We’re living in such volatile times. I checked Twitter just before I went to bed last night as the votes were pouring in for the EU referendum, not certain whether Britain will remain with European Union or leave. I woke up to this…
So the United Kingdom isn’t all that united after all, and clearly there’s not much unity in European Union. I’m not a UK citizen, but I am a citizen of the world who love European cinema including British cinema, and before today I don’t really separate the two. I find it impossible not to care about the result of Brexit vote. Obviously there’s significant economic impact to the world as a result, but given this a film blog and I’m not well-versed in economic nor politics, this is just my two cents as a cinephile.
I think this Deleted Scene from 500 Days of Summer kind of sums up how those who favor Britain (including a ton of British celebrities) to remain feels today…
Some of you might’ve read about the open letter from some British celebrities to urge voters to remain. An excerpt from the letter says “From the Bard to Bowie, British creativity inspires and influences the rest of the world…We believe that being part of the EU bolsters Britain’s leading role on the world stage.” (per Guardian)
I’ve been reading a ton about what Brexit means to the film and tv industry, and so far they confirm my dread:
Reactions from industry insiders about Brexit:
“Uncertainty is the biggest problem… Getting an independent film financed is risky enough at the best of times, this will mean spending even more on lawyers and accountants to get deals done…In 5-6 years, I’m sure we’ll be alright, until then, we’re screwed.” – Michael Ryan, chairman, Independent Film & Television Alliance and partner at GFM Films
“I think there will be discrimination now against some of the product and what it means to be European product. A lot of TV stations in Europe are under quotas. When you do War And Peace, that was accepted as European. It could be very costly in the movie and TV industry in terms of content branding. European branding is very important. It’s a big deal for these young British filmmakers.” – Harvey Weinstein
This Guardian article lists some of the potential negative impacts to British film industry specifically:
I didn’t know that the EU contributes a giant wad of cash directly to British film-makers, though co-productions amongst European countries are pretty common. As a fan of British cinema, point #5 that ‘we could witness a 70s-style British film meltdown’ is quite worrisome.
Per LA Times, the London-based producer of Showtime’s Penny Dreadful Pippa Harris said this:
“Our show was shot in Ireland; our first director, David Bayona, is a Spaniard; our actress, Eva Green, is French; the costume designer, Gabriella Pesucci, is Italian… It was a brilliant collaboration across all those European nationalities. It was the very best of working in the EU.”
Does Brexit mean there’s a likely demise of multinational collaborations of European series?
Based on the above article from Radio Times, most TV producers found the majority of them wanting to remain with the EU because it would mean a significant drop of the export of British shows. It’d also make immigration rules more difficult for European filmmakers and talents to collaborate with British productions. There’s also the issue of funding, filming locations, etc. which will likely be impacted by this Leave vote. The Radio Times article said that much of HBO’s Game of Thrones is filmed in Northern Ireland, partly supported by the European Regional Development Fund.
This is what Peter Chase, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the US’ Brussels office, said:
“It might be up in the air for US studios who want to film in the UK… There are EU programs to help fund all of this. If the UK is no longer part of the EU, that has the potential to go away.”
Now, I have to say John Oliver made a compelling argument why the Leave vote is worrisome. Following a rant from a lady in favor of Brexit, he quipped “It’s now official, not everything sounds smarter in a British accent.” Ha!
This shocking vote is no laughing matter of course.
Stocks plunges more than 500 pts and who knows what the market will behave in the coming days. There are so many questions following this major breakup… does this mean more countries will leave the EU? Will Scotland (whose majority voted to remain) leave the UK soon as well? Will the United States also in for a huge voting upset come November? [yikes!!]
Whichever side you’re on, I think this revelation following the Brexit announcement could be the scariest of all…
— NPR (@NPR) June 24, 2016
Oh dear. Whilst some of us are worried about the implications of this historic vote, some are completely oblivious!
In any case, you know that old saying ‘May we live in interesting times,’ Well that phrase doesn’t seem more apt than right now isn’t it? Well, I suppose time will tell what this all really means, I certainly will keep watch and hope that the recession in British filmmaking the media’s been saying doesn’t actually happen.