In the 1970s and 1980s, British studios established a reputation for great special effects in films such as Superman, Alien, and Batman. Some of this reputation was founded on the core of talent brought together for the filming of A Space Odyssey who subsequently worked together on series and feature films for Gerry Anderson. Thanks to the Bristol-based Aardman Animations the UK is still recognised as a world leader in the use of stopmotion animation.
British special effects technicians and production designers are known for creating visual effects at a far lower cost than their counterparts in the US, as seen in Time Bandits (1981) and Brazil (1985). This reputation has continued through the 1990s and into the 21st century with films such as the James Bond series, Gladiator and Harry Potter.
From the 1990s to the present day, there has been a progressive movement from traditional film opticals to an integrated digital film environment, with special effects, cutting, colour grading, and other post-production tasks all sharing the same all-digital infrastructure. The availability of high-speed Internet Protocol networks has made the British film industry capable of working closely with U.S. studios as part of globally distributed productions. As of 2005, this trend is expected to continue with moves towards (currently experimental) digital distribution and projection as mainstream technologies.
The British film This is Not a Love Song (2003) was the first to be streamed live on the Internet at the same time as its cinema premiere.