Hollywood make big budget movies (lots of glitz, glamour and big explosions), France makes avant-garde films (experimental), whilst here in Britain we make quirky comedies and I want ClingFilm to be a quintessential British Film Company that follows in that tradition.
You see. Whilst the British Film Industry doesn’t have the big budgets to make hit movies, we can still hold our own and we do this by having brilliant writers and seriously good home grown character actors: Charlie Chaplin, Norman Wisdom and Timothy Spall to name but three and that’s why we always produce hit after hit after hit along the lines of ‘Kind Heart And Coronets’ (1949) to ‘Life of Brian’(1979) to ‘Love Actually’ (2003) and more.
By the way. I’m not knocking the American film industry, they are very good at what they do and they make spectacular profits for their backers. But, personally (with the odd exception) I find their films boring. Gone are the days when they had ‘real’ stars: Humphrey Bogart (dangerous charisma), Cary Grant (debonair and witty) and James Stewart (irresistibly likeable). Who were followed by the equally watchable: Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Clint Eastwood, who were in turn followed by: Robert De Niro, Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt, (all master craftsmen in the art of acting). Now Hollywood’s leading men (Van Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Ving Rhames) who not only all look the same, but they all play the same role too.
I don’t want to judge other peoples work, but equally I don’t to make films with predictable story lines, like ‘Fast & Furious 8’ (a film about Dwayne Johnson driving a car ‘fast’ and erm ‘furiously’) which is now on it’s eighth instalment and each one is a carbon copy of the previous seven! The problem is that when Hollywood has a hit movie, they turn it into a franchise and milk it to death. Basically they write to a formula and then repeat it with a bigger budget, which translates into: bigger explosions, bigger locations and bigger special effects.
Over the past year I’ve seen practically ever major release and I can honestly say that I have only seen three decent films (‘Viceroy's House’, ‘Victoria & Abdul’ and ‘Breathe’) and as for the rest, well were do you start? Films like the deeply disturbing clown, horror movie ‘IT’, the psychological thriller ‘The Killing of a Sacred Deer’ and horrific beyond belief ‘Mother’ (which stared three A-list American actors and had a budget of over £30 million) and ended with a mother having her newly born baby ripped apart and eaten before her very eyes! Whose bankrolling this stuff and why?
Whereas the kind of films I want to make will be thought provoking, with a feel-good ending, that dare I say, promote old fashioned Christian values. God knows I don’t want to proselytise, but I do want to make inspirational films, - ones that will leave you feeling uplifted when you leave (‘The Kings Speech’, ‘Invictus’, Slumdog Millionaire’).
Now what’s wrong with that?
Let’s make film