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Making Films in Scandinavia: On work and production infrastructure in the contemporary regional sector

Hedling, Olof LU (2012) In Working in the Global Film Industries: Creativity, Systems, Space, Patronage p.57-74
Abstract
In this chapter, I discuss some effects on the ‘creative classes’ in Sweden and Scandinavia due to developments during roughly the last decade. In this period, a majority of the feature film making but also some documentary and TV-production has moved away from Stockholm, the capital, to newly established, regional production centres. A similar process has been going on for a while in other parts of Europe and in Scandinavia, a fact which makes the phenomenon more than merely of national interest. In one respect, this chapter, accordingly, may be seen as a case study of what Ben Goldsmith and Tom O`Regan has described as the “dispersed infrastructure […] of the contemporary international landscape and ecology of film production”. ... (More)
In this chapter, I discuss some effects on the ‘creative classes’ in Sweden and Scandinavia due to developments during roughly the last decade. In this period, a majority of the feature film making but also some documentary and TV-production has moved away from Stockholm, the capital, to newly established, regional production centres. A similar process has been going on for a while in other parts of Europe and in Scandinavia, a fact which makes the phenomenon more than merely of national interest. In one respect, this chapter, accordingly, may be seen as a case study of what Ben Goldsmith and Tom O`Regan has described as the “dispersed infrastructure […] of the contemporary international landscape and ecology of film production”.



One evident reason for the present change is that national, but perhaps even more so, regional authorities look to the ‘creative industries’ to regenerate regional and local economies that have descended into what may be termed a ‘post-industrial slump’. The aim, in turn, is that eventually, self-supporting, thriving audiovisual clusters will replace former industries and the public sector as a source of employment and wealth. Another implied expectation is that this new endeavour will expose these regions in a favourable way as, in Richard Florida’s expression, ‘creative cities’ and accordingly attract tourism, new residents and so forth.



In a way, the regime has been profitable for the film sector. Since film is not only confined to the cultural sector anymore, but instead regarded as an important tool for regional structural transformation, new public funding has become available. This has meant that more films are being made and that new talent has been given opportunities.



Seen from the perspective of film workers, this means that the size of the profession has grown. Due to the structural situation, however, most work is temporary and the opportunities for employment limited. Thus, most act as freelancers and of those only 25 per cent receives 75 per cent or more of their income from actual film work. This may be among several factors that explain why few film workers, according to a recent survey, move to the regional centres. Another dilemma regarding chances for work at the regional centres is that very few businesses, who can act independently, be responsible employers, provide good income opportunities and be comparatively secure about their worth and proficiencies without the dependency of one single, publicly funded, agent have been formed.



Consequently, some of the expected benefits of these ‘clusters’ are lost. In this paper I present and discuss the development leading to the present situation, as well as some of the theoretic models which seem to delineate the motifs behind the expansion. I also elaborate on some possible economic, social and industrial motives for why progress hardly can be described as smooth or unproblematic, not least from the perspective of those groups supposed to work and serve in this regionalized production setup. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Ystad, scandinavian film, regional film production, converging media, working in film
in
Working in the Global Film Industries: Creativity, Systems, Space, Patronage
editor
Dawson, Andrew; Holmes, Sean P.; and
pages
57 - 74
publisher
Bloomsbury publishing
ISBN
9781780930237
project
Europeisk, skandinavisk och regional film och filmproduktion
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c3ffb75e-92ca-480b-a7c3-86c900f47785 (old id 2204855)
date added to LUP
2011-11-17 13:21:58
date last changed
2016-04-16 10:08:12
@inbook{c3ffb75e-92ca-480b-a7c3-86c900f47785,
  abstract     = {In this chapter, I discuss some effects on the ‘creative classes’ in Sweden and Scandinavia due to developments during roughly the last decade. In this period, a majority of the feature film making but also some documentary and TV-production has moved away from Stockholm, the capital, to newly established, regional production centres. A similar process has been going on for a while in other parts of Europe and in Scandinavia, a fact which makes the phenomenon more than merely of national interest. In one respect, this chapter, accordingly, may be seen as a case study of what Ben Goldsmith and Tom O`Regan has described as the “dispersed infrastructure […] of the contemporary international landscape and ecology of film production”. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
One evident reason for the present change is that national, but perhaps even more so, regional authorities look to the ‘creative industries’ to regenerate regional and local economies that have descended into what may be termed a ‘post-industrial slump’. The aim, in turn, is that eventually, self-supporting, thriving audiovisual clusters will replace former industries and the public sector as a source of employment and wealth. Another implied expectation is that this new endeavour will expose these regions in a favourable way as, in Richard Florida’s expression, ‘creative cities’ and accordingly attract tourism, new residents and so forth.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
In a way, the regime has been profitable for the film sector. Since film is not only confined to the cultural sector anymore, but instead regarded as an important tool for regional structural transformation, new public funding has become available. This has meant that more films are being made and that new talent has been given opportunities. <br/><br>
<br/><br>
Seen from the perspective of film workers, this means that the size of the profession has grown. Due to the structural situation, however, most work is temporary and the opportunities for employment limited. Thus, most act as freelancers and of those only 25 per cent receives 75 per cent or more of their income from actual film work. This may be among several factors that explain why few film workers, according to a recent survey, move to the regional centres. Another dilemma regarding chances for work at the regional centres is that very few businesses, who can act independently, be responsible employers, provide good income opportunities and be comparatively secure about their worth and proficiencies without the dependency of one single, publicly funded, agent have been formed.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
Consequently, some of the expected benefits of these ‘clusters’ are lost. In this paper I present and discuss the development leading to the present situation, as well as some of the theoretic models which seem to delineate the motifs behind the expansion. I also elaborate on some possible economic, social and industrial motives for why progress hardly can be described as smooth or unproblematic, not least from the perspective of those groups supposed to work and serve in this regionalized production setup.},
  author       = {Hedling, Olof},
  editor       = {Dawson, Andrew and Holmes, Sean P.},
  isbn         = {9781780930237},
  keyword      = {Ystad,scandinavian film,regional film production,converging media,working in film},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {57--74},
  publisher    = {Bloomsbury publishing},
  series       = {Working in the Global Film Industries: Creativity, Systems, Space, Patronage},
  title        = {Making Films in Scandinavia: On work and production infrastructure in the contemporary regional sector},
  year         = {2012},
}