Monday, 13 July 2015
It seemed appropriate on the day of the website launching to share how I have become such a passionate supporter of the Independent Film Industry...
Like most young children I always loved films, starting out with the essential love affair with Disney and the rediscovery of the classic Harryhausen films. Whats not to love? I grew up in a time where films really did transport you to another world and they certainly captured the imagination. As I got older of course my taste in films changed and I discovered a real passion for the horror genre. But it was still underpinned by a burning desire to be entertained, more than that, to be gripped and shaken by what I was seeing. Growing up in the Eighties meant that there was no shortage of films that would satisfy the aching longing within me. Films like The Goonies, Krull and the Indiana Jones outings excited me and for their duration held me captivated, breathless for more. To be held, enthralled, as the action and intense story lines developed is why I love great movies. For me, watching a movie is not a voyeuristic experience, I become part of what is occurring. To truly engage with a film there has to be so many elements that work as one. Great storytelling, wonderful and believable performances and assured direction. Lose just one of these elements and a film will miss its mark and its audience.
As I progressed into my adulthood I started to notice a change in the output of mainstream cinema. The truly breath taking films that had formed such a part of my formative years seemed to become more of a rarity, with big studios opting more and more for the sure win of a franchise, reboot or sequel. Don't get me wrong, sequels and reboots can be effective when handled well but they don't always break new ground. Studios seemed more concerned with the financial security that a guaranteed audience gives them than actually making innovative cinema. As the years passed this problem seems to have become more and more acute and I became disillusioned with the mainstream output. What was going wrong? why was I leaving more and more films feeling disappointed and, in some cases, robbed of the money I had spent?
The Independent film industry had always produced cult classics that had really impressed me. Time Bandits, Monty Python's Life of Brian and the magnificent gem Withnail and I had all been long favourties of mine. I found myself increasingly looking at Arthouse or foreign cinematic offerings to "get my fix" French classics such as Jean De Florette and Manon De Source uncovered a wealth of treasure that I pillaged unashamedly. You have to remember that this was back in the days before Netflix and On Demand films, before even the Internet. I really had to work hard to replace the gaping void that had been opened by the lack of intelligent film making. The years that followed were tough and I became increasingly angry with the lack lustre approach to film making. Where were the innovators? The envelope pushers? Where were the film makers who had so effectively earned a place in my heart? I began to feel that something needed to change and that if things progressed further down this route there would become a time when all studio output was reboot, remake and sequel.
We are now living in that nightmare and with big studios such as Paramount proudly announcing that their output for 2015 was only going to be sequel and reboot it seems like my nightmare has become a reality. But, behind the scenes and sometimes beyond the general audiences consciousness, the innovators have been perfecting their craft. The truly passionate and talented film makers and writers who adopt a 'no compromise' attitude to their art have been working. They never stopped, the Independent film Market was emerging and this time it wouldn't be silenced or sidelined by the suits or those cynically chasing money. As I started writing for various media websites I had the privilege of reviewing independent films that simply took my breath away. I spoke with and interviewed Directors and Writers who were as passionate as I was about seeing great cinema. Something was awoken inside me and, as the dwindling embers were fanned into flame once again, so was my desire to be part of something massive. A revolution, if you will! It was my conversation with the wonderful innovators behind the new production company 7DM Studios that the foundations for WhiteScreen were realised. 7DM Studios was formed by a group of dedicated film makers who were also tired of the mundane and the lack lustre. As I chatted with them, I realised that there was a tidal wave of change that was about to break on the film Industry, I wanted in! It was not enough that I reported and championed this revolution, I wanted to play my part in it.
Over the years I have worked in a number of different areas and with the combination of Sales and Marketing knowledge and industry experience I could develop a company that was designed to support the Independent film Industry. A company that wouldn't take advantage and misunderstand projects but would work alongside with a passion equalling those who were producing the films. It is a new and exciting venture and one that has already attracted interest and buy in from talented individuals that I want to support. As you see this company grow I welcome you to challenge your pre conceived ideas of what true promotion should encapsulate. My tagline? It's been selected for a reason. By focusing the attention on the amazing people that are breathing life into a dying industry and not seeking fame and prestige for myself I will pour oil on a revolutionary flame that is going to purge the industry that I love so much.
I invite you all to journey with me on this adventure and lets see if we can shake things up a bit!