Thursday, 13 July 2017

Because, the only way is definitely NOT Essex...
What a year it has been! WhiteScreen and the way that I passionately believe that PR should service the creative talent within the Independent Film Industry received massive validation. As anyone working to push forward their vision will tell you, it can be lonely and exhausting doing things differently. So, when a project serves to underline all of your belief and heart felt conviction it is a very special moment. That project was My Feral Heart and working with #TeamFeral to bring a powerful and emotional film to the UK cinema was an absolute honour. The many hours of work and creation delivered rewards in the shape of shortlisting for no less than three British Independent Film Awards. One of my personal marks of success was to see a client at a prestigious awards ceremony and, whilst the carpet was black and not red, to achieve that level in the 2nd year of trading was something I shall always be proud of. My Feral Heart's success can be attributed to the work of everyone in the team and working collaboratively is something that I believe to be essential. As I write this, My Feral Heart has received short listings for 3 International Achievement Recognition Awards which are absolutely well earned.

BIFA Awards 2016- Jason Issacs and Daniel White
 My ongoing work with the Indie horror juggernaut that is Invasion Of The Not Quite Dead was furthered as we move closer to post production. It is one of my biggest pleasures to work with some of the most talented people within the Independent Film world and they don't get more talented (or crazy) than AD Lane. His 10 year film project has seen so many highs and lows that it is felt the making of documentary will be as interesting as the film itself. I find myself continually in awe of such a level of commitment and AD ( or Crazy D) Lane has my complete admiration for bringing this film to its conclusion. Working now as Producer and PR for a film which has already grabbed world wide attention is simply not work, it is my pleasure. As we plan the marketing and PR that will catapult Lane and his team to global attention my excitement continues to build as I get to work onset and see first hand what can be achieved when creative talent is joined together. I have to admit that the crowd funder that I assisted Crazy D Lane with, to raise finishing funds for the film, was both strength sapping but also delivered some of the most surreal memories of the year. The image of Mr Lane wearing a gas mask whilst Facebook live broadcasting will stay with me forever as will the Reed and Michael Aspelesque interview with a certain Frank Jakeman. I am excited that I am able to develop my very individual brand of PR with a horror film that will burn itself into the memory of everyone who sees it.
WhiteScreen on set with Lydia Kay
The year wasn't all film work as I also had the opportunity to speak about crowd funding at Film Expo South in February. If film makers are to effectively raise funds using the many platforms available they have to see the process has hard edged sales and I relish the opportunity to support and develop ideas that will see more films reach their targets. Whilst this can also be frustrating and at times deeply emotional, I do realise that film creatives "just want to make films" and that the corporate and business side can often be viewed as an uncharted wilderness. Working without charge is something that I will always strive to accomplish but as we all know only to well, exposure doesn't pay the bills. I have learnt that in order to support I have to be commercially viable and that means their are limits as to how much can be given away. It is always possible to support others endeavours with a little thought and a wider view of the world we work in and reciprocity can be achieved with a simple retweet or repost. We have to work more effectively in community and championing our own projects exclusively will only further alienate others who are working in the same arena. Moving into my third year I shall continue my commitment to supporting and assisting others work wherever possible but, at the same time, request that the same is offered to my work.

August 2017 will see the end of WhiteScreen offices being based in Essex and, with a family move to Bournemouth, a new chapter of my story will begin. Bournemouth has a wealth of links to film and artistic creatives and I will still be able to offer the hands on and tailored approach to audience developement. It is an exciting prospect and I have made many friends and connections within this wonderful industry.

As I look back on the second year of running a PR company it is a year of massive highs, firsts and achievements but has also provided me with the same in bumps and challenges. I still continue to believe that no one is served well by pretending everything has been plain sailing and I remain convinced that the greatest moves forward are made within the fires of adversity. I have learnt some valuble and life changing lessons but I have also 'added value' and yes I have had great opportunities to truly breath life into the WhiteScreen tag line. As I look forward to year 3 and all of the projects that I will interact with I know two things. 1) Individual and tailored promotion DOES work and it brings audiences to Independent Film like nothing else can. 2) Learning from mistakes is AS important as celebrating success. Welcome to WhiteScreen: The Bournemouth Years

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