Make It Happen

Film Producing in Wales

Posts Tagged ‘Boomerang

An Early Christmas Present

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Aron Cynan & Iwan John in Rhestr Nadolig Wil

Rhestr Nadolig Wil has won Best Drama at the EA Bafta Children’s Awards.  It was the first production I worked on when I was on a CYFLE traineeship, which feels like a long time ago now.  It was first broadcast over Christmas last year, no doubt S4C will dust off the tape and give it an airing again this season.  Congratulations to Boomerang and everyone involved in the production.

Written by Matthew Redd

November 29, 2009 at 9:34 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?

Jesus is Coming, Look Busy

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As Jesus’ birthday gets closer, we’re into the last week of principal photography of Avoiding Christian Bale. Our production designers Ben and Hollie have been carefully collecting and storing props and art from the shoot in case we need to re-shoot anything later on. Hopefully we won’t.

Hide from an A list actor with this handy prop

Hide from an A list actor with this handy prop

The time has gone by pretty quickly, as has the whole of 2008 for me. This time last year, I was finishing work on a Welsh language Christmas film called Rhestr Nadolig Wil, as a trainee on the Cyfle film scheme. It was my first placement on the scheme and it seems like a heck of a long time ago now. I’ve learned a lot about the industry since then, not just about how to do your job, but also about the politics that envelop it all. The old adage of ‘it’s not what you know…’ is what everyone gets told when you start out, and there’s an element of truth to it. If people don’t know you, how can they give you a job? Or fund your film? Or recommend you to someone else who might do either for you?

Networking is vital, but nothing is more vital than working hard when you do get yourself into the position where you might impress someone. People will notice if you work hard, turn up on time and treat other people with respect. They’ll also notice if you don’t do those things, and you don’t want anyone to remember you because of that. You can make up for a lack of knowledge with commitment and motivation.

When I was training, there were times when I felt like I had nothing to do, so I would try and find things to get on with, or (if I thought it appropriate) ask other people about their job and what they were doing. I learned a lot that way. I also learned a lot by listening to all the other phone calls that came into the production offices I was in. Sometimes I was expected to know what other people had said in conversations I wasn’t involved in, so you have permission to eavesdrop.

You’ll sometimes make mistakes. Try and learn from them, and learn from other people’s mistakes while you’re at it. That will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Cyfle have launched a new film scheme, which started this month. Well done to all the new entrants to the industry who’ve been selected for it, and good luck for the future.

Tonight, I’ll be in Cineworld for the screening of Rhestr Nadolig Wil before it airs on S4C. The latest in Boom Films’ Micro Movies series, it was produced by Jon Williams, and directed by Daf Wyn, who has actually written some Batman comics. I should put some sort of Christian Bale/Dark Knight type gag here to tie it all up, but sadly nothing springs to mind.

Written by Matthew Redd

December 16, 2008 at 10:47 am

The End of the Beginning

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We’re in the final week of pre-production on ‘Avoiding Christian Bale’, the microbudget comedy that I’m co-producing alongside Vivien Muller-Rommel. I haven’t mentioned this in the blog before as I’m a strong believer in not jinxing things, but now it’s out there in the blogosphere.

It’s been a lot of work and long hours, but it’s a very exciting time to be working in this office. Everything is coming together and a lot is happening at once. Tomorrow, the small cast will be in the studio downstairs in rehearsals, various contracts should be finalised and a courier will deliver some crates of fizzy drinks from one of our kind sponsors. It’s all go.

The script was written by Paul Howard Allen, who is also directing. Paul has made a couple of shorts, including this and this, but ‘ACB’ is his first feature. It’s a big learning curve not just for Paul, but for everyone, and there’s definitely a good team spirit already. The film’s being produced through Vivien’s own company 33Story, with the support of Boomerang, but there’s a strong representation from Tornado, with Antony being the executive producer and Nia the script supervisor. See Nia’s blog post on the NFTS course she attended if that’s a job that interests you.

In case you’re wondering what the title is all about, it comes from the rhyming slang for failing university degrees that pops up in the script. The two male characters rhyme ‘fail’ with ‘Christian Bale’, and thus the title. In more Dark Knight star-related trivia, both Christian and I were born in the same quiet Welsh town.

We start shooting on Monday.

Written by Matthew Redd

November 25, 2008 at 4:10 pm