 80s, fell to 24 percent in the 1994. The revenue from pay TV rose in the same period from 4.8 percent to over seven percent and that for videos from one percent to 46.4 percent [2]. These figures prove that between 1983 and 1993, popularity of movies had not decreased but the audience had moved from the big screen to the television screen [3].
As in Hollywood, in Europe (mainly Western Europe) too, the box-office spending accounted for 34.8 percent of film spending in 1992, while video accounted for 41.1 percent and pay TV for 24.1 percent [4]. The movies viewed in Europe, however, were mostly Hollywood productions, which had captured 77.4 percent of the theatrical market and a greater portion of the video market in 1990 [5]. In UK, a massive 94 percent of the video rentals market was taken over by US films in 1991 [6]. This comparative data shows that while Hollywood took advantage of the new delivery mediums to capture market at home and abroad, the European film industry failed to take this advantage. This fact, compounded with the general decline of cinema audience by approximately 24 percent in the period between 1983 and 1993, in Western Europe, led to a decline in European film production between 1980 and 1994, by almost 25 percent [7].
The Era of Television Production of Films
This lull gave television the opportunity to come to the forefront, as a major investor in European film making. European Filmfile data for June 1994 shows that 51 percent of the films produced in Europe, at this time, were backed by television finance [8]. While in some countries such as Belgium and Portugal, television had investments in all films, in others such as France and Germany, television was involved with 74 percent and 63 percent, respectively, of the films produced in those countries. One major difference that existed between US and Europe in the context of television companies investing in film production, was that while in the US the private pay channels such as HBO, etc, were into financing film ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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