What do film production companies do?
In a nutshell, a film production UK company helps create and fund films, ready for distribution and release.
It provides help in various filmmaking processes, including budgeting, casting, scripting, and scheduling. The production company oversees the full production process from the time a film is just an idea through to completion.
One of the main responsibilities of a film production firm is to find a movie director.
It is also charged with looking for the majority of the actors. The company takes responsibility for anything that might go wrong during the production process, for instance, damages to property and actors being wounded – that’s rare but does happen
How do film production companies commission films?
A film company commissions its works by looking for individuals that are well suited to undertake film projects, which can be sub-contracted companies or individuals.
Before work is approved, the company discusses the details of the work with the selected individual to ensure that the company’s expectations are well understood. This includes agreeing on when the project should be completed and any down payment for the work.
How do film production companies budget and fund films and TV?
Some UK film companies rely on private and investor funding to carry out their film projects.
Other films are financed entirely by the producers themselves, so in essence, they are the investors. There are film companies that opt for joint production arrangements to reduce risk and comfortably fund the project from the start to the end.
There is also the option of applying for public film funding which constitutes regional and national funding agencies, which support filmmakers and writers. Major studios invest in their own productions, also acting as banks, such as Warner Bros & Universal Studios.
So let’s get to our list of the best film production companies in the UK
In recent years, the film industry in the UK has produced some outstanding works that have been critically acclaimed by an international audience and recognised by the likes of BAFTA, The Oscars and Emmys in the States.
We have put together a comprehensive list of the very best film production companies in the UK, together with their top-grossing films, best directors and their contact information.
While these companies vary significantly in scale and size, they have a huge track record of supporting the production of films that attract an international audience, awards, and huge $$$ returns at the box office.
Let’s get started!
Our top pick film production companies:
Aardman Animations is a reputable UK film and video production company based in Bristol. Esteemed for making films using stop-motion Claymation techniques, the company has made about $1 billion globally through its films.
On average, each of their films makes $147 million.
The film company was established by David Sproxton and Peter Lord in 1972. The company specialized in producing short films up to the late 1990s.
The company teamed up with DreamWorks Company in 1997 and signed a $250 million deal two years later. Following this deal, the two companies continued to co-produce films until 2007 when their partnership was terminated.
Aardman Animation Studios co-produced with many other companies in an attempt to popularize its brand and control a larger share of the film market in the UK.
Their highest-grossing films include:
– Chicken Run
– Wallace and Gromit
– Arthur Christmas
– Early Man
– Chicken Run 2
The film company’s work has received several nominations and awards including the BAFTA Award for Best British Film and Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Famous directors include Steve Box and Barry Purves.
Contact: Gas Ferry Road, Bristol. BS1 6UN Tel: 0117 984 8485
Eon Productions is best known for the production of the James Bond Film Series.
It is based in London at Piccadilly but also has offices in the United Kingdom operating as the world-famous Pinewood Studios. Eon was founded in 1962 by Albert R and Harry Saltzman.
Some of Eon’s top-grossing films include:
– Spectre (2015)
– Casino Royale(2006)
– Quantum of Solace (2008)
– Goldfinger (1995)
Some of the famous directors are Michael G. Wilson, Daniel Craig, and Barbara Broccoli.
The famous actors that have been featured by Eon are David Niven, Sean Connery, Daniel Craig, Pierce Brosnan, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, and Timothy Dalton.
Contacts: Eon Productions Ltd. [UK] Production companies. Eon House, 138 Piccadilly, London W1J 7NR. Tel: (44) 207 493 7953
Founded by Kris Thykier in 2014, this independent company is famous for producing the Riviera. After its release, Rivier was the most downloaded film at the time.
As a result of its popularity, this outstanding film was nominated for two Baftas. Archery Pictures has produced many other films such as Miss Sloan, Burnt, and Tolkien.
The company’s team is passionate about creating high-end, original films for an international audience.
Archery’s highest-grossing films are:
– Woman in Gold
– Burnt with Bradley Cooper
– W.E. by Madonna
Since its inception, the company has produced great films through its director, Judy Counihan.
Heyday Films – film production companies
Heyday Films, formerly Cherubs Limited was founded in 1996 by David Heyman. It is well known for the production of Paddington, Gravity, Fantastic Beasts and the hugely successful Harry Potter saga.
It began in London, England and later moved to Borehamwood, Hertfordshire where it’s currently located.
Some of the Heyday Films include:
– Sometimes always never
– A Prayer Before Dawn
– A quiet passion
– Sunset song
– Under the mund
– Of time and the city
Some of Heyday’s famous directors include Paul King, James Kent, Alfonso Cuaron, Marc Munden, David Yates, John Crowley, Mike Newell, Chris Columbus, and Antonia Bird.
Contacts: Heyday Films, 5 Denmark Street, London WC2H 8LP, UK. Tel: (44) 207 836 6333
This London-based company was co-founded in 1999 by Henry Normal and actor Steve Coogan.
The company has gained a reputation by producing films like Red Dwarf, Sensitive Skin, The Shadow Line, and Moone Boy.
Since its inception, it has expanded its services into animation and radio. The company produces entertainment of high quality across all genres for film, television, and radio.
After the founding of the company, Coogan took the role of a creative director while Normal became the CEO.
BBC Worldwide acquired a 25 per cent stake in Baby Cow in 2008.
In April 2016, Normal relinquished the CEO position but remained the company’s consultant. Eventually, Christine Langan took over the chief executive’s position.
Baby Cow has received recognition in significant awards including:
RTS Craft Awards 2018, Baftas 2017, International Emmy Awards 2017, Golden Globe Awards 2014.
Baby Cow’s highest-grossing films are:
– Alan Partridge
– Ideal Home
– I Believe in Miracles
Contact: 5-6 Portland Mews, Soho, London W1F 8JG. Tel: 020 3696 5200
Working Title Films
Working Title is perhaps the biggest film production company in the UK.
Its work features films and television production. The firm was established in 1983 by Sarah Radclyffe and Tim Bevan, who later transferred its ownership to Universal Pictures.
While the company is headquartered in London, it has a subsidiary in Los Angeles.
Some outstanding works produced by Working Title include The Tudors, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and The Big Lebowski.
Other films produced by the company that is well-known internationally are:
– Hot Fuzz
– Love Actually
– The Theory of Everything
– Baby Driver
Since the early 1990s, Working Title has actively engaged in television production. It has created content for both UK and American television with notable productions including The Tudors, Showtime’s, and About a Boy.
Some of the company’s highest-grossing films are:
Baby Driver, Mary Queen of Scots, Cats, Love Actually, The Tudors
This modern and dynamic filmmaking company was founded in 2013 by Paul Van and Nick Taussig.
Its productions feature not only films but also TV documentaries. Some notable striking productions done by Salon Pictures include Lek & The Dogs, My Name is Lenny and Churchill.
Salon Pictures’ reliability and outstanding work have seen it hired by companies like Rude Health, Unilever, and Facebook to produce their content.
Here are some top Salon Pictures productions with the highest-grossing:
– Mad bastard
– My name is Lenny
– Don Don
Famous directors: Paul Van Carter and Ian Berg.
Contact: 699 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 3JF or Los Angeles, 939 South Hill Street, Los Angeles CA 90015. Tel: 020 3612 1259
Ecosse Films is well known for specialising in drama for films and television. It was founded by Douglas Rae in 1988 and is currently based in London.
A number of the films produced include Charlotte Gray whereby Cate Blanchett was starring & Becoming Jane whereby James McAvoy and Anne Hathaway starred.
Some of the famous Ecosse films directors are:
Douglas Rae, Robert Bernstein, Mark Woolley, Kate Triggs, Rob Darnell, Nicky Stean, Adam Duncan, Becca Sugar & Emma Stanyer
Ecosse Films Contacts: Brigade House, 8 Parsons Green, London SW6 4TN. Telephone: +44(0)20 7371 0290. Email: [email protected]
Hurricane Films have its headquarters in Liverpool. Roy Boulter and Solon Papadopoulos founded it. The films have won numerous awards due to the high quality that the company produces.
The following are some of the top-grossing films for this company:
– Sometimes always never
– A Prayer Before Dawn
– A quiet passion
– Sunset song
– Under the mund
– Of time and the city
Some of the renowned directors in Hurricane Films are Roy Charles Boulter and Solon Papadopoulos.
Marv Films is among the British production films company owned by Matthew Vaughn. It was founded in 2004, and its headquarters are in London, United Kingdom.
It’s known for the motion picture production of Kick-Ass, the Golden Circle, and Stardust. Annabelle Sciorra and Michael Gambon are some of the actors and actresses featured in Marv’s films.
Marv Films has featured the following films:
– Layer Cake
– Harry Brown
– The Debt
– Kick-Ass 2
– Kingsman: The Secret Service
– Fantastic Four
– Eddie the Eagle
– Kingsman: The Golden Circle
– The King’s Man
The key directors for this film company are Kris Thykier and Matthew Vaughn.
Contact: Marv Films UK. 2nd Floor MKA House, 36 King Street GB – Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 1NA. Tel: +44 1628 672 568
Number 9 Films
Number 9 Films is an independent film company co-founded in 2002 by Stephen Woolley and Elizabeth Karlsen. It is based in London, England, United Kingdom and is best known for the production of Collette with Keira Knightley.
Some of the outstanding filmographies for the company include:
– 2012 – Midnight’s Children
– 2012 – Byzantium
– 2012 – Great Expectations
– 2014 – Hyena
– 2015 – Carol
– 2015 – Youth
– 2016 – The Limehouse Golem
– 2016 – Their Finest
– 2017 – On Chesil Beach
– 2018 – Colette
The famous directors of this film company are Elizabeth Karlsen & Stephen Woolley.
Contacts: Number 9 Films, 8-9 Stephen Mews, London. W1T 1AF Tel: +44 (0)207 323 4060 Email: [email protected]
Vertigo Films is a private film company that was co-founded in 2002 by James Richardson and Allan Niblo. It has its headquarters in London, United Kingdom.
Some of the box offices’ produced by Vertigo Films include Street Dance, Street Dance 3D, Monsters and Bronson.
The famous directors for vertigo films are James Richardson Allan Niblo and Nick Love.
Contacts: Tel: 020 7428 7555. 1E Zetland House, 5-25 Scrutton Street, London EC2A 4HJ
See Saw is an independent film company that was co-founded by Emile Sherman and Iain Canning.
Though it’s headquartered in London, it also has offices in Australia and the United States of America. The film company is well known for producing the award-winning drama entitled, “The King’s Speech.”
The following are some of the top-grossing films for See-Saw:
– Widows – (2018)
– The King’s Speech – (2010)
– Lion – (2016)
– Shame – (2011)
– Top of the Lake – (2013)
– Mary Magdalene – (2018)
– The Day Shall Come – (2019)
– Macbeth – (2015)
The famous directors for this company are: Emile Sherman (joint managing director), Iain Canning (joint managing director) & Barry Sechos (corporate director)
Contacts: 3rd Floor, 45 Folgate Street, London E1 6GL +44 (0) 203 301 6268 Email. [email protected]
Wrap-Up & Music Supervision
We trust that the above list of top film companies in the United Kingdom is not only helpful but will also be a reliable reference.