UK Film Company Sets Up To Ride Growing Digital Wave
A new British film company, Slingshot, opens for business this week with an ambitious pledge to produce 10 feature films over the next three years - a goal it hopes to achieve with a business model unique to this country: producing and distributing digital feature films. Few deny that the future of the film industry is digital. However, the change-over from physical 35mm film and the production and distribution techniques associated with it has been slow.
Digital production techniques have taken hold fastest. The latest digital production equipment, such as hand-held cameras, and the falling cost of post-production digital effects have filtered down to lower budget movies allowing production teams to work more flexibly and cost-effectively.
Digital distribution is taking longer to establish, however, as it requires the replacement of cinema projectors.
Despite this, many in the industry believe digital distribution is inevitable because as well as offering improved picture quality distribution costs are dramatically reduced. A big blockbuster requires anything from 500 to 1,000 35mm film prints for a UK release at a cost of £1,000 per film print. A digital print, however, costs just £100.
Slingshot will take advantage of these trends in digital production and distribution, according to its managing director, Arvind David.
"Piecing together the patchwork of finance now required to get any British film off the ground is a complex affair," he said. "There's also a tendency for many British films to be conceived with no particular audience in mind. Few producers ask just how many people they need to see their film to justify the budget. Responsibility for covering costs is all too often passed on to third party marketers and distributors."
This report can be read in full in THE GUARDIAN