WT2: a low budget experiment in“heart, humour and horror"

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In 1999, the London-based production company, Working Title Films, established a subsidiary called WT2 which was given the remit of producing low-budget films. Between 2000 and 2007, WT2 released 10 feature films including Billy Elliot (2000), Ali G Indahouse (2002) and Long Time Dead (2002) which respectively exemplified the company’s creative agenda of ‘the three Hs’, that is, ‘heart, humour and horror’. This article examines the creative and commercial contexts of filmmaking at play within WT2 and, in turn, considers the company’s position within Working Title and between its major financiers, StudioCanal and Universal. In doing so, I argue that WT2’s films occupy a position between the filmmaking industries and cultures of Europe and Hollywood which is distinct from that of its parent company. On the one hand, a number of WT2’s films engage with established trends in low-budget British cinema including social realism and the adaptation of television comedy, and were co-produced by British broadcasters, national film agencies and independent production companies. On the other, these films were largely financed, distributed and marketed by multinational media conglomerates with commercial agendas and transnational or global reaches. Thus, this article examines the ways in which the tension between the national and the transnational was played out in both the company’s operation and output.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-54
Number of pages16
JournalStudies in European Cinema
Issue number1
Early online date5 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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