Movies and TV shows have changed constantly in recent years – even more so in 2020. The UK is at the heart of these changes. Ideology triumphs over art, a pillar of the industry is losing support. Cinemas closeand filmmakers are forced to find new ways to fund their films.
Check out our detailed news analysis after the COVID-19 situation.
The death of traditional comedy:
Allegedly rising social tensions and oversensitive millennials have made comedy as boring as possible. Mr. Bean's Rowan Atkinson lamented the language laws under the Public Order Act in the UK nearly 10 years ago, insisting that it was a new intolerance that would have a chilling effect. He was right.
In the UK, mainstream comedy has lost most of its borders. Criticism, ridicule, and sarcasm can now be considered offensive – and breaking culture is always ready to smear anyone who disagrees with their opinion.
Ricky Gervais laments that the office was faced with hordes of outraged mobs demanding the end of what they would find offensive. Jokes that relate to or even slightly suggest gender, race or religion are now expressly prohibited. Writers and producers are now constantly censoring themselves for fear that someone will be offended. The death of the comedy becomes even clearer when a man was confronted by the police for not even writing but just sharing a limerick online.
BBC to be defused?
Calls for the Defunding the BBC is growing and some people are purposely not paying the license fees. The BBC is funded by a license fee of £ 157.50 paid by 26 million UK residents. It's built into regular taxes and refusal to pay can earn a £ 1,000 fine or even jail time.
In 2016, more than 180,000 people were prosecuted for non-payment and 90 people were jailed. The prosecution triggered a massive outcry due to the scandalous waste of judicial resources and the detention of the 90 people. In the past four years, 3.5 million residents have refused to pay the BBC royalties. There are calls to decriminalize non-payment and remove the license fee altogether – the BBC is switched to a subscription model similar to Netflix or BritBox. According to multiple surveys, around 60 to 70 percent of UK residents support the elimination of the required royalties that fund most of the BBC's shows and operations.
The BBC has faced an overwhelming backlash for shoving its ideology into its viewers – with shows that breed historical figures and often just slander white men. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for a review of mandatory BBC royalties and the decriminalization of non-payment.
The rise of streaming services:
Most cinemas in the UK are as good as dead. The COVID-19 pandemic was the final nail in the coffin. Cineworld with its 127 cinemas has closed its doors permanently. Smaller movie theaters have also ended their run as the 2020 shutdowns generated massive overheads excluding the revenue.
Film studios are also choosing to publish their titles direct to streaming services, with Disney's Mulan being the first major endeavor. Warner Bros. 'Wonder Woman 1984 also tested a similar version and unfortunately scored lower numbers than the previous version. Streaming services have long been touted as an alternative to the cinema experience – and they can completely replace the cinema if film producers deviate from it. Although most streaming services frequently produce their own films, film studios have traditionally preferred theatrical releases in order to maximize profits.
Nowadays, OTT is preferred over TV series and films. There are so many parameters behind this success – fresh new content, different topics, the freedom to do what the directors want to convey, comparatively lower production costs than with standard films, anytime access and much more. The use of Hollywood-level animation and visual effects also plays an important role. HBO's legendary Game of Thrones series has brought a lot of spectacular images to its viewers.
Despite the events of 2020, UK filmmakers are thriving thanks to crowdfunding. Sites like GoFundMe, Crowdfunder, Indiegogo and Kickstarter have funded artists from Manchester, London, Glasgow, Belfast and many other parts of the UK. Crowdfunding has funded documentaries, science fiction films, dramas, and almost every possible genre.
Independent artists get access to film studios, equipment, editing facilities and industry experts – which increases the quality of their films and their chances of winning at the box office. While crowdfunding doesn't necessarily guarantee success, a good pitch can deserve significant support. Projects of interest get in excess of £ 50,000, with larger projects (like a reinterpretation of Macbeth starring Sean Bean, Rupert Grint and Charles Dance or new episodes from Thunderbirds) fetching more than $ 200,000.
Times are changing, and both film and television have been fundamentally changed by ideology, economy, disaster, and society. Whether for good or bad has yet to be decided, as the opening scenes of a film can change drastically from its end.