Ben Wheatley's latest project was released simultaneously on TV, DVD, VOD and in the cinema. Here I talk to the executive producer of the film about whether this bold strategy is working.

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  • Comment number 39. Posted by ferlicaaudept

    on 8 Feb 2014 09:45

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  • Comment number 38. Posted by D_A_I_S_Y

    on 26 Aug 2013 22:07

    I honestly couldn't predict if this kind of distribution would reduce piracy, but it seems to be pleasing some people. I don't know why we always have to wait some time before films are released on DVD after their cinema releases - this annoys me, as I've got to wait months before I can own something I loved or see something I missed. But over the past couple of years I've been to see several films in the cinema that I'd only ever seen on TV: Black Narcissus, Chariots of Fire, Jaws, Some Like it Hot. I saw them because I wanted to experience them on a big screen. I just watched a recording of A Field in England on TV, but would rather have seen it in the cinema. I hope that simultaneous release won't reduce the time a film is available at the cinema, because this is the main reason I miss films that I want to see: they are only released for a couple of weeks. There appears to be no information available that tells customers of the length of time films will be in cinemas for, and this would be extremely useful, as if the time is shorter, I'll see that one first, thanks.

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  • Comment number 37. Posted by anniemouse

    on 22 Jul 2013 17:29

    Is there any chance that using this release strategy disqualifies a movie from obtaining award nominations/potential wins?.

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  • Comment number 36. Posted by Ernie Stephenson

    on 18 Jul 2013 15:52

    I think the simultaneous release is a good idea. I don't expect big budget block-busters would want to do this however. Ultimately you cannot stop pirating, as long as there's a cost involved you will have pirates.!

    Making the cinema cheaper would probably have greater impact.

    Ultimately, in the near future, i'd expect we would be able to download/stream direct from the source (producer) onto our 100 inch flat screen TV's. A more flexible type of pay per view without the contract etc.

    Given that choice I would not have streamed this movie... :o(

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  • Comment number 35. Posted by Trousers

    on 17 Jul 2013 04:48

    Being in Melbourne, Australia I've got a ticket to see the film at the Melbourne International Film Festival where it's screening at 11:30PM next Saturday night. This seems like the perfect way to view it and I'd definitely still chose this over any other platform on which to view it.

    I'm interested to know how much of this is success is simply buzz about the daring release strategy and whether this will be adopted by Wheatley and others in the future, or if the wider adoption of strategies like this will see interest diminishing. After all, he isn't the first to do this; Steven Soderberg's 'Bubble' and Michael Winterbottom's (bott-UM heh heh) 'The Road to Guantanamo' followed similar patterns of release and they were both brave and interesting films.

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  • Comment number 34. Posted by MG1889

    on 16 Jul 2013 18:50

    Well it has worked for me as a release strategy. I wanted to see this film, but, like others, work and family commitments meant I was unable to get to any cinema that would show it, which wasn't many in any event. So bought a copy this afternoon and am just setting up to watch it right now!

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  • Comment number 33. Posted by Rosko

    on 16 Jul 2013 17:53

    I would agree with some comments that the multi-format release will not end piracy, as the root cause of file-sharing is over-priced dvds and cinemas combined with a decline in the average quality of major releases (in terms of story, acting, drama as opposed to visuals - overtaken by cable TV e.g. The Sopranos). What it does instead is, it allows Ben Wheatley to make some decent money based on his fanbase, which seems to be quite significant now, while having the film screened NATIONALLY. When we watch on Film4, we are paying via the long adverts at the start and end of the film and through our TV subscriptions to the HD channel via services like BT, Sky and Virgin. In turn this creates word-of-mouth and reviews which boosts DVD and VOD sales. This is better than nothing (not to mention that it easily dwarfs the extremely disciplined budgeting of the film) and it allows Ben Wheatley to further build his audience so that he can secure better distribution for future films. In a way it is sad that we are forced to watch films on TV because the idiots that run distribution and cinema chains refuse to invest in the marketing of interesting films that would be seen by many millions, if people only knew about them. e.g. if you ask how many fans Wheatley has, you could estimate about half a million (perhaps a quarter of them would make the 100 mile round trip to the nearest cinema showing the film) - if you instead ask, how many people are interested in the English Civil War, Alchemy, The League of Gentlemen and Hallucinogens, then you could estimate more like 50 million or so. Why is the film industry not helping this film-maker find his audience? Film4 has done the best it can in a situation created by Hollywood and I applaud their effort.

    (In terms of the film itself, for me Wheatley is like my generation's Kubrick, which I'm sure will make people chuckle, but 'A Field In England' is easily as good as 'Blood On Satan's Claw', 'Wicker Man', 'Salo', 'Walk About' and the other comparisons, plus, it's really funny - It's my belief that while we will have forgotten about other directors, Wheatley will still be making weird esoteric horror infused human-drama in 20 yrs and I can't wait for his next effort).

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  • Comment number 32. Posted by icebadger

    on 15 Jul 2013 21:41

    If small, experimental releases were given just one screen of regular viewings in a 'multiplex' there would be no need for this type of multi-format release.

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  • Comment number 31. Posted by nexkez6

    on 15 Jul 2013 20:42

    Saw the movie on tv as was the same for many people no local cinema was showing it. However it seems to me to be a film that would be reward another watch so i myself would pay to go and see it at the cinema if it comes around.

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  • Comment number 30. Posted by palpon

    on 15 Jul 2013 13:17

    I would have loved to have seen this film at the cinema. I live in Portsmouth and was prepared to make the trip into Southampton harbour lights picturehouse to see it. Unfortunately it has been closed for a short while due to refurbishment. So I and am sure a lot of others has missed out on "the choice" to see this film at the cinema. I hope when the distributors look at the final figures they take this into account, and not jump to the conclusion that the people who where lucky enough to have seen this at the cinema were the only ones who wanted to.
    I settled for watching it on film 4, and loved the film so much i bought the blu ray. Which i would have done as well had i seen it at the cinema. It was a bold move and has possibilities but should not be indicative of how successful it would have been if it had had a cinema only release. I still intend to see this it the cinema if Southampton harbour lights cinema show it now it has re opened

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