Saturday, 23 July 2016


When was the last time you were really entertained at the cinema? The last time you left the multiplex with a feeling of complete satisfaction. No, I can't remember either...

I am proud to admit  I am a bit of a Robbie fan, he was after all the best singer in Take That. 'Let Me Entertain You' was released in 1997 and taken from the album Life Thru A Lens. Mr Williams embodies everything that he sings about in the song and he has been hugely successful with his solo career. Hit followed hit and he has sold out stadiums around the globe because he is very, very entertaining. The purpose of the business that we call show is so straight forward it is almost embarrassing. All of the creative talent, from both sides of the camera, are engaged and employed to the same aim, the exact same purpose. Even the marketing and posters, the trailers and the press junkets are all singing the same words, delivering the same impassioned plea.

"Let ME Entertain You"

Great storytelling is essential but it is not an end in itself. Yes, when you partner great storytelling with compelling acting it delivers something that is powerful, but even this is not an end in itself. All of the components of the film making process are important but they add to the whole picture and are of little use on their own. When we have our own areas of expertise it is so easy to see them as central and more important than all of the other disciplines, they are not! I can write a pretty convincing press release and when its coupled with a targeted marketing strategy it is an effective way to get audiences to notice. But, without an end product, without a film that really delivers what the audiences has been promised it is of little use. More than that, the promise becomes a broken one and audiences feel short changed and lied to.

If the problem with Hollywood is that it has become money driven and bloated with its own self importance then the danger that faces the Independent Film Industry is one of selling ourselves short. Time and time again I have heard talented film makers bemoan budget constraints and look lustfully at the big bucks of Hollywood. Whilst I can understand their frustration I can also see the brilliance that can be born out of very small budgets. Some of the most exciting film experiences that I have enjoyed over recent years have come, not from the big blockbuster with a sure fire big star, but the Independent Films. These films don't have an A Lister attached, they don't have a Director who is recognised as a world wide money maker. But they have a connection to the audience because they haven't forgotten why they exist, to entertain. It is so easy to become dazzled by Hollywood with all its loud noise and showy glamour but don't be distracted.

As an Independent Film Maker you are more than able to compete and you are also able to surpass the big hitters because you haven't forsaken your first love. You didn't sell out for money and the trappings of fame and you have honed your craft in the scorching fires of adversity. The creation of truly enchanting and breathtaking cinema or film is something that has held the entire world in its loving embrace. That isn't something you can buy and its not something that you can trick an audience into either. The main stream film industry is in dire straights because it plays it too safe and because it thinks that it knows what audiences want. It doesn't! Not anymore!


Cinema prices are soaring because audience numbers are dropping. Why? because audiences are waking up and they want more than just another Bourne film or yet another Super Hero flick. Don't misunderstand me, I am a big Batman fan and I love the first Bourne film. But this is about choice and it is about film creation that isn't just about being commercially successful, it is about entertaining people. Ironically if you entertain people you are more likely to have a commercial success but expensive doesn't mean better. Whilst it's true that making a good film doesn't automatically mean its going to enjoy commercial success, it is more likely to appeal to an audience that is becoming aware of the lie it has been sold.

Hollywood is increasingly finding it difficult to sell its endless sequel and reboot package to audiences and many are starting to ask if the ideas have run out. This is the moment when Independent Film Makers should be shouting out and making more noise than ever before. Have loud conversations on Social Media, argue and debate. Get angry! Find solutions to the obstacles that are in the way of you completing your film, speak to Gap managers, tell them you need the final 20% to make your film. Passion breeds passion and if your project is as good as you know it is then you are impossible to refuse.

Audiences need to find the Independent Film Industry, if they have forgotten about it they need to be reminded. We need to seduce people back to us and we need to get creative. This is our time, time to get noticed.When audiences have been amazed by a film that delivered at the highest level ask a question.

"Are you not entertained?"



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