New creative talents need to be able to take risks, says the director of Four Weddings – and for all the financial obstacles, there are things we can do to enable them

‘A way in” – that’s the great phrase. The problem never goes away: the film world’s eternal problem is, as ever, trying to achieve diversity while not being run down by the commercial demands of whatever version of film power is in command at any one moment. The world has changed, Netflix and other streaming services are dominant, but in the end things don’t change if “the money” (whoever it is) don’t feel that a project is as fully commercial as it might be.

Commercialism is always the first yardstick, which when it works is fair enough – and so it should be, no one is asking for a soft ride. But sometimes that means a film-maker will be asked to make something they don’t recognise, something which isn’t what was intended and has been misread. Getting a project perceived for what it is is always problematic. Oddly enough, reading has become a problem in the film industry: people just don’t like doing it and it is a bore. But at some point someone will have put their energy behind 90-100 pages of script – at which point, people have opinions and notes. While some professional script people are good at it, especially in TV, in the movies it’s seen as the junior’s way in, and it may be that the junior needs more experience. Then there’s the question of actors and what makes it commercial for the people who are going to give you the money. A tremendous amount of the energy goes into getting the money.

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