Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Film Quiz, Part 3

James Tully, a Brighton native and one of the biggest film buffs I know, is the Marketing Manager at the ODEON BRIGHTON, one of the better multiplexes out there and somewhere I spend a fair amount of time. He is also connected to the Dukes as his wife used to have my job. Here are his answers:

Favorite cinema in the country?

Bit biased but I love my Brighton cinemas. lots of my favourite memories are from the Odeon Brighton so that is up there. Also love the Duke of York's - So many great films over the years and a splendid decor to boot. There is also nothing like the Odeon Leicester Square on Premiere Night. It has a great buzz and everyone is really excited to be there.

First memory of cinema going?

First memory is my Dad taking me to see SNOW WHITE & THE SEVEN DWARFS at the Odeon in Brighton. I guess I must have been about 4/5 at the time so it must have been on re-release ( I wasn't born in the 30's). It was pretty scary but I remember my Dad taking care of me. My Dad also got me into Gilliam by showing me TIME BANDITS at a young age - Subsequently my Dad and I are are two of the 37 people who saw THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN in a cinema. Another early memory is wanting to see MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE but my Mum instead taking us to see BAMBI. In retrospect she was right, but at the time I was NOT happy with that decision.

What's your most exciting/scary/weird moviegoing experience?
So many to choose from. Really enjoyed seeing a preview of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT at the Duke of York's before it came out. A packed house and people were just petrified, screaming, gasping and jumping out of their seats. A really fun night. I think a lot of people hadn't cottoned on that it was all fake at this point! Also had a great night at a Karaoke screening of GREASE at the Dukes with cocktails. I always get really excited by the big summer releases, fall for the hype, buy my tickets early, wear a costume but then end up being disappointed and looking foolish. For an example imagine me walking dejected through town in Summer 1999 in a Star Wars cap & light saber with a man dressed as a storm trooper before disappearing into a pub to start a 10 year long (so far) complaining session about STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE. Damn you George!

Whats the film you've worked on you are proudest of?
In terms of working on the marketing campaign I really enjoyed working on the national campaign for 300 The film turned out to be a hit so was great for me. Unfortunately when I got to see the film it was a bit rubbish so I felt guilty that potentially I had made people go see that film. Ah well........... As a company ODEON runs an annual short film competition where all cinemas can enter a film and it goes to a central judging panel. We have our own awards ceremony and everything. Its great fun. We made a film last year called 'The Box' - It is terrible but we love it anyway! Watch it on YOUTUBE here.

What one thing could the film industry do to be more successful in the UK?

Make good films! I think the UK scene is very rich in talent. A lot of films are made in the UK but mostly with American money, American casts, and American directors. The crews are usually brits so the production side is doing well. Recently MOON was a great example of what British talent can make given the budget and the opportunity. We just keep churning out, admittedly financially successful, period dramas. And they are horrible. There just isn't enough opportunity for british talent to come through in film-making. Film-making is an expensive business so financial backers want to minimise the risks - I guess taking a chance on a first-time British director is just too big a risk.

1 comment:

  1. I love the maze like layout of the Brighton Odeon. Walk through a small set of doors, up to another large lobby area up more stairs for screen 5, and even more for 1. down some steps for 6 (or is it 7, i forget) and then there's little 8 near the sea.

    I've tried to map out the building in my head but it all gets confusing.

    Anyone know any history as to why it was designed that way?

    On a more serious note, I guess it most add to staff costs and logistics. Most new multiplexes seems to have the projection booths in a line (above the public corridor to get to each screen), which I'm guessing means they can have fewer projectionists running multiple screens?