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Good times won’t keep rolling for film industry

Sep 24th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News


INTERNATIONAL funding for the screen industry has doubled over four years, but this trend may not continue due to the global downturn.

Overseas funding has increased by $300m since 2005 but industry consultant Tim Thorpe predicts the upward trend will stop once this year’s figures are revealed. .

“2010 will be a lot quieter than previous years,” says Mr Thorpe, of Tim Thorpe consulting.

The global downturn has affected the production of upcoming films such as The Hobbit, Kingdom Come and Dambusters.

He describes the film industry as project based and the last five years has seen the release of several big budget films which have contributed to the big increased shown in the Statistics NZ survey.

The numbers show international funds accounted for just under half of total funding in 2009 contributing $280 million to the industry, compared with $51 million in 2005.

Funds from North America accounted for $235m of the $280m in 2009, or 84% of total international funding.

film fundsMr Thorpe says: “Last year the increase was due largely to Avatar and the work done at Weta.”

King Kong also attracted international investing during the five years analysed.

“Large budget movies such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy helped put New Zealand on the map as a filming destination, and encouraged international investment in the industry,” says Gary Dunnet, who manages screen industry figures for Statistics New Zealand.

The numbers show that while Kiwi films are in demand, funding for local television broadcasting has remained similar to what it was in 2005.

Domestic funding has been consistent and made up the majority of total funds into the screen industry until 2007, when international funds rose significantly and has continued to represent a large proportion of total funds.

In the past five years domestic funding has been steady, continuing to make up around $250m of total funding, which reached $585m in 2009.

Funding includes finance and grants received from private and public sources, and is one form of revenue.

projectorscreenTotal revenue for the screen industry reached $2.8b in 2009, a 6% rise since 2005.

There has been a 30% growth in the number of active businesses in the screen industry since 2005, a large proportion of this growth (20%) occurred between 2008 and 2009.

At the conclusion of Statistic New Zealand’s annual screen industry survey there were 2673 active businesses and more than 7000 people employed in the field.

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