Honeytrap - groundbreaking Brixton film about gang culture goes for crowdfunding

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by editor, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Films can be based on real life events in a loose way or based on a specific incident.

    Ken Loach film "Sweet Sixteen" told the tale of a teenage boy trying to do a drugs deal. I think its one of his better films. It is purely fictional.

    Another recent film based on real events is the Irish film "What Richard Did". This was based on a specific incident. It did cause controversy in Eire as it was clear this was based on an actual event that was recent.

    They are very different kinds of film.

    I think it depends on how the director/ writer use the material and what they are trying to say.

    Loach/ Laverty make films that have a more or less clear political position. "What Richard Did" is a very different kind of film. Dark and leaving the viewer to interpret what the film is about.

    If the director is loosely basing the premise of the film on a real event and then working with local young people in a collaborative way to say something about being a teenage girl in Brixton then I do not have a problem with that.

    The main issue that has come up on this thread is that there have been a lot of recent films about gangs and young people. But no films about life in London that does not include gangs. As most young people are not involved in gangs.

    Today I saw a film about a girl in London that did not contain gangs- "Broken" It had just about every other social issue you can think of but not gangs. A good film and for my 2 friends very moving.
  2. RaverDrew

    RaverDrew self-banned for a bit R.I.P.

    These films are nearly always cringeworthy as fuck
  3. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    And which ones of the 3 I mention have you seen?
  4. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    will keep an eye out.
  5. MillwallShoes

    MillwallShoes Don't kill the Lion

    as has been said, how sad it is that these are starting to be the only representation of youth in london. it's a dangerous game, too. if media is a "mirror", then these kids must look into it, and not recognise themselves (because most kids in london are just normal kids). sadly, is there not a chance that some will adjust themselves so they fit the image in the mirror? i know i'd feel a bit morally uneasy about making the lives of these kids fit some sort of entertainment structure.

    that said, there's always been gangster movies, godfather, etc. however, the context these films are made in make them dodgy - if there was a variety of media representing kids in london, then it'd be different. instead it's the same old depressing message, no matter how "insightful" (although how insightful can they be as to why these kids end up like they do? in 90 minutes? seriously doubt it) they are.
    spanglechick and RaverDrew like this.
  6. girasol

    girasol Ubuntu

    So, you are saying that young people are that easily impressionable, and that if they watch something they will try and emulate it? So... violent films and games are indeed a very bad thing too, and the world around them isn't their main influence, it's what they watch in the cinema that moulds them?

    I'm only bringing this up because I've seen many threads where some people argue about the influence of media/games, and others argue that there is no influence. And of course, there is some, but where is the line? Are some of you saying that because most of the movies about London are about gangs then kids will join gangs? As far as I know movies have never been the reason for anyone to get into crime... I could be wrong :p

    I'm thinking back at the movies I watched when I was a teenager, to see if any of them had any influence in choices I made... So far, nothing. Will keep on thinking.
  7. MillwallShoes

    MillwallShoes Don't kill the Lion

    of course it's not the only reason, but i would think if it is the only representation out there, then it can't help, can it?
  8. girasol

    girasol Ubuntu

    Well, the problem is, if they made movies about ordinary people, sadly, a lot of people wouldn't watch it, because they would think of it as 'boring'... People seem to want to go to the cinema for 'greek tragedy', extreme stories. Would anyone go watch a movie about a South London girl who does well in school and gets a great job in the Science sector? ;) (I wish they would go and watch it!)
  9. Citizen66

    Citizen66 splash the cistern

    None of which would have happened had you not offered it up for sacrifice. :D

    It was entirely avoidable.
  10. Ms Ordinary

    Ms Ordinary randompointlesschemistry

    There is the possibility that with a feature length film, less extreme & less frequently represented stories can be given a bit of room - even if they couldn't carry a film on their own.
  11. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I'm not going to stop posting up details of interesting projects for fear of your negativity, ignorance and short-sightedness.
  12. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    But there are alternative narratives. If we look at how America represents teenagers on film, there's a massive spectrum from romcom to gore. Intelligent stuff too, like election, ghost world, donnie darko. Or harder hitting stuff like girl interrupted. It's entirely possible to tell stories like that about south London young women.

    First rule of storytelling: there needs to be a problem to solve. That's why the example of 'bright girl does well, succeeds' sounds dull. But show her overcoming an obstacle (prejudice, illness, abuse, identity issues, poverty, family difficulties... ) and you begin to have a story. Make us care about her, make the problem really high-stakes and you should be able to make an audience care about what happens. An ordinary person in an extraordinary situation.
    blameless77, tufty79, girasol and 3 others like this.
  13. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    This is just one film made by one person who happens to focus on a certain sort of story which involves local youth and mentoring. I'm sure why she's being blamed for the entire output of the film industry.
  14. spanglechick

    spanglechick High Empress of Dressing Up

    Don't be so melodramatic! :D

    We're talking about this film. To explain our opinions both sides of the debate are referring to the context.

    Thing is, people can make films about whatever they bloody like. The reason this angle is being raised is because she's claiming to shine a light on girls whose story doesn't get told. And yup, she is, in a very specific way. But it's like saying that in the postwar period, when previously films had been about the wealthy upper classes, someone making a Norman wisdom film was meaningfully telling the story of the working classes. Some working class people are chirpy salt-of-the-earth, happy-go-lucky types, but most aren't -and where a section of society is under-represented in the media, saying that a film featuring a not unknown and very unusual minority is somehow redressing the balance is a bit of a kick in the teeth.

    I mentioned 'sket' up there, and ive no doubt this film will be much better... But I generally leave films like that alone because they're not claiming some quasi feminist agenda.
  15. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    I have no problem with someone giving £10 to support a project which they think is worthwhile. What I have a problem with is £75,000 being sought as up front capital to reassure industry investors of the security of their own investments on what is ultimately a commercial project, albeit one with a positive social conscience. Whether that is raised from individuals giving a tenner or £500 or £5,000 each (their site has donor categories of up to 15,000), £75,000 is a lot of money which they are getting for nothing other than T-shirts and a couple of party invites.

    That the project probably won't turn a profit is irrelevant. The question is, what happens to the profit if it does. The top ten returns on low budget films are between 5,500% and 655,000% which is one of the reasons why commercial companies invest in them. Precious (not an example of low budget/high return but more like the proposed drama category) was picked up at the Sundance Festival and grossed about $65million at the box office. It sold 1.5million DVDs in it's first week of release.

    Even if the crowdsource investors behind the first £75,000 don't get any return themselves, it should be clear how that £75,000 will be treated. I think it should be guaranteed that the upfront £75,000 (the most risky capital) will be treated as a seed investment and awarded a significantly higher equity share per £1 than any later investors. It should then be clear where any profit from that equity share will go. It does not have to go back to the crowdsourcers - it could go to nominated charities, like those supporting their apprentice scheme. But if it is going to the film-makers, producers or commercial investors, the Crowdsourcer is being mugged.

    My criticism is not of the film or film makers but of the Crowdsourcing model as I think it can exploit goodwill. Of course, the makers of Honeytrap may have already considered this and made arrangements to deal with the (less likely) profit scenario - they're just not clear to me.
  16. girasol

    girasol Ubuntu

    yep, but it seems no one wants to do it, probably because they think there wouldn't be a market. Submarine was a lovely teen movie (not set in London though), but producers are generally greedy? I don't know... I suspect most of their choices are made on how much audience they will get, bottom line: money.

    But of course, I agree there should be alternative narratives. Cinema audiences need to start showing they like those sort of movies by going to watch them, at the cinema! 'Attack the Block' did well, but it had gang culture in there too, though not its main theme. 'Ill Manors' is an adult movie, so not sure it should count as something that impacts teenagers, although some may watch it.

    Maybe London can't escape gang culture, it will always be there in some form or another because it's part of the city? Even where we live, it's there, the kids know the gang names and where they are, teenagers lives is one way or another impacted by it. (Unless they go to private schools and are driven around and not allowed to freely interact, and even then its impact is felt by their absence from local life, through their parents' fear and their effective removal from the local community).

    There's been variety of tv programmes for teens though, Misfits, Skins, In Betweeners (don't fool yourselves in thinking they were for adults :D, the teenagers were watching it, even when not allowed to at home ;) ). In terms of tv there's not a lot on gangs I don't think?
    spanglechick likes this.
  17. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    I've happily slung cash towards projects I care about and couldn't care less about any possible return, whatever the circumstances.

    I do it because I want the project to succeed, and if by some miracle it ends up turning a profit then they can do what they like the cash because they went to all the effort of creating something I wanted to see.
  18. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Submarine was a fabulous film.
    spanglechick, Ms Ordinary and Rushy like this.
  19. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    Good for you. But given that you are usually against speculative investors encouraged by enourmous tax breaks making a killing to spend on expensive cars and houses, I am surprised.
    bosie likes this.
  20. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Not entirely sure that's a fair or reasonable comparison, but there you go.
  21. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    One of my favourites in a long time.
  22. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

  23. girasol

    girasol Ubuntu

    yeah and we need more like that, but in London ;)
    Ms Ordinary likes this.
  24. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    Lots of films get made about the everyday, they just rarely cast black actors in roles that weren't written 'black'. The Inbetweeners and Girls are both depictions of 'everyday' life for young people, but none of them are black. And that's fine, not every group of friends includes a black person, but where are the stories about young black people not in gangs (or indeed, young white people who are)?

    You're right that this project appears to be one of the better ones of its type, but I'd like to know if the kids chose the gang theme, and if so, how much that reflects the reality of their lives rather than an obvious cliche.
  25. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Because I don't know what this film proposal has to do with, "speculative investors encouraged by enormous tax breaks making a killing to spend on expensive cars and houses".
  26. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    As I said, I have a problem with the financial set up not being clear - not the film proposal. Try not to twist it.

    So who are these financiers? We don't know (and probably neither do they at this stage).

    Just as one common example of industry financiers, which HMRC is only now questioning but has not made illegal, are "sideways investment schemes". They set up film financing companies for the benefit of wealthy investors looking for massive tax breaks:
    • Partner A invests £1 million into a partnership
      • £200,000 is cash from his own resources.
      • £800,000 is by way of loan finance as part of the scheme.
    • The objective is to claim loss relief of £1 million.
      • At a tax rate of 40 per cent this equates to £400,000 cash tax.
    There are plenty of different set ups.

    And for clarity I say again - I am not accusing them of anything. I am saying that on the face of it I don't like the set up but it might just not be clear. I don't see why you feel the need to defend them tooth and nail against what I think is a perfectly reasonable question: in the event of the film being profitable, if the Crowdsourcers providing the seed capital are not going to benefit financially themselves, who will?

    You appear to be dismissing my question on the basis that you personally are happy to not know. I would much rather have clarity. Crowd sourcing is a great and powerful development. But if it becomes tainted by getting a reputation for providing free seed capital for commercial projects backed by profitable investment schemes it will lose favour.
    kabbes likes this.
  27. editor

    editor Taffus Maximus

    Except it was you bringing up people spending vast sums of money on "expensive cars and houses." :confused: :facepalm:

    This site was funded by crowdfunding before the phrase was even invented. Thankfully not everyone is as cynical as you otherwise we would have folded years ago.
  28. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    And you have just made a girl not ordinary with problems you have stated.

    Can be just as much of a stereotyped look at girls real lives as using gangs.

    I know someone who grew up on an estate in South London. Apart from her parents splitting up she did not have the problems u state. Or not to an "extraordinary" "high stakes" level.
  29. ymu

    ymu Niall Ferguson's deep-cover sock-puppet

    Did she come into intimate contact with gang violence?
  30. Rushy

    Rushy AKA some / certain posters

    Once again you are quoting selectively to muddy the issue. I said "given that you are usually against speculative investors encouraged by enormous tax breaks making a killing to spend on expensive cars and houses, I am surprised [that you don't care where the profit goes]." I then gave an example of how film finance companies are very often set up and used to avoid tax in enormous amounts for wealthy clients.

    We are both in a position of ignorance about the financial set up other than that they intend to use industry financiers who they hope will be reassured by the up front investment from crowdsourcers.

    I'm simply asking for some clarity.
    You seem determined to say that it is cynical to ask for clarity and hold U75 up as proof. What industry financiers did you use? And what plans do you have to sell it? None - I bet.

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