BFC highlights the UK’s world-class VFX and post-production industry

With the UK’s VFX and post-production industries leading the global marketplace, the BFC last week took the opportunity to highlight the talent, facilities and incentives that have led to this success. With an eye to increasing international attention, the agency held a panel at Los Angeles’s London West Hollywood Hotel, as well as launched a VFX and Post Directory.

Internationally acclaimed

VFX and post-production are key factors in the UK’s offer to international producers, a fact borne out at recent Academy Awards ceremonies.

In 2014, Framestore’s London-based team took home the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for Gravity (Warner Bros.), while Brit Glenn Freemantle won the Oscar for Best Sound Editing for his work on the film. A year later the UK’s groundbreaking visual effects were again recognised with Double Negative triumphing for their work on Interstellar (Paramount).

Top-level panelists share their expertise

To highlight the opportunities available in the UK, senior BFC executives were joined onstage by US producer and Disney Alumni, Bruce Hendricks, who oversaw countless projects shot and posted in the UK including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

Also on the panel were UK post-production supervisor Emma Zee and Focus Features VP Post Production Ben Urquhart. Their credits include UK-based productions Rush (Cross Creek Pictures/Imagine Entertainment), Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros,) the upcoming The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (Warner Bros), Jane Eyre (Focus Features) and Black Sea (Focus Features).

Competitive tax reliefs offer incentives

Topics of discussion included the UK’s inclusive Creative Sector Tax Reliefs for film and television, which offer British qualifying projects a rebate of up to 25%.

With eligible expenditure including VFX and post-production and a minimum UK spend threshold of just 10%, the tax reliefs can accommodate productions which want to base some or all of their filming overseas but still wish to take advantage of the UK’s leading VFX and post industry. Recent productions to have utilised this structure include upcoming releases Geostorm (Warner Bros) and Terminator Genisys (Paramount).

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Post-production supervisor Emma Zee talks about the UK’s draw

The panel not only discussed the work of the major UK-based VFX studios but also the UK’s thriving boutique VFX companies, which service independent features as well as the UK’s ever-growing high-end television industry; UK-based productions 24: Live Another Day (Twentieth Century Fox Television) and Game of Thrones (HBO) both utilised UK boutique VFX houses, carrying out work at Soho’s Milk and BlueBolt respectively.

New directory for UK VFX and Post

To accompany the panel, the BFC also launched the UK VFX and Post Directory, which provides an overview of UK facilities with major feature film and high-end television credits, as well as outlining the UK’s tax incentives. The directory can be viewed online here.

Speaking of the UK’s VFX and post sector, BFC Chief Executive Adrian Wootton, said: “I can’t think of anything that filmmakers can’t ask us for that we can’t provide to make a film or television programme here in the UK”.