Friday, May 18, 2012

All the world's a stage...

A correspondent has passed on a link to a news item in 'The Stage' yesterday headlined Actors protest over BBC dramas made in Ireland - BBC Drama has been accused of neglecting the corporation’s target to spend 17% of its network TV budget in the nations, after it emerged that three new shows are being made in the Republic of Ireland.

The first thing to be said is that no actors are quoted in the story. The charge is led by Equity assistant general secretary Stephen Spence who is particularly focused on the fact that none of the productions cited - Loving Miss Hatto, Vexed and Ripper Street - are being filmed in Northern Ireland.

The second thing is that many British actors are employed on these shows.

The third thing is that as they are citizens of a member state of the EU, British personnel, including actors, employed on these shows qualify as 'Irish' spend under the Section 481 regulations. The money to pay them may not be coming from BBC or other British sources. I'm not sure that the same applies to Irish personnel working on film projects in the UK (including Northern Ireland) that utilise British incentives.

We do need more transparency and research data around the employment spend on projects using the tax break and Film Board funding, particularly employment numbers and levels of pay broken down by Irish resident and non-resident personnel.


Anonymous said...

I agree that Irish spend needs to be looked at especially when non irish resident producers who get paid over 120k to co-produce a film, which adds up to about 1/5th of the ifb monies awarded to project and how that money is set against 481 to tot up the Irish eligeble spend. How is say a German born German based producer "Irish Spend". Only in this country do we see this fiddley-dooddly-do-da finace structures. Now i did hear the finance dept and revenue are investigateding a number of recent productions and projects so maybe it will all come out and things can improve but I think it is much like the health system here in many ways.

Anonymous said...

Why is our FILM Board funding TV drama?

irish film portal said...

I think there should be a cap on total producer/production company and other fees - expressed as a percentage of the Irish spend or IFB loan, up to a maximum amount. It'd be one way of ensuring that the money goes on the screen.

Because it gives employment, and because it puts money in producers' and production companies' and facility providers' pockets, and because Section 481 isn't enough of a carrot on its own.