Monday, November 14, 2011

Much ado about Noth etc.

Useful bit of PR pick up in the press last week on Minister Deenihan's set visit to of Titanic - Blood & Steel. It's always interesting to see how the mainstream papers report the industry. As usual there is a concentration on the stars - Chris Noth aka 'Mr Big', in this instance - and the numbers.

The headline numbers given for the show were €22m production, €12m Irish spend, and €12m raised in Ireland through Section 481 and a 'grant' of €300,000 from the Irish Film Board.

However, there is no mention of this production funding in the IFB's lists of decisions made over the last year. Nor is there any mention of the IFB involvement in the lead producer's information on the project.

No mention either in the press reports of the pickets which were a problem at one stage during prep in Dublin. I hear Minister Howlin, ICTU, SIPTU et al are working to clarify some of the issues and misconceptions that gave rise to several rancorous industrial relations situations this year.

The Light House Cinema belatedly re-entered the public consciousness with a report from Laura Slattery and Ronan McGreevy in the Irish Times on Friday last. Use the search box above (top left) to find my previous posts on the cinema's closure earlier in the year.

Still difficult to see how the situation might be best resolved given the potentially competing interests of the landlord (who has an obligation to NAMA in respect of the development) and the State, which has invested some €2m in the venture through the Arts Dept, the IFB and the Arts Council, (and is also carrying NAMA). IFCO also contributes an annual fee of €120,000 to use the cinema for classification screenings.

There may be questions of competitive supply of 'product' to other cinema outlets should either of the two reported potential bidders be successful, since both of them are also film distributors. There is no indication given in the report that any of the personnel previously involved in the cinema might be associated with either bid.

Here's some reading material you may have missed in recent years. It's a Departmental Irish Film Board expenditure review concluded in August, 2008.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the Expenditure Review, IFP, which is very informative.

Section 6.2, Employment Generated by BSE/IFB Projects (pages 60 & 61) is very revealing, with its figure of 2,969 full-time equivalent jobs generated between 1993 and 2004.

Even this low figure is misleading IMO because people go from job to job, suggesting the real figure was even lower than that, for that period.

Even accounting for 2005 to 2011 figures, which obviously add a significant amount, the clear impression again is how overblown the so-called Irish "industry" is, and how less swagger and hyperbole would be more honest and more productive.

irish film portal said...

You've identified one of the areas where the entire methodology of the review is very unclear - how do they control for other funding effects?
In this instance, where IFB funding is joined to other funding such as Section 481, how are the employment effects contingent on IFB funding isolated?
And how are we to compare the following with the research of 2008/2009 which claimed 6,000 jobs?

6.2 Employment Generated by BSE/IFB Projects
More than 58,000cumulative ‘employment transactions’ have occurred as a direct result of BSE/IFB production investments in major feature film and TV productions.
This means that the total number of full time equivalent jobs generated by BSE/IFB productions since 1993 is 2,969.
The table below shows the full time equivalent jobs each year (from IBEC statistics using a full time job equivalent multiplier).
Year - Full Time Equivalent Job
1993 - 170
1994 - 100
1995 - 169
1996 - 276
1997 - 484
1999 - 485
2000 - 356
2001 - 185
2002 - 234
2003 - 224
2004 - 286
Total - 2,969
Average: 2000-2004 - 257
NOTE: These figures do not include employment generated by development funding (such as the work of scriptwriters, producers and script editors), nor employment generated by documentary and short film projects.
Therefore, the average number of full time equivalent jobs generated by BSE/IFB Productions from 2000 – 2004 is 257.