Posts Tagged ‘The Devil’s Music’

Hi folks, Pat here.

You may have seen my entry a couple of weeks back about how the release of The Devil’s Music fell through. We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the movie and the situation, and I want to share my plan with you.

Quick recap: The Devil’s Music is our rock and roll horror mockumentary which an awful lot of people think is very cool. It’s described as ‘magnificent’ in MJ Simpson’s Urban Terrors book, ‘swiftly paced and visually inventive’ in Stuart Willis’ The New Flesh and is even positively namechecked a couple of times in Kim Newman’s magnificent Nightmare Movies. AintItCoolNews called it ‘highly recommended’ and namechecked the director’s cut in their countdown of best horror movies of the year. It won Best Independent Feature at the Festival of Fantastic Films. And more. And more.

the-devils-music

We had a short UK release of the original cut when it was streamed by IndieMoviesOnline, a really ahead-of-its-time streaming site which has now unfortunately gone under. IMO treated the film really well, taking out full page ads in the press and (gasp) actually paying us some money. The US release was handled by a company called Lono, who were lovely and wonderful and ceased trading almost as soon as the film came out, effectively deleting it before it had properly hit the shops. All of this meant that by the end of 2010, our film was effectively ‘lost’, (in that, there was no legitimate way for the public to buy the movie very easily) and all the rights came back to us because both IMO and Lono were lovely, honourable companies.

We started setting up a special edition UK DVD release in 2012, working with the wonderful Cine du Monde, which ended up getting delayed for reasons outside of our control until it ran straight into the ridiculous BBFC situation in 2014 that you probably already know about. That DVD special edition, therefore, also remains in limbo. It sits as a pre-order on Amazon but is unlikely to ever materialise in that form. So if you’ve ordered it, you might as well cancel it.

Since running the last piece about this situation, people have emailed me with a lot of suggestions. We’ve looked at everything people have suggested and examined every possibility.

The following is what we’ve come up with..

We’re going to launch the movie on October 21st 2016 on as many platforms as we can afford, in as many territories as we can. And rather than doing my usual magician’s trick of keeping all this under wraps, I’m going to be honest about it as it comes together. Ask me questions on Twitter, make suggestions via the comments here or wherever. I’m been looking at the usual platforms and making the usual kinds of decisions. I’ve been eyeing up aggregators, particularly Distribber, and would love to hear from other filmmakers’ experiences with them.

We don’t have much money in the bank, but we’ve got a cool movie and a handful of people who’ve really enjoyed it.

Let’s see whether that’s enough.

If you’re interested in helping, there are a bunch of things you can do. If you’re a producer who has worked with distribution platforms anywhere in the world that you’ve had a positive experience, it’d be great to hear about it. If you run a genre-based website, magazine or blog, it’d be brilliant if we could generate as much coverage for the movie as possible for the month of October; if you’d like to review a screener, or run an interview, or feature an exclusive image or whatever we’d love to arrange it. Just contact us via Twitter either on my account or the Jinx Media one.

Anything else? Well, we’ll be firing up the long-dormant Facebook page for the movie too, so if you feel like liking and sharing that page (and the Jinx Media one while you’re at it!), that would be awesome. The more visible support the film has, the more possibilities we have in terms of sorting international platforms.

I’m really sorry you guys have waited so long. I’ll be honest about the way this shakes down, so that people can either cheer at this success story or wince at how NOT to do it in future.

We love you guys. Now let’s finally get this goddam movie out there.

 

Between them, they killed the release of our film The Devil’s Music.

It’s a good film that people like, and they killed it.

The Devil's Music

I was worried this would happen when the BBFC introduced changes to their exemption criteria as a result of a DCMS consultation. I hoped that calmer heads would prevail, and the misguided legislation wouldn’t go through.

It did.

The way the BBFC implemented the DCMS changes within their fee structure took our movie from being ready for release in autumn 2014 to being financially non-viable on UK DVD. The additional charges levied against special features meant that the upfront fees to get it through the BBFC went from being a manageable risk to being potentially suicidal from an investment point of view. You can read all about this in an article I wrote for the Huffington Post back at the time. Back when I hoped it might not happen after all.

Back when the DVD was listed as a pre-order on Amazon.

Two years later it’s still listed as a pre-order, but it’s unlikely to ever be fulfilled. The disc had been put together already by the wonderful people at Cine du Monde, but the disc as created would now cost £2000 or more to put through the BBFC. Given that the DVD market is shrinking almost by the week, that kind of an upfront investment in addition to replication costs and so on rendered the disc non-viable. It’s a real shame. It’s a beautiful disc. I’ve got a test pressing of it.

So what? I hear you cry. The future isn’t DVD anyway. Damn the man, skip the BBFC and just go direct digital distribution!

That was my instinct, too, until I began to try and unpick the additional legislative nightmare that is VATmoss – forcing digital distributors to deal with absolutely impossible requirements for tiny companies. It was apparently created to stop massive companies using loopholes, which it doesn’t really do. What it DOES do quite spectacularly, though, is to close all of the options for direct digital distribution for the little guys by creating such an astonishing amount of legal difficulties and paperwork that nobody could ever properly unpick and administer it all without investing thousands.

So, between the BBFC and the insanity of VATmoss, The Devil’s Music was killed dead. The UK DVD release never happened and the intended direct digital release was binned. Here at Jinx, we’ve been concentrating on House on the Witchpit together with our various screenwriting classes and festival shows. Our most critically acclaimed movie has been hanging in limbo; an unfulfilled pre-order and an unreplicated master copy.

Back in 2014, AintItCoolNews reviewed the intended release, saying “The buildup of tension and horror that takes place in here is outstanding and Higgins makes the entire thing feel like the real thing“.

Just last month, WhatCulture listed it as one of the great modern horror films shot for next to nothing.

I hope we’ll find a new way forward. It strikes me as pretty heartbreaking that the release of a movie we worked so hard on, and that so many people seem to really connect with, got strangled by two pieces of ridiculous and ill thought-out legislation.

Another chunk from the 2014 live show “Fake Blood, Real Guts” from Horror-on-Sea. This is a four minute breakdown of how and why I made the choices that I did, starting with our low-fi cult flick TrashHouse and ending up fading out discreetly at around the point I wrote Strippers vs Werewolves. I’m speaking on behalf of nobody but myself, I’m not representing the views of Jinx Media, etc. etc.

I’m aware that many of you guys have been waiting patiently for the Director’s Cut DVD of The Devil’s Music, which has been listed on Amazon for several months but seems to have been subject to a bit of a floating release date.

All I can do is apologise for this one. There have been some issues outside of our control which have resulted in the release date getting bumped a couple of times. This isn’t our fault, or that of our brilliant distributors Cine du Monde, it’s an outside issue which has knocked the schedule over a bit.

I keep waiting for confirmation of a new date, which I very much hope will be sooner rather than later. As you’re hopefully aware, the flick enjoyed a real resurgence of interest last year when the Director’s Cut was reviewed extremely favourably on AintItCool News and was later listed as ‘Worth Noting’ in their countdown of the best horror movies of 2014. Alongside new interviews with Pat about the movie and some other great reviews, it was a good year for the movie.

As soon as we have a concrete new release date, we’ll let you know. Once again, sorry.

In the meantime, here’s the new introduction to the film from the DVD, just to whet your appetite.

Latest newsflashes!

First up, we’re delighted to announce that the Director’s Cut of our award-winning movie The Devil’s Music has signed for distribution in the UK with the wonderful folks over at Cine Du Monde and will be hitting DVD early in 2013. This new cut features some never-before-seen footage (no, not even seen on the previous stuffed-to-the-gills US release) and the disc will be full of brand new exclusive extras.

 

 

In case you’ve forgotten how awesome the movie is, this is the one that won Best Independent Feature at the Festival of Fantastic Films and has been variously described as “Absolutely Terrific” , “Brilliant… A gem to be experienced” , “a wickedly thrilling treat” and “A master class in engrossing story-telling”.

More details on the new disc as we get them through.

Next up.. We’ve got the actual date for the first of the new live shows confirmed!

As we mentioned, the new show will be called “Werewolves, Cheerleaders & Chainsaws: Filming Horror with No Bloody Money” and the first date will be:

Saturday January 19th 2013: Horror-On-Sea Festival

 

We’re still planning the various bits and bobs, (which we’re keeping hush-hush for the moment) but it should be a really fun show. The festival itself is shaping up to be pretty goddamn awesome too, with Alex Chandon’s Inbred hitting the screen as well as our own mighty Nazi Zombie Death Tales and a whole host of other gruesome goodies. Make sure you make a note in your calendar for the festival, and show some support and love for the newest horror treat in the festival calendar.

What else? What else?

Well, how about some absolutely brilliant Death Tales merchandise? Check these suckers out!!

 

These wonderful garments are beautifully designed and look absolutely fantastic. Go and treat yourself (or stock up for your indie-horror loving friends for Christmas) and support independent filmmaking as well as looking cooler than everyone else you meet that day. I promise you, you won’t regret the purchase! CLICK HERE TO GO SHOPPING!

What else? What else?

Well, we’re moving forwards as mentioned on our shoot for House on the Witchpit, which will be Jinx Media’s big project for 2013. Since the funding collapsed on this flick (through no fault of our own, I hasten to add, or indeed the lovely people we were dealing with; this industry is going through horribly difficult times at the moment and companies go bust left, right and centre) we’ve been a little bit in limbo with it, but it’s revving up and moving forwards for next year. We should be announcing some investment opportunities very shortly (we’re looking at various options at the moment) but if you’re interested in potentially getting involved in the project in some capacity a bit further down the line, don’t be afraid to visit the official Jinx Media Facebook page , ‘like’ us and post something on our wall.

 

 

Cast, crew, whatever. It’s always lovely to network with likeminded souls, and the project is shaping up to be awesome. It’s the first time that we’ve ever shot a movie where the main intention was to scare the living shit out of people (rather than broadly entertain/make ’em laugh/intrigue them) and we can’t wait to get started.

What else? What else?

Well, I wrote the words ‘The End’ on the screenplay for Chainsaw Fairytale last night.

But maybe that’s a story for another time…