What makes a film British?

Every now and again you encounter something beyond satire.  Today, try “The Films (Definition of “British Film”) (No 2) Order 2006″ a draft statutory instrument which will modify the definition of “British film” in the Films Act 1985 by working on a points system 

I simply repeat its text beneath the LJ cut before giving some edited highlights

 

Citation, commencement and interpretation
     1.2.2] which is made in relation to a film for which the first day of principal photography is on or after the day this Order comes into force shall be determined by the Secretary of State in accordance with the Schedule as modified by this Order.

Modification of the Schedule
     3.3] (British films for purposes of the Schedule) substitute—

         ” 4A. —(1) The cultural test for a film other than a documentary (see paragraph 4B) or an animation (see paragraph 4C) is as follows.

        (2) Subject to sub-paragraph (7), a film passes the cultural test if it is awarded at least 16 points in total.

        (3) Up to 16 points shall be awarded in respect of the content of the film as follows—

      (a) up to 4 points depending on the percentage of the film that is set in the United Kingdom as follows—

        (i) 4 points for at least 75% ;

        (ii) 3 points for at least 66% ;

        (iii) 2 points for at least 50% ;

        (iv) 1 point for at least 25% ;

      (b) up to 4 points depending on the number of the characters depicted in the film that are British as follows—

        (i) if there are more than three characters depicted in the film, 4 points if two or three of the three lead characters are British or, if only one of the three lead characters is British, 2 points if he is the first or second lead, 1 point if he is the third lead;

        (ii) if there are only three characters depicted in the film, 4 points if two or three of them are British or, if only one of them is British, 2 points if he is the first or second lead, 1 point if he is the third lead;

        (iii) if there are only two characters depicted in the film, 4 points if both of them are British, 2 points if one of them is;

        (iv) if there is only one character depicted in the film, 4 points if he is British;

      (c) 4 points if the film depicts a British story;

      (d) up to 4 points depending on the percentage of the original dialogue that is recorded in the English language or in a recognised regional or minority language as follows—

        (i) 4 points for at least 75% ;

        (ii) 3 points for at least 66% ;

        (iii) 2 points for at least 50% ;

        (iv) 1 point for at least 25% .

       

        (4) Up to 4 points may be awarded in respect of the contribution of the film to the promotion, development and enhancement of British culture.

        (5) Up to 3 points shall be awarded in respect of work carried out in the making of the film as follows—

      (a) 2 points if at least 50% of the work carried out on any of the following is carried out in the United Kingdom—

        (i) principal photography;

        (ii) visual effects;

        (iii) special effects;

      (b) 1 point if at least 50% of the work carried out on any of the following is carried out in the United Kingdom—

        (i) performing and recording the music score created for the film;

        (ii) audio post production;

        (iii) picture post production.

       

        (6) Up to 8 points shall be awarded in respect of the personnel involved in the making of the film as follows—

      (a) 1 point if the director (or, if there is more than one, the lead director) is a qualifying person;

      (b) 1 point if at least one of the scriptwriters (or, if there are more than three, of the three lead scriptwriters) is a qualifying persons;

      (c) 1 point if at least one of the producers (or, if there are more than three, of the three lead producers) is a qualifying person;

      (d) 1 point if the composer (or, if there is more than one, the lead composer) is a qualifying person;

      (e) 1 point if at least one of the actors (or, if there are more than three, of the three lead actors) is a qualifying person;

      (f) 1 point if at least 50% of the cast are qualifying persons;

      (g) 1 point if at least one of the heads of department is a qualifying person;

      (h) 1 point if at least 50% of the production crew are qualifying persons.

        (7) A film that is awarded all the points available under sub-paragraphs (3)(d) (language), (5) (where work carried out) and (6) (personnel) does not pass the cultural test unless—

      (a) it is awarded at least 2 points under sub-paragraph (3)(a) (setting),

      (b) it is awarded at least 2 points under sub-paragraph (3)(b) (characters), or

      (c) it is awarded 4 points under sub-paragraph (3)(c) (story).

    4B.—(1) The cultural test for a documentary is as follows.

        (2) Subject to sub-paragraph (7), a film passes the cultural test if it is awarded at least 16 points in total.

        (3) Up to 16 points shall be awarded in respect of the content of the film as follows—

      (a) up to 4 points depending on the percentage of the film that is set in the United Kingdom as follows—

        (i) 4 points for at least 75% ;

        (ii) 3 points for at least 66% ;

        (iii) 2 points for at least 50% ;

        (iv) 1 point for at least 25% ;

      (b) up to 4 points depending on the number of the characters depicted in the film that are British as follows—

        (i) if there are more than three characters depicted in the film, 4 points if two or three of the three lead characters are British or, if only one of the three lead characters is British, 2 points if he is the first or second lead, 1 point if he is the third lead;

        (ii) if there are only three characters depicted in the film, 4 points of two or three of them are British or, if only one of them is British, 2 points if he is the first or second lead, 1 point if he is the third lead;

        (iii) if there are only two characters depicted in the film, 4 points if both of them are British, 2 points if one of them is;

        (iv) if there is only one character depicted in the film, 4 points if he is British;

      (c) 4 points if the film depicts a British story;

      (d) up to 4 points depending on the percentage of the original dialogue that is recorded in the English language or in a recognised regional or minority language as follows—

        (i) 4 points for at least 75% ;

        (ii) 3 points for at least 66% ;

        (iii) 2 points for at least 50% ;

        (iv) 1 point for at least 25% .

       

        (4) Up to 4 points may be awarded in respect of the contribution of the film to the promotion, development and enhancement of British culture.

        (5) Up to 3 points shall be awarded in respect of work carried out in the making of the film as follows—

      (a) 2 points if at least 50% of the work carried out on any of the following is carried out in the United Kingdom—

        (i) shooting;

        (ii) visual effects;

        (iii) research and development;

        (iii) special effects;

      (b) 1 point if at least 50% of the work carried out on any of the following is carried out in the United Kingdom—

        (i) performing and recording the music score created for the film;

        (ii) audio post production;

        (iii) picture post production.

       

        (6) Up to 8 points shall be awarded in respect of the personnel involved in the making of the film as follows—

      (a) 1 point if the director (or, if there is more than one, the lead director) is a qualifying person;

      (b) 1 point if at least one of the scriptwriters (or, if there are more than three, of the three lead scriptwriters) is a qualifying person;

      (c) 1 point if at least one of the producers (or, if there are more than three, of the three lead producers) is a qualifying person;

      (d) 1 point if the composer (or, if there is more than one, the lead composer) is a qualifying person;

      (e) 1 point if at least one of the participants (or, if there are more than three, of the three lead participants) is a qualifying person;

      (f) 1 point if at least 50% of the participants are qualifying persons;

      (g) 1 point if at least one of the heads of department is a qualifying person;

      (h) 1 point if at least 50% of the production crew are qualifying persons.

        (7) A film that is awarded all the points available under sub-paragraphs (3)(d) (language), (5) (where work carried out) and (6) (personnel) does not pass the cultural test unless—

      (a) it is awarded at least 2 points under sub-paragraph (3)(a) (setting),

      (b) it is awarded at least 2 points under sub-paragraph (3)(b) (characters), or

      (c) it is awarded 4 points under sub-paragraph (3)(c) (story).

    4C.—(1) The cultural test for an animation is as follows.

        (2) Subject to sub-paragraph (7), a film passes the cultural test if it is awarded at least 16 points in total.

        (3) Up to 16 points shall be awarded in respect of the content of the film as follows—

      (a) up to 4 points depending on the percentage of the film that is set in the United Kingdom as follows—

        (i) 4 points for at least 75% ;

        (ii) 3 points for at least 66% ;

        (iii) 2 points for at least 50% ;

        (iv) 1 point for at least 25% ;

      (b) up to 4 points depending on the number of the characters depicted in the film that are British as follows—

        (i) if there are more than three characters depicted in the film, 4 points if two or three of the three lead characters are British or, if only one of the three lead characters is British, 2 points if he is the first or second lead, 1 point if he is the third lead;

        (ii) if there are only three characters depicted in the film, 4 points of two or three of them are British or, if only one of them is British, 2 points if he is the first or second lead, 1 point if he is the third lead;

        (iii) if there are only two characters depicted in the film, 4 points both of them are British, 2 points if one of them is;

        (iv) if there is only one character depicted in the film, 4 points if he is British;

      (c) 4 points if the film depicts a British story;

      (d) up to 4 points depending on the percentage of the original dialogue that is recorded in the English language or in a recognised regional or minority language as follows—

        (i) 4 points for at least 75% ;

        (ii) 3 points for at least 66% ;

        (iii) 2 points for at least 50% ;

        (iv) 1 point for at least 25% .

       

        (4) Up to 4 points may be awarded in respect of the contribution of the film to the promotion, development and enhancement of British culture.

        (5) Up to 3 points shall be awarded in respect of work carried out in the making of the film as follows—

      (a) 2 points if at least 50% of the work carried out on any of the following is carried out in the United Kingdom—

        (i) shooting,

        (ii) visual design,

        (iii) layout and storyboarding;

        (iv) visual effects;

        (v) special effects;

      (b) 1 point if at least 50% of the work carried out on any of the following is carried out in the United Kingdom—

        (i) performing and recording the music score created for the film;

        (ii) voice recording;

        (iii) audio post production;

        (iv) picture post production.

       

        (6) Up to 8 points shall be awarded in respect of the personnel involved in the making of the film as follows—

      (a) 1 point if the director (or, if there is more than one, the lead director) is a qualifying person;

      (b) 1 point if at least one of the scriptwriters (or, if there are more than three, of the three lead scriptwriters) is a qualifying person;

      (c) 1 point if at least one of the producers (or, if there are more than three, of the three lead producers) is a qualifying person;

      (d) 1 point if the composer (or, if there is more than one, the lead composer) is a qualifying person;

      (e) 1 point if at least one of the actors (or, if there are more than three, of the three lead actors) is a qualifying person;

      (f) 1 point if at least 50% of the cast are qualifying persons;

      (g) 1 point if at least one of the heads of department is a qualifying person;

      (h) 1 point if at least 50% of the production crew are qualifying persons.

        (7) A film that is awarded all the points available under sub-paragraphs (3)(d) (language), (5) (where work carried out) and (6) (personnel) does not pass the cultural test unless—

      (a) it is awarded at least 2 points under sub-paragraph (3)(a) (setting),

      (b) it is awarded at least 2 points under sub-paragraph (3)(b) (characters), or

      (c) it is awarded 4 points under sub-paragraph (3)(c) (story).”.

     

     4. —(1) Paragraph 4D of the Schedule shall be amended as follows.

    (2) In sub-paragraph (4)(a) for “paragraph 4A(4)(a)” substitute “paragraph 4A(5)(a)(i)”.

    (3) For sub-paragraph (4)(b) substitute—

      ” (b) for the purposes of the rest of paragraph 4A(5) and paragraphs 4B(5) and 4C(5) (other matters), by reference to the amount of expenditure on the work.”.

     

    (4) In sub-paragraph (5) for “paragraph 4A(4), 4B(4) or 4C(4) (points awarded in respect of the making of the film)” substitute “paragraph 4A(5), 4B(5) or 4C(5) (where work carried out)”.

For paragraphs 4A to 4C[ —(1) This Order may be cited as the Films (Definition of “British Film”) (No. 2) Order 2006 and shall come into force on 1st January 2007 or, if later, the day after the day on which it is made.

    (2) “The Schedule” means Schedule 1 to the Films Act 1985, and a reference to a numbered paragraph is a reference to the paragraph bearing that number in the Schedule.

Transitional provision
     An application for certification under paragraph 2[

Like a deranged Bruce Forsyth obsessive the prize of a British film is based on points.  If you get 16 points you’ve got a British film.  The calculation of points is based on various elements including:

(a)  What percentage of the film is set in the United Kingdom? (so watch out when you’re filming those le Carre adaptations and I guess JK Rowling adaptations are similarly affected because Hogwarts seems to lie outwith the parameters of Her Gracious Majesty’s glorious rule.  We now know of course why so much of Doctor Who is earth-bound.  It’s to make it clear it’s a British production.  Those pesky alien planets could scupper everything.)
(b)  How many characters are British?  Are the leads British?  Or is Bella Emberg merely providing a cameo?  And what if Hugh Grant is doing an atrocious American accent?  Or [insert name of distinguished British actor] is playing a [shady Middle Eastern arms dealer/dodgy East European/Latvian submarine commander who stopped off in Edinburgh for a weekend and picked up the accent]?
(c)  Is it a British story?  (So adapting something by the late Dame Muriel Spark set in foreign climes?  Is this British or isn’t it?  And if you have a modern novel: boy meets man, boy kills man, boy meets woman, boy marries woman, boy discovers woman is mum, boy discovers man boy killed is dad, boy blinds boy which is adapted for the screen, is this is a British story or is it all greek to the Treasury?
(d)  Does the film enhance British culture? (whither Trainspotting?)
(e)  Are Visual or special effects worked on in the UK?  (if you’ve a problem and you can find them call in The Mill)
(f)  Are your behind the scenes bods British?  The director?  No.  Well, the scriptwriter?  No.  The producer?  Ah, it’s a Weinstein.  Eh, the best boy key grip gaffer?  Oh, all right is Ken Morse doing the rostrum camera work?

Different tests apply for documentaries and Nick Park.

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About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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