If you can't read this newsletter or see the ads, please click here
It Was A Good Week For… Captain America, soldiering on…
It was a bad week for… Philip Danks, pirate jailed for nearly three years… 
Thirty-three months. Almost three years. That’s the jail sentence this week started by Philip Danks for filming, uploading and selling copies of Fast And Furious 6. Danks went to the cinema in Walsall on the day the action film opened last year and filmed it on his camcorder, putting it up the next day, where it was eventually downloaded more than 700,000 times. He also sold copies for £1.50 via Facebook before FACT officers tracked him down via his online name TheCod3r. And even despite his subsequent arrest, less than a week after the offence, he carried on copying and distributing films, with the help of another man, who was given a 12 month community order with 120 hours’ unpaid work. 
Reaction to the case has been positive, with FACT’s Kieron Sharp saying: “Kieron Sharp, Director General of FACT said, “We are grateful to West Midlands Police for their assistance in bringing to justice two men who were causing untold harm to the film industry in the UK, something which also threatens this country’s economy. Thousands of people are employed making some of the world’s most famous and popular films. Their livelihoods are at risk if a film is unable to create the profits needed to fund future films. This is an important case and an important sentence. Danks was responsible for recording, uploading and distributing the film and was clearly unconcerned at the time about the consequences of his actions, perhaps believing that the internet gave him anonymity. We at FACT have shown that we will find and identify people committing criminal offences and ensure that they are properly dealt with through the courts”. Chris Marcich from the MPAA added: “Online copyright infringement represents a significant threat to the continued success of the UK’s creative industries and to the continued development of legal sources of film and TV content. It is important that those making money on the back of other people’s hard work and creativity, paying nothing back into the creative economy, are held accountable and we welcome today’s verdict. This is one important element of the wider strategy to tackle this issue which also includes educating consumers about legitimate online sources of content through schemes like Creative Content UK, working with advertiser and payment processors to cut off the revenue streams pirate sites rely on and blocking illegal sites through the courts.”
Our statistic of the week is a quite remarkable one: seems as if the mighty Google is now processing an average of 1 million takedown requests every day. It represents a huge increase in requests coming from copyright owners and holders asking the search engine to remove offending links to infringing sites. A few years ago, said website Torrent Freak, it was a “few dozen” a year. But Google’s own figures suggest that last week it was asked to remove 7.8 million search results, a week on week rise of 10 per cent.  Torrent Freak further broke down the figures – it works out at a search result every 8 milliseconds. In 2008 it was one every six days. 

hmv’s Decades campaign was a landmark in more ways than one for the retailer, heralding the beginning of it resurgence on the high street, as well as picking up awards, including a BVA gong, for its marketing skill. Well, hmv stores have been buzzing for the past week or two, as the concept, with added fine tuning, has returned to stores. It again takes the form of a multibuy, with two DVDs for £10 (£5.99) and Blu-ray five for £30 or three for£20 (£8.99 each) It takes in some 300 or so films from every decade from the 1950s through to the 2000s (with key films from the 30s and 40s added into the 50s selection, making it, effectively up to the 50s) and each of the six weeks (it started August 11) will focus on a key decade and a key title from it – Some Like It Hot, Bullitt, A Clockwork Orange, Ghostbusters, Pulp Fiction and Gladiator are the half dozen chosen. Many of those will feature in a cinema ad, a 30 second spot running for four weeks across more than 800 screens, playing to more than 600,000 people. A 60 second ad will also play at the Roof Top Cinema Club and editorial will appear in The Guardian. There’ll be support online and hmv stores and head office will be talking it up through social media (we’ve seen plenty of activity on Twitter under the hashtag #hmvdecades and the retailer boasts a reach of almost 1.7 million people across social media). Commenting on the activity, HMV’s marketing manager Dawn Hancock said: “hmv decades this year is supported by a deeper theatrical catalogue range of product, reminding our customers of nostalgic moments and re-igniting their passion for film. We have brought the campaign to life with cinema advertising focusing on big screen, classic movie moments that evoke and transport the viewer back to a special personal memory. The campaign could not have been achieved without the support of our studio partners and our in-store colleagues who have championed the offer and engaged with our customers. We could not be happier to promote this campaign for a second year in hmv.”
If it's August Bank Holiday weekend then it must be time for Film 4 FrightFest and, as we've oft noted in the past, the event is being used as a launchpad not just for theatrical releases, but as a platform for limited theatrical and DTV titles too. Take The Last Showing, a film set to be released by SPHE next week. It's a homegrown effort one starring horror legend Robert Englund, picked up by Sony as a locks acquisition, premiering at the event. Its star is in town to maximise PR efforts and officially introduce the film at FrightFest. SPHE's Kate Jeremy said:  “We’re thrilled to have Robert Englund attend the world premiere of The Last Showing at this year’s Film4 FrightFest. Robert is a true icon of the horror genre and FrightFest is the perfect platform to bring this nail-biting British horror to his legions of UK fans. There will also be extensive PR around the eagerly-awaited release, including comprehensive reviews and interviews with Robert in target media such as IGN, HeyUGuys and Den of Geek.”
FrightFest opened with Icon’s forthcoming horror outing The Guest, with the resurgent distributor also airing other horrors giving it one of the strongest offering from any single company, with eagerly awaited titles such as It Follows not screening at the event and due further down the line. The Guest, featuring a career-changing turn from Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens created a huge noise on social media, while Maika Monroe was in town together with director Adam (You’re Next) Wingard and writer Simon Barrett to further promote it. Icon’s Ian Dawson said: "It was fantastic to see how well the film played on its UK premiere and to see the Frightfest crowd show as much love for the film as the Icon team who have been working upon its release plans”. Friday sees Maika unveil scenes from her and Icon's forthcoming film It Follows while The Babadook, a film whose trailer had half a million hits last weekend, has its UK premiere at FrightFest on Saturday. 

While we're on FrightFest, we penned a piece on the community that's built up around the event and the offshoots, labels and horror companies that have sprung up in its wake over at The Ransom Note, you can see it here. And while we're linking to our own stuff, head to our website for a look at The Raid franchise and how it became so big…

Also this weekend, in case you hadn’t noticed, the good Doctor is returning to our screens in his new incarnation, with Peter Capaldi starring as the 12th incarnation of the Timelord in a new series of Doctor Who. BBC Worldwide is pulling out all the stops alongside its public service arm, having recently taken Capaldi and and co-star Jenna Coleman, on a whistlestop 12-day tour spanning four continents. From Cardiff to Seoul to Sydney to New York on to Mexico City with a final stop at Rio, the new Doctor was well and truly launched to a rapturous global audience. And on Saturday night the TARDIS was due to land in Leicester Square for a premiere of the series running concurrently with its transmission, followed by a live Q&A beamed to more than 400 cinemas. Brian Hill, acting director of consumer products, BBC Worldwide UK said: “We couldn’t have asked for a bigger launch for a brand new Doctor. Feedback from fans and at screenings has been overwhelmingly positive. We’re looking forward to releasing the series opener Deep Breath as a stand alone SKU in September, with a full series DVD in November. We will soon find out if this Doctor is a good man."

The sudden and tragic death of Robin Williams has led to an outpouring of online grief and a reappraisal of the comic’s films – just witness how people have been flocking to Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix to view some of his classic flicks. And the unexpected nature of his passing means there are a number of unreleased films starring Williams still to find their way to retail. One of these will arrive on September 8, as Signature releases The Angriest Man In Brooklyn, a comedy drama that sees him starring as the titular character, who believes he has just 90 minutes to live and sets out to right the wrings he has done. As well as Williams, it also boasts an impressive supporting cast, including Mila Kunis, James Earl Jones and Peter Dinklage. Signature’s Kaz Mills said: “The late, great Robin Williams makes one of his final on-screen appearances in The Angriest Man in Brooklyn and it is with a mixture of sadness and pride that we bring this title to market in September. We will be supporting the launch with a press and PR campaign – with a particular focus on seeding out key clips from the feature, for all to enjoy some of this legendary actor’s most comedic and thought provoking work.”
Ahead of its forthcoming, eagerly-awaited Jim Jarmusch box set, due on 6 October following the September release of Only Lovers Left Alive, Soda is also putting together another interesting collection, due on August 25. The Kelly Reichardt Collection marks the first time the director’s work has been collected together, including the new to Blu-ray Old Joy and Wendy & Lucy and the never released before River Of Grass. The release ties in with the theatrical bow of her latest film, Night Moves. Soda’s home entertainment manager Louise Rae said: “Soda has been working with Kelly Reichardt since her first theatrical release in the UK, with her titles among our most popular and highly regarded. The theatrical release of her highest profile title to date is a perfect opportunity to bring her catalogue together for both new and old fans, and gives a rare insight to her filmmaking craft through the inclusion of audio from a masterclass she gave at Oxford University this year. Long-time Reichardt collaborator Larry Fessenden has also written a fantastic piece about her films to go with it.”
Also out next week is I Am Divine, a fantastic documentary released through Peccadillo charting the life and times of the actor who starred in many of John Waters’ early films and was set to become an even bigger star before he died tragically at the age of 42. It’s a fine documentary and comes to DVD on the back of a successful theatrical release and a raft of four and five-star reviews (sample from Total Film: High camp and low trash make an entertaining combo in an overdue homage to a fearless trailblazer. Not for the faint-hearted, the judgemental or the recently fed”). Commenting on its release, Peccadillo’s Tom Abell said: “Now we all have the opportunity to die for art! One very special DVD has a very special packet in it.” Colour us intrigued…
Divine is, of course, the star of trash classic Polyester, filmed in odorama, screenings and even the original rental VHS came complete with scratch n sniff cards. And it’s also one of the the many films screening during the forthcoming Scalarama season, taking place during the whole of September. Originally a smaller event paying tribute to the legendary London rep cum fleapit cinema. The month-long event now spans 500 events, at 300 events across more than 100 towns and cities. And it ends with Home Cinema Day, taking place on Sunday September 28. It’s now an annual event celebrating viewing at home. You can see how sat year’s event went here. Scalarama organiser Michael Pierce said: “Scalarama this year is bigger than ever, spreading further across the UK and beyond with screenings during the month of September. This year we're really pleased to work with even more independent distributors, supporting their DVD and Blu-ray releases with theatrical screenings as part of our Core Programme. We are looking forward to Home Cinema Day at the end of the month, a time when we welcome Home Entertainment services, retailers, online channels and labels to come together to celebrate communal film watching in the comfort of your own home.” Organisers are looking for people in the industry to get involved, get in touch with us and we’ll put you in touch with them… 

Monday (August 25) sees one of the most eagerly anticipated box set releases of 2014 – certainly among world cinema fans –  finally arriving, as the BFI’s epic The Werner Herzog Collection, containing no less than 18 of the maestro’s films in separate Blu-ray or DVD editions, comes out. And to mark the event, the BFI has declared this Friday (August 22) Herzog Day. As well as plenty of social media activity, there’ll also be an event at Rough Trade’s east London branch tonight. The BFI’s Phil Roberts said: “Our massive Werner Herzog box set is one of the big world cinema home entertainment releases of 2014, and we are proud to be hosting #HerzogDay as a celebration of this hugely inspiring filmmaker.  There will be plenty of online fun from the BFI and our partners, plus a special launch event at Rough Trade East with a free screening and a Cherrystones DJ set of Herzog-inspired music. The release is set to generate great week one sales and will undoubtedly be a fixture on many film lovers’ wish lists this Christmas.”
Even now, more than a year after its collapse, there are still rumours and allegations of shady goings-on in the fallout of Revolver. Such were the allegations, it's easy to forgot that a lot of very talented and decent people worked there in recent years. Nick Taussig is one of the good guys, who left the company before its demise and launched his own Salon Pictures production outfit. So it was with great sadness we read his astonishingly well-written but heartbreaking article on The Guardian’s website. We urge you all to read it here and support Taussig’s fundraising venture here I’m sure you’ll join us in sending our best wishes to Nick and his family… 
It’s been a busy week for Dogwoof, currently celebrating its 10th anniversary and also just moving offices. Its new premises – found at 19-23 Ironmonger Row, London, EC1V 3QN, telephone 020 7253 6244 – precede a special weekend of activity at the ICA in The Mall, a mere stone’s throw away from  Buckingham Palace, no less, due to take place from September 26 to 28. The Dogwoof Weekender will showcase some of its forthcoming titles, including opener Life Itself, about critic Roger Ebert and closing with the opening of The Last Impressario. 

Meanwhile, somewhere in the middle of all that, Dogwoof has found the time to pick up the worldwide rights to new doc Love Is All. Painstakingly put together from hours upon hours of archive footage culled from the BFI’s vaults, it looks at the celluloid depiction of love throughout the 20th century. The clips are set to the music of Richard Hawley. Dogwoof’s Vesna Cudic said: “ “Love is All is one of the most romantic films in recent years. Its appeal spans audiences across demographics, young and old – a fantastic date movie and a treasure throve for the cinephiles everywhere.” Director Kim Longinotto added: “The film broadens the idea of love, by looking at the changes in our attitudes to multiculturalism and same sex relationships from 1898 to today. I’m proud to have it in the hands of Dogwoof, who I know will treat it with loving care and make sure the audiences around the world share the experiences in the film.”
Eureka has unveiled its line-up for Q4 for its Masters Of Cinema and Classics imprints. The former includes Fellini’s classic I Clowns, Sijun Suyzuki’s Youth Of The Beast, Fritz Lang’s Spione, the Douglas Fairbanks silent masterpiece The Thief Of Baghdad, Louise Brook’s Diary Of A Lost Girl, DW Griffith’s Intolerance and Raymond Bernard’s five hour adaptation of Les Miserables. The latter imprint will release Blacula The Complete Collection. It comes as the Masters Of Cinema too celebrates its 10th anniversary, with a newly relaunched website marketing the occasion. Eureka md Ron Benson said: “New restorations and home viewing and Blu-ray premières abound – we continue our quest to release the very finest in world cinema, using the very best available materials, all with a meticulous attention to detail." 
It may not directly affect our side of the business, but it’s interesting to note that the government has announced plans to regulate music videos online, with the record industry, in the shape of the BPI, as well as the BBFC and digital service providers working together to introduce a voluntary pilot scheme. The scheme, which boasts the involvement of the likes of the YouTube and Vevo, would see the labels voluntarily submitting items that would potentially be for those aged 12 years old and above to the BBFC for classification. The exact technical details are being worked up, but they are likely to have some kind of “parental advisory warning”. The pilot scheme starts on the same day as the changes to the Video Recordings Act are introduced. A BPI spokesperson said: “The pilot will commence October 1st, coinciding with changes to the Video Recordings Act that will require physical music videos deemed to include 12-rated-plus material to go through the same age-classification process. The pilot is expected to run for at least three months, followed by a period of evaluation to assess the voluntary scheme. If, as hoped, the pilot proves successful, then as a key next step we would call on Digital Service Providers to introduce filters linked to those age ratings so that families have the additional option to block video content they consider unsuitable viewing for children."

As well as seeing Goblin perform live to classic films they soundtracked this week, as part of the whole FrightFest shebang, we also went to Disney’s office to see some of the extras for this week’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier release, where we were treated to a sneak preview of some of its forthcoming goodies too… For more, see our website shortly…

 “Good point. We call them box sets because if you bought them from the shop they would be a 'Box Set'. Just keeping to what we are all used to."
 Sky’s response when asked, by us at The Raygun, via Twitter, why it called its series and season offerings box sets when they weren’t actual boxes or anything…

 Only two new entries into the the top 10, with The Expendables 3 entering at number three with an opening weekend hail of nearly £1.7 million. Hector And The Search For Happiness has taken £240,222, taking it to number nine. The Inbetweeners 2 held on to the top slot, its now taken £22.37 million, Guardians Of The Galaxy has amassed £18.8 million.

Improbable as it may seem, it's now 12 years since Minority Report came out, but despite that, the time is right for a TV series based on the Philip K Dick adaptation. Steven Spielberg is developing the series, hiring Godzilla scribe Max Borenstein to develop the script... Really, we should probably have seen is one coming….

The Jungle Book: Origins – the second of two Rudyard Kipling adaptations in the works – is the new Star Wars: not a day goes by without a new announcement on casting for the film. Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, due in 2016, a year after the bow of the Jon Favreau version, will, it was announced this week, include the likes of Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Naomie Harris, Cate Blanchett, Peter Mullan, Eddie Marsan, Tom Hollander and loads more. Given that it is blending live action, performance capture and CG imagery, as well as the fact it has such a hefty cast, them’s going to be some very lengthy credits…

 With The Raid 2 riding high in the charts, we look at the success of the franchise over here on our website

 Follow us on 

The Woman In Black sequel, dark in oh so many ways…
This reminds us of trawling for stories for The Raygun. Except with Jake Gyllenhaal 

New Jason Reitman film… 

Forthcoming from Metrodome…  

We’ll watch anything with Michael Shannon in it…
To subscribe to The Raygun newsletter, please email
with subscribe in the subject matter

To unsubscribe, email with unsubscribe in the subject

For editorial or advertising queries, contact

The Raygun
7 Lightcliffe Road
London N13 5HD