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netribution > features > interview with alison and simon > page two

What did you learn from your time at Pinewood?
Our day at Pinewood was incredibly relaxed. The set build had caused some problems, but it all came together on the day. We had a lot of visitors, all our consultants and sponsors turned up, other VIP's turned up out of curiosity (mainly because Freddie and Peter were with us) and we were particularly thrilled to have Trevor Coop as our camera operator for the day. We had two documentary crews wandering round snatching interviews and Focal Press had come again as they'd enjoyed themselves so much on their first visit to us on location. It was the last day of production and it was a real pleasure to spend it at a studio with such filmmaking traditions.Everyone had settled into the production, the rushes were looking great and we could see that we'd got most of what we wanted. It was ironic that it was the last day and we both felt that we were just getting settled when it was all over.

How did you go about raising the sponsorship/finance for the film?
We put some of our own money in and turned to family, friends and supporters who believed in the project for the rest. There were many people said they believed in us when we were talking about setting up the company and going for it full time - that we decided to go back to them and asked them to put their money where their mouths were!! It worked but we're still short and are now aiming to get some completion funding.

Did those contacts help in that regard, through their reputations?
Certainly. Having their names attached to the project gave it and us a lot of weight.

Tell us about Focal press' involvement, what prompted the book?
We approached Focal and pitched the book idea to them because we felt there was a gap in the market. When we were learning about filmmaking, we read plenty of books on making features, but couldn't find anything on making a decent short. Most of our learning was done through the internet, we consider ourselves graduates of the biggest film school in the world, "The Internet School of Filmmaking". This is exactly the sort of book we wanted to read when we started.Focal were very interested from the word go and have very strong links with the internet. Most bookshops stock a very limited range of filmmaking books, the internet gave us the opportunity to search for exactly what was out there, read reviews and make our choice.

How did you get Film4 involved?
Again we were helped by the internet. Illumina TV got wind of the project via the internet and approached us for a series they're making called "Short Attention Span Cinema" (to be shown on Film Four in the autumn).

What are your plans for the future?
"Ghosthunter" will be finished in June/July and we're aiming to showcase it at festivals throughout the world. We're currently developing a couple of features too.Making "Ghosthunter" the way we have has always been a means to an end, that is getting our first feature made. It's the first part of our portfolio. It's very important for us to have our next project ready when "Ghosthunter" is released and we're working very hard on that at the moment. After advertising we found a writer we're very excited about, he's had a wealth of screenwriting experience and we're developing with him at the moment. We don't want to make a low budget feature. We intend to go into production with a healthy budget and employ people on proper terms. One thing "Ghosthunter" taught us is not to impose limitations before you start. Through "Ghosthunter" we've met many people in the industry who've given us immense support. We're being taken to Cannes by one of our sponsors who wants to introduce us to the industry out there, although the film won't be completed we intend to take a teaser/trailer and the ideas we're developing. It's an ideal time for us to see the business working before we have anything to sell - but should the opportunity arise.....?
Our web site ( is also a priority as the internet has become a very valuable tool for us. Our only challenge now is keeping the website updated as the company and "Ghosthunter" grows - things are moving very quickly indeed. We have lots of ideas for expanding the web site and, covering all the things the company has been and will be involved in. It has been a useful a quick resource to getting our presence out there.Organisations such as Netribution and Shooting People will become invaluable, we believe, for the British film community. Thanks to the belief and support we've had over the last 15 months we've come a long way. We're looking forward to the next 15 months and the future immensely.

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