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June 2019

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  • Televisual Bulldog Awards - the winners
    The votes have been counted and the results are in. See the winners of this year's Televisual Bulldog Awards
  • The Art of Noise
    Special 15 page report on audio post for movies, TV & commercials
  • Making the Cut
    Top editors behind Spectre, Inception, A Very English Scandal and Bros: After The Screaming Stops on sculpting the story
  • Live Action
    From concerts to cup finals: how broadcasters are using live events to stand out from the streamers
  • Machine Learning
    Televisual’s Technology Survey uncovers the industry’s favourite kit
  • Breathing Space
    Studios dash to make room for an influx of movies and drama
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Film 40 2017 Back to Reports & survey Listing

Talent, tax rebates and facilities: these are three of the key factors that are routinely cited as making the UK such an attractive place to shoot for big Hollywood features.

On the facilities side, the UK is particularly notable for its visual effects offer. Many of Hollywood’s biggest features have had their vfx produced out of the UK, by leading companies such as Double Negative, Cinesite, MPC and Framestore.

And right now, many of these companies are very busy indeed. For example, Double Negative now houses more staff than it has done it in its history – 1200 people are working out of its Great Portland Street HQ.

Double Negative has worked on films such as Blade Runner 2049, Baby Driver and Pacific Rim: Uprising this year. The latter is the biggest project Double Negative has ever worked on. Set for release in 2018, the effects heavy disaster movie is being worked on by all of Double Negative’s studios – in London, Mumbai and Vancouver – but the majority of the work is being done in London.

Meanwhile, Cinesite is working across a range of films too. Its London base is currently producing effects for action thriller The Commuter, staring Liam Neeson, and Otto Bathurst’s Robin Hood: Origins. It has also reteamed with Duncan Jones to create a near future world in Mute, having previously created all the visual effects for his sci-fi thriller Moon.

MPC has recently been lead studio on Ghost in the Shell, Alien Covenant and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which led in Montreal but had work done on them in London. Its London HQ is set to be the base for the effects heavy Transformers: The Last Knight and The Lion King, a photo real adaptation that builds on MPC’s Oscar winning work for The Jungle Book.

The companies have effectively tapped into Hollywood’s increasing focus on big budget, effects heavy superhero and fantasy films.

Many say they are busier than ever – and that they are optimistic for the future, despite tough global competition and concerns over the impact of Brexit (which to date has helped by driving down the value of the Pound).

“Nothing indicates that we will see a departure from the growth we have been seeing,” said Antony Hunt, Group CEO at Cinesite. “Audiences are hungry to spend more time with the stories, characters and environments they love and the Hollywood studios are attracted to the UK VFX houses to supply this demand because of our unique combination of world-class crews, facilities and studios.”

Looking ahead, says Hunt, the biggest challenge to Cinesite’s ability to grow further is the availability of creative and technical talent in the industry.

These fears are only likely to grow as negotiations over Brexit continue. The vfx sector is a magnet for international talent, and the free movement of European talent has helped to underpin its success.

Leading film vfx houses

The Current War, Entebbe, Holmes & Watson, Robin Hood: Origins, Tulip Fever

The Commuter, Robin Hood: Origins, Mute, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Double Negative
Pacific Rim: Uprising, Blade Runner 2049, Baby Driver, Annihilation, Dunkirk, The Mummy, Wonder Woman

Paddington 2, Alien Covenant, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Mary Poppins Returns, Beauty and the Beast

Free Fire, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, High-Rise, Sherlock, Ex Machina

Ghost in the Shell, Alien Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, King Arthur

One of Us
Life, The Current War, 
The Crown, King Arthur: Legend 
of the Sword

T2: Trainspotting, Oasis, Florence Foster Jenkins, Swallows and Amazons

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