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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Circumference style, but no cigar

Thanks to the ever well-informed Danny Stack for spotting these two articles about a topic oft mentioned on here - how we as writers and filmmakers manage as sources of money change...

The first one is about Shane Meadows new film which is funded by Eurostar. The reason being that the film is called Somers Town and includes the new Euro-ed up St Pancras. The budget is estimated to be about £500,000 - as you may know I estimated the budget for Circumference to be £300,000. So this figure seems to be sticking. What I don't like about this project is still the fact that it has an unclear or muddy contract with the audience. Also - absolutely no talk of the idea of giving it away for free. If Eurostar are pumping in a half mil then it seems a bit (a lot) cheeky to ask me and you to cough up as well. But then these issues are the issues of today.

Also, how do we as writers feel about these pressures? Can we be precious? Should we? Should we see these films as paid gigs and that is that?

Personally, with my projects, I'm cool with it so long as it is honest and everyone wins - free film, paid by a company, and we all know it. The Circumference way. It makes sense to me and a proposition based on honesty. The opposite to this is underhand and cheesy practices where everyone loses. Some examples of which are in the second article. For shame.

Not a real publicity image obviously but rather a cheeky mock up by yours truly. Euro star image from here.
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Jason Arnopp said...

My only issue with this kind of funding set-up is when it seems to shoe-horn elements into a story. I enjoyed Somers Town a lot, but the whole Eurostar aspect didn't exactly feel like a natural, organic element! It's quite a whimsical film, though, so perhaps it's better equipped to get away with it than some.

I know nothing about the funding set-up behind Son Of Rambow, but it struck me that a French character arriving as part of a cultural exchange, then seemingly contributing little to the plot, could have been the result of financial obligations...

Tim Clague said...

Well it was all this nonsense that led me to write Circumference. If we are going to go this way we may as well have a bit of fun with it - Austin Powers style perhaps.