Mick Travis's Comments
Comment on: UK film industry: All white at the top
The comment by anonymous re; LONDON is also very revealing. People should grasp the fact that the UK film and television industry is specifically organised to serve exclusive select or elite groups and this will inevitably be reflected in terms of its closed shop practices, funding and opportunities and access on the base of class, ethnicity, colour, gender etc and also where you live. Jon Williams at pleasedsheepfilms carefully explained the core issues in his blogs at that site and I would recommend people read them. The digital projection scheme funded with lottery money coupled with Jon Williams suggestion of screens reserved for UK films would have eliminated the problem at the root, since it would have entailed an increased demand of UK product by production companies shooting on digital which would then have access to multiplex cinemas (and revenue). The Government despite its completely fake talk of 'diversity' actually stymied the idea - the BFI are just as fake. The elite mentality is also reflected in television. There have been a number of reports and suggestions to the Government and the House of Lords and they've been steadfastly and repeatedly ignored.
Comment on: What we could learn from Iron Man’s Masters
The idea that the UK has a small handful of IP Mike is just simply daft. At any given time the UK publishing industry from childrens books to genre titles represents a huge wealth of creativity, ideas, stories and characters. That production companies do not tap this probably more illustrates their own lacunae. But Arvind has accurately described why there is no unified approach. Call it the British disease. Every dog for himself. Cliques. Tribes. Class. Opportunism. All eyes on getting out to LA. I also think your comment that Arvind is saying that the British film industry would become a 'sausage factory' completely misrepresents his article and it certainly isnt what I thought he was saying at all. When JK Rowling wanted to film Harry Potter she wanted a British Studio to Produce it. There wasnt one. Loss of millions. Fact. Producers shrug, just concentrate on their film and look to America. Get the money where you can,when you can. It is entirely understandable in such a culture. Who needs leadership or vision - just get the money. The reason why a British unified approach wont happen is because of the British mentality. It is one reason why the US dominates. Every other European country protects their film industry. Not the UK. Why? Well perhaps it is because to forward the ideas that Arvind is representing, or to, for instance, get the British Government to insist that one screen should be exclusively reserved for British films, might jeopardise distribution for British film companies like Working Title in the US? Anger America and you can kiss goodbye to your chances. Keep your head down. Keep things as they stand. Ambition = a passport to America. Its something that the British are good at. What a proud nation of people.
Comment on: The price of festivals
ha ha yes and put it on a mountain top so the buggers'll have to climb up!
Comment on: Hunting down film finance
Oh I get it now. You are going to decide for me what I can and cannot see. Thankyou for that sir. I didnt quite understand. Thankyou very much sir. May I go now?
Comment on: Hunting down film finance
Contradictions contradictions! So what is it then? Re; 'You can't blame the UKFC for you not writing and making something people actually might want to see or a distributor willing to pick it up and release. It's like you entered the Monza Grand Prix in a pedal car facing backwards and then moaned when you lost/were disqualified because you insisted on being so bloody minded.' or that its all down to 'poor scripts' - which I dont believe. This sounds like a lazy excuse to me. Given the hits for internet series like Dr.Horrible exhibitors and distributors are still missing a trick in not understanding that there could be well attended niche audiences for this kind of thing. It just needs cultivating. Is the belief that there is one big mass audience wanting to see the same product or are you saying that the UKFC isnt making films that exhibitors want to show? Given that distributors and exhibitors have in the past not even given such financed films adequate distribution eg; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A88dwqSN9j4 it does beg the question dont you think? This is coming from Robert Carlyle one of the UK's leading movie stars not just one indie production company alone. So whats the problem? Dont the UKFC and distributors/exhibitors communicate with eachother? Dont exhibitors meet with Producers? Or do you sit around saying 'that is not my job' and instead wait for the next US movie to release? How come leading British directors and film-makers are saying the UK film industry is wrecked? Come on Anonymous above tell us!
Comment on: Pinewood Shepperton sees profit slump by 55%
Well said Jonathan Stuart-Brown - but just remember when, or if, you build the studios in the West Midlands to make then affordable for film-makers and companies at all levels - whether its micro/low budget film makers or bigger companies - dont just make them a facility for big budget productions and those who have the big dollars. All these studios such as Pinewood did that years ago and are currently merely serve as a US production base or are open to the highest bidder - which means that many creative British companies and freelancers are locked out of a London-centric closed shop market - hence at Pinewood the prevalence of US movies and television game shows. Infact the fact that you are British does not even come into the equation - and it should. Its about money pure and simple - and as America owns the multiplexes in the uk they also use British box office money to support American production. To see how this badly affects the British Film industry read the 'Where Have all the screenwriters Gone?' opinion and subsequent comments on this same site. Ownership of Production has to be linked to ownership of exhibition - owned by the British for the interests of the British - from the creative industries to all film connected industries - even if it works in an international context for international productions/co-productions. I live near Pinewood and this has not happened in Pinewood Studios for many years. A new studio should not repeat this mistake. For more info on how the set-up works go to; www.pleasedsheep.com click on articles/film politics
Comment on: Producers who actually produce
RE; Hollywood is too enthralled in keeping the "outsiders" out, and the "insiders" in. No one wants to put in the time to "read an unknown". Humbug! Nepotism reigns supreme. It all comes down to who you know-- not how good a writer or actor one actually is.... Hooray for excellent Indies & Docs that give "outsiders" a chance to shine, and... a way in! www .fromheretoawesome.com
One of the advantages that we have is that we know from history how such totalitarian states emerge and the methods they use. It would be good to see the speech on Youtube or infowars.com. Thanks to James Schamus and others who have the opportunity to give such lectures, people are waking up to the fact that this isnt just about a Government pushing its weight about, but something far more pervasive and serious. Power structures from big governments to local councils are all well integrated and networked by organisations such as Common Purpose - and these are documented facts not 'conspiracy theories'. Its up to people to do their own research on the internet and find out for themselves. History time and time again tells us that turning a blind eye to this kind of thing thinking 'all is well' will only see far more serious widespread human rights abuses. One of these being the 'forced adoption' issue concerning mothers like Fran Lyon and Kerry Robertson; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245190/Mother-clever-raise-child-baby-removed-social-workers-running-away.html
Comment on: UK producers get their share
Re; 'You can't spoon feed an audience what they don't want to see.' Except that if they are spoon fed long enough its the only thing they will eat. Big mainstream US studios who monopolise British multiplexes have as many flops that people dont want to see - infact they have hundreds every year, which the profits of the successes they do have, subsequenty cover - only they can recoup their costs because of their monopoly of the cinema and the broadcasting/television chain - (hence why you see so many American movies on British television) and also because; IN THE US THEY HAVE AN INDUSTRY PROTECTED AND PROMOTED BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT. Its not possible to say that demand can be gauged for a film when there is no proper access to the market/media for that film. And you may as well discount the career of every mainstream director if you used the same criteria at the start of their film-making careers; people dont know them...etc An audience for film can be created if it is encouraged in the right way- it happened with music and cinema. By reverting to the same conditions British cinema once thrived in, i.e: Govt. protection for British film, cinema screens reserved for British films, sponsored advertising for British films on British television, etc, there would be employment and a thriving industry - as infact there once was. Being spoon fed by America is only an option for British people who lack awareness and pride in their own culture and identity.
Comment on: Hunting down film finance
You have mentioned 'indie films' but the films and industry model you have described is not really 'indie'. The true indie films like the 'Bad Lad' film above -which has received excellent reviews on the net- people would go and see if the UKFC were to properly publicise, market and distribute it on a national and international level in every multiplex they possible could. Come on UKFC pull your finger out. Michael Booth, John Williams have done their bit by making their film - as have other film-makers - but the UKFC does not properly distribute these films or actively cultivate an encouragement and audience for indigenous British films. If films are not distributed and exhibited then production money of course dries up - you cannot make money if you cannot access the market - and this is the real reason the above article evades - the actual monopoly of British cinema exhibition in Britain by the American film industry which keeps indigenous British films out of the picture. Micro/low budget could perfectly and profitably recoup their production costs ten times over were they not prevented from distributing films in the current closed-shop set-up. The question is that if the UKFC knows this, then why, in the interest of British film production why dont they do anything about it?