Stupid @ Cannes

Date 19th May 2009

On the train againOn the train again

Stupid producer Lizzie Gillett has been on an expedition in France for the past week, making preparations for the global launch in July, which will hopefully feature a repeat appearance of the Not Stupid Solar Cinema somewhere in Paris...


Unbelievably ornate officeUnbelievably ornate office

Sunday AM: First stop is a meeting with our excellent international sales agents, Celluloid Dreams, at their unbelievably ornate offices opposite the Grand Palais.

Celluloid Dream teamCelluloid Dream team

Details are still being finalised, but we're looking good for the date and the deal we've been holding out for - more on that when we have it...

Stupid RivieraStupid Riviera

Next stop Cannes, where I combine a brief fact-finding mission on the Riviera with giving a statement to Film London about their new green film initiative; then onwards to blag my way into a super-posh London Film Festival party. 

The madding crowdThe madding crowd

Sunday PM (part 1): Almost the first person I meet is an irate member of the Stupid mailing list, who rants at me about not being able to unsubscribe from the list. I guess she'll just have to learn to love it then. The party is a waste of time as all the free food and drink has already been gobbled by the time I get out of my conversation with angry mailing list lady. One bonus is bumping into Edward King, formerly of MySpace but now enlisted to help the auteurs who are kindly assisting with our online marketing.

Cannes in a VanCannes in a Van

Sunday PM (part 2): Stupid is screening at Cannes, not as an official selection, but as part of Cannes in a Van - a group of guys from London who set up a big yellow van on la croissette with deckchairs behind and screen films on a screen on the back of the van. We're competing with the might of Hollywood studio advertising which covers the whole town including huge Transformer statues on the front of hotels and all we have is a couple of small posters.  

Stupid vs TransformersStupid vs Transformers

This is the first time Cannes in a Van has shown a whole feature as usually they show shorts and people watch for a few minutes before continuing along the beachfront. We are all a little nervous as the van was towed last night.

Stupid in a vanStupid in a van

A small but dedicated crowd  gather to watch the film and other people come and go while the film plays. As Pete makes his final moving speech more and more people are drawn in and we have attracted a bigger crowd than the camp hip hop dancing troupe we've been competing with all night.

I have to do the Q and A using a megaphone so the story of how we made the film is resounding right along the beach.


Monday AM: Meet with our US press agents, Rogers and Cowan, who are bowled over by indie screenings even though they think it may be illegal in the States. Discuss Oscar nomination strategy and the plan for our American press campaign.

UK Film pavilionUK Film pavilion
Monday Lunch: Speaking on a panel organised by Peter Broderick, self-distribution guru, in the UK Film Pavilion. Coincidentally every panel member is working on the age of stupid so it becomes a case study.
Stupid never stopsStupid never stops
Monday PM

a): One hour consultation with Peter Broderick about our American release strategy.

b): Meet with 5-person Auteurs team to discuss online marketing campaign.

c): Clare Hardwick, who used to work with us and still gives us lots of legal advice, kindly lends her impressive brain for an hour to look at our complicated deals and financial arrangements to check we're not being hoodwinked by any of the big players. She is in classic Cannes form, hungover sunburnt and talking a mile a minute about deals and parties (Paris Hilton, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ryan Philipe were at the one she went to last night).

d): Meet with potential Italian distributor who has already made ambitious plans for an eco premiere in Vienna.

e): Two hour meeting with a potential international publicist for our Global Launch. She loves the idea but is horrified by the timeline.....which I am starting to be too!

f): Final meeting with distributors for global launch who are trying to book the film into cinemas around the world for the July event: two big French chains have said the date is a disaster but the rural Swedish cinemas are very excited.
Cannes boulevardCannes boulevard
Tuesday AM: Heading back to London now.