Caught up with intra-West-Midlands jet-setter Mike “Matt” Hodges to film his interview and cheesily staged cutaways for the In-Flight Movie DVD featurette. Every time I go back to Malvern I hate it a little bit more. The leaflet distribution process has made sickeningly apparent the narrow-minded, uber-jobsworth attitude that makes the overly steep town such a suffocating environment. Getting the flyers round Hereford was easy – all the local shopkeepers were keen to help promote the film as a piece of enterprising, spirited local culture – one chip shop owner even got his kids to hand out flyers for me in the highstreet. Dropping off flyers at Malvern’s Tourist Info Office this afternoon, the guy behind the counter asked why the film – which he had read about with great interest in the local paper – had not been screened at Malvern Festival Theatre/cinema. It was a question which was answered for me five minutes later, when I visited the Festival Theatres with an innocent request to leave some flyers. And they said no. Now I’m sorry to get all puerile about this, but just what kind of a fucked-up attitude is that? As if it wasn’t enough that the Malvern Hills Conservators, whose job should be to promote Malvern to tourists, were extremely unhelpful in filming negotiations, the Malvern Gazette failed to send a reporter to the premiere, and the Theatres had unreasonable demands in return for us filming there (they insisted on being credited on all the promotional material, despite proposing to let us film a mere 30 second scene), now I find that the Theatres are utterly disinterested in promoting, let alone screening, what is (a) an excellent piece of advertising for a town which depends at least partly on tourism for its survival, (b) a piece of local culture which would be of interest to that segment of the population which doesn’t have a mind narrower than Calista Flockhart’s waist, and (c) something other than plays, spring water and walking. Here endeth my wrath.
Checked out the Art College – looks like there could be quite an enthusiastic turn-out – and got some flyers in Andy’s Records, and on the way home bought a glossy international magazine called Impact, containing features on such quality movies as Men In Black II, Ocean’s Eleven and The Beacon. Yes, that’s right, I’ve stepped up to the next rung on the ladder of fame. For there I am, staring out from a very nice four page article by Simon “I know the editor” Wyndham, along with lovely pics of LJ, John, Josh and co. Available now at all good newsagents, but not any bad ones.
I’ve been working on the static sub-menus for the DVD the last couple of days. I’m also on the verge of sorting out a screening at Hereford Art College. On a more surreal note, the BBC’s new Hereford & Worcester website launched today, and features an article on The Beacon, plus a competition to win a signed copy… simply answer ten ludicrously easy questions… and there are four runners-up prizes of signed posters! It’s prize-tastic!
I got the flyers round Hereford on Wednesday, at such locations as the cinema, the skaters’ shop, the Software Store, some music shops and a whole heap of chip shops. Odeon Worcester and a couple of other locations in Oliver Cromwell’s favourite city got the flyer treatement this afternoon. Malvern will have to wait till next week. In spite of all this foot-blistering effort, sales are still slow, though I hope a general awareness will lead to word-of-mouth snowballing eventually. A lot of people seem to be waiting for the DVD. On that front, I got the storyboard and stills galleries together this week. I decided to put on storyboards for scenes that were cut before the final draft of the script – more interesting than looking at shots that are in the film, although there are three storyboard comparison scenes for your delectation. The stills gallery contains 100 photos, a mixture of in-character stills which I took, and previously unseen behind-the-scenes photos by Simon Ball.
So largely positive reviews in the local press, then. The Hereford Times’ praise-singing included: “The audience was gripped… The Beacon is an entertaining film… Several of the key players gave impressive performances – none more so than the hero of the day, Lorna-Jane Hamer… The music score by Hereford musician Alan Jones is in a class above what you would anticipate on this budget and Oseman’s technical skills are remarkable.” DVD-wise, I’ve so far completed a featurette on the window smash effect, some multi-angle scenes, storyboard comparisons, and the deleted scenes, plus of course the director’s commentary. Later I’m going to do commentaries for the deleted scenes, then I’m going to start work on a featurette about the cinema FX sequence. The flyers haven’t been done, so no-one’s actually going to know about the official VHS release on Monday. Hello, poverty…
I cut another trailer – come on, I had to do one with some 3D FX in. I don’t have enough webspace to put it up on this site, but you can view it on BT’s Get Out There website. I’m currently laying the sound effects on the deleted scenes – yes, I decided to go down the Star Wars: Episode I route and finish them, rather than just leaving them in rough cut form. And tonight I record the director’s commentary.
Thanks to everyone who came to the premiere yesterday, and apologies to any random members of the public who were misled by the newspaper articles into thinking they could come and had to be turned away. It was a pretty nerve-racking morning for me – I had to do a live radio interview at 7:45am on BBC Hereford & Worcester. The screening itself went very well. I guess there were about 100, 150 people there. Laughter occurred in the right places, even a couple of bouts of applause. (See, AJ, that clapperboard line was worth it.) I’m already bored senseless of having no films to make, so I’ve started work on the deleted scenes and other DVD material. Dave Abbott’s going to do the animated menus, and his behind-the-scenes documentary is just a few weeks from completion. Next week I’m getting some flyers printed up to blitz Hereford, Worcester and Malvern with. (Blitz, Neil?) To pepper Hereford, Worcester and Malvern with.