Who is funding this scheme?
Doug - There are 6 sponsors. MyMovies net, Odeon, Virgin Atlantic, The Observer, Empire and Kodak are all financial sponsors. Columbia TriStar and Fox have donated the feature films that these are going out with, Securicor have donated their time to courier the films around the country and Hagen Daz(?) has donated some ice cream vouchers! (laughter)
What will the shorts be shown in front of?
Kim - There are 2 feature films that the shorts are going to play out with. Columbia TriStars The Hollow Man by Paul Verhoeven and the Farrelly Brothers, Me Myself and Irene from 20th Century Fox. So very good mainstream films that will fit the 10 short films well.
Was it a deliberate decision not to put them in front of arthouse or niche pictures?
The whole thing about the Short Film Bureau is that we are trying to get out to a mainstream audience, so we want the shorts going out in Odeon and Warner Bros cinemas. Most shorts are shown in arthouse cinemas but to show them in a mainstream cinema is quite rare and thats what we are trying to push.
Do you think that there is a mainstream audience for shorts? So in choosing the shorts for FACE, what particular features were you looking for?
I think there is. What cinemas need to do is publicise the fact that they are showing them because the audience will be put off if they arent expecting it. They need publicising. Where and when is one going to see them?Doug - Yeah, audiences do like short films, they are very, very popular and we havent met anyone who has said otherwise. Particularly dramas but the films have to be well made with nice tight stories. Audiences tend to be more critical of shorts than features because youve only got 10 minutes to get the point across, theres not a lot of room for development or room to cover any soft areas but a good short film does phenomenally well.Kim - Simple plots work best.
Doug - They came out of the Cinema Programme and we took the top 20 requested films from the catalogue and the criteria for the catalogue were fundamentally, they had to have prints and had to be serious mainstream oriented films. The subject matter was not important but they had be high production quality films, we gave the top 20 to the panel and the panel chose the top 10 to go out.