I'm not sure how many more times I can read the repugnant merging of two disparate words without writing a furious letter to someone, but I'll do my best to soldier on through. For any sentient being, the last few days have been filled with the word "Brexit," more so if you live on this little angry island I inhabit. The reach of the impact of this momentous event is both wide and largely unknown. That said, there's a very real chance it will affect many of us camera folk.
I will precede this article with a disclaimer that both sides of the remain/leave debate ought to have included with nearly everything they uttered: these comments are predictions and given that the circumstances are unprecedented, there's no assurances that they are accurate but rather intelligent guesses.
There is next to no doubt that TV, film, and equipment manufacturers will be affected by this change; they are large and collaborative industries and even if the hit to the value of the pound is overlooked, the unison of the U.K. and other entities on projects may well become more difficult. This is an observation Emily Buder over at No Film School also makes as one of three predictions of major changes to the film industry as a result of Brexit. The co-production of films mitigates a lot of investment risk inevitable with larger projects through a number of methods, from the obvious to utilizing different countries' tax laws. Buder's second point, the decline of quality and quantity in British cinema, had rather shocking evidence to it: The EU financed (if only in part) 26 films that aired at Cannes this year and has contributed over 100 million euros to the film industry in the last 9 years. Buder's third and final point is with regards to the U.K. as a filming destination. In 2015 37 Hollywood films were shot in the U.K. which is a mutually beneficial arrangement for both Britain and the film industry. With the change in laws, the retraction of EU support and a whole host of other changes to this relationship between the U.K. and cinema, it may not be as effective for production companies to choose Britain as a destination. Michael Ryan, the chairman of the Independent Film and Television Alliance describe Britain's exit from the EU in rather bleak terms:
The U.K. creative sector has been a strong and vibrant contributor to the economy — this is likely to be devastating for us.
— Michael Ryan
The drastic impact on film is one thing, but what about us photographers? How are we affected? Well, as is a theme with anything on this subject as I have made clear, it's all very much conjecture but worrying nevertheless. Canon Inc. Chief Executive Fujio Mitarai was "very dismayed" by Britain's exit from the European Union and as Europe made up around 28 percent of Canon's sales in 2015, you can imagine why.
In Japan, while we can expect to see a temporary surge in the value of the yen, the U.K.'s decision could also bring a halt to the economic recovery that had been underway... We look to the Japanese government to implement strong monetary measures.
— Fujio Mitarai
Canon is not alone on fearing what Brexit might mean for them and Britain's involvement in the technology industry is likely to change and, worryingly, change begets change. Juniper Research found through a survey of U.K. tech employees that 65 percent believed Brexit will have a negative impact on the global tech industry. Furthermore, 70 percent predicted that it would be harder for U.K. technology firms to attract and employ individuals from other European countries. The bad news doesn't stop there either. With the sharp drop in value of the pound, prices may change and one of the first to observe that were Hasselblad.
No sooner have we been introduced to Hasselblad's medium format, mirrorless point-and-shoot styled creation, their Chief Executive Perry Oosting told Amateur Photographer that the eye-watering price (albeit less eye-watering than we are used to with their products) may have to go up.
We live in a very transparent world. We live in a global world. People are very flexible. Purchases are done sometimes in home markets, sometimes abroad. We try to get one global pricing that is very similar from country to country. So, you need to try to achieve the best possible global pricing model. Now, that’s not always possible because of fluctuations in currencies... we need to see how the pound is doing, of course. We have a price point, and if [a change in the pound] is really going to make a difference then we probably have to adjust the price point. Sometimes you make currency gains, because of fluctuations.
— Perry Oosting
We are in a time of uncertainty, that's for sure, but one can only hope photography and videography isn't impacted as drastically as reports might suggest. However, it's not all doom and gloom. Time Warner released a statement regarding the referendum and its impact on one crucial matter:
We do not anticipate that the result of the EU referendum will have any material effect on HBO producing 'Game of Thrones.'