For any movie maker the first weekend of release is crucial in the life of a film. Having a big opening weekend is important, and what follows over the coming weeks usually dictates if a film will break even or go into profit. But maximising the box office of the entire theatrical run should always be paramount.
We’ve all seen those headlines following the release of a major blockbuster – claims that the film had the “biggest opening weekend ever,” shattering box office records that may have been set the previous week by another movie. We understand this is an important marketing ploy, which becomes more important as movies are released into our cinemas. But what if there are fewer blockbusters around and not that many screens to show them on, thanks to a pandemic?
This is where we introduce you to first time Director GUY DAVIES. Not only did he write and direct his debut movie – PHILOPHOBIA but he also did the marketing and online promotion himself, even down to getting the posters printed. There wasn’t a huge team of people who swung into action to spread the word, Guy literally did it all himself. He just picked up the phone, called the cinema owners and did his sales pitch.
The result was, he not only got his film into some of out biggest screens, but he gave the ‘Hollywood Blockbusters’ a bit of a run for their money.
Philophobia is about the last week of school, a snapshot of adolescence, love, sex and friendship, and that strange period in our lives where we can sometimes drift aimlessly into adulthood.
“Philophobia is the summer that our teens didn’t get to have this year because of COVID: That last week of exams, partying, school pranks, last chance relationships with the crush you’ve had for years, reconciliation and solidifying friendship before school is done for good and you’re moving on.”
“The process all along with this movie has been a fully independent production. No government or grant money. Low budget and a grassroots funding effort in the local area where the film was made and we’ve gone to cinemas directly to make this release happen.”
The film is set in Gloucestershire, where Guy grew up, but he is Welsh on his Dad’s side and still has strong links here. So that seemed like as good a reason to put a Zoom call into to him to chat about the film, which incidentally is still screening at the Showcase in Cardiff.
We talked about the film itself, the casting process, getting it into cinemas in the middle of a pandemic and the fact it took on a huge blockbuster in the shape of Christopher Nolan’s TENET – and won in some screenings. Philophobia has also collected a cabinet full of awards along the way, including Best Film at the International Film Festival of Wales last year at Cardiff Cineworld.
PHILOPHOBIA is currently playing at the Showcase Cardiff Nantgarw and is screening all week. If you’d like to book your tickets, just go here SHOWCASE