My Dad got a letter from Carnaby International Films Plc recently. Given that my Dad is a retired jewellery maker, this was more than a little surprising since he knows absolute zilch about filmmaking, though I suppose he must have ended up on some sort of mailing list from something or other. Since they're sending out letters to random people like my Dad whom they've never contacted before, I can only suppose they won't mind me reproducing the letter here:
Dear Lucy's Dad (arf),
Carnaby, named by Screen Finance magazine as one of the UK's most prolific film production companies and the producers of last year's cinema release Rise of the Foot Soldier, is pleased to present you with an investment offer. This is your chance of getting involved in the British Film Industry.
Our next feature film, The Long Weekend, is the original brainchild of BAFTA-nominated writer and winner of the famous Raindance Festival's Best UK Feature Film director Julian Gilbey. After the success of Julian's previous films, Rise of the Foot Soldier and Rolling With The Nines, Carnaby has kep together many of the same excellent UK-based production team, including Julian's brother William Gilbey as Editor.
Drawing on such successful classics in the same genre as Deliverance, Wolf Creek and The Descent, The Long Weekend follows the fortunes of young couple Imogen and Tyler as they head to the Rocky Mountains for a weekend fishing trip in a final attempt to salvage their relationship. Everything is going well until they bump into a group of friendly deer hunters, who invite them to join them around a campfire for a drink. As dawn breaks the next morning, the terrible consequences of the previous night's excesses sink in. Imogen flees into the mountains and the hunters soon feel they have no choice but to follow.
Investors will have the opportunity to visit the set and even participate as supporting cast on one or more of the filming days, as well as being invited to the various social events surrounding the production. These may include a Grand Ball and a Gala Screening in the West End of London with the stars of The Long Weekend and other film and television celebrities.
To find out more about this opportunity, please fill out the request card and we will send you a prospectus. We look forward to hearing from you.
Carnaby International Films Plc.
My Dad had put the request card somewhere inaccessible, but I wouldn't have minded filling it in to see what these guys have planned - and also how much you need to invest to be included as they outline in the letter. Thousands? Hundreds? Could you put in as little as £25 maybe? I've heard of sites that promote and make indie films like this before - but that makes more sense to me, since presumably those people who will find them will be interested in indie film: they'll follow links and banners from other sites, or Google word combos to do with the subject matter of making indie film in the first place. This approach by letter seems a much more "hit and miss" affair to me, since presumably many letters will reach people like my Dad who simply aren't interested, no matter how good the prospect is.
What about you lot out in www.land anyway? Is the above letter enough to make you want to invest? If you were going to invest in a film, what would swing it for you: story? Business Model? The fact it has distribution? Do you think this sort of thing is the future of indie filmmaking? Over to you...