87 days to go

Location | Mood | Date 23 December 2008
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
23 December 2008


We're very happy to say that the UK cinema release of whatsitcalled has been confirmed for March 20th 2009. Phew, that was hard work. We have eight cinemas signed up so far - bear in mind that Inconvenient Truth started in four, or maybe it was three - but we're hoping to get that up to about twelve. Whether it goes on to 300 screens in week two, or gets dumped in the bin, depends on how many bums we get on seats in week one. (New slogan: get on your arse for climate change.)

So if you could all be so kind as to bring 10 people to the opening weekend, that would be splendid. Sorry we can't confirm the location of the cinemas quite yet - will do in January - but please get the date in your diaries anyhow.

Our new PR geniuses, Unity, have somehow managed to get permission for us to hold our Premiere - which will be the Sunday before the release, ie 15th March - in the wee park in Leicester Square in.... a solar-powered cinema tent. Am kind-of surprised that Boris (or his minions at least) agreed to our outlandish plans, but it seems we are good to go on the solar car (see pic attached), the celebs arriving on bike rickshaws, the green carpet and the whole kaboodle.

Would love to invite you all to come along, but the tent aint that big, I'm afraid. But we will be running a competition for two of you to win tickets.

Having said that, there may actually be room for everyone if we pull off the newest cunning plan. We are trying to persuade the digital screen network (200-odd UK cinemas who all have a particular gadget under the stairs) to host "The People's Premiere", whereby, as the London premiere gets underway, we simultaneously screen the film across the country, and then have a satellite hook-up at the end, so we can zap the shenanigans from Leicester Square straight out to one's people across the land. Obviously we'll have some big name climate change dudes doing their motivational speeches, so as to kickstart the revolution there and then. Haven't quite got permission for any of this yet (tho obviously not intending to attempt official clearance for the revolution), but it'd be cracking as would be an INclusive, rather than EXclusive, Premiere and would fit with the whole crowd-funding, film-of-the-people, climate-change-is-everyone's-problem angle. Plus it would be totally original, so would be a good excuse for the press to jump on us.

Speaking of which, does anyone have any good celeb contacts? We will be inviting all the obvious eco-slant ones, but it's always easier to approach them with a personal contact. (Sorry if this sounds like selling out, but the sad fact is that without the celebs you don't get the media and without the media noone knows about the film's release and all the cinemas are empty and none of you lovely investors get your cash back.)

In other matters, we've been getting calls from the very people we always wanted to reach: the politicians. We're doing a joint screening with Ed Miliband (UK climate change minister) in early January, have just confirmed a screening at the EU Parliament and have loads of others in the pipeline. Funny, really, as we always thought we were going to have inspire the public in order to then reach the politicans, but seems it might be the other way round. Sure you all saw Miliband calling for a new people's revolution - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/dec/08/ed-miliband-climate-po... - so he will no doubt be delighted to hear that we raised 165,000 the other week for our "Not Stupid" action campaign, which we're running alongside the film next year. The idea is to turn 250 million viewers of the film into climate change activists all focussing on the Copenhagen summit in December '09, where the suited-ones will finalise the new post-Kyoto treaty - and the future of our species.

Quite a task, clearly. But we've been building up quite a team:
(with apologies to anyone I've forgotten)

-> DANIEL V will be packing out every screening of every cinema with students, campaigners, NGOs, pensioners, schoolkids and CEOs of multinational corporations. He's on daniel@ageofstupid.net
-> LEO M will be producing non-stop videos, blogs and photos of everything as it happens. leo@ageofstupid.net
-> TOM F will be our new in-house web maestro.  tom@ageofstupid.net
-> RICHARD D will be seeing the wood for the trees. richard@ageofstupid.net
-> JUSTIN B has already started editing the Making Of documentary in the other room (another Franny! another Lizzie! all talking at once!)
-> OLI at DOGWOOF will revolutionise theatrical distribution with no exclamation marks
-> OLLY and TOM at TORCHBOX will be scaling up calmly but dramatically
-> NIK, ELLA and PHIL at UNITY will transform Leicester Square for a night
-> ALEX and EMMA at ROGERS & COWAN will herd press
-> PASCALE will herd film festivals, which is trickier than it sounds
-> ALESSANDRO, BERENICE and HENGAMEH at CELLULOID DREAMS will do for every other country what we've done for the UK
-> JANET, SHONA and DAN at ACTION AID will write, design and produce the schools pack in time for Autumn term 2009
-> KATIE B will get 20 language versions translated and subtitled by May
-> FRANCIS, TOM and ROB from MYSOCIETY will hopefully be convinced to do the climate matchmaker web gizmo
-> TAIYO at JELLYHUNTERS will no doubt get his way on the T-shirt colour and other design sticking points
-> HARRY at FREEPORT RECORDS will release the soundtrack album
-> MARK L will sleep in B&Bs across the country so he can say the same thing over and over at different cinemas
-> PIERS G, PETE P and FERNAND P will answer inane questions with smiles on their faces
-> GEORGE M will download his brain into ED M's
-> EMILY J will overrule egos for the good of the Making Of
-> ANDY D will wade through tapes for DVD Extra gems
-> VERY FAMOUS BAND X will remix a song by VERY FAMOUS BAND Y to be the single of the movie
-> ANTHONY S will revolutionise Norwich
-> STUART S will go forth and multiply the film's impact, street by street
-> GREG at PHOTON SHEPHERDS will make the killer viral animation
-> PEOPLE AND THE PLANET will rouse students and sixth formers
-> JOHN or ANDREW at PASSION will come in for the big deals
-> JEN at CLIMATE RUSH will ensure that the conversion begins with a simple Stupid or Not Stupid sticker
-> SIMON B and DAN G will pack out Scottish cinemas
-> ANDY M and SUSANNAH will continue oiling wheels
-> DAVID H will smarten up the trailer before it's committed to 35mm film 500 times
-> NIGEL at THE FARM will make the trailer's sound come out of five speakers instead of two
-> TAMSIN at BINDMANNS will watch our backs
-> ROBERT at WORKING FILMS will hopefully run the US action campaign
-> BONNIE, IAN and BARNEY at THE FARM will get through the never-ending post-production list with great chocolate biscuits
-> CHRIS B will rejig music for the DVD
-> KAREN R will take lots of snaps
-> MICHAEL M will teach Franny and Lizzie to speak, thanks to FRED M
-> KEVIN at MKL will do the sums so we pass all future VAT inspections too
-> TONY J will put his big brain on the case
-> CIEL and ALL LIVING THINGS will help fundraise
-> NARESH at GREEN THING will crack the poster riddle, we hope
-> ONECLIMATE will join up international viewers and then subtly turn them into activists
-> FRIENDS OF THE EARTH will think and then plan and then act
-> THE EDEN PROJECT will hopefully screen the film every day for a year
-> IAN at WWF will pull off his big plan involving a national treasure and a global cinema chain
-> GREENPEACE will do what they do best, stupidly
-> TRACEY at LOW CARBON COMMUNITIES will coordinate music, cakes, stalls and shoulders to cry on at each cinema
.... and of course LIZZIE and YOURS TRULY will be putting our feet up, as ever.

So I hope you all have plenty of rest over the holidays, ready for 2009,
the year humanity finally realises its potential and becomes not stupid.

See you