The first screening of The Beacon at the Courtyard. Jesus Christ, I hate this film so much now. I can’t believe I have to sit through it AGAIN tomorrow. Why did I ever think it was a good script? The audience was a decent size, and mainly consisted of cast and crew’s friends and relatives. They all found Behind The Beacon quite amusing. I’ll never top the art college screening though. Those guys totally got it. Everyone who came tonight was either too close to it, or too old to realise it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. But I guess perhaps they enjoyed it on some other level. One couple who turned up after hearing about it from a friend absolutely loved it, even buying a copy of the video and asking me to sign it. Aaah. Simon Widdos, the SAS actor who’s been promoting the film in Worcester, has made a sale of three copies to a video rental store. Hopefully he’ll be able to sell a few more before I have to sign the rights over to Subsurface.
Okay, I admit it. It was behind me and a bit to the left. Satisfied now? So I took the contract to a solictor yesterday, and he had one or two concerns with it. Still, given that a couple of other companies that were interested in it have now come back to me with definite No Gos, and that Subsurface are willing to make an adjustment which the solicitor recommended, I imagine I shall indeed sign it, but not until after the Courtyard screenings, since of course once signed the contract prevents me from distributing the film myself.
I got an idea for a movie, and here’s my pitch: I get a job and quit my band and you stop being a bitch. But enough of typing the lyrics of the Vandals song I’m listening to right now. On to more salient information, such as the fact that in front of me right now (alright, that’s a lie – it’s actually behind me and a bit to the right) is a Manufacturing and Distribution Agreement from Subsurface Distribution in Massachusetts, awaiting my signature. I must of course get it checked out by a solicitor, but what it basically says is that they will make 1,000 copies, promote it through street marketing and sending it to 300 film publications and journalists, and then pay me 50% of the sales revenue once they’ve recouped the costs of the above. So I may yet make my money back on this financial black hole of a movie. Which is good, since I just blew quite a few bucks on a lovely new camera. By the way, I’ve shut down the on-line ordering system since it was doing less business than a condom machine in the Vatican. (An old Red Dwarf joke there – wasn’t that a great show?) You can still buy copies of the film by sending a cheque to me – details on the order page.
Went to The Courtyard to check out a few things for the screening. First up, a slight change to the times: the film will now begin at 8:30pm, with the doors opening at 8:15pm. And guess what’s playing on their other screen? Only bleedin’ Star Wars. Still, it’ll have been out for over a month by then. Hmmm, Star Wars or some dodgy low budget film? Such a decision…
Ah, memories. I was just looking back at the entries for this time last year, as I tried to close off Malvern high street for extended cardboard chase action, budding actors and crew members started calling me lots and the hills reopened as Foot & Mouth Disease retreated. Here we are a year later and this site is till getting a surprising number of hits given that it’s winding down, and will probably be gradually reduced in size as the webspace is freed up to make way for soulsearchermovie.com. Anyway, the reason for this entry is not one of pure nostalgia. No, its purpose is to inform you all that The Beacon is being screened at The Courtyard, Edgar Street, Hereford on June 24th and 25th. Tickets are UKP5 (UKP4 concessions). Doors open at 8pm; film starts at 8:15pmp, followed by Behind The Beacon and some spiel from yours truly about Soul Searcher. Be there or be having something better to do.
Finally got to screen the movie to the audience it was designed for: students. The reaction was good – they got it in a way that none of the previous (older) audiences had. Everyone else had taken it too seriously. Hell, I took it too seriously, but that probably makes it funnier. Anyway, a good turn out and a lot of people came back after a short break to watch Behind The Beacon and hear about the next project.
Just a quick one to say the website for my next feature project is now up and running, though I warn you it looks awful at the moment: www.soulsearchermovie.com
Or 4/3/02, as I statesidedly dated my letter to Subsurface Distribution, enclosing a DVD copy of The Beacon for their perusal and hopeful purchase for distribution. Interestingly, the woman in the post office didn’t ask if it was porn this time. Perhaps she saw my large hair and dark glasses and made up her own mind. So that would be the DVD finished then, except for me to burn lots of copies, and print out lots of covers, the first of which is currently rendering my typing sluggish as it background-spools its way out of my Epson. I’ve just completed a poster which features the obligatory context-ignoring quote from a review, in this case last Friday’s crit by Malvern Gazette’s very own Phill Tromans: “Genius.” (As in “You don’t have to be a genius to see this film is shit.” Not really, of course.) Actually, Phill’s review hit the relevant nails on their respective heads, though one wonders if it might have been even more favourable if my early films (the oft-spoken of but rarely aired Bob trilogy) hadn’t included so many jokes at his expense. I met with The Courtyard’s director and film programmer this morning, who are keen to screen The Beacon for two nights in early June, as part of their next film season. Also involved will be Behind The Beacon, a Q&A session with the director (that’s me, folks) and a red carpet. Yes, really. Anyone who wants a complimentary ticket, start being nice to me now.
Burn, baby, burn. Wah wa-waaaaaah! No, it’s not an Apple ad, it’s the sound of The Beacon making its triumphant debut on DVD. Okay, so there are a couple of things which need changing, but nothing terrible. My VHS deck’s box has “JVC – the inventors of VHS!” plastered across it. Proud of yourselves, huh? You poor, poor fools.
An historic day, marking as it did the first meeting of myself and Oscar short-listed producer James Clarke over our next film, Soul Taker. But that’s another story, and one which will surely have its own website before too long. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. On the DVD front, I ran out of space on the disc, meaning I had to choose between slightly dodgy picture quality for the film and loads of extras, or good picture quality on the film and less extras. Of course I chose the latter, so I’m afraid there will be no trailers, multi-angle scenes, sound mix deconstruction or Cutting Room feature. Apologies, apologies.