Recent articles on the Film Data Blog

Each week I look at a different topic around the film industry, focusing on the data and statistics which reveal what's going on.

A UK-wide investigation into the cost of location filming: Part 1

Today’s article is the first in a multi-part series looking at the costs of location filming in the UK.  I sent out almost 800 Freedom of Information requests in order to find out how much bodies such as local councils earn from location filming. Upcoming articles will focus on filming in museums, with the police and other related costs for shooting on location.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI) allows the public to request information from public bodies and, save for a few exceptions, the bodies are required to answer.  This is a wonderful piece of legislation as it empowers the public to hold their politicians and civil servants to account.  Over the past few months I have made 793 Freedom of Information …

Read full article

Charting the rise and fall of 90s hollywood action stars

A few weeks ago I used Nicolas Cage as a framing device to explain the Cannes Marche du Film.  Towards the end of the article I presented a chart showing the inflation-adjusted budgets for films starring Nicolas Cage.  The chart showed that we reached “Peak Cage” in 2004, which was when the average budgets for his movies reached their all-time high.  From 2005 onward, Nicolas Cage’s movies got smaller.

The idea of “Peak Cage” seems to have piqued the interest of a number of readers and I have received some follow-up questions, both in Cannes and via email.  So, in the spirit of fun, I thought I’d have a look and see if it also applied to other male movie stars who were big in …

Read full article

How do British films fare at the Cannes Film Festival?

Cannes is currently in full swing, following the same annual pattern with sales agents selling, buyers buying and filmmaking drinking.  

Two of this year’s hottest festival films are British films, American Honey from Andrea Arnold and I, Daniel Blake from Cannes veteran Ken Loach, both of which are up for the highest award in Cannes, the Palme d’Or.

One in five wins and one in ten nominations

Since the first Cannes Film Festival in 1939, 159 British films have been nominated for a Palme d’Or.  In fact, out of the 69 festivals to date, only 14 haven’t featured at least one British film ‘in competition’.  

While under 10% of Cannes-nominated films have been British, over 18% of wins have gone to British films (16 films at the time …

Read full article

How to become a film director

Last week saw the publication of my report ‘Cut Out Of The Picture‘, which looked at gender inequality in the UK film industry.  In the process of researching and writing the report, we spoke to over 200 film professionals about how someone becomes a film director.  I thought aspiring film directors may benefit from a distillation of what we discovered, so please find below a mix of data and advice.

Our study looked at every film produced in the UK over a ten-year period (2,591 films), and we then conducted detailed interviews with 6% of those directors (121 directors).  The career paths detailed below only relate to people who actually directed a feature film in the UK between 2005 and 2014, inclusive.

There is no one route to …
Read full article