Musings on Brexit … thoughts from a cinephile


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…

per BBCnews

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:

Brexit: Seven Likely Consequences for the British Film and TV Industry

Why Brexit is bad news for ‘Game of Thrones’ 

Brexit is ‘likely to be devastating’ for UK film and TV industry

Brexit: 5 Ways It Could Impact Hollywood

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:

Less cash, fewer movies, meltdown: how Brexit may affect British film

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.

Penny Dreadful

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?

What will Brexit mean for the UK TV industry?

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.

Battle of Bastards – Game of Thrones

How ‘Game of Thrones’ will be affected by Brexit

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…

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.

So, what are YOUR thoughts about Brexit?

29 thoughts on “Musings on Brexit … thoughts from a cinephile

  1. I wanted to say I’m “surprised” by this news but then we have someone like Donald Trump who could be our next president here in the States, so nothing surprises me anymore. Mostly because there are too many idiots out there who’ll follow or believe whatever lies these politicians tells them. Fears makes people do things that we’ll regret in the future.

  2. Dan

    As one of the 16 million Brits to have voted to remain IN the EU, today has been very depressing. We simply don’t know what the future has in store but I hope I’m proven wrong and that this helps not hinders the United Kingdom (or at least what is left of it after Scotland gains independence). What I do know is that the British film industry has enjoyed particular strength in the last decade and that European collaboration and the European Regional Development Fund has played its part. If the Brexit Leavers are right and the economy is boosted by severing ties with the EU then film and TV hopefully won’t suffer in the long run. The biggest worry is the uncertainty.

    1. Y’know Dan, even though I don’t live in the UK I feel like there’s a dark cloud over me as well. There’s so much uncertainty now and in terms of Scotland and Republic of Ireland possibly leaving too as a result, that can’t be good!

  3. I was surprised by the result, and I too don’t think it bodes well for the movie industry, but the most sickening thing to me is the de facto leader of Leave going back on his “promise” that £350 million intended for EU was going into NHS…this “fact” probably influenced many to vote Leave. Sadly, the US has not cornered the market on liar politicians.

    1. I just watched some vids of Nigel Farage, including one of John Oliver ranting (warning) UK voters against Brexit, can’t say I’m a fan of the guy. And that Boris Johnson’s red bus has that erroneous *fact* emblazoned on it as well, wow!

      1. Yeah I really couldn’t believe how blatant a lie it was…I expect that here but for some reason not in the UK. I saw this morning there’s a petition to for a “do over,” maybe that will work out.

        1. I just read that about the petition. WOW I can’t believe it, I’d think the Brits are so much smarter than that, ahah, but that goes to show how sly these lying politicians are.

          1. …And both the captains of this sinking ship – Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage – have jumped overboard (Boris stepping down from a leadership campaign and Farage retiring to his mansion for private parties with Rupert Murdoch).

  4. I saw the news last night and I was like… “oh fuck”. This is a bad fucking year. I think we’re watching the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom/Great Britain. Scotland and Northern Ireland wanted to stay in the EU so they might tell Britain to fuck off with Scotland going on its own and Northern Ireland wanting to reunite with Ireland. Thanks a lot Britain.

    1. I’m REALLY dreading November, as many of us should be too. Yeah, this historic vote sets a lot of precedence for stuff that is frankly worrisome.

  5. The three of us at BPR live in Belfast, Northern Ireland, so we’re super pissed about how this is going to screw up our current living plans indefinitey!

    Great article though, super thorough and respectful, really perfectly sums up how terrible on all fronts this decision has been.

    1. Hi there Lee, thanks for taking the time to comment. I share your sentiment and even though we may not be as directly affected as ppls in Great Britain, it doesn’t seem to bode well for the rest of the world either. I can’t believe some people are so oblivious about this topic, shown by that Google Trends stat! [face palm]

  6. Ruth, nice coverage and tie into the film industry. I have read other bloggers who are very happy and surprised to find out that the UK has left the EU. It was a vote and both sides have a reaction. I don’t pretend to know the intricacies of the debate. I have only read one article in The Guardian. I go to Greece on July 8 and am looking forward to observing how the natives feel about the event. Like you, I love the UK and their situation has my attention.

    1. Hi Cindy! Well, sounds like a lot of the Brits (2mil plus) are regretting their votes and now there’s a petition to do over!

      Hey that’s cool you’re going to Greece! I’m sure this whole Brexit thing will be a major talking points for everyone in Europe.

  7. I suppose it’s not that shocking how something that big could be decided on a vote so close, but it still caught me off guard a bit. You’d think they would need a larger margin? That can’t be a good thing when the country is so divided.

    1. Yeah you’re right, you’d think they’d make it a higher percentage for those in favor of leaving, instead of just 50-50. And now a lot of them are regretting their decision that they’re starting a petition. It’s a like a big huge nightmare.

  8. I for one am quite devastated by this outcome… already blogged about my shocked reaction yesterday and I don’t feel any better about this decision today. 😦

    1. Oh, and you showed very nicely how this ties in with the film industry. Love the 500 Days of Summer clip you used to ilustrate the mood. I can totally identify with that feeling!

      1. Hi Esther! Well it seems like many Brits are having regrets about this decision. We’ll see what can come out of this petition. Thanks for reblogging my post, yeah that video illustrates many people’s sentiment perfectly.

  9. Reblogged this on The Book of Esther and commented:
    Interesting summary of what Brexit can mean to the film industry!
    The “worst morning ever” clip that is included in this blog post very much illustrates how I feel after this vote – and made me laugh too.

  10. Stephanie Marshall Ward

    We do live in turbulent times. Political trends on both sides of the Atlantic are frightening to me. As a private citizen, I’m not sure how to fight it.

    1. Hi Steph, I don’t know if we could fight it even if we want to and I can’t even vote here in the US yet. Looks like a lot of Brits are having second thoughts about the Brexit vote.

  11. According to The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin, the EU’s media program was responsible for ploughing £130m into UK film over last decade. The King’s Speech, Slumdog Millionaire, The Queen, Hunger, An Education, Philomena, Another Year, Amy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Four Lions, Under the Skin, Fish Tank, Macbeth and The Lobster all depended on it.

    1. Yeah, and those are just the ones they knew about. Surely there are more films that have gotten backing from the EU. I sure hope the impact isn’t as terrible as what they made it out to be.

Join the conversation by leaving a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s