Phil Peel

Film, video, photography, sound and story

Day 2 at the Edinburgh Film Festival Talent Lab, was a masterclass with producer Iain Smith

He’s produced a fairly astounding eclectic range of films including “Local Hero”, “Chariots of Fire” ,”The Killing Fields”, “The Mission”, The Fifth Element“, “Seven Years in Tibet“, “Entrapment“, “Cold Mountain“, “Alexander“, “The Fountain“, “Children of Men“, “Wanted and most recently The A Team”

 

He showed a hilariously dated American trailer for “Local Hero” and interestingly said that “Wanted” had made more than all his other films put together.

His advice..

  • Surround yourself with people that are better than you.

  • If you know how to pitch you know how to make the film. …as you know what is the core of your film.

  • Pitching. It’s all abut how you end.

  • We should be reluctant to start writing until we know the ending

  • We shouldn’t be obsessed by success. We should be obsessed by failure. Failure is when you learn. Iain told us how he turned downWithnail and I

  • Hollywood has learnt that if you have someone famous in the film, then it doesn’t need to be execution dependent. I.e it doesn’t matter what it’s about or how it’s made.

  • There are 17 tent pole movies (blockbuster) being released this summer. There will be 5 or 6 failures. But he believes it’s not the end of the blockbuster. They will probably become even bigger.

  • So there will be a space for $20m – $60m films which will probably be made by TV companies.

  • There is a huge demand for filmed entertainment. It’s important for human health. So get out there and make stories.. things will happen.

  • In screenwriting / story-telling the element of surprise is vital. So the first thing the audience sees is important .. then you must then reverse their expectations. The more you can change and surprise the better.

  • Writing is the loneliest job.. you just get rejection. But directing is also really lonely.

  • Rejection.. Don’t let it get in the way.

Really interesting guy. If you get a chance to see him, go listen.

 

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