Sunday, February 21, 2016

AUSTRALIA Warp and Working Title's subsidiaries down under


IMDB's list of Carver Productions' 3 films - actually Warp Films Australia productions


The UK already provides substantial tax advantages that make it an attractive location for film production - so too does Ireland (North and South have their own specific tax benefits, thus Game of Thrones joining other major TV series in shooting in Belfast).

So too does Australia. It also has a longstanding tradition of skilful low budget filmmaking, including the Ozploitation era, and breakthrough films like Mad Max.

Acordingly, both WT and Warp have set up offices down under and have overseen a variety of productions.

Warp Films Australia has produced three so far: Snowtown; Shopping; Partisan. They have received government (local and national) funding in Australia.

The label may reappear as a co-producer, with Mark Herbert saying they plan to work in Australia again, but the co-founders of the Aussie subsidiary have left to form Carver Pictures (working in both TV and film, like Warp).

This is actually typical of Warp, which can be considered a real talent incubator (as can BBC Films, Film4, and the government-funded agencies - the BFI, but previously the UKFC and its still running regional wings such as Screen Yorkshire).

ScreenDaily - co-founders of Warp Films Australia to go it alone with new Carver Films:
Snowtown and Partisan producers Anna McLeish and Sarah Shaw are moving on from Warp Films Australia to launch production outfit Carver Films with a slate that includes Nick Cave adaptation The Death of Bunny Munro.
McLeish co-founded Warp Films Australia six years ago with ’71 and This Is England producers Warp UK, which will discontinue the Warp Films Australia banner but where possible will look to continue to produce with the territory. 
McLeish and Shaw produced Kurzel’s acclaimed debut Snowtown, Ariel Kleiman’s Vincent Cassel starrer Partisan, which premiered at Sundance this year, and New Zealand drama Shopping, which played in Sundance and Berlin.
Carver is also set to cut its teeth in TV, entering into a development and co-production deal with Australian production outfit Matchbox Pictures ...
“It’s been an exhilarating journey with Warp,” McLeish told Screen. “Sarah and I remain drawn to creating content with the same kind of exceptional talent we’ve worked with to date, in Australia and abroad. We look forward to unveiling more of that with Carver.”
“What Anna and Sarah have achieved in a short time is fantastic and we fully support their decision to set up their own production company,” said Warp UK’s Mark Herbert.
“We’ve enjoyed working with them and Warp will still continue to make productions in Australia and with Australian talent.”



Typically bare bones official site

A key detail; many Warp films go VoD/straight-to-DVD
Includes some exterior shots filmed in Georgia.
IMDB. story on soundtrack composer.
Official site.
Protagonist Pictures (co-producers) page; 'about us'.
RottenTomatoes: 56% (user 44%)
TwitchFilm - who reported on the production announcement:
Warp Films are crushing it in independent cinema right now. In addition to the UK company constantly churning out modern classics such as This is England, Kill List, Down Terrace and Berberian Sound Studio, its Australian division has produced Snowtown and 2013 Sundance-selected Shopping in quick succession. Now comes news that their third film, Partisan (also undoubtedly Sundance-bound) is moving forward, with hot-ticket thespian Oscar Isaac in the lead.

Partisan will be the feature debut of Australian director Ariel Kleiman, whose short film Deeper Than Yesterday - made as Ariel's graduate film at the Victorian College of the Arts - was one of the most impressive student shorts of the past decade. 

With this casting announcement only a short synopsis was provided: 

The story follows a vengeful man who brings up his children to attack the world that wronged him.

If-com announce the production; NB: Australian local and national government funding played a key role, not just tax breaks:
The local production house is currently locking in the last component of its funding after Film Victoria today announced a $245,000 commitment following the South Australian Film Corporation’s $212,000 investment last December.
“We’ve had such a great response that it will happen and we’re looking to shoot it by the end of August at the latest,” Warp Films Australia's managing director Anna McLeish said.
Warp Films Australia, which was set up in mid-2008, has effectively licensed the UK-based Warp brand and its production methodology.
“The production methodology that surrounds the film and its approach is very much a ‘Warp’ one,” McLeish said. “There are some less traditional ways that we are approaching it which we’re buoyed about.”
The SAFC investment was made to the company’s Warp X iniative, which largely centres on low-budget and digital filmmaking.
Warp Films Australia also received $400,000 in funding via Screen Australia’s Enterprise Program last September to developing a feature slate encompassing low-budget genre films, mid-range features and Australian-UK co-productions.
MovieInsider - as The Snowtown Murders (the re-naming makes the topic clearer! The same happened to debut director Coz Greenop's UK micro-budget £30k feature Wandering Rose ... which became Demon Baby for its US DVD and VoD release! No MPAA release as it didn't get a full US release.

 BoxOfficeMojo - US release only ... $8k total!
Wiki - note the box office figures, which include two links to the same BoxOfficeMojo I used above when I tried them, are plainly inaccurate - a warning on using/relying on Wikis!
Right budget - see quote in this article - but wrong box office
ScreenDaily review.
Warp website entry.
Protagonist Pictures produced this press/sales pack for the Cannes Film Festival.
mUmBrella - good insight into the production process and the financing:
The theme didn’t hurt the financing process for the film, which had a budget of “between $2-3m”.
“Regardless of the project, financing is always a challenge,” said Shaw. “We got a lot of momentum based on the script really early on, and we were very fortunate that we had investors who believed in the project and came on board from day one. There’s a small component of private investment, as well as funds from Screen Australia, Film Victoria, the South Australian Film Corporation, the Adelaide Film Festival Fund and Omnilab Media.”
“We used a lot of natural light. There were lots of interiors, and many of those locations were in housing commission flats that have their blinds and shutters down, with only little slitters of light coming from under the door or through a little window in the toilet. Those Caravaggian sources of light seemed to be picked up better on 16mm than on digital.”

Wiki - none; sufficiently obscure to be nudged out by a 1994 UK Indie. It is mentioned in the Warp Wiki, there just isn't any page for it.

MovieInsider - none; no sign of release beyond NZ/Aus, although they tried - setting up a US promo screening:
The duo’s previous short films Run and The Six Dollar Fifty Man won awards in Cannes and Sundance. NZ Film is selling here and has a promo to show buyers. Madman has Australia/NZ rights.(ScreenDaily)
NZ Film Commission.
If-com announce Warp production.
ScreenDaily announce production.
mUmBrella announce production.
BoxOfficeMojo - none.
Variety review - notably from the Berlin Film Festival, a good indication/example of the potential for exposure and distribution pick-up these represent (even if there was no US pick-up in this case, a review from a prestigious publication is a strong selling point for distribution, and potentially persuasive factor in audience awareness/preparedness to try out a non-franchise Indie)

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