Exclusive: As competition grows between studios and streamers for a bigger foothold in the fertile UK production landscape, Disney is planting a flag in the sand by hiring its first casting executive in the region.
In 2019, Disney signed a long-term lease for most Pinewood studios, and in recent years has produced a number of movies and series in the UK, including Snow white, Little mermaid, Aladdin, Cruella, Indiana Jones5, Willow, OB-One Kenobi, Andar And a number of Marvel titles. Much of this production features the British cast in prominent and supporting roles.
Thus, London-based casting agent Kate Ringsell has joined the House of Mouse in a permanent role as Vice President, Casting, Vault. Disney Studio, 20th Century, Searchlight.
His recent work includes upcoming Disney Film Peter Pan and WendyAs well as DC’s Flash And Batgirl. Feature credits also include Netflix The forces of thieves, TolkienHBO’s Emmy-Winner My dinner with Harve And DC’s Jack Snyder’s Justice League. TV credits included Transatlantic And Fate: The Winx SagaBoth are for Netflix.
Last year’s official BFI figures revealed record $ 7.3BN (£ 5.6BN) film and high-end TV production costs in the UK. Responsible for 84% of internal investment costs from studios and streamers.
The UK’s infrastructure, tax credits, strong performance and skill base, and common language with the US have all allowed it to be positioned as one of the world’s primary service industries for major US shoots. New shooting spaces are being rapidly developed across the UK to try to match demand.
Competition is growing with the growth of streamers. Netflix last year renewed a contract with the Pinewood Group to use Shepperton Studios, and the facility is committed to doubling the size of its production space. It has entered into an agreement to lease Lancross Studios in Surrey. In February of this year, Amazon Prime Video signed a multimillion-pound deal with Shepperton. Apple is increasing its production in the UK and there are rumors coming to market for a permanent home. Warner Bros. continues to operate outside the Livesden facility purchased in 2010.