Thursday, January 04, 2007

Economics and the British B-movie

British B-movies, unlike their American equivalents, were the result of a quota, as The Guardian explains:
The quota quickie was an unlooked-for consequence of a state attempt to give British film a shot in the arm - the 1927 act, which obliged exhibitors to screen a greater percentage of home-made films. A guaranteed market was created overnight, and muscular Hollywood outfits such as Paramount, Warners and Fox set up British subsidiaries to supply the demand for as little cash as possible. (read more)

Looks like a case of unintended consequences. But the objectives of those policymakers were achieved to some extent, since a generation of filmmakers honed their craft under the twin pressures of low budget and little time. Useful experiences.

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