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This is England : Production, Distribution and Exhibition
Transcript of This is England : Production, Distribution and Exhibition
Idea of the Film
Whose idea was the film? Did the idea start with the writer, or were writers brought in to develop a preconceived idea?
This Is England, is the story of a summertime school holiday, those long weeks between terms where life changing events can take place. It's 1983 and school is out. 12-year-old Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) is an isolated lad growing up in a grim coastal town, whose father has died fighting in the Falklands war. Over the course of the summer holiday he finds fresh male role models when those in the local skinhead scene take him in. With his new friends Shaun discovers a world of parties, first love and the joys of Dr Martin boots. Here he meets Combo (Stephen Graham), an older, racist skinhead who has recently got out of prison. As Combo's gang harass the local ethnic minorities, the course is set for a rite of passage that will hurl Shaun from innocence to experience.
Shane Meadows, thought of the idea whilst film his film 'Dead Mans Shoes,' based on 80's Britain.
Genre of the FIlm
•What are the issues with the genre of the film?
Film was critised for violence and language, which impacted on the social realist genre, which is branded drama/crime film.
How easy was it to arrange the financial backing to make the film? Who were the financial backers? Why?
The budget was £2.2 Million. They were backed by Film Four and the UK Film Council. Warp Films have produced all of Shane Meadows helped because as a brand he is well known for working with this production company.
Who were cast in the main roles and why? What other films featured the stars? What were the associations they brought with them?
At the heart of the film is a remarkable performance by debutant actor Thomas Turgoose as Shaun, the films main protagonist. Shaun is an isolated figure at the start of the film, grieving the loss of his father in The Falklands and barely supported by his widowed mother.
Landed the role at the age of 13 years old, following the rejection for an extra part of his school play. He was the only Grimsby native.
Was spotted by Shane whilst working on Guy Richies 'Snatch' he was the first actor to be cast and has worked with film makers such as Martin Scorsese.
•Who was the producer? How did he or she become involved?
Mark Herbet has most recently produced Warp Films' second feature THIS IS ENGLAND directed by Shane Meadows. This is England has scooped up various awards winning the Best Film Award at the British Independent Films Awards. Mark Herbert started to work with Warp Films in 2002.
•Who was the director? How did he or she become involved?
The vast majority of his films have been set in the Midlands area. They recall the kitchen sink realism of filmmakers such as Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, with a post-modern twist. He has a relaxed directing style, encouraging the actors to ad lib in order to create a better sense of reality.
Inpiration from his film Dead Man's Shoes grew from a close friend who had been bullied, developed a drug problem and then committed suicide. He said "I couldn't believe that, going back ten years later, he had been totally forgotten in the town — it was as if he had never existed. I was filled with anger against the people who had bullied and pushed the drugs on him, and with despair at what drugs had done to that small community".
Five of Meadows' films were shown at the 2007 Flourish Festival, held annually in Uttoxeter, to mark the release of This is England.
•Who composed the film music and why was he or she chosen?
The music chosen had to reflect the times of the late 80's. The soundtrack perfectly captures this with mixes from Toots and the Maytals and The Upsetters.
Meadows and his production team are in talks with reggae label Trojan to supply the soundtrack.
Was any part of the film shot on location? If so, where? Why were some locations chosen over others? Were costs a factor?
Richard Knight was the location manager for the film. The film was shot in Linconshire and Nottinghamshire.
Making the Film
What did the studio film cost to make? How much did the stars get? Where did the budget go? Was the film shot within budget? Was it ever in any danger of going over budget?
The film was funded part by Film Four of a budget of £2.2 Million.
IMDB estimated £1,500,000....
Who were the distributors? How well known is/was the company? What is their track record as distributors? (other films they have distributed)
The independent distributer Opimum Realeasing had huge success. The American distributer were an independent distributer IFC Films based in New York.
This is England was the first movie to be digitally released through the D-PLATFORM initiative. It was being digitally screened in three cinemas in Oslo, Tromsoe and Fredrikstad. Arthaus, the movie's Norwegian distributor, has thus achieved its first step in the digital world.
The rating problem!
Shane Meadows on the issue;
'Earlier this year, we heard that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) had decided to give the film an 18 certificate for its use of ‘realistic violence and racist language’. This means that the film is now unavailable to the audience it will benefit the most.'
'.....the film is affecting but I think it’s something that someone of 15 can cope with. It’s not like it’s a film about the 80s that has no value; it’s incredibly relevant politically. It’s as much about Iraq as it is about the Falklands. It’s as much as about England in 2007 as it is about England in 1983.”
Rating and Reviews...
"A FUNNY AND DEEPLY MOVING PORTRAIT"
This is the best of British . . . UNMISSABLE."
This Is... The Best British Film Of The Year. You'll be floored."
Meadows has created a film to be reckoned with."
$18,430 (USA) (29 July 2007) (1 Screen)
£207,676 (UK) (29 April 2007) (62 Screens)