CASE STUDY: WARP FILMS (Film institution and independent film production company, making mid to low budget films and TV series for niche market and audiences. The company is creatively autonomous and receives financial backing from organisations such as FilmFour and public subsidy Film agency for Wales.)
Warp have built up a reputation in the UK as innovative and independent company producing original films for a niche market. The company relies on its ‘indie’ reputation and rather than ‘formula’ films promotes its mix of directors and diversity of projects. Founded in Sheffield in 1989, Warp Records made an immediate impact on British culture with its experimental electronic music. The label balanced commercial success with a fierce commitment to innovation and independence. In 2001, founding partners Rob Mitchell and Steve Beckett, enlisting the help of producer Mark Herbert, founded Warp Films. And in 2004 with Shane Meadows and Paddy Considine made Dead Man’s Shoes whichreceived to significant critical acclaim. They expanded and in 2006 set up Warp X, a sister company dedicated to digital, low-budget filmmaking, established with the financial backing of UK Film Council and Film Four. In 2007 Shane Meadows again This Is England won critical praise and a string of awards including a BAFTA for Best British Film, confirming Meadows as one of the UKs most exciting auteur directors, and providing Warp Films with the momentum for an extraordinary period of filmmaking. Dead Man’s Shoes (2004) a British psychological thriller directed by Shane Meadows and co-written by Meadows, Paul Fraser and Paddy Considine, The film was shot in three weeks in the summer of 2003. Music by Aphex Twin
and Clayhill. Financed by EM Media, Big Arty Production and Film Four. Distributed by Optimum Releasing. Budget £725,000 and Box Office £101,000. This Is England 2006 British drama film written and directed by Shane Meadows. The story centres on young skinheads in England in 1983. Distributed by Optimum Releasing. Budget £1,473,000. Box Office £5,058,000. This Is England '86 2010 drama series spin-off from the film. Set three years later, focuses on the mod revival scene rather than the skinhead subculture. On 26 August 2009. Channel 4 financed and screened. Warp have long term and established relationship with Film 4. This is England ’88 A sequel to the series set two and a half years later, This Is England '88, was broadcast in December 2011. Submarine 2010 British coming-of-age comedy-drama film adapted from Joe Dunthorne’s novel Submarine, 2008. The film was written and directed by Richard Ayoade, and starred Craig Roberts, Yasmin Paige. Budget £1.2 million. Box office £2.03 million. Warp X Established in 2005 and based in Sheffield. Set up by Warp in association with FilmFour and UKFC. Sister company to Warp Films, (so they work very closely together, sharing resources etc). The films have to be made digitally and on budgets between £400,000 - £800,000. “By using the latest digital production methods, Warp X will make seven low budget feature films over the next three years.” Cheap production: HD Digital film, Edit using Final Cut Pro Cheap distribution (helped by Digital Screen Network and digital exhibition). Also Optimum an international distribution company specialising in independent film. (Though now owned by Studio Canal) “to make exhilarating films with outstanding new and established creative talent. Genre movies with an original twist and creative signature”. “We passionately want to re-tox British cinema with an injection of adventure. Toxic movies that are an antidote to the prevailing diet of blandness and repeated formulas.” Warp X’s first slate consisted of “ A Complete History of my sexual failure” and “Donkey Punch” (released Summer 08) and HUSH (released March 09). These were produced by Warp X for the Low Budget Feature Film Scheme set up by UK Film Council’s New Cinema Fund and Film4 to revitalise the low-
budget sector of the British film industry. Key financial backers were EM Media and Screen Yorkshire. Optimum Releasing were closely involved in the development process and distributed the films theatrically and on DVD in the UK. Channel 4 took UK television rights. Marketing the Warp Brand BFI are organising a retrospective 10th Anniversary celebration for Warp Films’. Made in Britain: Warp Films at 10 - April 2013 Ten Warp Film posters reworked by Sheffield-based artist Pete McKee http://warpfilms10.com/ 2013 Promoting WARP brand with special screening. Southbank Centre and BFI Sonic Cinema, in collaboration with Warp Films, present the London premiere of Shane Meadows' Dead Man's Shoes live rescore on Friday 29 March. The film will be rescored live by musicians: After the show, in the Queen Elizabeth Hall's Front Room, DJ's including Pablo Clements (UNKLE) play an eclectic electronic mix until 1:00am
CASE STUDY ‘SUBMARINE’ (independent film) PRODUCTION: Book by Joe Dunthorne, Alex Ayaode first feature. No A list actors. Location. Budget £1.2 million. Financed by Film4 Productions, Film Agency for Wales, Wales Creative IP Fund, Red Hour Films, Warp Films MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION 'I find that the only way to get through life is to picture myself in an entirely disconnected reality. I often imagine how people would react to my death. The shocked faces of my classmates. A playground bedecked with flowers. The empty stillness of a school corridor. Local news analysis. . . . The steady stoicism of my parents. . . . Candlelit vigils. . . . And finally, my glorious resurrection.' As well as the usual round of film festivals, this independent film relied on a simple but focussed on-line marketing campaign which maximised on the cult figure of protagonist ‘Oliver Tate’. It appealed to a young audience, with an interest in film narrative as well as a pessimistic approach to the future and ‘search for love.’ •
Original songs were written and performed by Alex Turner, the Arctic Monkeys front man. The soundtrack charted at 35 in the UK Album Chart
Prior to going on release in US and UK played a stream of international film festivals. The film premiered at Toronto International Film Festival (Sept 2010). The film also played at the London Film Festival (Oct 2010) and Sundance Film Festival (Jan 2011). Berlin International Film Festival (Feb (2011). It went on general release with Optimum in the UK (March 2011)
• The Trailer - Appeals to the creative writer/film fan through use of typewriter font credits – as though Oliver is writing own film. Oliver’s voiceover. Imagining being in a film of his life. Titles: “Establish Relationships” “Identify lover interest” There are no cast or crew credits during trailer … but reviews from Empire and The Telegraph. Executive, Cast and Crew Credits in block at end. The emphasis is on the story, Oliver Tate’s character and the cinematography. Ie: for independent film fans. •
Weinstein website offered a slide show “Oliver Tate’s Guide to AVOID BULLYING” which would appeal to Oliver Tate wannabees and fans could be shared as ‘advice’ and in the process market the movie! https://www.facebook.com/weinsteinco
Optimum Releasing offered Production Notes for fans http://press.optimumreleasing.net/dyn/SUBMARINE_PRODUCTION_N OTES_2011.pdf
A Facebook Page so that fans could keep up to date with production notes and trailers and the poster www.facebook.com/SubmarineUK
(Screen Marketing and Distribution awards 2011 nominated Submarine for best UK online campaign and best poster.) EXHIBITION •
Available to stream on line with Netflix and Love film – also available on itunes.
Distribution – Optimum Releasing (UK) Weinstein Company (US)
1. Discuss the significance of technological convergence for the media industry you have studied 2. â€œSuccessful media products depend as much upon marketing and distribution to a specific audience as they do upon good production practices.â€? To what extent would you agree with this statement, within the media area you have studied? 3. How do your media consumption habits as an audience member reflect wider trends in the media area you have studied?
Published on May 6, 2013