Wildseed and Pinewood are joining forces to create a digital-based movie label for millennials.
Named Wildseed Movies, it promises to produce “punky genre feature films aimed at millennial audiences” and to “empower a new generation of talent”.
“Most films are released individually – which means that the producer has to build an audience each and every time for each and every film,” explains Jesse Cleverly, Creative Director at Wildseed Studios, speaking to TenEighty. “The concept behind Wildseed Movies is that we use each successive film to build a community of fans who understand what they will get from us – i.e. kickass British genre films aimed at audiences 15 to 25.
“Community is so different from audience: one you are in a conversation with, the other you monologue at!” Jesse says, adding that fans of Wildseed Movies will have the chance to get involved in the films as extras and crew.
Pinewood Studios will be providing production funding and marketing support for the label, helping Wildseed to engage with younger audiences directly and support new talent. CEO Ivan Dunleavy said: “We are excited by the opportunity to support this business to deliver on its ambitions as it offers Pinewood a unique digital distribution platform and an opportunity to discover aspiring directors.”
The studios intend to distribute films on label solely across digital and SVOD platforms, replacing cinema viewings with fan-requested screenings. “I think that direct-to-fan distribution has a massive effect on the films you can produce,” remarks Jesse, “because, for example, female horror fans might not be a big enough audience to justify a green-light in just the UK, but globally they totally are – and what is more, the more that niche feels like you made a film just for them, the more passionate about it they will be.”
In 2015, Jesse wrote a tongue-in-cheek blog about the list of films you are allowed to make in the UK. He now reiterates the studio’s desire for Wildseed Movies to work on quirkier projects, saying: “We observe that there are a lot of films like The King’s Speech in the UK – i.e. vaguely literary period drama – and not enough are like Shaun of the Dead or Attack the Block, two films we would be very proud to have made.
“All the films [released by Wildseed Movies] will feature characters the ‘millennial’ (sorry, awful word!) audience can relate to – i.e. young people facing the challenges that come with that stage of life as opposed to stressed parents or burned-out 40-something cynics!”
Although the label won’t be releasing its films across traditional media and broadcast platforms, Jesse doesn’t believe that these platforms are necessarily on the way out. “My feeling is that – just like [how], when TV came along, radio didn’t die – all these platforms will coexist, but there is no doubt that the audience we want to reach have no desire to be tied down to linear broadcast schedules. They want to watch what they want where and when they want it, and who can blame them?”
Wildseed Studios are known for their collaborations with YouTube creators, whether it’s on comedy series Philip Human (written by and starring Paul Neafcy), or sci-fi horror film Hungerford and upcoming sequel The Darkest Dawn (written and directed by Drew Casson and featuring a whole host of YouTubers as cast members). The Darkest Dawn will be the first film released under Wildseed Movies, and we ask Jesse whether the label is looking to continue working with YouTubers.
“We are totally interested in working with more YouTube creators both in front of and behind the camera,” he affirms. “They know better than anyone the sorts of stories and characters their audience love. Talent who has grown up on free platforms such as YouTube often lack the support and resources to paint on a movie-sized canvas – which is what Wildseed Movies has been designed to help them do.”
The Darkest Dawn is set for release on 31 October, and more information about Wildseed Movies can be found on Wildseed Studios’ website.
In 2015, TenEighty went behind the scenes on the Darkest Dawn film set, and spoke to some of the cast members. Alternatively, did you hear that Oscar’s Hotel won three Streamy Awards?!