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The film industry only makes up a small percentage of the creative industry workforce in the UK. There are numerous film studios, playing host to the many big film productions both national and international. Yet the film sector is split into a small amount of large companies, and a large amount of small companies.
Strangely, film companies do not offer as many job opportunities as production companies or facility houses. Film companies employ their own editors, producers and distributors but, otherwise, tend to employ other positions on a freelance basis.
The UK has a thriving independent film industry, and independent film-makers can offer good opportunities for those in production, especially those with lower levels or experience. Independent film companies have produced some of best ‘niche’ market films that can still hit a mass audience.
Smaller independent companies may be dominated by the big international studios, but they can still produce high quality films, whether in entertainment, documentary or made for television areas.
These companies are much more likely to use their own in-house teams of production assistants, camera operators, lighting technicians and sound mixers, rather than hiring outside help.
Independent film companies should not be overlooked for career opportunities, as they could offer greater scope for progression and a greater potential for gaining hands on experience.
The big Hollywood Studios such as Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Studio Canal, 20th Century Fox and Film4, all have headquarters in the UK. They specialise in mass entertainment and, with history and longevity on their side, they still dominate the market.
International film studios usually focus on distribution rather than production, producing films to fulfil their business needs. They are mass audience led, aiming to gain the most international exposure possible with their titles.
They employ the most experienced executives and producers, but usually hire other companies or teams of people to work in the creative roles, choosing to work with production companies focusing on the practical tasks, whilst the studios do the hiring, financing and marketing.