We are at a defining point in history according to some of the leading voices in British film. Our film industry is now a larger part of the economy than the pharmaceutical industry, in terms of employment. Netflix have recently struck a deal with Shepperton Studios, boosting jobs and taking the industry to what we perceive as an all time high for make-up work.
As one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the British economy, you only have to look at the success of Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime to see why so many productions are being commissioned each year. Game of Thrones, affectionately known as “Thrones” to everyone working on it, swallowed up thousands of industry crew each series. With the new production underway for an HBO prequel series, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes difficult to find an available cameraman or stunt artist, let alone a prosthetic artist!
One factor that plays a big part in this is how successive British governments have maintained tax incentives to encourage production companies to make films in the UK. Even with Brexit looming, the talent and facilities within the UK film industry are considered to be the best in the world. Unlike other sectors affected by uncertainty, the film & TV industry has shown no sign of slowing down.
Another factor is how blockbuster institutions like Star Wars, Harry Potter and James Bond, are British made here, in Old Blightly. Their presence has provided thousands of well-paid (but well-earned) jobs. A result of these world-famous productions is the attraction from production companies across the pond, utilising the highly skilled crews we have here. London is home to the world’s greatest visual effects businesses with many American produced films, putting their postproduction through London.
It is worth pointing out that the Delamar Academy influence and network is seriously big in this industry. Nick Dudman designed the Harry Potter Films; he trained at Delamar and gave many graduates their first job. Star Wars employs many of our tutors from main team to the creature department. Delamar tutor Sallie Jaye was a several iconic James Bond films, and we have had many graduates work on these films.
Chief Executive for the British Film Commission has said:
“We could easily over the next five to 10 years double the size of the revenues generated for UK plc. We’re already a $3bn-a-year business – bigger than pharmaceuticals now in the UK in terms of employment and the revenues we generate. We have a lot of potential still to exploit.”
The make-up artists on films enjoy long (often hard) stints with well-paid day rates. Many of our tutors in the film industry are the breadwinners in their families. Few people outside of our niche, creative world could ever imagine that a woman with a set of make-up brushes is working on a film being paid hundreds a day and out-earning her male partner. This is not a rarity! Men succeed in this industry too, but as our founder Penny Delamar wanted, women are now working at every level and in every part of the make-up industry, with equal recognition and success.
It has never been a more exciting or prosperous time for the British Film Industry.