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Brexit pound slide making UK filming cheaper

Rogue One A Star Wars StoryThe sharp fall in the value of the pound triggered by the UK voting to leave the European Union is set to benefit international producers in the short-term.

International producers filming in the UK can currently get more for their money with a weakened pound in addition to generous tax credit support.

“In the context of our business, the decline in the sterling exchange rate is undoubtedly positive for our international customers,” said Ivan Dunleavy, chief executive of Pinewood Studios Group.

The Pinewood Group saw a 10% revenue increase in the year ending 31 March 2016, with UK spending driven by Star Wars: The Force Awakens and James Bond movie Spectre. Pinewood’s south-east England site near London has since hosted Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (pictured) and Star Wars: Episode VIII.

Pinewood recently opened five new sound stages at the same site as part of a long-term expansion plan. The company added that a major film will start shooting on the new stages in the coming weeks.

The fall of the pound could further increase pressure for London – and indeed the rest of the UK – to rapidly provide more studio space if international demand is ramped up. In recent years, London has responded to its shortage of purpose-built studio space by encouraging international producers to film in adapted warehouses instead, an option that’s particularly popular for TV dramas.

While the lower value of the pound will benefit international producers, the head of StudioCanal UK has stressed the importance of the UK retaining its European Certificate through the upcoming Brexit negotiations, expected to be a two-year process once formally initiated.  

Danny Perkins said in an interview that UK films must still be considered European content – which the retention of the European Certificate ensures – so that UK movies will not face further difficulties finding distribution on the continent. 

“Brexit has made everything 10% tougher, but it’s the 10% that could make a big difference,” Perkins told the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

For more on filming in the UK see our production guide.

Image: Lucasfilm



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