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Gregory Middleton

Gunless

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We shot this film in Osoyoos BC last May. Its warm , funny well written off kilter western Starring Paul Gross.

And we shot on film....

 

Trailer Link Below

Gunless Trailer

 

Looks great man! Good job. Will it be released worldwide?

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I think theatrically only in Canada, although not sure about NZ. I'm sure it will be out in DVD and Blu-Ray everywhere though later in the year.

Thanks for having a look!

greg

 

Looks great man! Good job. Will it be released worldwide?

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We shot this film in Osoyoos BC last May. Its warm , funny well written off kilter western Starring Paul Gross.

And we shot on film....

 

Trailer Link Below

Gunless Trailer

 

Yeah I'm seeing the ads on TV here in Ontario for it now. That is INCREDIBLY rare in Canada.

 

Any idea how much TeleFILM put into this?

 

R,

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No idea. But the production budget was near 9 million.

g

 

Yeah I'm seeing the ads on TV here in Ontario for it now. That is INCREDIBLY rare in Canada.

 

Any idea how much TeleFILM put into this?

 

R,

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... Canadian features can only be released in Canada.

 

Why? I think this would do quite well here, if they could find a way to get it released. I'd like to see it in a theater with a big audience.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Why? I think this would do quite well here, if they could find a way to get it released. I'd like to see it in a theater with a big audience.

-- J.S.

 

Maybe this will be the first Canadian feature released outside of Canada, who knows?

 

The general rule is that you, "can't sell Canada." Meaning that foreign audiences will not watch programming or movies that is distinctly Canadian. They will watch shows that are American or British of course, but no one has "sold Canada" outside of Canada. Not yet any way.

 

Try explaining to audiences in Brazil that Canada is not part of the USA and is a separate country, it just doesn't fly.

 

R,

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Thanks.

Its a complex equation. No film these days, even hollywood blockbusters, break even in their theatrical revenues alone. TV, DVD, world sales are all part of the mix. You can only hope that a film will find its audience. At the premiere a lot of older people really loved the film, which is great. But the older generation doesn't go out to the multiplex much. The multiplex is for teens, who dominate the paying demographic. That just means that we need to find another way to get them to see it after its theatrical run.

 

But don't forget 'cant sell Canada' applies to every other nation on earth except the US, so we shouldn't think we are alone in this. But I'm a firm believe that a national cinema is important, for any country. Like it or not a lot of history and culture is immortalized in film and tv. Its worth the effort to try and keep that going.

 

Gunless partly exists because of the success of Passchendaele. It did out perform expectations theatrically by a lot, which was a real surprise. It was very exciting to hear strangers talk at a coffee shop about a film I'd worked on, and that it was Canadian. I hope it happens again.

 

 

Maybe this will be the first Canadian feature released outside of Canada, who knows?

 

The general rule is that you, "can't sell Canada." Meaning that foreign audiences will not watch programming or movies that is distinctly Canadian. They will watch shows that are American or British of course, but no one has "sold Canada" outside of Canada. Not yet any way.

 

Try explaining to audiences in Brazil that Canada is not part of the USA and is a separate country, it just doesn't fly.

 

R,

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Remember Paul Hogan from Australia. If you have a good story and/or some good laughs, you can make money everywhere.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Joseph E. Levine that thang. Who needs to know anything about it. Let 'em find out the Canadian part after they've bought their tickets and popcorn.

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Remember Paul Hogan from Australia. If you have a good story and/or some good laughs, you can make money everywhere.

-- J.S.

 

Ah Ha! But he is AUSTRALIAN, that is the key. Australia is unique, it has a unique culture, and you don't sound like Americans. Canadians, look, act, and sound, like Americans. There is nothing unique about Canada that can be marketed over seas. If Americans are not even sure what Canada is, what chance do we have explaining it to people in Japan, or Bolivia?

 

Canada's greatest achievement in film is that we have supplied so many people to the Hollywood machine, James Cameron most notable. Even Mary Pickford, America's Sweetheart, was from Canada. That is our greatest achievement.

 

Canada does not have, and will never have, a unique or identifiable film industry. Because we do not have a unique or identifiable culture, never will either.

 

Don't believe me? The Canadian TV networks did not even broadcast Canada's "Oscars" this year (they are called the Genies.) Why should they, no Canadian has even heard of any of the films that where nominated.

 

If a film from Quebec is nominated for best feature no one in English Canada has heard of it, if a film from English Canada is nominated no one from Quebec has heard of it.

 

It's a joke.

 

R,

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because of the success of Passchendaele. It did out perform expectations theatrically by a lot,

 

Yes, but sadly it won't come close to being a break even. If we want to have a successful home grown industry we need to make some cold hard cash, that's the bottom line.

 

I commend you and Paul for making the film. But the bottom line is the bottom line.

 

R,

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There are only 3 industries that survive on their domestic market without public funding. Hollywood ( which is subsidized ), Bollywood and interestingly enough, Quebec.

The landscape is changing rapidly and the studios are scrambling to get to grips with the new financial realities themselves. MGM still hasn't been sold.

Sad about the Genies not being on tv, but perhaps its better served as Web streamed for a devoted audience anyway. The Independent Spirit awards are only on cable, and thats a better comparison than the Oscars.

Cinematography was cut out of the televised show anyway.....so not much promotion for our craft from the Academy.

At least 130 or so people have read some of this and maybe they'll be interested in the film or the cinematography.

 

cheers

greg

 

 

 

Yes, but sadly it won't come close to being a break even. If we want to have a successful home grown industry we need to make some cold hard cash, that's the bottom line.

 

I commend you and Paul for making the film. But the bottom line is the bottom line.

 

R,

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Richard,

 

This might be a good opportunity to review production and marketing models. There are a couple Rappers in town that are getting by producing on a manual distribution model. They are happy if their product sells 50,000 CD's. Could a DA production system deliver satisfactory results for that distribution model and yield enough paycheck for a skeleton crew production staff? There seems to be some form of market that consumes no-name product out there.

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There is nothing unique about Canada that can be marketed over seas. If Americans are not even sure what Canada is, what chance do we have explaining it to people in Japan, or Bolivia?

 

Americans aren't even all that sure what America is, but we still go to the movies. ;-)

 

Not having seen "Gunless", I don't know how much explanation it would take. But all we'd need is enough to understand the story and the jokes. Have a look at "The Third Man" for the kind of setup sequence that might be done. Reed had to explain the four power administration of post-war Vienna.

 

You don't really have to market the Canadian aspect of it. Sell it as a story and jokes, because that's what the audience wants.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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There are only 3 industries that survive on their domestic market without public funding. Hollywood ( which is subsidized ), Bollywood and interestingly enough, Quebec.

 

Uh Quebec receives 50% of the total TeleFILM budget, even though they are only 23% of the population. Is that what we now call, surviving on its own without public funding? Plus there's the ton of money the Quebec gov't throws in, which they receive from Ontario and the West in the form of an 8 billion dollar per year transfer payment. As we both know, Quebec must be bribed to stay in confederation.

 

 

You don't really have to market the Canadian aspect of it. Sell it as a story and jokes, because that's what the audience wants.

-- J.S.

 

The commercials running on Canadian TV right now for Gunless have a shot of a guy in a red tunic. If this movie was being promoted to an American audience that shot would never be used. It would confuse an American audience, the question would be, why is there a guy in a Western wearing a red tunic? Guess what Canadians know so little about their own history, that people here don't even know why :blink:

 

We used to have a show on the CBC called Street Legal, it was a nationally broadcast show. At AFM I ran into the foreign sales company for it, I asked the guy how it was selling over seas, he said it was a tough to impossible sell. Foreign buyers could not understand why the actors look and sound American, and the court room looks American, but the judge wears a red sash over his black robe. It was totally baffling to people.

 

At least when you watch a British court room scene you know that it is distinctly "British." And it's a pretty easy sell to over seas buyers. British comedies have been successfully exported to countries all over the globe for decades now. Coronation street has run for over 40 years and is seen globally.

 

Canada's primary TV export is children's animated programming. That's it.

 

R,

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Canada's primary TV export is children's animated programming. That's it.

 

How about Candice Olsen and Mike Holmes? Alex Debogorsky and Hugh Rowland? Much of HGTV's schedule is from Canada.

 

I'd like to see "Gunless" and get a better idea what the difficulties might be in selling it here.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Much of HGTV's schedule is from Canada.

 

Yeee Haaaw, next step, total domination of America's theatrical distribution system!

 

Get ready for Bon Cop Bad Cop, coming soon to an American theatre near you. :D

 

R,

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Canadian films can do well in the States. I'm sure many Americans have heard of and seen "Porky's" and "A Christmas Story". Both from the same (American) director (Bob Clark) as well as his contributions to "Tundra Terror" in the 70s, such as "Black Christmas" which inspired the teen slasher genre.

 

The director was American, but he choose to go to Canada to make his movies using Canadian crew and resources.

 

As already suggested. Just sell the movie and nevermind the politics. Let 'em know it's from Canada later.

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Canadian films can do well in the States. I'm sure many Americans have heard of and seen "Porky's" and "A Christmas Story". Both from the same (American) director (Bob Clark) as well as his contributions to "Tundra Terror" in the 70s, such as "Black Christmas" which inspired the teen slasher genre.

 

The director was American, but he choose to go to Canada to make his movies using Canadian crew and resources.

 

As already suggested. Just sell the movie and nevermind the politics. Let 'em know it's from Canada later.

 

"Porky's" and "A Christmas Story", neither of these are considered to be "Canadian" films.

 

R,

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Let 'em know it's from Canada later.

 

The issue, as I understand it, is that there are story points and punch lines that depend on knowing some specifically Canadian things, like the meaning of a red tunic. The potential solution is to find out what those are, and find a way of presenting them to the audience. Maybe it could be as straightforward as shooting and cutting in some Groucho Marx/Woody Allen type talk-to-the-camera stuff. Or even cheaper, silent movie style cards with text explanations, amusingly written, of course. Bottom line, there's gotta be a way to make this work.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Or even cheaper, silent movie style cards with text explanations, amusingly written, of course. Bottom line, there's gotta be a way to make this work.

 

We should of thought of this 50 years ago! Brilliant.

 

Ok here's the scene, D-Day 1945, soldiers that talk like Americans but dress like the British are charging up the beach. They carry a strange flag that is all red, except for the British flag in left corner and a complex crest out in the red field. They are the Canadians.

 

Ok the audience is confused, they dress like the British & talk like the Americans and they carry a flag that not even a Canadian citizen can recognize. I mean the Canadian flag has a red maple leaf and two red bars on the side.

 

Cut two, white text on black, explanation card:

 

"You are probably wondering who these guys are? They are Canadians, but they dress like the British and talk like the Americans. Their flag is called The Red Ensign, it was done away with in 1965 when Canada adopted a new flag with the red maple leaf and two red bars."

 

Here's another scene, Canadian frontier 1850, a group of men wearing red tunics and pill box hats comes riding into frame on their horses. The flag bearer carries the standard British flag recognized all over the world as the British flag. Is this the British army? No, this is the North West Mounted Police and this is the Canadian prairie. The audience is once again confused, time for the title card:

 

"These guys that look like British soldiers are not British soldiers they are the North West Mounted Police, who you know today as the RCMP. Why do they carry a British flag in Canada? Well because the Canadians carried the British flag until 1868. When they came up with a new flag that was not as British, but still not the Canadian flag you know today, as that did not happen until 1965."

 

This process will go on and on, and be used in every Canadian film ever made until the world (and Canadians) figure out that we are not Americans or British. We just use a lot of their "stuff" and some how make it our own and call it, "Canadian."

 

R,

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Maybe this will be the first Canadian feature released outside of Canada, who knows?

 

The general rule is that you, "can't sell Canada." Meaning that foreign audiences will not watch programming or movies that is distinctly Canadian. They will watch shows that are American or British of course, but no one has "sold Canada" outside of Canada. Not yet any way.

 

British? You must mean British TV shows. We don't really make movies here anymore. Well Hollywood makes movies here but there are very few British films. Maybe a couple a year. This is yet another thing which made Moon such a massive achievement. Congrats Duncan!

 

...and even what is left of the TV industry over here is in a state of collapse.

 

Try explaining to audiences in Brazil that Canada is not part of the USA and is a separate country, it just doesn't fly.

 

R,

 

Sounds like you guys are going about it all wrong. Set the films in the future in America. Only America is bigger now and includes Canada. The people sound slightly funny because it is the future, and they wear red sashes because it is the future. You don't even need to explain how Canada became part of America anyway because no-one can tell the difference. Maybe the future of the states is Canadian. Maybe Canada invaded the USA. Who knows, you can make up what you like.

 

In fact it seems to me like you have a massive advantage over anyone else. If nobody can tell the difference. Then why not pass it off as being American. Hollywood has been passing Canada off as America for years now. Why can't you Canadians do it.

 

Anyway, didn't you manage to sell your film to a number of overseas territorys Richard?

 

What annoys me is the whole thing that Americans won't understand British of Canadian films etc, but we are expected to understand all kinds of American nonsense. The UK is very Americanised and yet still theres stuff in American films that I struggle to work out. Occasionally I struggle to understand what the actors are even saying.

 

love

 

Freya

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Hollywood has been passing Canada off as America for years now. Why can't you Canadians do it.

 

Hmmm, interesting, maybe in the future we took over the USA because the US never expected an invasion from the North? Barrack Obama is really a Canadian we snuck into the USA, which is why he's busy making the USA look more like Canada.

 

Anyway, didn't you manage to sell your film to a number of overseas territorys Richard?

 

Yes, by keeping the film as "un-Canadian" as possible.

 

R,

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