UK Producer says Hollywood better than British film industry

LONDON, UK - Hollywood gets a big thumbs up from Oscar winning producer Graham King but when it comes to the British film industry, he sighs in disappointment.

So what's wrong with the British fIlm industry and why is Hollywood so damned good at making movies? According to King the way money is spent on developing films in the UK is far less effective than in Hollywood, and that in order to make the best possible film, one must go to America instead.

King told Radio 4 that the British Film Industry is "not run well enough for the talent that we have", and that ""We have the best writers, the best directors and some of the best actors in the world, so why don't we make the best movies, why don't we make bigger movies, why don't we make movies for a broader audience?" (Full transcript on

British film industry losing direction after UKFC closure

The frustration at the top about has been echoed in the past 6 months by other leading figures who feel that the closure of the UK Film Council, Britain's national film agency, further reduces the ability of its own industry to compete with the US, and adds to the argument it does not have a clear direction like Hollywood. Although there are a lot of US productions filmed in the UK, producers and government argue that it is the US, not the UK, that benefits the most from successful films, as they put most of the financing in place and reap the box office takings.

While the UK Film Council appropriated funding to independent films and short movies, the organisation was criticized for funding films that had no wide appeal, and that it should have had more of a commercial direction to make films box office successes. On the other side of the argument, those who supported the UKFC such as Liam Neeson, felt that its sudden axe left a gap in the UK industry, that sends a clear message to the world that the UK is not the best place to shoot a film. The relationships between Hollywood and the UK remain strong, but the UK film industry lacks investment in commercial films, with too much red tape for filmmakers with real talent wishing to make international hits.

Where Hollywood excels

The power of the Hollywood studios has recognised the genius of indie filmmakers such as Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino and propelled their ideas to international audiences. Investing in development is also something that Americans do on a big scale, such as the Hobbit, which has cost millions before the first shot is even filmed. Why can't the UK make films on a bigger scale like Harry Potter, without a US studio baking it?

King, who has produced Avatar, Blood Diamond, Gangs of New York and Ali, is currently promoting his latest film London Boulevard starring Keira Knightley.

More information on Graham King

Latest film: London Boulevard

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