The most employed people in the British film industry

24 November '14 12 Comments on The most employed people in the British film industry

British film industryIn the past I’ve shown how only one in five British filmmakers who have made a feature film manage to make a second film.  This figure came up in conversation last week and it naturally led to the question “So who is making all the UK films?” I took a look at who has the most credits in the British film industry over the last 10 years across all UK films budgeted over £500k.  In summary…

  • Michael Winterbottom has directed the most UK films over £500k from 2003-13
  • Over the course of his career, ex-head of BBC Films David M Thompson has 157 producer credits
  • 20 people account for 40% of all cinematography credits on UK films over £500k from 2003-13
  • Pete Pedrero is the most-credited stunt performer/co-ordinator on UK films from 2003-13

Directors in the British film industry

There are 218 people who have a directing credit on a UK film over £500k made from 2003-13, with an average of 2.1 credits each.

RankNameDirector Credits
1Michael Winterbottom12
2Robbie Moffat9
3Ken Loach7
4Tim Burton6
4Oliver Parker6
4Stephen Frears6
7Ridley Scott5
7Nick Love5
7Mary McGuckian5
7Danny Boyle5
7Jag Mundhra5
7Simon Fellows5
7Mat Whitecross5

Producers in the British film industry

David M. Thompson leads the field, largely due to his Executive Producer credits from being Head of BBC Films (1997 to 2007).

RankNameProducer Credits
1David M. Thompson40
2Tessa Ross37
2Steve Christian37
4Tim Bevan33
4Eric Fellner33
6Paul Trijbits28
7Nigel Thomas26
7François Ivernel26
9Norman Merry25
9Cameron McCracken25

Screenwriters in the British film industry

Sharing the top spot in the screenwriters table are Tony Grisoni (Tideland, Red Riding trilogy) and Robbie Moffat (who also appears in the Top Ten for directors).

RankNameScreenwriting Credits
1Tony Grisoni9
1Robbie Moffat9
3Peter Morgan8
3Paul Laverty8
5Noel Clarke6
5Jeremy Brock6
5J.K. Rowling6
5Neal Purvis6
5Robert Wade6
5Anders Thomas Jensen6

Directors of Photography in the British film industry

Just 20 people account for 40% of all the 505 cinematography credits on UK films from 2003-13.

RankNameDoP Credits
1Ben Davis15
2Robbie Ryan13
3John Mathieson13
4Marcel Zyskind12
5Danny Cohen12
6Sam McCurdy11
7Anthony Dod Mantle11
8Simon Dennis10
9Christopher Ross10
10Ashley Rowe10
11Barry Ackroyd10

Editors in the British film industry 

Not only is Chris Gill rather hard-working but he’s also worked on a very wide range of projects including 28 Days Later, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and The Invention of Lying.

RankNameEditing Credits
1Chris Gill23
2Stuart Gazzard16
3Eddie Hamilton13
4Jon Harris11
5Peter Christelis11
6Nicolas Gaster10
7Sean Barton10
8James Herbert10
9Peter Davies10
10Chris Dickens9

Composers in the British film industry

Only 15 out of Hanz Zimmer’s 94 film credits are UK films made between 2003 and 2013, which is why he’s only number 6 in this chart.

RankNameComposer Credits
1Ilan Eshkeri23
2Stephen Warbeck21
3Guy Farley19
4Christian Henson18
5Dario Marianelli16
6Hans Zimmer15
7George Fenton14
8Alexandre Desplat12
9Mark Thomas12
10Patrick Doyle11

Stuntmen & Stunt Women in the British film industry

This last category was added in honour of my friend Pete.  He has always been the first to help me when I’ve needed it and is known across the industry as an extremely talented and committed stunt co-ordinator.  And now I have the stats to prove it.  Thanks, Pete.

RankNameStunt Credits
1Peter Pedrero77
2Paul Kennington60
3Levan Doran60
4Rowley Irlam57
5Rick English57
6James O'Donnell54
7Andy Merchant52
8Roy Taylor51
9Bradley Farmer51
10Nick Chopping48


I used the BFI’s tracking data for films made between 2003 and 2013 to define what was and wasn’t a UK film.  I have no doubt that some of these classifications will be disputed as (a) the BFI are not perfect and (b) film can be a subjective field.  If any of the people listed above feel aggrieved that their number of credits is incorrect then please do drop me a line. This research looks at number of credits, not number of days worked.  Consequently, someone who worked one day apiece on ten films will get ten credits whereas someone else who performed ten days work on a single film will be listed as having one credit.  There is little I can do to account for this possible unfairness.



        1. Heck joint sixth on the list. Well done Mairi – there’s a thing. I agree that we need more films and more people employed in films in the UK because productions seems down at the moment. Good you are making these lists so people can see who are making the films. Thank you for your kind and prompt answers.

  1. Yes. I’d like to know why there are so few women? Do you have stats on that? My Daughter is an emerging Filmmaker who writes all her own material, so I am interested. Do these stats mean that there is a boys Club of some sort? It’s just not possible that men are more capable than women, so what is the answer.?

    1. There are certainly more men than women in the film industry. For more info check out these articles…

      But it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s a “boys club”. I’m working on research at the moment to try to pin down the causes of the gender gap in film.

        1. I don’t understand – Robbie is only mentioned in the list of directors and in the list of writers, not within the producers.

          As I said, you are mentioned on the list of female producers but in order to be in the producer table in this article you would need to have produced 13 films in the criteria range.

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