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Film Producing in Wales

Archive for the ‘Distribution’ Category

Without Me, There Wouldn’t Be Any Paramount Studio

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I was in London last week, spending the week at the UK offices of Paramount Pictures, something that had been arranged for me after I went on the Marketing & Distribution course at Media Business School in Spain. I had a ton of meetings and learned a lot about theatrical distribution from the studio perspective – which really put what I learned on the course into context.

I haven’t got a lot of gossip to share (and I had to sign an NDA anyway), so this isn’t going to be the place to find inside information on what’s coming up in 2010, and if you were expecting the scoop on the potential Star Trek sequel, look elsewhere. I’m very grateful to everyone at Paramount for being very generous with their time and for explaining everything in such detail, and to the Media Business School for arranging it for me.

What I do with this new knowledge, I haven’t quite worked out yet. Looking over my notes from the week, I’ve realised just how much I’ve learned, and while it will obviously help me to develop as a producer, I need to see how I can put this into some sort of practice from 2010 onwards.

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Written by Matthew Redd

December 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Student Masterchef – The Video

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The first in a series of videos highlighting the student experience to promote the forthcoming release of Big Font. Large Spacing.  Feel free to pass it on via your favourite social networking sites (click the ‘share’ link under the video) or email this link to your friends.

Written by Matthew Redd

October 22, 2009 at 9:16 pm

A Film By Any Other Name

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As you may have noticed from the official website or from the IMDb entry, Avoiding Christian Bale is now known as Big Font. Large Spacing. The hope is that the new title will make it easier for the film to find distribution. Before we came up with the original title, Christian Bale was just a film star, and now he’s a film star also known for shouting at people and has been the subject of a variety of internet parodies and mockery. The rhyming of Christian Bale with FAIL suddenly took on a lot more meaning when he blew his top on set. I’m not going to discuss that event here, it’s old news.

New news is that we’ve had the cast & crew screening of the completed film. We packed out one of the screens in Cineworld, Cardiff and took over the bar. It was great to see (almost) everyone once again – a few people couldn’t make it. I find it quite hard to judge the film now, having read numerous drafts of the script and seen various cuts of the film at different stages. It’s good to know that I realised my ambition of producing a feature film before the age of 30, even if I only just scraped it in before the big 3-0. What next?

Written by Matthew Redd

October 3, 2009 at 3:59 pm

What’s It Like Then, Spain?

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I’m back in Wales, having completed the Marketing & Distribution 2009 course at the Media Business School in Spain. The week was a lot like being in Cannes – early starts, late nights, a fair bit of alcohol and a lot of talk about the film business. To say I enjoyed myself would be an understatement, and in many ways I didn’t want it to end.

The quality of the speakers on the course really was incredible. As well as this gentleman, there were other speakers from the studios and top indie distributors from around Europe, and marketing experts from agencies. There was also one of UCI/Odeon’s bosses and a frankly hilarious bloke from a Spanish TV station. Screen Academy Wales do a great job in putting on masterclasses with industry speakers, but this was a whole new level – not least because of the intensive nature of the sessions.

Meeting the other participants was more than just a bit of networking – everyone was very friendly and a lot of fun to be with, and at times I felt like I was hanging out with old friends. It’s easy to enjoy yourself eating out in a place like this.

The View from the Restaurant

They also have a good range of after dinner spirits to send you over the edge. Not off the balcony, thankfully.

I completed the programme by making a presentation of my own marketing and distribution plan for Ang Lee’s new film. I will be keeping an eye on how it does at the UK box office, just to see if Focus Features hit the figures I projected in reality.

Now I have to take my new found knowledge and apply it to my own career. Thanks again to Skillset for the funding, and to the people behind the course for making it such a great experience from start to finish.

Paramount Pictures Senior Vice President of Distribution (Europe) Buys Me a Drink

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A snappy headline I’m sure you’ll agree, which sadly doesn’t reveal the entire story – there was a group of about ten of us, and I failed to make eye contact while saying thank you, so it wasn’t quite the successful event that the headline conveys. But this is a course about Marketing & Distribution, so I’m putting a positive spin on things. There are just 23 people on the course in total – Ronda in Spain is a great looking town, but we all seem to be stuck in the hotel conference room most of the time. We start at 9:30am and finish at 9pm every day, so it’s a heavy workload with a lot of information to digest.

People from all over Europe are here with varying degrees of experience in the industry – producers, distributors, PR people and many more.  The course leaders themselves are hugely experienced, with three of Paramount’s top men leading the sessions so far. It’s been insightful learning about international distribution, studio-style. Will attempt to coax more free alcohol from industry players in due course.

Written by Matthew Redd

July 8, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Um, What’s a Marketing Report?

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Next week, I fly to Spain.  I’m going to be a taking part in the Marketing & Distribution training programme at the Media Business School.  It’s a week of intensive learning about all the different facets of theatrical distribution, and a great chance to network and meet new people from all over Europe.  Only 25 people are accepted onto the course every year, so I feel pretty lucky to be able to be there.

I have to say a big thank you to Skillset, who are funding the vast majority of the course fees and travel for me.  They have a great scheme for providing funding to freelancers and companies in Wales, which you can read about here.  If you’re working in the industry and want to learn about something new, or just enhance the skills you already have, then it’s worth looking into this funding as it’s out there to support you.

The last few months have been quite varied for me.  I still have scripts in development with a couple of great writers, and I’ve been paying the bills by working at quite a few different places, including Boomerang and the Film Agency.  I’m not sure where I’ll end up next – I have to make a few big, grown up decisions over the next few weeks.

Written by Matthew Redd

July 3, 2009 at 9:09 pm

If We Knew What We Were Doing, It Wouldn’t Be Called Research

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Back with Avoiding Christian Bale, and we held our third and (most likely) final test screening this week – I definitely think it’s a better cut than the one we had at the previous screening. Bosses from Boomerang were there, which was a little nerve wracking as it was the first time they’d seen the film, and as they’re the ones who put the money into it, we want them to be happy with it. Vivien will soon be moving to Spain to take part in the Media Business School’s Mega Plus programme, so I’ll be running things at this end for a while on the film, but the majority of the work behind the scenes is done now. Distribution-wise, we’ve had interest from sales agents and distributors, but until we complete the film there’s not much more to do there.

ACBstill

As with previous screenings, the majority of people we chose to attend the screening were members of our target audience – people aged 18-30 who have graduated from university or are still studying. People aged between 15 and 34 make up 59% of the cinema audience in the UK (some info on this is here), and fairly recent research suggests that 37% of people aged between 25 and 34 in the UK have graduated from university. This suggests to me that an awful lot of cinema goers in the UK can relate to the student experience, and seeing as our film is firmly entrenched in that culture, we should have a market to aim for.

What this also leads to me wonder is why we don’t have a thriving ‘college movie’ genre in this country. Despite being pretty hard to watch, the 2007 British comedy I Want Candy actually grossed £730,452 theatrically in the UK after opening on 250 screens, so there’s a recent example of the genre working successfully here. So why don’t we have more of these films being produced here?