British filmmakers warned to cut costs and follow the example of ‘Monsters’

Forthcoming sci-fi movie proposed as a model for how the industry can survive

British filmmakers have been warned that they need to cut costs if they want their industry to survive.

Filmmaker Chris Jones, who is head of this month’s London Screenwriters’ Festival, believes UK directors and producers should look to independent American filmmakers, like the people behind the small budget horror film Monsters, for inspiration – the film had five crew members and only cost £63,000 to make.

Jones says money wasted on pandering to actors’ demands for first-class international travel, their own make-up artists, special dietary needs and 24-hour chauffeurs are destroying the domestic industry, he told The Observer, asking, “Can we really afford that?”

He also believes that rushing a script into production, with the aim of fine-tuning it during shooting, is also to blame for the UK industry “frittering away millions”.

Jones stated: “In 2010 there’s been a tidal wave of new technology – you don’t need expensive cameras any more.
‘Monsters’ shows that you don’t need big stars or big cameras [to make] a commercial film.”

The filmmaker accused the soon-to-be axed UK Film Council of encouraging the overspending and failing to support films that cost less than £500,000 to make.