Announcement: Government tax support for the Cine industry.

24 August 2015

Region: London

Announcement: Government tax support for the Cine industry.

By Mark Percival LRPS

This is good news for RPS and the cine businesses.  It is also recognition that cine is big and growing.    There were over major 900 films made in the UK in the period 2012 to 2014, 21% of these were documentaries.  These figures demonstrate growth from previous years.  Also of the £5.3bn budget for these films £3.5bn was spent in the UK (source: BFI) shows that cine in no small beer.


Undoubtedly cine skills in the UK are substantial.  London-based businesses are a large chunk of the industry possibly followed by Bristol and the television production centres.


The size of the photographic industry in financial terms compares badly with cine.  According to the Skillset data (source: ONS via, the photo imaging industry comprises largely freelancers and micro-businesses whose royalties received have reduced by 80% between 2005 and 2010 (source: French Senate report via  So where is the money in the creative industries?  Not, apparently, in stills any more.  The commercial stills markets are flooded with part-timers and amateurs.  This is an opportunity for RPS.  By getting more higher quality images freelanced into the various outlets (Alamy etc) and even our local news outlets, each of our images published and attributed potentially is also promoting the RPS.


Is the government providing tax incentives for stills?  No.  That’s not where the money is.  What is happening though, in my opinion, is that the appetite for good cine material is increasing dramatically.  There is an increase over the last 12 months of UK local television outlets.  Web outlets like YouTube are making explicit efforts to encourage improvement in the quality of material uploaded.  All this plays to the strengths of those seeking to engage with cine best practice whatever genre they are targeting.  Over 20% of the film production (by number of films, 2002-2004) reported by BFI were documentary with only 1.8% of the budget spend, second only to action, thriller and drama combined - 28% by number of films but with 63% of budget spend.  I think the documentary genre is most accessible to low budget productions.  Having recently done a survey of corporate material publicising major technology corporations, some of their output is frankly appalling – considerable room for improvement.


Why are the tax incentives for the brit film industry good for RPS?  We are launching London, Cine within RPS London Region because the London cine scene is so vibrant.  Soho, for example, is host to many businesses often linked to clever stuff like special effects and post-production.  We aim to engage with the experts to bring their stories to London, Cine members and through blogs and webinars, to the wider RPS community.  Largely, the experts want to engage with us.  It’s a win-win.  If you are a stills photographer with a sense of adventure, engaging with London, Cine to tune up your eye with cine skills, in my experience, only serves to improve every aspect of your photographic experience and output.  After all, cine is only stills photography but 30 times a second.


So there you have it.  The Government tax incentives for cine are supporting the RPS London, Cine Micro-Group.  Well done Dave.


Image © Mark Percival LRPS


For more information about London, Cine, contact Mark via