Promote NW film exhibition!

Jon Williams

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#1
The biggest issue is exhibition. Over the past decade quite a few features have been made in the North West - but they've hardly been screened. And it's also the case with shorts too. This thread is dedicated to doing something about it.

Our films aren't going to be on in the multiplexes except for the one-off screenings which those that are part of the 'Digital Screens Network' are supposed to be on once or twice a month. Part such one-off screenings do become meaningful if they're part of a tour which involves the independent screens, arts centres, film clubs and societies, university and college media departments, upstairs rooms in pubs, village halls, and so on. I mean it's what bands, stand-up comedians and fringe theatre troupes do. And I reckon such tours could attract commercial sponsorship as well as substantial media coverage.

Right now we're setting about blazing a trail for others to follow with Bad Lad. Why not join in? Already I'm getting a very positive response, but not every local independent cinema has digital projection. I don't either and I've become such a technophobe I wouldn't know what was needed or how to operate it any way!
 
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#2
Great. Maybe i am an idealist but i do think that quality does shine through. I have to say that the majority of the features made have been below par and so too have the shorts. I am a huge fan of mexican and japanese cinema(a bit generalistic, but there's just something about the look of it). I have to actively search out films. Huge studios dominate distribution and i would always stay out of that circle, but at the same time i have to admit that the vast majority of those 'hollywood' films,although not my cup of tea, are far superior to what we produce. Even the worst of them are watchable. The best filmmakers here even struggle(i'm talking Loach, Meadows and Leigh), so what chance do the very mediocre films produced here have? Occasionally a film is made that gets attention that it deserves and that is because of its quality or it hits a niche market. Quality is everything, accept nothing less otherwise we are only making films for our own selfish ends, which i think is okay but lets not claim anything more than that. I don't believe that it is merely unlucky or through a lack of promotion that films don't make it, i think it is because they are simply poor or will only ever appeal to very few people. I don't know if anyone experienced 'My Kingdom', shot in Liverpool. I did an it was excrutiating. Prior to attending the premiere i had high hopes and expectations. I thought they couldn't go wrong with combination of actors and crew, but i was so very wrong.

I don't think the public in general will ever choose to see one of our smaller films over something that is pushed through the larger studios, and why should they? Of course they will if there is a connection through family or friends but rarely for any other reason. I suggest just continuing to improve and strive towards something origional that people cannot ignore. Quality will always shine through.

I admire what you are doing Jon, and i'm sure you will achieve something marvelous, but worry less about the promotion and more about the quality of the work.
 

Booth

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#3
I think Jon is more concerned with promotion and exhibition because he's at that point in the life of his film.

There are also huge concerns with film distribution in the UK which cannot be ignored and which continue to hinder us to this day. I think your 'quality will always shine through' is hugely misguided given the state of film distribution in this country. That's not your fault though, the UKFC spends a lot of time on making sure things fly under the radar.

Or I'll put it another way. If you made a film that was a work of absolute genius, it was produced in the UK on a shoestring, how would you get people to see it? At present you couldn't unless you distributed it through a Hollywood major or a European company like Pathe. Which even if you did manage to get it into their hands, how would you get them to watch it? You'd need to win an Oscar at least, ask Danny Boyle.
 
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Jon Williams

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#4
Whoa Michael! It's not my film! I wrote Bad Lad for you. I was in no position to shoot, edit and do all the rest. I like being in front of the camera! It needed a producer - no film is made if no one produces it - even if you direct it as well it's the "producer's hat" what gets it made. And it's the producer who then has the responsibility of doing everything they can to get it seen. We set out to make a brilliant film on no money, to raise the bar on what had been done before. And the result is down to so many people; you, me, Paul Gordon, Joe, Birty, Simon Auster, Sumners, Clyve Bonelle - a list of getting on for 50 people. I owe them. And I owe it to everyone who gets blown away by the sort of achievement we brought off (C.Moll, you are a complete dickhead. In bringing bad Lad off we achieved more then you have or ever will in your whole life - and that's not a moan, that's pride speaking, 'cos that's what everyone who worked on it and everyone who sees it makes me feel). Now we have to go on to make all of us famous by inventing film's version of punk distribution and Rough Trade records. All I'm doing is my job.....
 

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#5
No worries Jon, it is 'your' film as it is mine and as it is Birty or Joes. That's all I was meaning :)

What bothers me most about Chris (Moll) is that he liked Bad Lad and was impressed with what we managed to do with so little. He has said so in writing (emails) and in person. Yet despite that there was no support (financial or otherwise), and even though Chris suggested that may change. In Derek Murray's report we came out very well, but again nothing. Infact in that report, our drawback was described as "have no money". I don't really need to point out that NWV could have provided us with some.

I could never understand that. And despite what Chris wrote on the other thread, neither of us "moaned' to him. I'd love to know exactly what went wrong in his eyes, from Chris himself if possible given that we appeared to get quite a lot of things right.
 
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gepetto

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#6
Michael

Listen I wouldn't worry about what Chris Moll has to say, think or feel about any aspect of Bad Lad - or anything else for that matter.

If he did know he wouldn't tell you honestly and what he would proffer would be self gratifying bollocks. If anything the week's thread has shown it is that there are plenty of people who been stung and cursed by Moll's crap and usually non-existant and hollow promises. So as Chase rightly said, let's forget about him as he has you and Bad Lad. Hate to be Neanderthal and play into his tiny " counting money all your life hands " (Quint)...but he's just an arrogant bellend.

I myself can't wait to see it - I'll bet it's cool.
 
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Booth

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#7
Thanks gepetto. Though now it's not really relevant what Chris was thinking, I'm just curious to know how he could praise something, have money at his disposal, yet not help in some way. It's not just the money, I'm sure he could have helped in some way. Unlike others I didn't even see what his office looked like because when we went for a meeting he insisted we went to a cafe. I'm sure we aren't the only ones in the NW who have had the same treatment.

Yet some people who didn't work their backsides off, Chris rewarded.
 

gepetto

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#8
Hey Mike..

Listen by the sounds of what you, Jon and all the other committed people have done on Bad Lad at least you know you all worked yours off.

It's a sad reflection that the Molls of the world can continue to have a life in an artistically led environment but, alas, an all too real facet of the industry today. They thrive on having malleable traits that are bent to suit any position they are in and there are no greater pedastles than the ones of self-justification - as outlined by people here in earlier posts. He's made a "career" out of licking the soles of people's feet that can carry him a little further along the road. LIke you've just said Michael, they are more often that not people who haven't worked hard at all. All that reveals and confirms to me is just how little he truly knows.

All of this gives Chris a raison d'etre - but frankly he couldn't tell you anything that could be of any value at all with regard to your film-making process or experiences except maybe help with money/distribution...and he failed there too.

But you can bet your bottom buck he'd have some film industry Sidney Lumet dictionary lifted quote he'd spin your way as where and why you were off kilter...which is just a polite f*ck-offski because he didn't have a clue and probably didn't like any of you anyway.

God help the good ship Nowhere Boy and all who sail in her.....

Mind you, he's only executive producer which means stir the tea..with silver spoons.

Forget that Mike and Chris Moll....you can evolve mate. He's only a chameleon.
 
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#9
I refer to my rant on 'London to Brighton'. If its good enough it will be seen. People cannot ignore it. Distributors are always looking for great films. I would argue that something great only has to be seen in a few festivals and people/distributors will not ignore it, even if the only reason is to make money from it. If it isn't then at best it is just something for a company to buy in the hope they can make a few quid through DVD sales.
 
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Booth

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#10
London to Brighton's distribution was pitiful for a film that was so highly regarded.

John, as someone who has made feature, which then found a distributor, which was due to distribute it theatrically in more than 100 cinemas in the UK, I can tell you that UK financed films are shafted over here. Thanks to the monopolization of the cinema chains, and because of the rather pointless UKFC, it didn't happen. Thanks to that, the DVD release was crippled due to the lack of PR/reviews in the film mags, this is because distributors use the theatrical to get the word out there about the DVD, which is where they really make the money back. Hence we asked the distributors for the rights back so we could self distribute.

I suggest you go and do the same and come back to tell the tale. I would only hope that if you did, times would have changed and you have a more positive tale to tell.
 

gepetto

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#11
London to Brighton..

A brilliant film.

Shame about The Cottage....mind you did any one see Doomsday?

Shame about Neil Marshall.

I have to say it's all about the feeling with me. If things feel right -give or take - then that's about it....

I agree with You Michael that those processes dont always translate into the jackpot...

but getting the bit that you can influence the best it can be is the very first step on to the road of twats....
 

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#12
If you mean jackpot as in cash gepetto, that's not what I was striving for. Success yes, a career yes, my projects financed yes, but cash for myself has always been a secondary interest when it comes to filmmaking. Probably a good thing as I've made sod all from it! :)
 

Booth

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#14
It wasn't the distributor's fault or magazines. Can you even read?
 

gepetto

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#15
Michael..

No you're right - I wasn't referring to money.

I was talking about the satisfaction from knowing that you've exorcised your ghosts..you've placed the last dab of paint on the canvas..you've moulded the piece of clay..y'know all of that.

The feeling that only comes with knowing you can say "that's it...right there. That's my six months, 12 months 2 years...squeezed out for the world to see...."

That's the jackpot...
 

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#17
That's not it either John. I think I may have misled by saying the DVD release was crippled. It was, and ended up not being released because we took back the rights before it could be.

My point was that our film, regardless of what you think of it, was due to go out in 160 cinemas. That's a fact. There were many more films that weren't released because the UKFC didn't fight their corner with the cinema chains even though legally they were within their right to take them up on it. There is a list somewhere. So the digital screens pretty much became a freebie for the cinema chains. Over 220 cinemas enjoyed that benefit, paid for by National Lottery monies. This has been swept under the carpet. It doesn't matter which way you sway, that's not right.
 
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#19
But it didn't, so thats the real fact....

Time to grow up and accept responsibility...'they' are not against anyone....either it is good enough to be distributed as a first feature or the deal is already in place because the film has 'stars' and major investment. Still no guarantee of anything though, just look at any Danny Dyer film.....don't aks me, ask Chris Moll.
 

Jon Williams

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#20
Enough of this silliness. And it's not just silly, it's also uninformed and offensive.

In June 2008 the UK Film Council published a report: "Low and Micro-budget filmmaking in the UK". It surveyed 357 films produced between 2002 and 2007.

More than 90% of these films were not released, and of those produced outside of London, virtually none. Only 6 grossed more than £50,000 at the UK box office.

Was this because they were all no good (and their makers should just accept the fact and crawl away and hide uder a stone)? No. In fact the reports authors showed a significant sample of those films which had not been acquired by agents or distributors, and had also not been accepted by any festivals, to a panel of international sales agents. The panel concluded that 15% were worthy of some form of theatrical distribution - that's a 5% better result than for all US films. This lead the report to conclude that more than 50 producers and directors had had their careers blighted by the existing structures pertaining to the British film industry.

The identified these structural problems as being:

1. There is no dedicated network of cinemas and other suitable venues for such films.

2. Unlike in many other countries, British film festivals do not place any major focus on British independent films, so these films suffer from lack of exposure.

3. The cost of advertising.

4. British distributors do not champion British films.

However John Moorden chooses to not only ignore these facts, but also to pour partonising scorn on anyone who does anything about it and to rubbish Pleased Sheep films in the process - without having seen one.

This has now gone far enough. This thread is concerned with the promotion of not just Pleased Sheep films, but of all NW films. And getting on with that is far more important than having to right replies to such disgusting and disgraceful posts.
 
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