This morning the British public awoke to the news that the EU referendum had swung in favour of the Leave campaign by 51.9% of the vote. Now, we’re not exactly one for getting involved when it comes to politics but it could affect our favourite fantasy drama, Game of Thrones. So what does Brexit mean for the TV and filmmaking industry in the UK?
The Telegraph reported that if Britain were to vote to leave the European Union then it would make make filming the hit HBO series more difficult. Of course the series films on location in a number of countries in Europe including Spain and Croatia but Northern Ireland is the place where many of the scenes are filmed including arguably the most epic episode of them all “Battle of the Bastards”.
Northern Ireland, being part of the UK, receives funding from the EU to help with the cost of production. Now that the UK has voted in favour of leaving the EU those funds may, over time, dwindle and eventually dry up.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Filming Could Be Upset By Brexit https://t.co/MPpdHS3W1p
— Manuel L. Quezon III (@mlq3) June 24, 2016
We’ve seen enough scaremongering over the past while so we won’t even bother trying to lecture on that but what we will say is that according to Foreign Policy, the European Regional Development Fund is perhaps one of the most important contributors when it comes to affording the cost of big budget films and TV shows.
With the Brexit vote, it is likely that this fund will be withdrawn which not only puts Game of Thrones’ funding at risk but the future of the British film and TV industry.
If this to happen then surely it would have a massive detrimental effect on the Northern Irish economy. Since 2010, Game of Thrones has contributed over €140 million thanks to Northern Ireland Screen. It then seems likely that filming for Stark country will move south to take place in the likes of Dublin and Wicklow instead where EU funding will still be available.
We’re well aware that Game of Thrones has become a global phenomenon since it aired back in 2011 so admittedly it would likely find a way round the funding issues one way or another, but the threat for smaller, less well off companies is very real.
Over the last seven years, Britain have received $32 million when it comes to cultural grants. Therefore, it comes as no surprise then that many British film stars pledged their allegiance with the Remain campaign.
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) June 23, 2016
In a letter published by the Telegraph in May, 282 actors including Benedict Cumberbatch, Helena Bonham Carter and Sir Patrick Stewart warned that Brexit “would be a leap into the unknown for millions of people across the UK”.
Now that the votes have been counted and verified, Brexit is coming and winter is on its way to Westeros. Ultimately, only time will tell what the future holds for the UK and its film and TV industry.
— The Independent (@Independent) June 22, 2016