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UK's Creature Shop faces closure over taxes

Discussion in 'Fantasy Worlds' started by Jonathan, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. Jonathan

    Jonathan New Member

    I saw this over at Toughpigs.com

    :cry: :mad: This is Screwed up
  2. MWoO

    MWoO Active Member

    Ok, Brian Henson has officially ruined his father's company.
  3. Jonathan

    Jonathan New Member

  4. MrsPepper

    MrsPepper Active Member

    IT's not necessarily true, if you read the post carefully. Cross your fingers it's a false rumour.
  5. dwayne1115

    dwayne1115 Well-Known Member

    Look i highly dought that this is true at all. Why on earth would they even be considering do a Dark Cristal 2 hummmm they would surly need the creatuer shop for this now would they not. :)
  6. Movies205

    Movies205 New Member

    They just did Hitchhiker's GUide and it made back it's money in the US so everything from international BO to DVd sales is a lot of profit for the studio, they'll most likely make a sequal so I don't see why they'd be closing, I think it's BS.
  7. Kimp the Shrimp

    Kimp the Shrimp Active Member

    I Emailed the Creature Shop to get to the bottom of this

    enquiries@jhcs.co.uk <enquiries@jhcs.co.uk>
  8. Kimp the Shrimp

    Kimp the Shrimp Active Member

  9. MWoO

    MWoO Active Member

    I read the Tough Pigs post and the person posting pretty much said it's false but posted the news anyway. Don't pay any attention to it.
  10. Muppetsdownunder

    Muppetsdownunder New Member

    Didnt think it sounded right.
  11. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    This is scary news. Even if it is a rumor, this is pretty much scary stuff. I mean, since the Hensons soul-lessly sold their company to EmTv in the 90's, then after getting them back (after splitting up the Muppets , SS, and Fraggles) sold it to Disney anyway (and I was so looking forward to the Classic Media/SW joint venture) I don't know wether to believe in this out of fear or to cautiously hope it's a false rumor.
  12. MuppetQuilter

    MuppetQuilter Member

    The Creature Shop is NOT closing

    We've checked with reliable sources and this is inaccurate. The Creature Shop is not closing.

    The British film industry is not as profitable as it once was due to changes in UK tax laws and that combined with the exchange rate is causing many American productions to look for other, more affordable, locales. The Jim Henson Company is considering all its options re: the London Creature Shop. Because of UK redundancy laws (which have to do with employment-- any of you Brits know your laws well? Luke?) companies are required to let employees know if they are considering making changes. There has been NO decision to close the London Shop. The powers that be at Henson are looking into options and have made no decisions as of yet.

    What we do know is The Creature Shop remains an important part of the JHC and their work will continue.
  13. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

  14. MWoO

    MWoO Active Member

    I see. So it is being considered. This is truly sad then. At least it is not really their choice. It is being forced because the US economy is so awful.

    Is the world ending? Please, someone let me know. I just want to be prepared.
  15. Punch'n'Judy

    Punch'n'Judy New Member

    Creature Shop

    There is an article in today's (Saturday June 4th) Times newspaper (UK) regarding the closure of the UK Creatrue Shop.

  16. Muppetsdownunder

    Muppetsdownunder New Member

    It would be sad if it did close because it has a bit of history, Jim Henson started that workshop himself. Everything is so darn expensive in England. If it does close just blame mr Blair! :)
  17. mattyboy

    mattyboy New Member

    I agree - Tony Blair has ruined this country more than Maggie Thatcher!!!
  18. Kimp the Shrimp

    Kimp the Shrimp Active Member

    To: petenehra@juno.com :

    We appreciate your interest in The Jim Henson Company. However, we do not respond to speculation and rumors about the company or any of our productions. News, when it is fact - and when it can be made public, will be posted on our web site www.henson.com.

    Regards . . . The Jim Henson Company
  19. Kimp the Shrimp

    Kimp the Shrimp Active Member

    To: petenehra@juno.com :

    We appreciate your interest in The Jim Henson Company. However, we do not respond to speculation and rumors about the company or any of our productions. News, when it is fact - and when it can be made public, will be posted on our web site www.henson.com.

    Regards . . . The Jim Henson Company
  20. ravagefrackle

    ravagefrackle New Member

    here is the article in question, i know someone started a thread about this somewhere, and i didnt post , because all though i had geard the rumors thru the grape vine i didnt want to speculate , but it does seem to to be true,
    a real shame they did some fantastic work over in London,

    June 04, 2005

    UK home of the Muppets faces closure over tax
    By Nic Hopkins and Jack Malvern
    TAX uncertainties and the falling dollar are threatening the closure of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the fabled special effects company that created characters for films including The Flintstones, Babe the recent Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and episodes of The Muppets.

    The Jim Henson Company, which owns Creature Shop, told The Times yesterday that it was considering shutting the iconic studio because the falling dollar and uncertainty over tax breaks for films shot in the UK allowed rivals to undercut the company.

    All staff at the Creature Shop were told this week that they faced being made redundant. The company has 23 permanent staff and dozens more freelance workers.

    “It is much more about the tax incentives and lack thereof for doing work in London, as well as the miserable dollar right now,” said Peter Schuber, president of the Jim Henson Co. “Because of those two external elements, which are out of our control, we are going to look at a whole range of alternatives including possibly shutting the Creature Shop.”

    Mr Schuber said that it was “premature to say everything is closing” but admitted that “everything is under review”.

    The Creature Shop, housed in unremarkable offices along London’s Regent’s Canal, opened in London 26 years ago when Jim Henson arrived in London to make The Dark Crystal, set in an all-puppet fantasy world.

    Soon afterwards characters for the film Labyrinth, starring David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly, were made there. The shop has also made characters such as the animatronic pig in Babe and Marvin the Paranoid Android in Hitchiker’s Guide.

    Mr Schuber said that regardless of the future of the Creature Shop the Henson Company, which is based in Los Angeles, would continue to carry out work in the UK. “But it is cheaper for others to do it elsewhere, therefore they don’t come to the UK to get the kind of work which the Creature Shop provides,” he said.

    The uncertain future of Britain’s entire film industry was triggered by a revision of Section 48 tax benefits for films with budgets of more than £15 million, which the Government found was being abused by some producers.

    The situation has been worsened by the weakness of the dollar against the pound, which has meant that American film producers are finding it as much as 30 per cent more expensive to make movies at studios such as Pinewood than it was 18 months ago.

    Industry executives expect a huge drop in film production because of the uncertainty. Pinewood suffered a hit this year when Paramount indefinitely postponed shooting its $120 million (£66 million) feature The Watchmen.

    Concerns remain over whether the forthcoming Bond film, Casino Royale, and Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix will be shot in the studios. The producers of both are considering going to cheaper Eastern European cities, such as Prague and Budapest.

    The Film Council, which represents the industry, is in talks with the Treasury to work out a framework for tax relief. It is expected within weeks to set down a timetable for rolling out a new tax regime that will allow for a fresh round of investment from Hollywood studios.


    1958: The Jim Henson Company founded and incorporated as Muppets, Inc

    1969: Sesame Street, featuring Kermit the Frog, first appears on television

    1979: Jim Henson establishes Creature Shop in Camden to work on the film The Dark Crystal

    1990: Henson dies of pneumonia aged 53

    2000: The Henson Company sold to Germany’s EM.TV & Merchandising for $680m

    2003: Jim Henson’s five children buy back the company from cash-strapped EM.TV for $89m. The Sesame Street characters were sold by the Germans in 2000 to Sesame Workshop, although Henson retains rights to Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear

    2004: The Henson family lays out plans to refocus and relaunch the company

    June 2005: Creature Shop in London set to close and all operations head to LA

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