UK Film Council investments: you what?

OK, so the idea that extremely well paid luvvies need lottery money to remain extremely well paid is ludicrous in the first instance. But the way that the UK Film Council has been investing the money is insane.

No, don\’t look at the disasters they financed, look at the successes:

Predictably, The King\’s Speech, the hugely popular Hollywood-backed film starring Colin Firth, which won three Oscars, was a success for the council, having so far returned 95% of the £1m lottery money invested. A further 5% was returned by the council directly to the film\’s producers for them to invest in future productions.

WHAT?

They stuck a £ million in investment into a movie that pulled in $414 million globally, was in the top 200 highest grossing films of all time (note, before DVD and TV etc) and still managed not to make a profit?

Who in buggery do they have writing their contracts? Could someone give me their name? I want them on the other side of whatever negotiating table I next sit at.

Jeebus, Dear Lord Almighty, that\’s just insane.

8 thoughts on “UK Film Council investments: you what?”

  1. Looking at the other figures in the article they only ever get their stake plus a few percent on a success, so they’re lending, not investing.

  2. Certainly anyone who agrees to a percentage of the net profit (unless they’re doing the accounting) needs their head read.

    As an aside, i once worked for a company who designed and build an excellent (or so it seemed to me) accurate and efficient film accounting system. It sold very poorly because the very last thing most film producers want is an accurate and easy to understand accounting system.

    And of course the other major reason for the opaque accounting is to disguise the sources of the funding, a goodly chunk of which is being carefully laundered.

  3. I once signed a (very small) deal with a Hollywood studio and, naif that I was, had to have the finances explained to me by my agent, and lawyer.

    They called net points, ‘joke’ or ‘vanity’ points. No one ever gets paid on them.

  4. “They stuck a £ million in investment into a movie that pulled in $414 million globally, was in the top 200 highest grossing films of all time (note, before DVD and TV etc) and still managed not to make a profit?”

    This is incorrect. On the contrary, there seems to be no doubt that the UKFC will make a handsome profit on this film. The Guardian report makes this point specifically. The figures released by Ed Vaizey are a snapshot in time, and reflect receipts to the UKFC at a relatively early point in the accounting cycle. There’s more – a lot more – to come.

  5. Remember Obi-wan kenobi? Guiness took a small % of gross as salary, and ended up filthy rich. It’s not as if the film council didn’t have a precedent.

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