Film London, global film streaming platform We Are Colony and Edge Hill University have announced the latest phase of an innovative research project
which explores ways to capitalize on digital film releases, empower filmmakers and satisfy audiences’ appetite for exclusive content. Don’t you wish you were British so you could partake in this project with your film?
Made possible by the Digital R&D fund for the Arts, the project examines the rapidly-evolving world of video on demand, and how the We Are Colony
platform can engage fans who are keen to unlock exciting additional content such as deleted scenes, interviews, scripts and trailers. The seven titles
selected for the year-long research project are the critically-acclaimed “Appropriate Behavior,” Benedict Cumberbatch road movie “Third Star,” feted Alternative Miss World documentary “The British Guide To Showing Off,” Agyness Deyn’s breakout performance in “Electricity,” uncompromising
British drama “We Are Monster,” high-concept thriller “Containment,” and award-winning short film
“Some Candid Observations on the Eve of the End of the World.”
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission
, said: “Film London exists to help connect ideas, finance and talent at every stage of the filmmaking process, so a project which helps our industry
capitalize on new technologies while exploring innovative ways to engage audiences is a perfect fit for us. By bringing together industry nous,
entrepreneurial instincts and academic excellence this partnership is proving to be extremely exciting, and I’m looking forward to see how it develops and
benefits the seven films we have selected.”
Sarah Tierney, founder of We Are Colony, comments: “We are pleased to be working with a group of forward-thinking and innovative producers, distributors and sales agents, keen to interrogate the
potential of new digital models to engage an audience early and through additional content. In addition, with content being delivered to registered account
holders in over 100 countries, We Are Colony is looking forward to sharing data from the beta launch, and the results of a significant user survey looking
at viewing behaviors and attitudes to content.”
Working with a range of budgets and varying international appeal, the slate aims to reflect the reality of independent production in the UK. As Leeshon Alexander, writer, producer and star of “We Are Monster,” comments: “’We Are Monster’ is a truly independent film.
As such, we feel it’s not only important to be a part of such a study, but a fantastic opportunity to work closely with a progressive screen agency such as
Film London and a sector innovator such as We Are Colony.”
of Parkville Pictures, producer of “Appropriate Behavior” and short film “Some Candid Observations on the Eve of the End of the World” also comments: “The international reach of the platform is also a way for producers
and Sales Agents to be in control of their film’s destiny offering new ways to exploit a title without a traditional distributor.”
Core to We Are Colony’s unique place in the VOD market is the release of ‘special edition bundles,’ releasing quality films with a range of (often
exclusive) additional and behind-the-scenes content. Franki Goodwin of Western Edge Pictures, who produced “Third Star,” adds: “For us, the opportunity to partner with We Are Colony to bring additional content to our fans, and in turn to support a
fantastic new VOD platform, was a no-brainer. This is a huge opportunity for film makers to offer their audiences more than just a movie.”
In addition, the platform works hands-on with licensors in a marketing role, delivering content and creative, plus organic and paid marketing. Cecilia
Frugiuele states: “We Are Colony is an empowering tool for filmmakers. It encourages them to think of audience engagement earlier in production, helping
them shape their future distribution strategy.”
Lastly, as part of the research phase, the We Are Colony platform will be trialing new windows, including an innovative pre-sale model where users pay
early in exchange for instant fulfillment on extra content, ahead of general release. One title currently in pre-sales in the UK is Containment,
and producer Christine Hartland states: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with We Are Colony for the release of ‘Containment.’ We
will be able to offer audiences a deeper experience of the film and a chance to engage in its world in innovative ways. As independent filmmakers we’re
very aware of the crowded marketplace for indie British thrillers, and are excited about the possibilities of offering our audience more than just a
conventional cinema experience. By connecting with audiences early and building their investment in the film, we intend to build a fanbase even ahead of
The report, lead by Prof. Philip Drake of Edge Hill University and researcher Michael Franklin, co-authored by the project partners, is due to release in
About the seven films selected for the project:
“Appropriate Behavior,” the sexually-frank romantic comedy written, directed and starring Desiree Akhavan (“Girls”), produced by Cecilia Frugiuele, nominated in the
Independent Spirit Awards 2014. The film was licensed from Peccadillo Pictures (UK), Gravitas Ventures (North America) and Transmission Films (Australia
and New Zealand).
“The British Guide To Showing Off,” the critically-acclaimed documentary which pays homage to the eccentric universe of the Alternative Miss World Show, directed by Jes Benstock and
produced by Dorigen Hammond.
“Third Star,” the critically-acclaimed British road movie starring Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game,” “Sherlock”), Tom Burke ( The Musketeers”), JJ Feild (“Captain America”), Adam Robertson and Hugh Bonneville (“Downton Abbey”), re-released internationally
through the We Are Colony platform. The film was licensed from Independent Film Sales.
“Electricity,” the startling ‘Alice in Wonderland’ tale with a breakout performance by Agyness Deyn, directed by Bryn Higgins and produced by Clare Duggan. Licensed
from Soda Pictures (UK).
“We Are Monster,” the critically-acclaimed, uncompromising British drama written, produced and starring Leeshon Alexander, directed by Antony Petrou, with producers
including Noel Clarke (“Adulthood, Kidulthood”). The film was licensed from Metrodome Distribution (UK).
“Containment,” the high-concept British thriller with an ensemble cast including Lee Ross (“The English Patient,” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes”) and
Louise Brealey (“Sherlock”), directed by Neil Mcenery-West and produced by Christine Hartland, Casey Herbert and Pete Smyth. The film was licensed
by Vision Films (international sales).
And “Some Candid Observations on the Eve of the End of the World,” the award-winning short film starring Theo Barklem-Biggs (“KIngsman: The Secret Service,” “The Inbetweeners Movie”) and Adrian Scarborough
(“The King’s Speech,” “Les Misérables”).
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