On Self Releasing
When we first started on this journey, in fact before we started on this journey - when we first started on The Pissheads journey (way back in 2009) it was always with the intention of making a film that we could self release. I've gone on about this since 2004/ 2005, if a filmmaker has to sell all of their rights to a distributor just to get their film made, how can they ever begin to sustain a career? A three year product cycle in which you own no rights in your product is not a viable business model.
So that was the plan with The Stagg Do: self finance it, self produce it, self release it. I always knew it would be tough, I'd read enough horror stories and met enough people to see that it wasn't going to be a piece of piss. We strategised to a point, decided that as we were broker than we wanted to be that we should just concentrate on spreading the word up here in the North East. It's a local film, about local people, by local people and though it's "Geordie as fuck" it's not provincial - it has a universal themes: as Pob says "It's not about who's your best man mate, it's about who's your best mate man".
What I didn't foresee though was that we'd have to educate the (local) media about self distribution. It seems to me that unless your film is coming from a distributor the perception is that the film must be shit. That's an absurd preconception, but it seems to be rife in the press. Why do I say it's absurd? Is it because I don't think my film is shit? I mean I'm bound to think that right? I am biased after all. But that's not why I think it's an absurd thought, look at it this way: park "quality" which in film is really a subjective concept and think of film as a product which it is.
Let's say James and I are dairy farmers and we usually sell our milk to Tesco. In this analogy Tesco is the distributor (they use their trucks to transport our milk) and the exhibitor (they sell the product through their stores to the end-user). Now let's say Tesco decides that it's going to have a price war and from now on it'll sell milk at £1 for 2 litres. Tesco won't take a hit on its bottom line - so it comes back to the producers - the farmers (James and me) and says they're going to pay us 20p less a litre than they were previously. We can either take it or leave it. In the milk example, we might say "no thank you, we've decided we don't want to deal with you anymore - we're going to set up a farm shop and sell our milk ourselves." The local papers would then carry a story about our little farm shop that is going head to head with the big boys and how we sell our bespoke boutique products (we make cheese from the milk now) ourselves. They wouldn't say "oh you're selling yourself therefore your milk and cheese must be shit".
The fact is, film is a product like anything else and we chose to sell ours direct. Not because it's shit, but because we can. But as I've said before, we can't do it ourselves - we need your help. If you like the film or like the idea of a ballsy wee company from Bensham selling their films direct to the public then share our social media stuff, tell your friends, tell your family and remember we haven't been rejected, we've chosen to do this.
Will try our best to keep this busy during the shoot and post-production.