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Tag: Film

Editorials

Breaking Through the Box Office

September 12, 2019
Darkest Hour

A common complaint of modern cinema is that it’s full of sequels, remakes and reboots. This was certainly true in 2018, with only 3 of the top 20 films being original stories, “Coco”, “Darkest Hour” and “Peter Rabbit”. While there is an argument that Hollywood is out of original ideas, and those ideas are seen as more “indie” and never make the same impact as the latest superhero film, clearly some do. So what do these films have that others don’t?

Big Names

Pixar have been producing original hits since 1995, although much of their recent works have been sequels (Credit: Disney/Pixar 2011)

It’s likely you’ve heard of at least one of those three films, if not all of them. “Coco” is from the wizards at Pixar, “Darkest Hour” was based on a true story and pushed for Oscar nods, while “Peter Rabbit” is based off the children’s books that ingrained the character in British Culture.

All of these films are rated fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, so the general consensus is that they are all good films (scores ranges from 64% – 97%). But clever release dates may also have played a part in their success. “Peter Rabbit” was released in February, making it the only children’s film in cinemas for several weeks. This lack of competition likely helped the film’s success.

Darkest Hour, despite being released in late December, was marketed as an Oscars contender early on, especially Gary Oldman’s performance and the hair and make up effects used to transform him into Winston Churchill. Oscar buzz is a huge selling point for any film.

Meanwhile, Coco is from Pixar animation, the studio behind classics like “Toy Story” and “Wall-E”. Pixar’s pedigree rivals the Disney Renaissance , with “Cars 2” the only weak link in it’s (at the time) 19 films.

Where are all the originals going?

“Okja” was a big original release that was released on Netflix (Credit: Netflix, 2017)

As with most years, the top films were all part of franchises. “Avengers: Infinity War” took the top spot, with the number two spot being filled by the “Mamma Mia” sequel. The top ten also consisted of entries in the Jurassic World, Fantastic Beasts, Mission Impossible and Star Wars franchises. As well as a sequel to Mary Poppins and Spider-Man spin-off “Venom“.

Many original stories do get full theatrical releases, but often the biggest ones are feature big names attached, such as the recent “Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood“, with director Quentin Tarantino and actors like Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt involved to draw-in audiences.

A common place to find original stories is on streaming sites, with Netflix having some of the most high profile releases, such as “Okja” or “Velvet Buzzsaw”. Streaming sites have grown in popularity and content in recent years, with content that struggles to find distribution often picked up by streaming sites, such as “The Interview” after the drama caused with the Sony email hack. Although more high profile releases are heading to streaming sites, such as Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman”.

The Future

James Cameron’s “Avatar” was an original story, and managed to hold the record for “highest-grossing film” for 10 years (20th Century Fox, 2009)

It’s unlikely that every film released in cinemas will be a sequel or part of a franchise. There are enough “big” original films released with the likes of Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” and Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” as examples, while streaming will only get more high profile releases.

Avatar, which was recently dethroned as the highest-grossing film of all time, is an original story (although it has spawned a franchise) so there is clearly potential for them to succeed, but perhaps a big name must always be attached in some form or another for them to make a big impact?

Also Read: Five Great Films About Filmmaking

News

Calling All Writers!

June 3, 2018
Typewriter

Love Movies? Have an opinion on film or TV you would like to share? Have some free time? Then we would like to hear from you!

At Big Picture Film Club we are all about supporting filmmakers and actors, particularly those based in the UK. We exhibit their work through our events, share their work through our social media channels, and even discuss topics with them on our podcast.

We are a small team, but we are expanding and on the look-out, for a writer to review new releases and to write editorials – one article per week.

Previous experience isn’t necessary. Paid per article.

What to do:

Simply e-mail us at hello(at)BigPictureFilmClub.com [for the attention of Presh Williams] telling us a bit about yourself. If you have written any articles previously please include an example, alternatively simply pitch an idea you have for an article.

Podcast

Bootlegged VHS & The Romanian Revolution

January 17, 2018

Stumbled across a fascinating interview about Romanian icon Irina Margereta Nistoir, whose indirect role helped evolve the Romanian Revolution.

The country felt the impact of being culturally and societally left in the dark, isolated from the rest of the world with Western culture banned during dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s rule. Chuck Norris Vs Communism tells the story of how the banned American films were smuggled into 1980’s Romania during a time where free speech and access to media was controlled by the government.

Irina was a film translator for Romanian State Television, a censorship committee that decided what to broadcast, translating their communist ideologies. The role was never suited to her, so when a colleague asked if she could translate films for a friend, she leapt at the opportunity, risking her freedom by single-handedly dubbing every line of every character in over 3000+ bootlegged movies.

There was a desire to learn about a forbidden society and underground film clubs soon became popular. Watching these films became a matter of survival, and classics such as Rocky and Dirty Dancing eventually became tools for imagination, growth and development.

Truly a remarkable woman whose contribution to film has impacted history and the world over, her iconic voice became a symbol of hope and freedom. The revolutionary role of movie-smuggling helped liberate the people of Romania, and at this year’s SXSW Irina will be discussing how the same could be done for the people of North Korea.

First Look, Interviews

First Look: Winter Ridge

January 9, 2018

Big Picture Film Club’s First Look series takes a look at upcoming films that have grabbed our attention, with the aim of finding out more about the release and the creative minds behind the projects.

Winter Ridge is a crime-thriller set in the fictitious English town of Blackrock (filming took place in North Devon). The central plot of the film revolves around a team of detectives tracking down a serial killer targetting the elderly.  Winter Ridge even made it’s way to the 2017 Cannes Film Festival picking up distribution later in the year. The independent film has managed to bring together a remarkable cast: Hannah Waddingham (Game of Thrones, Les Misérables), Alan Ford (Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) and Olwen Catherine Kelly (The Autopsy of Jane Doe). The crew behind the camera are as equally with the film overseen by award-winning director Dom Lenoir and producers Nancy Bressolles (Rise of the Krays) and Chris Hardman who has worked on films such as Avatar, Star Wars and Kingsman.

We were able to have a Q & A with Director & Producer Dom Lenior to find out more about Winter Ridge, what to expect and when the planned release is for…

Finance is always a big issue when producing an independent feature film, how did you go about funding this film? What challenges did you face in doing this?

Dom: It has been a case of building up a track record and work ethic over quite a few years as individuals and through Camelot. We funded the film largely through the British SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) tax incentives and with private investors. We came to them having formed a relationship on previous projects and due to the quality of work or various shorts we had made prior, as well as a slate of films for the future, we put forward a visible track record in quality and a ready to go film. Having attached cast, high-level crew, and sales estimates definitely smoothed this process over as well and for a cinematic independent film felt like a better route than funding bodies.

How have you been able to put your own spin on the crime thriller genre and what were your sources of inspiration for the film?

Prisoners and Insomnia were big influences and inspiration in terms of the mood and feel of the movie. The initial inspiration came from the writer Ross Williams whose family had suffered from degenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s. The idea was to create a film that was an exciting psychological thriller format but touched upon some of the difficulties families face with someone suffering from an illness. My main goal creatively was to create a film that didn’t feel overly British cop and small close-knit town but something more ominous and isolated. This involved taking a lot of mood influences from Scandinavian and American Detective shows and bringing a really cinematic and atmospheric approach to the visuals, music, characters and setting.

Winter Ridge touches upon how do you go about tackling the subject of Alzheimer’s in a way that is authentic and does not trivialise it?

Mostly the aim was to look at Alzheimer’s in a sense of showing some of the situations and problems sufferers have gone through. We tried to not place too much judgement on any course of action and if anything I think the film hints that there are no easy answers and it is more about shining a light on some of the problems people and their families face.

The film has a crew (both behind and in front of the camera) that have worked on numerous big budget films – how did the film crew and cast come together?

A lot of the connections have come through Camelot; Matt and I have worked with a number of the cast and crew also. This has been something that has naturally developed through years of collaboration on ambitious shorts, meeting them on high budget films and we are lucky enough to have people at that level who believe in both our work and our approach to films enough to have continued collaborating.

How was the experience of screening at Cannes?

We released our teaser trailer at Cannes which received a really good response from the market, within a day we had already sold a major market and interest was high to see the film.

What do you hope people take away from this film?

Reconsidering their views on life and death, how we relate to our families, and how far we will go for the people who are in danger or we love.

Winter Ridge is slated to be released in late spring both in the U.K and internationally. We will continue to keep you updated on the release of the film. Watch the behind the scenes trailer below.

Winter Ridge – Behind the scenes Trailer

We are proud to release the official behind the scenes trailer for Winter Ridge. Please share the love. Excited to bring you more updates very soon!Dom Lenoir Matt Hookings Nancy Bressolles Chris Hardman Joao Cerqueira M Bulman Arşehit Benjamin Thompson Becky Hall Katie Cresser Gabriella Kovago Abby Shaw Niina Topp Ollie Reynolds Michael Mckell Justin Mc Wanny Paddington Olwen Dolphin Paris Noeleen Comiskey Liana Harris Chelsea Marie Tim Cullingworth Hudson Claudia Archer Di Mitchell Paul Saunderson Morgan Williams Matthew Newcomb Nikita Baron Martin Ross Martin Challinor Lesley Anne Webb Polly Hootkins Ross Owen Williams Janna Fassaert Nathaniel Kast Dom Lee Ian Pirie Ella Road Joss Wyre Jimmy TheBee Bennett Jim Maidment Irene Gómez Irene Maffei Doug Templeton JC Prince Alistair Ager Conrad Ford Rebecca Pendarves Marie Lacey Adrian Gwillym Jamie Chambers

Gepostet von Winter Ridge am Sonntag, 3. September 2017