Doing Research on the European Film Industry

Doing Research on the European
Film Industry
Huw Jones
University of York
Project description
Our experience of other Europeans is heavily
mediated through film and TV drama.
– Which European films and TV drama actually
travel well within Europe?
– How do these represent other Europeans?
– How do audiences engage with such screen
Need to understand the funding, production,
distribution, dissemination and policy
circumstances which enable European films
and TV drama to be made and circulate.
Study therefore combines Europe-wide
overview with detailed national case-studies for
the period 2005-2015.
Research team
My role on the project
Joined in January 2014 as part of the team
responsible for studying European film
Gathering data from public databases (e.g.
LUMIERE), film agency reports (e.g. Focus
Market Trends), trade press (e.g. Screen Daily)
and interviews with industry players
Analysing data on trends in the production,
distribution and circulation European film
Blogs and working papers:
Circulation of European films
Foreign Language European Films in UK Cinemas
Profiling Film Audiences in Europe
UK-Europe Co-productions
European co-productions
• Films produced by two or more
production companies from different
• Supported by a range of policy incentives
– e.g. European Convention on
Cinematographic Co-Production
• Research questions:
– How widespread are COP in the UK?
– What are the different kinds of UK/EUR COP?
– How creative and/or financial input does the
UK’s COP partner have?
– How well do UK COP films perform on the
European market?
The Wind that Shakes the Barley, A Ireland / UK /
Germany / Italy / Spain / France / Belgium /
Switzerland co-production
Source of industry data
BFI Statistical Yearbooks:
UK Film Council database:
cinema audience in EUR36, territories released,
director, producing countries, distributor
producing countries, production companies,
territory of shoot, director, screenwriter, lead
cast, sales agent, UK distributor, genre
LUMIERE database:
trends in number of UK co-productions, UK
spend, budget, territory of shoot, official coproductions
genre, awards, critic and audience approval,
production companies, casts and crew, budget,
release dates and territories
Trade press/interviews
Background to the production, financing,
distribution deals, release strategy
Gathering data:
– Availability of statistical data (e.g. VoD sales figures)
– Access to key industry personnel
– Language and cultural barriers
Data validation:
– Accuracy of data (e.g. missing country data)
– Consistency of data (e.g. country of origin)
Analysing data:
– Computing skills (e.g. Excel, SPSS)
– Advanced statistical tests
– Technical knowledge (e.g. legal terminology, tax systems)
Disseminating findings:
– Permission to use data
• An understanding the film industry is essential to making
sense of the cultural significance of European film
• But film researchers face key challenge of gathering,
validating, analysing and disseminating industry data
• More investment required in developing key skills (e.g.
quantitative data analysis) and technical know-how (e.g.
finance, tax systems, contract law)

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