Working Title Films British Film Industry

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Working Title Films

  • British Film Industry


  • Working Title Films is a British film production company, based in London.

  • The company was founded by Tim Bevan and Sarah Radclyffe in the late 1980s. It produces feature films and some television productions.

  • Among the company's films are Richard Curtis-scripted romantic comedies and Coen Brothers' films, but has in recent times moved into many other types of film, such as United 93.

  • In 2004 it made a profit of £17.8 million. As of 2007, all its films distributed by Universal Pictures, which owns a 67% stake in the company, and many of its recent films are co-productions with StudioCanal. The remaining shares are owned by the company's founders, BBC Films, and private investors.

Breakthrough success

  • Four Weddings and a Funeral is a 1994 British romantic comedy film directed by Mike Newell. It was the first of several films by screenwriter Richard Curtis to feature Hugh Grant. The film was an unexpected success, becoming the highest-grossing British film in cinema history with worldwide box office in excess of $244 million worldwide.

Richard Curtis

  • Curtis is a screenwriter for British Films, best known for writing ‘Four

  • Weddings and a Funeral’, ‘Notting Hill’, ‘Love Actually’ and shows such

  • as ‘The Vicar of Dibley’, ‘Mr Bean’ and ‘Blackadder’ and transferring

  • ‘Bridget Jones’ from book to film.


Curtis and Working Title

  • His films for Working Title have a recognisable formula:

  • A tendency to portray a ‘Christmas Card’ little England, combining chocolate box villages with tourist London

  • Middle class heroes stuck in romantic predicaments, looking gorgeous and living in fabulous houses in London

  • Using the romantic comedy genre as a showcase for Britain’s comedy talent in cameos

  • Hugh Grant is best known for his Curtis films

Coen Brothers

  • Owing a heavy debt to film noir and other film styles of the past, the

  • Coen brothers' films combine dry humor with sharp irony and shocking

  • visuals, most often in moving camera shots.

Working Title Films

Best of British

  • Working Title films have promoted a range of home grown talent:

  • Hugh Grant, Bill Nighy, Rowan Atkinson, Martin Freeman, Alan

  • Rickman, Keira Knightly, Colin Firth, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and

  • frequently draws on comedy television show stars (such as ‘The

  • Office’) for cameo roles.

  • When casting for Bridget Jones was taking place, there was outrage

  • than an American actress was given the lead in what women saw as

  • a ‘Thoroughly British’ role.

Portrayal of London

  • Working Title’s portrayal of London could be described as heavily formulaic, especially in Richard Curtis’ depictions.

  • TASK: Using ‘Notting Hill’ ‘Bridget Jones’ and ‘Love Actually’ for reference, what values and ideologies does Working Title’s London convey?

Task Content

  • Views of London, the streets and houses, famous landmarks – where do the characters take us?

  • Londoners – how are they portrayed?

  • Jobs in London – what do the characters do?

  • Fashion and music

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