Hmmm. We’ve been a bit slow to pick up on this, but we thought it was worth a mention. Remember the changes to the UK tax rules on British films? Well, the new system has now been announced. They state that if a film is classified as a British film, you can get 16% relief for large budget films and 20% for smaller budgets. As the Red Dwarf Movie budget is under £20 million, it would quality for the full 20%.
Oddly, though, in order to qualify, the Movie would have to pass a “Britishness test” – which sounds worryingly like the kind of thing people who bang on about immigration talk about. From Creative Industries Minister James Purnell:
“The new test operates around a points system that will focus on cultural content, cultural hubs and cultural practitioners… Films which score at least 50% of the total points available will be certified as British.”
Well, if anyone can tell me how that is supposed to work in any way fairly, let me know – seeing as “Britishness” can’t be tied down on paper. On the other hand, all this could perhaps work to Dwarf‘s advantage – the old system states that 70% of a film’s production costs has to be spent in the UK. If Dwarf can prove itself sufficiently British, then the production can bugger off to Australia, get more bang for their buck, and everyone’s happy.
How in Chist’s name you could work out the nationality of Kryten or Cat is anyone’s guess, mind you – and obviously the film won’t be mainly set in Britain. But who knows how much of Earth (and Britain?) we get to see in the Movie’s opening stages – and I can’t see that the film could be anything other than culturally very British indeed. But we might find a situation where in the Re-mastered series, elements were changed to appeal more to an American audience – but for all we know, the Movie script might be tailored slightly to be more British!
And, yes, this is a report based on complete ignorance. But when we last mentioned the changes to the tax breaks system, I said I didn’t know if it was relevant – it turned out from Doug’s DJ speech that it caused the funding for the Movie to fall through. So, I just thought I’d mention it…