News Reel & Blog

Written by Jack Hopkins on 30th April 2018

There’s been a constant debate regarding the creative industries in the UK, how much funding they require and how they should adapt. We’re going to have a look at the future of the creative industries, how they inspire future creatives and the impact they have on society.  

 In terms of economics, The Scotsman has highlighted Brexit as a major player in what happens to the creative industries. They mention that ‘touring and live events will be at risk because of the potential loss of technical talent from the EU, and is worth £127 billion to the UK every year.’ Brexit, by definition, will undoubtedly impact the way we interact with Europe and it still remains to be seen how much of a dent it will make in the funds made available to the creative industries. But the effect that it will have on tourism and the live events industry is huge, as ‘its growth is on a par with the digital sector we hear so much about.’

 In light of the news that more than £150 million will be invested to boost cultural and creative businesses across Britain, The Telegraph has reported there’s been a wave of positivity spreading across the creative landscape, with the discovery that there was a huge amount of positive tweets that ‘specifically welcomed the £33m for immersive technologies such as virtual and augmented reality.’

 The above funding and positivity towards the industries will help usher in the next generation of creatives. VICE UK and their new ‘Film School’ initiative is a great example of a scheme that looks to provide a creative platform to build careers off of. They have partnered with Panasonic Lumix to create, as Little White Lies reports, ‘a stand-alone digital platform and resource hub, providing advice, behind-the-scenes insight, and how-to tips for every stage of the filmmaking process.’

 This trust and backing of new creatives will ultimately bring through revolutionary ideas that could improve certain aspects of society. The News has reported on a new project by The University of Portsmouth that ‘brings together virtual reality, motion capture and audience participation, is helping to provide a greater understanding of dementia.’ They launched the project at the Creative XR Showcase, in London, where it was shown to industry partners, commissioners, investors and members of the public, which consequently earned them funding to build a prototype!

 There seems to be a domino effect within the creative industries and it stems from the economic backing from the government. Hopefully this will be a widely discussed subject in the upcoming local elections, as the creative industries continue to justify why they’re so important.

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Written by Jack Hopkins on 27th April 2018

Should classic TV shows, movies and games be remade? It’s an age old discussion that splits fans in half - those purist fans who want leave something alone  and those fans that want to see more from one of their favourites. Each side has a valid argument but both sides seem to get ignored if there’s enough money to be made. We’re going to look at reboots from across the spectrum and determine whether reboots are good, bad or just downright ugly.

There’s been a lot of reboots on TV recently, each with varying success. Time Commanders came back for a brief stint at the end of 2016, hosted by Greg Wallace (which sounds like an obscure Alan Partridge idea for a show). Robot Wars has come and gone again with mixed reviews and World of Sport Wrestling’s return has just been announced after a 30 year hiatus. Generally though, there seems to be a more nostalgic feel to televisual reboots that eliminates an element of risk, when compared to  a filmic one.

Saying that, there have been plenty of film remakes that have been met with plaudits. Casino Royale, way back in 2006, is deemed to be one of the great recent remakes and is still considered one of the best James Bond films. Spiderman has been remade more times than we care to remember, but they’ve all had huge successes at the box office. Both Spiderman and Casino Royale have malleable lead characters that seem to enable their remakes to exist as stand alone films rather than exact replicas.

Westworld is an interesting case though, as it was originally a film which has been remade as a television series. It seems to have worked, as it’s hugely anticipated second season has just started and has sparked a hugely positive reaction. It could also act as metaphor for the new SVOD trend, that has stolen the limelight and audiences from movies – which could also show why the television version of a film has gone down so well with contemporary audiences.

There’s been some good and a lot of dross - what’s your worst and favourite remake?

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Written by Jack Hopkins on 13th April 2018

MIPTV is the place to be if you’re in the buying, selling, financing and distributing entertainment content market. It takes place in the (usually) sunny Cannes and over the last few days there were some huge announcements and ground-breaking deals made – here are our highlights from this year’s event.

The head of content strategy and planning at Facebook kicked off the week with a digitally charged talk about technology in the entertainment sphere, and the restrictions that surround it in a saturated marketplace. Matthew Henick stated that, “the issue with these golden ages is innovation becomes harder; it reduces creative risk-taking.” With 70% of the consumption of Netflix occurring on a television maybe it’s going to be the quality of content that’s going to make companies stand-out rather than their innovative ways of delivering it?

Robert Rodriguez also rocked up at Cannes to talk about his latest project, The Limit. The Machete, Sin City and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn director is returning with a live-action, short form virtual-reality series. It will premiere  on Surreal, a VR app being launched after for VR headsets later this year in an attempt to attract a younger, millennial audience through their smartphones.

The scripted web-series, Carmilla, won this year’s MIPTV 2018 Brand Content of the Year award.It follows the life of a vlogging student whose roommate goes missing, and is replaced by the mysterious Carmilla. The series has taken the digital world by storm, with over 71m views on YouTube and being  viewed in over 190 countries.

Finally, there was also an insightful talk on the influx of more substantial female characters in scripted drama. The overriding consensus was that it was the rise of women in show running, direction and production that was the main antagonist for the change if roles in television series’, best witnessed in shows like Homeland  and Black Mirror.

We hope everyone had a great time out there, even if it was raining for most of it!

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Written by Jack Hopkins on 6th April 2018

We all recognise Joaquin Phoenix from his earlier roles in Signs and Gladiator, but he’s gradually found his recent calling in quirkier roles that have sculpted his career, in one way or another. From his self-enforced hiatus/retirement after his appearance in 2010’s I’m Still Here, he’s been working on stylish roles that have refined his acting skills, making him as one of the finest (and in demand) actors around.

His return to acting in 2012 in The Master sparked this change of direction for Joaquin. He’s always  been an actor that has chosen quality over quantity, performing in one film a year for most of his career. Her in 2013 and Inherent Vice in 2014 both received critical acclaim and have now elevated him to a point where the roles are coming in thick and fast.

This year’s You Were Never Really Here has sparked a new era for Joaquin. He stars as Joe, an ex-marine turned hitman who goes on a rampage to try and save a local girl from a whole world of trouble. Phoenix delivers an incredibly steely yet relentless performance, adding yet another stylish string to his experienced bow.

Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Away On Foot (which is coming out later this year) couldn’t be further away from his performance in You Were Never Really Here. The film follows John Callaghan and his life from his accident at the age of 21 to his sobriety which began at the age of 27. 43 year old Phoenix plays the 27 year old in the last stages of his life, so it’ll be interesting how he makes the transition from a relentless killer to a vulnerable alcoholic. Also this year, which could be seen as a metaphor for his rise to an even higher level of acting, Joaquin plays Jesus in Garth Davis’ Mary Magdalene which follows Rooney Mara as Mary (Rooney Mara), on her quest to elevate herself in a male-orientated world.

Joaquin has three more film lined up for release in 2019 which we’re so excited for, further showing how his majestic rise to acting stardom is set to continue.

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