Prime minister David Cameron reveals interest in movie gossip

 

David Cameron revealed his interest in movie star gossip on a visit to Britain's most famous film studios today.

The Prime Minister visited Pinewood studios as he urged the British film industry to concentrate on making more mainstream movies.

At a meeting at the Buckinghamshire complex - the set of numerous James Bond films - he said: "There's a website with brilliant gossip about who has been in films.

"And there is one where they get people who go to test screenings to write about all the different endings."

Mr Cameron was trying to recall the names of the websites as he spoke to Oscar-winning screenwriter Lord Julian Fellowes, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey and Pinewood chief executive Ivan Dunleavy in the illustrious studios' screen seven.

The visit came ahead of Lord Smith's review of Government policy, due to be published next week.

The Labour former culture secretary is expected to recommend rebalancing Lottery funding in favour of independent pictures with mainstream potential, and the development of an export strategy for UK film expertise.

Earlier, Mr Cameron walked down Goldfinger Avenue to meet staff at a motion capture studio.

He told Phil Stilgoe, director of operations at Centroid Motion Capture, that their filming techniques were "very clever".

The company has worked on the fourth Pirates Of The Caribbean film, the Martin Scorsese movie Hugo and Iron Man 2 among others.

As he was leaving Mr Cameron told Mr Dunleavy that it was "a real treat" to visit Pinewood.

The studios have been operating for more than 70 years, and filming for the next 007 instalment, Skyfall, is currently under way.

In the past, Pinewood has hosted Bond films including The Spy Who Loved Me, A View To A Kill and, more recently, Quantum Of Solace.

It was also used for blockbusters Mamma Mia! and Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time.

Earlier today, Mr Cameron hailed the British film industry, saying it made a £4 billion annual contribution to the economy and made an "incalculable contribution to our culture".

"Our role, and that of the British Film Institute, should be to support the sector in becoming even more dynamic and entrepreneurial, helping UK producers to make commercially successful pictures that rival the quality and impact of the best international productions," he said.

Film director Ken Loach criticised the review's proposals this morning.

He told BBC Breakfast: "If everybody knew what would be successful before it was made, there would be no problem.

"What you have to do is fund a lot of different, varied projects and then some will be successful, some will be original, some will be creative, and you will get a vibrant industry."

PA

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