Chief Executive Ben Roberts Says British Film Industry Will Bounce Back.
2020 was a difficult year for most individuals. It was also a difficult year for most industries. However, despite not being about to go to the cinema, streaming services and people being locked at home watching TV has given cause for optimism for the British film and television industry.
Ben Roberts, chief executive of the British Film Industry, told Sky’s Iain King: “We all spent the past year looking for entertainment on our TV sets – and it looks like that trend is continuing.”
According to recent data, Roberts said athough there had “never been a year like it” with regards to projects being halted, postponed or cancelled, from October to December there was a huge increase in production spend of £1.1bn – the second-highest on record.
“All the films and TV you are seeing now are being produced within bubbles and under guidelines.
“The big challenge initially was how were we going to get a lot of people, huge crews, and big casts on set in safe environments – and don’t forget back in June and July there were also strict quarantine rules also in place.
“But we worked with government to get that lifted and put health and safety guidance in place, so it was safe to get people back to work – and that meant by the time it came to October studios were full again and people were working safely.”
Asked by King if in 18 months’ time television would be full of “lots of depressing films made in dour lockdown times”, Mr Roberts laughed: “I hope not! We are looking to entertain – not to depress!”
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