Cancel the premiere

Location | Mood | Date 8 March 2009
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Franny Armstrong
8 March 2009
Morning all,  
We've been contacted in the last few weeks by everyone from Obama* and Kofi Annan to Miliband and Prince Charles, but by far my favourites are these two: 
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1. From a supporter in Inverness

Dear Age of Stupid team,

As a volunteer member of three environmental groups nr Inverness, Highlands, I remember just 4 weeks ago seeing a flurry of emails about a film Age of Stupid, an environmental must-see. Information was sketchy but at meetings it was decided to try for a table/presence at the cinema (Eden Court Inverness) and as I had the time  I contacted Eden on behalf of those groups. It was clear that other groups had the same idea and Eden Court was delighted when I volunteered to act as coordinator between all groups and Eden Court……..this was clearly the best decision I have taken in many years!
Word was put out and soon I found myself the hub of 12 environmental groups networking, making new friends, passing ideas, and making plans for joint meetings and film showings in the future. I launched a new Transition Town Project to get local people to help build a viable food seed bank in Inverness for when the food distribution network cashes post oil, and fed it out through this very new and inter enviro network……..low and behold I have had offers of space/land, seed storage facilities and 3 independent groups doing seed storage on a small scale made contact all within a week!
We now have the following groups attending AoS for the whole week 20th to 26th – Trees for Life, Friends of the Earth Scotland (Inverness & Ross), Transition Town Inverness, Transition Black Isle, Transition Town Forres, Highlands & Islands Green Party, Ross-shire Waste Aware Network (RoWAN), Energy Saving Advice Centre Highlands & Islands, Highlands Environmental Network (TBC), The Findhorn Foundation (TBC)
So far and with less than 9 days to the premiere and 14 to the main showing, the Age of Stupid film has brought together local environmental groups from a wide area some of whom didn’t know the others existed, representatives from different groups attending meetings of other groups to listen and share ideas, a new network of like minded friends who are now discussing the possibility of an autumn gathering of all local groups in one place for tea/coffee and a chin wag! Imagine then the friendships that will forge every evening when these groups meet at the showings to talk to filmgoers; the optimism here in Inverness is exciting and electric.

2. From the President of the Maldives

(Can't tell you exactly what he said, but everyone at every cinema at the People's Premiere will hear the video message he's recording for us tomorrow, which will be beamed out on the satellite link. I just read the draft and have to admit being moved to tears for the first time in the entire six year Stupid marathon.)
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So job done, don't you think? Cancel the premiere and retire? 
Last Chance To Grab a Ticket to the Solar Tent

On Monday at 5pm we're going to be selecting the winner of our competition to win a pair of tickets to the solar tent premiere.  All you have to do to get your name into the electronic hat is donate 50 pounds or more to the Not Stupid campaign.  We've had about 30 entries so far, so you've got a pretty good chance of winning, especially compared to the lottery which is, what, 30 million to one?

Wanna star in your local paper?
We are not doing too well at selling out some of the regional cinemas, but have a cunning plan which we're hoping some of you could help with. If you are an investor or crew member, or if you are speaking at one of the premieres, then please call up your local paper on Monday (time is very tight cos of their print deadlines) and suggest they do a story on your involvement in the film. "Local Art Student Animates Climate Blockbuster", "Cambridge Family Hoping to Strike Rich on Pete Postlethwaite's New Movie", you get the idea. Our pal Frank, who wrote some of the music, has already managed to pull off a "Local Lad Composes Hit Movie Soundtrack" feature in the Southport Visitor. If you convince your rag to do a story - but not before, as she is already having a nervous breakdown - please get in touch with our press agent, Alex Sayer, who will be able to provide them with photos or quotes from Pete (not an interview with him) or an interview with me or whatever else they need. Alex is on
Of course the key point is that they mention the details of whichever premiere cinema is nearest to them. List here:
A few examples of local press and blogs, though these are all before we thought of the new plan: 
We've also made it onto the front page of the Government's climate website: 
and lots of NGOs:
Oli's cunning plan begins to work
I learned a few more details about the Inconvenient Truth release yesterday, which were a little sobering. Yes it's true that they opened in just a couple of cinemas in opening week BUT they had a MILLION POUND advertising campaign to pack out those cinemas and expand into week two. Whereas we are counting our pennies trying to save up for just one advert in a national paper and possibly another in Time Out.
But don't despair just yet. The cinemas in Oxford and Islington - which both sold out their premieres almost immediately - have come back and booked more screenings in week two (we'll put up the details on the website as soon as we have them), so it seems that it is possible for our plan to work. We just have to keep plugging away trying to sell all the premiere tickets. 
Few more volunteers needed in London tomorrow
We've been frantically writing and designing the action packs that the first 15,000 cinema viewers will receive. Big kudos to Phil the unflappable eco printer from KopyKats who's had his presses churning night and day to get our stickers/certificates/LocalActionPlans/posters ready for Lily's team of hardy volunteers who met at 10 this morning to start packing them up. Lily needs four more people tomorrow, in Islington, if anyone's at a loose end:
The premiere rollercoaster continues
GOOD: The solar tent will have its own special bike park with volunteer security guards and the friendly Bike Doctor giving everyone's bike a free service. So cool. 
BAD:  The company which was going to give us an old green carpet have decided to throw it away instead (we suspect that their eco-credentials were not quite what they claimed and they got scared of being found out). Don't suppose anyone has a 60metre used green carpet lying around?!?
GOOD: Pedal-powered popcorn maker (see attached) is go.
BAD:  We'd managed to find some reused netting stuff which is apparently not-optional for covering the security barriers or something. Normally film premieres just buy them new every time, but obviously we didn't want to do that, so Ella persuaded someone to give us their cast-offs.... but then they forgot and threw them out... 
GOOD: ... but, never fear, the ever-inventive gal has sourced 250 used coffee sacks (fair trade bien sur) which are now being unpicked and stitched together by another gang of volunteers
BAD: We haven't sold enough tickets. Oh yeah, I already mentioned that. 
GOOD: The speaker list is getting more and more impressive by the hour:
SCARY: Jennifer Aniston's haircut for her last film launch cost more than our whole premiere. 
Over and out, 
* Well, Obama's people anyhow