Magazine article Screen International

Screen Film Summit: Marketing 'Legend', '45 Years', 'Beyond Clueless'

Magazine article Screen International

Screen Film Summit: Marketing 'Legend', '45 Years', 'Beyond Clueless'

Article excerpt

The people behind the releases of three of 2015's standout British film camapigns discussed their processes at the Screen Film Summit today (Dec 10)

Hugh Spearing, head of marketing at Studiocanal, presented Legend, which stars Tom Hardy as the East End's notorious gangster twins Ronald and Reggie Kray.

The film opened to £5.1m over 5-days and went on to take £18.2m in the UK, the company's second highest-grossing film behind Paddington.

Jon Rushton, head of theatrical distribution at Curzon Artificial Eye, discussed 45 Years, which became the biggest ever day-and-date release in the UK when it crossed £1m, before going on to gross £1.8m theatrically.

Charlie Lyne, the director of micro-budget Beyond Clueless, talked the audience through making and marketing his essay film about teen movies, which took £35,000 from a limited release and sold to Netflix for a two year spell.

The session was chaired by Paul De Carvalho of 3 Mills Studios.

A legendary concept

When approaching Legend, Hugh Spearing and Studiocanal believed from the start that they had the concept for a hit.

"The reason we got involved in the film was the central idea of Tom Hardy, who was becoming an iconic British actor, playing both of the Kray twins, iconic figures themselves," said Spearing.

The company took the project to Cannes, showing rehearsal footage of Tom Hardy in character at the festival, an approach Spearing described as highly successful: "It sold incredibly well before it even started shooting."

In the first week of production, the company released a still of Tom Hardy in character as both Ronald and Reggie Kray; even though the image wasn't a part of the actual film, it proved very popular, particularly online, and is still used to promote the film today.

The next step was releasing an initial teaser trailer for the film, which quickly became Studiocanal's biggest trailer ever in terms of online interest. "That meant we knew there was interest" recalled Spearing.

As a result of the buzz generated, he said the company felt confident utilising "a big budget across all types of media".

In particular, the social media campaign for Legend proved highly successful. "It was our most successful and engaged campaign to date," recalled Spearing.

The company also managed to make use of the burgeoning stardom of Tom Hardy, who Spearing notes is often reluctant to do much press or social media but in the case of Legend was very engaged.

The resulting hype saw the film open strongly and go on to be one of 2015's top 20 releases in the UK. "It didn't just work in London," noted Spearing, referencing the film's success in locations such as Portsmouth, Norwich and Sheffield.

45 Years

Curzon Artificial Eye were coming offthe back of the Bafta and Oscar-winning Still Alice when the company began considering how to market 45 Years. "That encouraged us to think of 45 Years as an awards film," notes Jon Rushton.

The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, where it received rave reviews and Silver Bear acting awards for its co-stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay.

When designing the artwork for the film, Rushton noted that they wanted to avoid conventional design tropes of films aimed at older audiences, but they also didn't want to position it as an arthouse film. …

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