To achieve clarity on the Welsh Government’s policy aims for funding film and major television production in Wales, and transparency as to why and how decisions are made in this area; 

 

Heading 1:

The support given by the Welsh Government to develop the film and television industries in Wales including:

Economic impact, and how this is spread across Wales

Since creative industries became a key economic sector of the Welsh Government the economic growth and the TV industry in Wales has been quite phenomenal.

During this period, the Welsh Government made three key decisions that led the creative industries in Wales to grow faster than any other sector in Wales and faster than any other region or nation in the UK outside of London.

The decisions were:

1.      Placing creative industries in the economic division of WG.  By doing this, the whole public sector intervention was around growth of jobs and supply chains.  This was refreshing to an international industry and led to unprecedented amounts of inward investment from the burgeoning global TV industry.

 

2.      To set up a specialist creative sector team, with expert knowledge and experience who could ensure that interventions required for economic growth in the sector could be ensured thereby achieving good value for money for the public purse.

 

3.      The sector team strategy was not to create new plans but to recognise that there was a small group of creatives at the BBC who were bringing high end drama to Wales.  WG worked with those creatives as part of a strategy to make Wales the best place in the world to producing high end drama.

Recently however, there is a general perception that is no clear strategy to address the needs of the TV & Film Industry.  Projects have been funded randomly based on the profile of the company but not looking at long term sustainable legacy for Wales.

 

Cultural impact, including the Welsh language

Although the prime criteria has been economic benefit there has been cultural impact including Welsh language where Welsh language/back to back productions have had investment eg Hinterland and the recent Keeping Faith. This can also benefit the indigenous Wales based supply companies.

 

Value for money

Screen Alliance Wales (SAW) believes that the industry need to contribute to skills and the training of the workforce to ensure legacy and growth and move away from the traditional reliance on the public purse to provide skills and training provision. SAW through its comprehensive research has identified current skills gaps priorities in the Film and High-End TV Industry in Wales. 

These immediate priorities include: 

        -  Production Accountants and Assistant Accountants 

        -  Production Co-ordinators 

        -  Grips and Assistant Grips 

        -  1st Assistant Camera, including women in all camera roles 

        -  Location Scouts, Unit Managers and Assistant Location Managers 

        -  Electricians 

        -  Assistant Directors - 1st, 2nd and 3rds 

        - Script Editors

        - Script Supervisors 

 

 

 

Heading 2:

How support for the sector may be affected by the Welsh Government’s new Economic Action Plan.

The future strategy for the creative industries must have specialist knowledge and experience of the successful global creative business.  If it does not, then all the good work achieved will be quickly lost.

Wales will lose out to its nearby competitors such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Europe and the wider world who are quickly ramping up their support for this industry through their respective and successful Screen Agencies with their proactive and aggressive approach to attracting inward investment projects.

 

UK

Wales’s main competition for international features, UK features, TV drama and other TV and commercials comes from the English regions, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

Other parts of the UK offer a variety of incentives to attract production to their respective region and Wales competes directly with these incentives. 

 

Europe

As well as our closest neighbours such as France and Germany who all offer attractive tax rebates some of the member states in Eastern Europe have been able

to offer very attractive incentives. Production costs in these countries are

substantially lower than many other parts of Europe and the crew base is continually growing to match demand.

 

Canada

Canada has been very successful in attracting so called runaway production from Hollywood. The most successful being The Film & Media Centre and the Vancouver Film Commission are both part of The Vancouver Economic Commission who both work together to deliver Vancouver’s Film and TV industry. Vancouver and British Columbia have benefited enormously from film and TV projects inward investment projects. 

 

New Zealand

Since the filming of Lord of the Rings New Zealand has been a model for success in terms of building its indigenous industry and attracting further production. The New Zealand Government recognises the importance of film production to the economy as a whole and supports an attractive film fund.

 

Australia

A number of large productions have been filmed in Australia in recent years. The Australian industry is heavily subsidised by Federal and State governments. Each state has its own strategy for the screen industry.  

 

Heading 3:

To investigate how Ffilm Cymru Wales, the BFI and others support the sector, and how this work complements the work of the Welsh Government in this area.

 

Ffilm Cymru play an important role in nurturing Welsh Talent and supporting the education and cultural benefits from a film perspective. These organisations have different aims but can also work with companies, facility companies and freelancers that also work on a more commercial basis. The additional work makes them more feasible as organisations/people.

 

 

Heading 4:

 

The support given to develop skills and address skills shortages in the industry, whether there is sufficient data to map existing skills.

 

There is no joined up approach to address the above, it is all done piecemeal by various different organisations each with its own agenda and limited funding streams. Screen Alliance Wales (SAW) will address the needs of this ever-growing Film & TV Industry. It will create a clear training pathway from primary school right through to professional careers therefore forming the intelligence and background data to successfully map existing skills and address the gaps within the workforce.

SAW is a stand-alone philanthropic company, SAW has been created by Bad Wolf as the company’s founders recognise that Wales needs an agency to educate, train and promote TV crew and infrastructure throughout Wales. Created initially by Bad Wolf Limited (“Bad Wolf”) SAW will draw together relevant public and private bodies in Wales to create a single strategic alliance which is resourced by both the public and private sectors. This alliance, under the leadership of SAW, will ensure Wales continues to benefit economically from its Screen Industries.

SAW is the gateway between the industry and its workforce, it will grow and promote the talent, crew and services of the TV and Film Industry in Wales. SAW is unique to Wales and will become the industry standard in promoting the complete supply chain from one single place. SAW is not led by the public sector it is created by the industry for the industry and it will be a powerful advocate of the crews, facilities and the talent that it represents.

SAW will invest all of its net profits into education, training, marketing, funding and infrastructure initiatives required to grow the Screen Industries in Wales.

SAW’s work will identify and address skills shortages through the TV & Film network supply chain.  This environment will attract more inward investment and that investment will, in turn, enable the sector to grow further, thereby creating a virtuous circle of investment and growth.