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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Warp X: Low Budget DIGITAL Film Production Co

There are a series of materials I'll add to this, as well as posts on the films This is England and Donkey Punch which we've looked at to varying degrees; many are linked below. I'll revise this doc and add a fuller summary.
Warp contrasts nicely (effectively forms a binary opposition) with the juggernaut that is WT (whilst sharing the same roots).
There's much more detail in the docs that follow, but some key points:
  • just like WT, the key personnel behind Warp gained their initial filmic experience in music videos (Warp was initially a record label)
  • Warp Films was set up first, followed in 2006 by Warp X - both are essentially the same company, but WX was specifically funded by the UKFC to the tune of £3m (EM Media & Screen Yorskhire added £1.5m [total £4.5m]) to produce 6 films in 3 years and to foster the development of low-budget digital film-making in the UK. WT's low-budget subsidiary, WT2, spends more than this on any one of its releases!
  • Optimum Releasing handles distribution (TV rights to C4/Film4) - hardly on the same scale as WT with their tie-ins with Universal and Studio-Canal providing distribution deals for the USA and Europe
  • Just as with WT in their early days (with MBL), Warp has had critical acclaim for some of its initial output, including Shane Meadows' TisEng and Dead Man Walking
  • forging long-term creative relationships seems to be another trait they share with WT (perhaps they've studied what has made WT such a success?), with Paddy Considine and Shane Meadows two examples of this
  • amazingly enough, given the tiny budgets they work on, Warp has even found time to launch its own offshoots, or subsidiaries: as well as a competition for female comedy film-makers, it has sought to set up a production arm in Australia, taking advantage of government funding there

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