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October 2017
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    Hiring top talent and investing heavily in development have been key to growing his Bristol indie Plimsoll Productions, says founder Grant Mansfield
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Film 40, 2014 Back to Reports & survey Listing

The Top 40 Film Production Companies in the UK

Tim Dams reveals the top 40 film production companies in the UK, compiled with off the record guidance and input from leading film producers, agents, financiers, and independent film PR consultants.


42
Ben Pugh, Rory Aitken, Josh Varney & Kate Buckley


42 was set up in 2013 by producers Pugh and Aitken and Talent Group agents Varney and Buckley, whose clients include Michael Caine and Rhys Ifans. 42 is in post on Monsters: The Dark Continent, the sequel to Gareth Edwards’s Monsters. And it’s prepping Eran Creevy’s Autobahn, starring Nicholas Hoult, and The Autopsy of Jane Doe, starring Martin Sheen. 42 has partnered with ITV GE to move into scripted TV. Credits: Welcome to the Punch, Shifty

Aardman Animations


Peter Lord, David Sproxton & Nick Park

The UK’s pre-eminent animation producer, Bristol-based Aardman is readying the movie debut of one of its most popular TV characters, Shaun the Sheep. The film is financed by StudioCanal and will be released in March 2015. Aardman also has 10 films in development, including a new (non Wallace and Gromit) project from Nick Park. Credits: Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, The Pirates!

Altitude Films

Will Clarke

Production, distribution and sales outfit Altitude has got off to a flying start since it was launched by former Optimum boss Will Clarke in 2012. It’s just shot the Samuel L Jackson-starring action thriller Big Game, and is now filming the music industry satire Kill Your Friends, starring Nicholas Hoult and James Corden. Credits: Big Game, The Hooligan Factory

Baby Cow

Steve Coogan & Henry Normal

Baby Cow is on a roll. Primarily a TV comedy indie  (Alan Partridge, Gavin and Stacey), it has carved out an impressive sideline in film too, producing four last year including Oscar winner Philomena and box office hit Alpha Papa. Baby Cow has 20 films on its development slate, including a new project being penned by Coogan and Philomena writer Jeff Pope. Credits: Philomena, Alpha Papa, The Look of Love, Northern Soul

Big Talk
Nira Park, Matthew Justice & Kenton Allen

Prolific and talent focussed, Big Talk has enjoyed success across film and comedy TV. The indie, which has backed talent like Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, was acquired by ITV last year for an initial £12.5m. Big Talk is filming romantic comedy Man Up, starring Simon Pegg. Credits: The World’s End, Cuban Fury, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Paul, Attack the Block.

Cloud Eight


Christian Colson

Oscar winning producer Christian Colson has teamed with regular directing partner Danny Boyle on a host of hit films like Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours. Recently, Cloud Eight – which has a long term deal with Pathe – has started to move into TV, producing the upcoming WWII mini-series Telemark for US broadcaster FX. Boyle is linked to a feature adaptation of doc Smash and Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers Credits: The Descent, Slumdog Millionaire, The Scouting Book for Boys, 127 Hours, Trance

Cowboy Films

Charles Steel & Alasdair Flind

Cowboy Films has built a business across film and TV drama. Run by Charles Steel and Alasdair Flind, the indie is making two very different films this year. It has just finished shooting the Kevin Macdonald directed submarine thriller Black Sea, starring Jude Law. And it’s now making Bill, a family comedy about William Shakespeare from the team behind Horrible Histories and Yonderland. Credits: How I Live Now, Marley, Top Boy (TV), The Last  King of Scotland.

Blueprint Pictures


Graham Broadbent & Pete Czernin

Blueprint has established a solid reputation thanks to the success of Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and earlier acclaim for its In Bruges. The indie is now in post production on two highly anticipated features. The first is the sequel to its surprise 2012 box office smash Marigold Hotel, which took over $135m in cinemas around the world. Directed by John Madden from a script by Ol Parker, the film reunites Dames Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, and also stars Richard Gere. It’s released in spring 2015. The second film on the Blueprint slate is an adaptation of the hit stage play Posh, which is directed by Lone Scherfig and parodies moneyed, out of control Oxford University students who are members of a Bullingdon-like club. It’s an interesting project for Blueprint to take on as co-founder Pete Czernin is a close friend of Bullingdon’s most famous member, David Cameron. Czernin is also part of one of Britain’s richest families, which owns a swathe of Marylebone in London. Earlier this year, he joined the BFI’s governing board. Meanwhile, Broadbent was previously a co-founder of Dragon Pictures and Mission Pictures with Damian Jones. Credits: Becoming Jane, In Bruges, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Now Is Good, Seven Pyschopaths

Cuba Pictures
Nick Marston, Dixie Linder & Tally Garner

The production arm of agency Curtis Brown has reteamed with Broken director (and future National Theatre boss) Rufus Norris on London Road. Starring Tom Hardy and Olivia Colman, it’s an adaptation of the unlikely hit musical about the murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich in 2006. Cuba is also adapting Jonathan Strange & Mr Norell for BBC1. Credits: Broken, Boy A (TV)

DNA Films
Andrew Macdonald & Allon Reich

The prolific DNA has become a fixture of the British industry over the past 20 years. Upcoming films include Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of Far from the Madding Crowd, starring Carey Mulligan, and Alex Garland’s thriller Ex Machina. Credits: Sunshine on Leith, Dredd 3D, Never Let Me Go, The Last King of Scotland, Notes on a Scandal, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, The Beach, Trainspotting and Shallow Grave.

DJ Films

Damian Jones

A highly regarded, entrepreneurial producer, Damian Jones is about to release Amma Asante’s period drama Belle. The producer of Oscar-winning The Iron Lady, Jones is now casting and financing a film based on TV classic Dad’s Army. A feature about AA Milne, Goodbye Christopher Robin, is in development and he is also readying Lady in the Van with producer Kevin Loader. Credits: The Iron Lady, Fast Girls, The History Boys, Kidulthood

Ealing Studios

Barnaby Thompson & Ben Latham-Jones

The owner of the famed UK studios, Ealing has enjoyed financial success producing its reworkings of St Trinian’s, and has just completed shooting high school reunion feature D-Train starring Jack Black. Other Ealing projects in post include Nina Simone biopic Nina, and Kids in Love, the feature directorial debut of Chris Foggin which stars Bafta Rising Star Will Poulter, Alma Jodorowsky and Cara Delevingne. Credits: The Importance of Being Earnest, St Trinian’s, Dorian Gray.

Ecosse Films

Douglas Rae & Robert Bernstein

Ecosse has a long and impressive pedigree, but its most recent film, Diana, got a critical mauling. It’s now making another royal themed film, Girls Night Out, directed by Julian Jarrold, based on the true story of Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret being let out of Buckingham Palace to join the VE celebrations in 1945. Recent TV dramas include Sky’s Fleming and ITV’s upcoming Great Fire of London. Credits: Mrs Brown, Brideshead Revisited, Nowhere Boy, Wuthering Heights, Diana.

Eon
Barbara Broccoli
& Micheal G. Wilson

The home of James Bond, Eon is gearing up to shoot the 24th instalment of the franchise this autumn. Sam Mendes returns as director after the success of Skyfall. Eon remains a family business and is run by original producer Albert R ‘Cubby’ Broccoli’s daughter Barbara and stepson Michael G Wilson. Credits: Skyfall, Quantum of Solace, Casino Royale, Die Another Day, Golden Eye.

Filmwave
Paul Trijbits

The former md of Ruby Films, Paul Trijbits set up Filmwave in 2012. He’s been busy since executive producing the adaptation of JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy as a TV series for the BBC. FilmWave has also teamed with Distressed Films to produce Sing Street, a semi-autobiographical movie about U2 growing up in Dublin during the 1980s. John Carney directs, while Bono and The Edge are involved. Credits: Saving Mr Banks

Free Range Films

Kevin Loader

Kevin Loader is one of the UK’s most established film producers, who made his feature debut on Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Free Range is a partnership with director Roger Michell. The pair recently made the well received Le Week-End. They are now shooting ITV drama The Lost Honour. Credits: Le Week-End, Hyde Park on the Hudson, In the Loop, The History Boys

Hammer

Simon Oakes

Legendary horror brand Hammer has become rather prolific of late after a 30 year hiatus from its heyday when it produced over 150 features. Part of Exclusive Media, Hammer has just shot the sequel to its box office smash, The Woman In Black, which is directed by Tom Harper.  Hammer released The Quiet Ones last month, directed by John Pogue. Hammer is diversified too, launching a publishing imprint through Random House. Credits: Let Me In , Wake Wood, The Resident, The Woman in Black, The Quiet Ones.

Heyday Films

David Heyman

Thanks to his success with the Harry Potter franchise, David Heyman is viewed as one of the UK’s most bankable producers and has a first look deal with Warners. Next up for Heyman is animation Paddington, an adaptation of Michael Bond’s classic, that’s set for a wide November release. Most recently Heyman produced Alfonso Cuaron’s Oscar-winning Gravity, and is now shooting Testament of Youth, based on the memoir by Vera Brittain. Credits: Gravity, Harry Potter films, I am Legend, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

Passion Pictures/ Red Box

John Battsek, Andrew Ruhemann & Simon Chinn

Between them, frequent collaborators Passion and Redbox are responsible for producing some of the biggest feature documentaries to come out of the UK - including Oscar winners One Day in September, Man on Wire and Searching for Sugar Man. Their documentary output is all marked by a true sense of scale and drama, where fact is often stranger than fiction. Recent Passion projects include four new feature docs that premiered at Sundance in January, including Greg Barker’s Revolution and Nadav Schirman’s The Green Prince, which opened the festival and is based on the best selling book, Son of Hamas. Passion was launched 15 years ago as the film arm of animation house Passion Pictures, and it hit the ground running with Kevin Macdonald’s One Day in September. Red Box’s Simon Chinn is based in Passion’s office just off Tottenham Court Road, and has just launched a TV arm, Lightbox. Red Box was set up in 2005 by Chinn to produce Man on Wire. Red Box has since formed a strategic alliance with Passion Pictures to co-produce or co-executive produce documentary features. Credits: One Day in September, Searching for Sugar Man, Project Nim, Man on Wire, The Imposter, Restrepo, Fire in Babylon, The Age of Stupid

Independent
Luc Roeg

A diversified indie that encompasses production, international sales and UK distribution, Independent most recently produced The Sea, the adaptation of John Banville’s Booker Prize winning novel, which was released last month. It’s now in post in Carol Morley’s The Falling, based around a fainting epidemic at an all-girl school in 1969. Credits: We Need to Talk about Kevin,  Boxing Day, Mr Nice

JW Films
James Wilson

James Wilson was the producer of Jonathan Glazer’s recently released Under the Skin, starring Scarlett Johansson. A former Fox Searchlight and Film4 executive, Wilson was one of the recipients of the BFI’s Vision Awards for production companies. They said he has “a passion for film and a philosophy that artistic quality and innovation makes for good business.” Credits: Attack the Block, The Perverts Guide to Ideology, Under the Skin.

Magnolia Mae
Gabrielle Tana

London-based Gabrielle Tana has racked up an impressive run of credits, culminating with an Oscar nomination this year for Philomena which she produced with Steve Coogan and Tracey Seaward. She also worked last year with Ralph Fiennes on his well-received The Invisible Woman. Magnolia Mae is based in New York, but most of its work is out of the UK. Credits: Philomena, The Invisible Woman, Coriolanus, The Duchess

Number 9
Stephen Woolley & Elizabeth Karlsen

Stalwarts of British film production, Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen set up Number 9 after a long collaboration at both Palace and Scala Productions. The outfit aims to produce between two and three films a year, and is currently shooting the highly anticipated Carol, an adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel directed by Todd Haynes and starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Credits: Made in Dagenham, Breakfast on Pluto, Great Expectations, Byzantium

Origin Pictures


David Thompson, Ed Rubin

Origin was launched by former BBC Films boss David Thompson in 2008. This year, Origin brought Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom to the screen, and is in post on doc director Morgan Matthew’s feature debut X+Y and What We Did on Our Holiday, from the creators of BBC1’s Outnumbered. TV credits include BBC dramas Jamaica Inn and Death Comes to Pemberley. Credits: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, The Awakening, The First Grader.

Peapie Films
Kris Thykier

Former Freuds PR man Kris Thykier set up Peapie Films in 2009, having previously run Marv Films with Matthew Vaughan. Peapie’s slate includes Trash with Working Title Films, directed by Stephen Daldry, which is in post; Denmark ’92, billed as ‘The Full Monty for footballers’ about the Danes unlikely Euro ’92 win; and The Woman in Gold which has Helen Mirren attached. Credits: Stardust, Kick-Ass, I Give It A Year.

Playmaker Films
James Gay-Rees, Jolyon Symonds & Asif Kapadia

Playmaker was set up in 2013 by director Kapadia and producers Gay-Rees and Symonds. With a strong reputation for feature docs such as Senna, it’s currently making the highly anticipated Amy, a new film about Amy Winehouse. Gay-Rees made his name with the Oscar winning Exit Through the Gift Shop. Credits: Senna, The Wedding Video, Exit Through the Gift Shop

Recorded Picture Co

Jeremy Thomas

Veteran producer Jeremy Thomas has made over 50 features in the last 40 years, including the Oscar winning The Last Emperor. He’s readying a new JG Ballard adaptation, High Rise, with Ben Wheatley attached. Sales agency HanWay is part of RPC. Credits: Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, The Last Emperor, Crash, Sexy Beast, Stealing Beauty, Kon-Tiki

Revolution Films

Andrew Eaton & Melissa Parmenter

Prolific and nimble, Revolution produces all of Michael Winterbottom’s films including his latest, The Face of An Angel, said to be inspired by the trial of Amanda Knox. Revolution also produced Ron Howard’s Formula 1 hit, Rush, and is active in TV too. It produced The Trip to Italy with Baby Cow, and Sky’s Doll & Em. Credits: The Trip, The Look of Love, The Killer Inside Me, The Road to Guantanamo, 9 Songs, 24 Hour Party People.

Ruby Films

Alison Owen & Faye Ward

With credits like Elizabeth, Alison Owen is a highly regarded name in the industry. Entrepreneurial and creative (and Lily Allen’s mother too), Owen has also diversified Ruby into TV, with series like Dancing on the Edge. Now in production is Suffragette, directed by Sarah Gavron and starring Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter, about the early days of the feminist movement.  Credits: Saving Mr Banks, Jane Eyre, Tamara Drewe, Chatroom, The Other Boleyn Girl, Sylvia

Scott Free
Liza Marshall

The film production company of Ridley Scott and his late brother Tony is gearing up to release Rowan Joffe’s adaption of hit novel Before I Go To Sleep, which stars Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth. Ridley Scott is in post on biblical tale Exodus: Gods and Kings. There’s also Christmas movie Get Santa coming up in December as well as adaptation Child 44. Credits: Gladiator, Robin Hood, Prometheus, Stoker

See-Saw Films
Iain Canning & Emile Sherman

Anglo-Australian outfit See-Saw hit the big time with Oscar-winner The King’s Speech. The indie has a raft of films underway, including western Slow West, starring Michael Fassbender, and Anton Corbijn’s James Dean tale Life. Also in production is Shakespearean adaptation Macbeth, again starring Fassbender. Credits: The King’s Speech.

Shine Pictures
Ollie Madden

Shine Pictures exec chairman Stephen Garrett stepped down last month, and the outfit – part of Elisabeth Murdoch’s superindie group – is now led by Ollie Madden. Shine started shooting last month on the feature version of Spooks. Recently announced projects include crime thriller Blowback, and the adaptation of The Farm by Tom Rob Smith. Credits: Eastern Promises, Salmon Fishing in The Yemen, Miss Pettigrew

Shoebox

Paul Webster

The former boss of Film4 and Shine Pictures, Webster launched Shoebox with Guy Heeley and director Joe Wright. Webster is currently producing Joe Wright’s big budget Peter Pan film which started shooting at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden last month, starring Hugh Jackman and Amanda Seyfried. Shoebox’s thriller Locke, starring Tom Hardy, was released last month. Webster’s recent films include Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and Anna Karenina. Credits: Redemption, Locke

Sixteen Films


Rebecca O’Brien

Entrepreneurial and consistently producing films, Sixteen Films is run by producer Rebecca O’Brien with veteran director Ken Loach. Their latest is Jimmy’s Hall, a period drama about a political activist deported from Ireland, has just been selected for the main Competition at Cannes this month. However, it’s likely to be the last big narrative feature for Loach, who won the Palme d’Or in 2006 for The Wind that Shakes the Barley.  Credits: Kes, My Name is Joe, Looking for Eric, The Angels’ Share, The Spirit of ’45.

Working Title

Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner

Working Title remains the UK’s pre-eminent production company. Backed by Universal Pictures via a first look deal, it’s trusted by the studio to deliver two to four films a year which marry a British sensibility with Hollywood production values. Working Title also has a close relationship with StudioCanal. It’s got a large slate this year which includes thriller The Two Faces of January, starring Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen, which is out this month; the James Marsh directed Theory of Everything, a biopic of Stephen Hawking; Stephen Daldry’s Trash, starring Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen; Baltasar Kormakur’s action disaster thriller Everest, based on a true story; and Stephen Frears’ untitled cycling project about Lance Armstrong. Working Title is also producing a thriller about the Kray twins, written by Brian Helgeland (LA Confidential), who will also direct. Working Title also has a burgeoning TV division, Working Title TV, which produced Birdsong. Credits: Les Miserables, Rush, Senna, Anna Karenina, Green Zone, Frost/Nixon, Atonement, Hot Fuzz, United 93, Nanny McPhee, Love Actually, Johnny English, About a Boy, Bridget Jones’ Diary, High Fidelity, Notting Hill, Elizabeth, Four Weddings and Funeral, My Beautiful Laundrette.

Slate Films/Potboiler
Andrea Calderwood & Gail Egan

It’s a busy time for Slate and Potboiler. Mike Leigh’s Mr Turner plays at Cannes and it’s making Susanna White’s thriller Our Kind of Traitor. Credits: The Constant Gardener, Half of a Yellow Sun.

Trademark Films
David Parfitt

Trademark recently branched into TV, with the hit drama Parade’s End for BBC2. Credits: My Week With Marilyn, Shakespeare in Love

Vertigo Films

James Richardson, Alan Niblo & Rupert Preston

Commerically focused, Vertigo has just produced a slew of films including Pudsey The Movie, musical Walking on Sunshine, and Monsters: Dark Continent. Credits: The Football Factory, The Business, Streetdance 3d, Horrid Henry, Monsters

Warp Films
Mark Herbert, Robin Gutch & Peter Carlton

Warp has made a name for itself producing highly distinctive British films. Warp recently produced Yann Demange’s ’71, the tale of a British soldier accidently abandoned by his unit in Belfast. Warp’s relationship with Shane Meadows continued this year, with the release of Made of Stone. Warp has also pushed further into TV with C4 drama Southcliffe. Credits Dead Man’s Shoes, Four Lions, This Is England, Kill List.

Wildgaze

Finola Dwyer & Amanda Posey

Well respected, old school indie whose credits include Dustin Hoffman’s Quartet. Wildgaze is now making Brooklyn, an adaptation of the best selling Colm Toibin book, with a screenplay by Nick Hornby and directed by John Crowley. It recently produced A Long Way Down, a Nick Hornby adaptation, which played at the Berlin Film Festival. Credits: An Education, The Hamburg Cell, Fever Pitch, Backbeat, Quartet


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