The chairman of the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA), the trade association representing the companies behind independent film and TV the world over, has described the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union as an event that is "likely to be devastating" for the creative sector.
"The decision to exit the European Union is a major blow to the U.K. film and TV industry," Michael Ryan says in a statement to Variety. "Producing films and television programs is a very expensive and very risky business and certainty about the rules affecting the business is a must."
"This decision has just blown up our foundation."
"This decision has just blown up our foundation — as of today, we no longer know how our relationships with co-producers, financiers and distributors will work, whether new taxes will be dropped on our activities in the rest of Europe, or how production financing is going to be raised without any input from European funding agencies."
Much of what happens post-Brexit is clouded in uncertainty following a largely negative campaign that suggested many people didn't know what they were voting for. But the creative industry in Britain was largely behind remaining in the European Union; almost 300 prominent artists, actors, writers, and musicians signed a letter backing the Remain campaign.
"Britain is not just stronger in Europe, it is more imaginative and more creative, and our global creative success would be severely weakened by walking away," the letter read. "Leaving Europe would be a leap into the unknown for millions of people across the UK who work in the creative industries, and for the millions more at home and abroad who benefit from the growth and vibrancy of Britain's cultural sector."
Much of 'Game of Thrones' is filmed in Northern Ireland
US productions might feel the effect, too. Much of HBO's Game of Thrones is filmed in Northern Ireland, for instance, partly supported by the European Regional Development Fund. HBO, however, says it doesn't anticipate any financial impact on GoT, since the network took no money from the ERDF for the last few seasons, according to Entertainment Weekly. "It might be up in the air for U.S. studios who want to film in the U.K.," German Marshall Fund partner Peter Chase told Foreign Policy ahead of the referendum. "There are EU programs to help fund all of this. If the UK is no longer part of the EU, that has the potential to go away."
Game of Thrones has used other EU shooting locations like Spain, Croatia, and Malta, although scenes have also been filmed in non-member state Iceland.
Update, 1:05PM ET: Updated to add HBO's comments that it doesn't expect Game of Thrones to be impacted financially.