Gregory Peck at Pinewood Studios

When I think of Pinewood Studios, I think of James Bond movies, and I think of classic British cinema which has been around for years and I hope will be around for many more to come. Just look at this awesome image of Gregory Peck at Pinewood. Love it!

I’ve come across this excellent article over on Televisual magazine’s blog (Tim Dams’ to be more specific) which is titled ‘Hollywood Shoots Flock To The UK’. It looks specifically at movies that have been shot on our fair isle over the past couple of years and looks to the future which is, at the moment, looking as equally bright.

In the last two weeks alone, we’ve seen Universal Studios’ Robin Hood and Walt Disney Pictures / Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time released in UK cinemas. To the general consumer, these will both be seen as big American Hollywood productions but what they may not know is that parts of both movies were shot at Pinewood Studios, the UK’s biggest movie studio. And in the coming months, Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney will return for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides which has been confirmed to be shot in 3d.

In the coming year, the final 2 Harry Potter films, Martin Scorsese’s new movie, The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Captain America (as yet unconfirmed by Pinewood but we pretty much know it to be true) and Frankenweenie, Tim Burton’s new movie, all of which will be filmed at Pinewood, Leavesden, Shepperton and Elstree Studios. Why is this you may ask, well, Televisual tell us:

They’re attracted by the UK’s film talent and facilities, as well as the favourable exchange rate and our film tax break which is worth 20% of budget.

According to the Televisual report (which was provided by the Office of the British Film Commissioner, Colin Brown), the US studios spent £728.5m on film production in the UK last year (2009) and go on to say that spending in 2010 is looking pretty much similar to that figurue again.

Movies that have either show here and have not yet been released or that are shooting in the coming months are:

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • John Carter of Mars (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • Frankenweenie (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • 127 Hours (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
  • Pirates! (Sony Pictures Entertainment/Aardman Animations)
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret (GK Films)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • The King’s Speech (The Weinstein Company)
  • Your Highness (Universal Pictures)
  • Inception (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • Never Let Me Go (Fox Searchlight)

I’ll let you head over to the Televisual blog for the full report but in a nutshell, this is wonderful news for the UK film industry. With the big US studios coming to the UK, they’ll be looking for British talent (of which there is a plethora!) both in front of an behind the camera. Just look at Prince of Persia for example, British director in the form of Mike Newell, British leading lady – Gemma Arterton and the legendary British actor, Sir Ben Kingsley. Most of the cast were British and even the leading man, Jake Gyllenhaal was tasked with an English accent. It’s all good for the UK film industry. Kick-Ass is another example of a film which was a British Independent production that went global. British stars and British writers and Robin Hood has Ridley Scott and a huge UK crew.

With the new Government, things may change with regards to the tax breaks but I hope that things stay the same to continue attracting these huge American Studios to Great Britain.