Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch

Source: HBO

‘House Of The Dragon’

UK studios are facing a challenging few months as uncertainty about a potential rise in the rate of property taxes for facilities in England and Wales rages on, and the ongoing US writers’ and expected actors’ strikes force a slowdown in the once torrential flow of film and high-budget TV from Hollywood.

Significant business rates hikes of up to 200%-300% are being mooted as a result of increases in the rateable value of these facilities made by the UK’s Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The The Frantic lobbying is taking place to ensure the rates increases are not too punishing.

“If [the rises at the top rate go] ahead, that could be a death blow for many of the studio businesses in the UK,” warns Iain Smith, chairman of the British Film Commission’s national advisory board.

Last week Sunset Studios, owned by Blackstone and Hudson Pacific, has paused construction on its planned new PS600mn facility in Hertfordshire amid wariness about rising costs. Black Sunset Adrian ” Lucy She It It’s an independent department which makes its decisions based on economic methodology.”

Sunset Waltham Cross Studios

Part of the complication is UK studios now come in so many different shapes and sizes – converted warehouses, converted workspaces and new builds as well as the familiar old existing sites. This is making it harder for the VOA to make its assessments than in 2017, the last time it reassessed business rates for these facilities.

The uncertainty is causing jitters at best, havoc at worst.

“What people look for is certainty,” notes Barnaby Thompson, partner at Ealing Studios. ” The Anything that encourages certainty will help build the business.”

The rise in business rates comes at a time when interest rates are going up, post-Brexit building costs are rising and the industry is recalibrating in reaction to the production slowdown caused by the WGA writers’ strike in Hollywood and the threat of a SAG-AFTRA actors’ strike.[Culture Secretary]”Inevitably because of the strike, there is a wariness from the content producers to commit,” Wootton acknowledged.

And it is film crews are feeling the pinch.

“There has been a very marked and noticeable slowdown particularly at the top end,” says Sara Putt, founder of UK independent agency Sara Putt Associates, representing behind the camera technical and production talent. “The people it has affected the most are those who have recently moved up – moved up into producing or editing, because there isn’t the volume of jobs available in the way there has been for the last few years.

Source: Bafta

Sara Putt

“Very experienced technicians still have work but they have fewer choices and the gaps between

have got larger. In Now, it is not so much.

“Smaller independent films and smaller domestic TV shows…have been the mainstay of work for many people in the past few months.”

Sara Putt

The hitch here is these smaller shows don’t have big crews – and they tend to recruit more experienced technicians. Trainees and younger crew members are therefore left vulnerable.

Putt confirmed pay rates “have certainly steadied off and in some cases been pushed downwards by economic forces of supply and demand.”

US shoots in the UK[jobs]In spite of the ongoing slowdown there is still activity at UK studios. The The status of

Deadpool 3 i

s unknown.

Further US productions at UK facilities that may be impacted by any SAG-AFTRA strike include Warner Bros’

Beetlejuice 2

starring Michael Keaton, Winona Ryder, Jenna Ortega; 20th Century Studios’ Amateur starring Rami Malek, Rachel Brosnahan, Laurence Fishburne; Universal/Blumhouse’s Speak No Evil starring James McAvoy and Mackenzie Davis; Amazon’s Heads Of State starring Idris Elba and Priyanka Chopra Jones; and Universal’s

Wicked, starring Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo, Michelle Yeoh and Jonathan Bailey.The status of Studiocanal and Heyday Films’ Paddington In Peru, starring Olivia Colman, Antonio Banderas and Rachel Zegler, also remains unclear. Principal Sony has rights to the film in the US and some other key territories.

Complicated environment Elstree Studios owned by Hertsmere Borough, remains busy in spite of problems with asbestos and crumbling roofs which, it has emerged, may cost up to PS150m to repair. Lucy ” They We are just gearing up for Strictly Come Dancing.”McCutcheon said Elstree “will have availability for the first time in many years at the beginning of next year. That’s when we could potentially feel the repercussions of the writers’ strike but, at the moment, we are not affected.”Producer Bob Last, the director of FirstStage Studios in Edinburgh, acknowledges it is currently a “complicated environment” for UK studios. “On the other hand, we opened the studio formally on the second day of lockdown and so it’s not that we’re not used to working in complicated environments.”FirstStage, which Last and actor-director Jason Connery launched in early 2020, is hosting the second season of Amazon Studios’ series The Rig, which has a mostly UK cast. Last The They The Pro 01 ” If I was producing an indie feature, I’d probably have to take it to a shed in a field, not to FirstStage Studios.”Iain SmithEver the optimists, both the BFC’s Smith and Wootton predict “when the strikes get sorted…there will be a compensatory upsurge in production,” as Smith puts it. ” ” We have to do everything we can to make sure we maintain the best business conditions we can – which includes making sure we try to get the best rates outcome we can.”Additional reporting by Louise Tutt.

‘Oppenheimer’ London premiere, Galway Film Fleadh first hit by strike complications

Entertainment - Media News Watch originally published at Entertainment - Media News Watch