The year is over, where did it go?
It seems like weeks not months ago that it was January and I was optimistically planning what I hoped to achieve through the year. At the top of the list was the release of High On Hope. I had finished 2012 on a high with a series of screenings in the North West. Taking the film back to its birth place was such an amazing experience. 400 people, packed in to King George’s Hall in Blackburn, whooped and cheered all the way through the screening. The venue in Salford was a sell out and the questions from the audiences showed just how much the film meant to those from the other side of Lancashire too. 2013 was meant to build on momentum.
One of the difficulties of being an independent film maker is how to make a living while you are trying to raise finance for your projects. When I am not shooting and editing my own projects I am working on other peoples. This is how I pay my bills and put food on the table. (For the last ten years I have worked on High On hope and not paid myself a penny). The months of work and screenings of the film had taken time and I now needed to earn some money again. The first few months of the year were taken up with this -but in April I got a break for the film.
You never know where your luck will come from and one of the reason I do the screenings and festival showings of the film is in the hope that one person in the audience might be the saviour who comes to the rescue to pay for the music clearance. Perhaps an ex party person who has now made their fortune and wants to give something back to the scene that shaped them? This nearly happened last year.
Someone who had seen the film in London, let’s call him John, was chatting with a guy at a business seminar in Hong Kong, let’s call the other guy Pat. John and Pat started taking about where they were from, and although Pat now lived in New York he was originally from the north west of England but had made millions in publishing in America. Somehow acid house came up in the conversation and it turns out Pat was an ex party person. John told him about the film and he was very interested and luckily for me Pat got in touch. He said he wanted to pay for the music clearance and get the film out to the public through one of his online magazines. He passed me through to his head of online media and and we started discussing the finer details. In my excitement I posted up on Facebook that I had some good news coming. Perhaps I should have waited.
After weeks of negotiations we were about to get to the contract when the guy disappeared. He stopped returning my emails, so I got back in touch with Pat. He explained that the guy had left and put me in touch with his replacement. This new guy didn’t have the same enthusiasm for the film and two weeks later told me they were no longer going to continue with the agreement. I was gutted, we had come so close!
So here we are, another year has gone by and still no release. But I am not losing faith. I am still determined to get this film out.
Some people have asked why I don’t do a crowd funding appeal on kickstarter.com? Well this would take a month of planning and another month of the appeal and I just dont have 2 months where I can give up work at the moment. If a team of volunteers came on board and helped share the load maybe that would be achievable but it’s a big ask.
I still have hope that a benefactor will come along and to do that I know I must keep the film in the public eye. So with that in mind I am doing another screening. I have still not shown the film in Manchester so I am planning a screening for the early part of 2014. If you still haven’t seen High On Hope I think this will be a great night as there are a couple of other very special acts lined up to go with it. If you have seen the film and liked it, let those who didn’t see it know they have a chance to watch it on a big screen. And if you have a mate who has has made it big, please encourage them to come to the screening, perhaps they will be the one who will come to the rescue and 2014 will be the year the film finally comes out?
Piers Sanderson – January 2nd 2014.