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Film Council goes East

March 24th, 2009

As I write this piece, eleven UK film www.hkfilmart.comsales companies are chowing-down at the Hong Kong FILMART, Asia’s biggest and longest running film market and the Asia Film Financing Forum, courtesy of the Film Council.  It’s the fifth year the Film Council have supported UK companies at FILMART. The companies include, HanWay Films, Ealing Studios International, AV Pictures – sales agent for Lesbian Vampire Killers, and Goldcrest.  They will also be screening films by Terence Davies, Michael Winterbottom and Hunger PosterSteve McQueen’s excellent ‘Hunger’.  This is all to help UK companies access the huge Asian market, where Brit fare makes an occasional appearance with Quantum of Solace making almost $US2m in two weeks and Slumdog Millionaire currently passing $US2.5m in three weeks.

A ticket at a Hong Kong megaplex will cost you a modest £3.95 for a matinee to £4.83 for the evening show.  Plus popcorn of course.

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Psycho

March 20th, 2009

Psycho Poster

I remember when Hitchcock’s Psycho first came out – I wasn’t actually there of course – but he made this most unique and creepy trailer. When it was actually released, there were many reports of people finding it so aweful, in the scary sense, that there were screams and people were fainting in the theatres. It was suggested of course that this was a publicity stunt, and then I read that people were fainting at UK screenings of Saw III. In Stevenage of all places, and then Peterborough and Cambridge. Ambulances were called. It may have been sickening, but really.

East Anglian Amubulance spokesman Gary Sanderson said, “In 19 years with the ambulance services I haven’t seen anything like this. There were three separate call-outs to the Cineworld cinema in Stevenage on Friday night.”

I thought this was just more PR, but then last night I saw ‘Watchmen’ in London – where we’re used to this kind of movie, and much to my dismay, one of my friends actually fainted. A guy. Now it was pretty violent to be sure, but really.

Watchmen Poster‘Watchmen’ is indeed a most excellent movie and I was amazed to see the list of end credits was probably longer than our entire Glossary! A crew of over 600, not surprisingly dominated by the Visual Effects department followed by the Art Department then the stunt team. The stunts were exceptional, as was the art department and the visual effects, some of which were done by MPC in Vancouver. Now MPC – the Moving Picture Company originated in London as a commercials company and are now huge in Visual Effects in London, LA and Canada. Indeed many pictures heavy on Visual Effects, farm-out work to many companies just to get it done so MPC London can work on projects from anywhere in the world. One area of movie making where there will always be jobs for people who like the dark.

My favourite ‘Watchmen’ credit was ‘Truck Costumer’ looks like we’ll have to update our glossary already, but let us know what you think they do. No prizes, just grateful thanks from our Glossary Editor.

In the UK, we rarely, if ever, have movies with such a large crew, but despite the downturn, business is still good. Last year there were 111 films made in the UK, some of course were foreign productions shooting here, but 66 were British films, including, Easy Virtue, The Damned United, Lesbian Vampire Killers, Bronson, An Education and of course Harry Potter and Quantum Of Solace.

The Film Council, does a huge job of promoting the UK to producers from the UK and abroad with info on tax incentives and a crew database.

So, a lot of productions and hopefully more this year, looking for crew – both for shooting, visual effects and other post-production roles. One Brit project already in pre-production is The Lost.

I was talking to an actress friend of mine who’s phone is always ringing, not a big star regretfully but I wondered how she does it, “Let people know you’re there” she told me. Simple. People need to be able to find you to offer you a job.

One great way of being in front of a lot of potential employers is to register your profile with Production Wizard. It’s free and allows you to detail many different skiils.

Keep watching.  Justice for all.

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