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It Was A Good Week For… HMV: BVA winner and back in profit next year…

It Was A Bad Week For… Some rather gloomy figures on piracy and illegal downloads made for depressing reading…

So it's more than a week since the event and we've received a number of emails, phone calls and statements from award-winners at the BVA bash last week. The hangovers have long since receded (for the unlucky they may have lasted into the weekend) but for those picking up gongs on the night, they're still able to bask in the afterglow of the event. We'll be compiling a full list of statements we've received shortly on our website, but here's some of the statements we've received over the past seven days or so. One of the chief winners, as we noted on the special awards-edition of our newsletter last week, was Revolver, the independent was bested only by Warner in terms of the number of prizes it picked up (Revolver had three, all for marketing, to Warner's four). Commenting on their triumphant night, Revolver's Justin Marciano said: "I’m delighted at our win and incredibly proud of the London-based Revolver team. We were up against some incredibly tough competition, so its great to see that the passion we have for our titles, fuels the drive to challenge and be more creative, transcribes into successful, and even pioneering and award-winning digital distribution campaigns.”
When it came to the Industry Initiative, a very deserving award went to the Industry Trust's excellent Moments Worth Paying for campaign. The Trust's Liz Bales said: "We were thrilled for the Trust's work to be recognized with such a fabulous BVA award. That we are making such marked progress in using education as a means of tackling piracy is testament to the long term vision of so many in this industry and demonstration of what can be achieved with a little collective vision. Well done also to the BVA for hosting such a fine party. We're already looking forward to next year."
More reaction from the event: Arrow scored a direct hit with the campaign for The Killing, the series that helped launch a wave of interest in the Nordic Noir genre, and even helped a whole new franchise be born. The company's Alex Agran said: "It was an honour to be given an award for The Killing at the BVAs. It was the first one Arrow Films has ever received and it felt pretty good. Arrow has come a long way since its Nordic Noir brand was launched into the market and to get this level of recognition was the real icing on the cake for us."

Another comment came from Lionsgate, which won the award for marketing initiative of the year for music for its campaign for the Martin Scorsese George Harrison documentary, Living In The Material World. The company's Kaz Mills said: "We were absolutely delighted with our win last Thursday. The team at Lionsgate were passionate about delivering a stand-out campaign for this exceptional film. To have this recognised by the BVA makes us very proud and spurs us on to continue creating innovative campaigns for all of our future releases."
The award for Marketing Initiative Of The Year in the Specialist sector went to 4DVD for its work on Sarah Millican – Chatterbox Live. The award was, as noted by the judges, made all the more remarkable because Millican is a female stand-up in a very male dominated sector. 4DVD's Jess Scott said: "For us it was brilliant, we're really pleased. We work really hard and work very closely with our acts, and even though others may have more budget and resources, we have had some great results. Sarah has passed on her congratulations to us." That close relationship with Millican is set to continue: 4DVD has confirmed that her sophomore live outing, the marvellously titled Thoroughly Modern Millican, is being released by the company and is due out on November 12. Expect more signing announcements from the company in the coming weeks too…
4DVD won, of course, and another gong went to its agency marketMe, which won in the Agency Of The Year category. The company's md Jodie Waterhouse said: "“I’m very proud of the team, they work incredibly hard, so to receive the top award is just fantastic recognition of their dedication and talent. They say you are only as good as the people around you and that has never been more true than here at marketME. I’m really lucky to have a brilliant team who are way tougher on themselves I think than I or a client could ever be sometimes! Speaking of which a special thanks to 4DVD for putting us forward. We are superbly proud of not only the work we do together, but the close relationship we share with them as well, not hard with them all being so lovely! I also can’t neglect to mention Universal Pictures, a massive long term supporter of ours who entrust us with some brilliant blockbuster titles that really give my team the opportunity to strut their stuff! Thank you to them all and of course to the BVA.”

We've got loads more on our website, with a full list of the awards winners, plus the picture of a huge group of them, all brandishing their trophies. We've got a closer look at the BBFC's win. And we'll have more comment from the awards winners next week – if you picked one (or more) up and would like you see your reaction alongside that of your peers, then email Tim Murray at the usual address. 
Also on our website, or rather going up shortly, is a look at the first truly scary film experiences of people in the industry. We're running an ongoing piece tying in with the forthcoming release of Momentum's The Woman in Black. That film, of course, took more than £21 million at UK cinemas, making it the most successful homegrown horror hit ever. More significantly, the fact it's a 12 certificate means that, for many youngsters, the Daniel Radcliffe starrer will be their first experience of a proper horror film. So we've been asking people in the industry for their first scary film experience. We've had a few in from industry people, plus a lot of the Momentum staffers have also come forward with their own contributions. They're up on the website shortly (and they're hilarious); we'll have more next week, so please continue to send your contributions to
The idea of "your first scary film" will be one of the key PR elements for Momentum's campaign for The Woman In Black – expect to see this kind of feature and similar polls appearing in the national press closer to the film's release. As Momentum's Kristin Ryan noted: " Your first scary film is a near religious experience for most and one that can haunt you forever- it's a great PR hook." As you'll note from our coverage on the website, it's a very easy way to work out what age people are too…

More in The Woman In Black and Momentum's plans for the release. Again, over to Kristin Ryan for her comments: "The audience was incredibly broad, appealing to younger Daniel fans who have grown up watching Harry Potter right up to older fans of the book and play and everyone in between. Our strategy for the home entertainment release will mirror that with a media plan targeted to 12-24-year-old audience and female skews with a very mainstream and broad secondary audience. Online and social media is where we can really target our younger teens, especially with our strong and vocal Facebook group. Playing on the appeal of group viewing experience and safety in numbers, we're planning a live Facebook event the week of release which will be supplemented with special Daniel Radcliffe recorded messages throughout and Money Can't Buy Prize giveaways." Ryan continued: "Our instore presence week of release will be considerable with multiple stock units along with tactical POS elements including life-sized Daniel Radcliffe standees, which we fully expect will be liberated from stores."
After the hoopla over the awards over the past week and with our standard newsletter going out on Thursday, followed by a special edition on Friday, you may have missed HMV unveiling a trading update on Friday morning, but it's worth having another (or even first) look at it. The headline news – and heartening it is too – is that the retailer is "confident" it will return to profitability in the current financial year (2012/13). It will be aided by what the company sees as a stronger release schedule, the disruption at retailer GAME and the stronger ties between HMV and its film and music suppliers. In the year to the end of April, its loss was around the £16 million mark. Some of its problems in the previous year were, its trading update noted, down to a weaker than anticipated release schedule for DVD and other areas in the final part of 2011. Chief executive Simon Fox said: "“The last year has been a difficult and challenging one for HMV and this will be reflected in our annual results.  However we are confident that the actions we have taken will enable us to significantly improve our profit and cash generation in the year ahead.”
Sticking with HMV, and again pushing you in the general direction of our website, we talked last week about the retailer's survey to find the best British film of the past 60 years, tying in with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. We've got the 60 films on the longlist up on our website, along with the one that gets our vote, as well as HMV's Andy Anderson's own selection. See what we've chosen here, vote at and if you want to let us know what you've chosen for further editorial, email…

Talking of surveys and polls, although this one is far more serious, an interesting one lands in our Inbox courtesy of PR agency Diffusion. Its film and entertainment team put together the market research which including the following headlines: more than half of British people have illegally downloaded a film, a figure that rises to nearly three in every four people in London, the UK's illegal download capital. The figure would be even higher, but many, almost one in 10, said they'd like to illegally download, but didn't know how to do it, a figure that rose to nearly 40 per cent among those aged 44-years-old and over. One of the most worry aspects of the research suggested that 21 per cent of men believing that illegally downloading was morally wrong, a figure that fell to 14 per cent among younger audiences. Diffusion's Laura Pettitt said: "Our research highlights that illegal film downloading is now becoming a mainstream activity in the UK, despite recent high-profile legal cases and moves by the government to force ISPs to restrict access to file-sharing sites.  The film industry needs to learn from the mistakes of the music industry and strike the right balance between education, prevention and punishment. The growing competition in the UK film streaming space from the likes of Netflix and LoveFilm could generate an iTunes effect and make illegally downloading movies less attractive to consumers. More fundamentally the entertainment industry may also need to revisit the lifecycle of a typical film and consider whether reducing the obligatory 3-month period between a cinema and DVD release could help reduce the growth of illegal downloading."
Some more interesting figures on UK piracy, and depressing reading comes via law firm Wiggin and its 2012 Digital Entertainment Survey. It suggested that almost a third of current illegal filesharers are planning to pirate MORE films, music and games. Six per cent of the 2,500 respondents were illegally downloading films or TV programmes from linking and hosting sites, five per cent from filesharing sites. We're still digesting the figures from the report, we'll have some more on this and the Diffusion one up on our website shortly…
Some more product now, and a couple of interesting titles on the way from eOne. Goon has already benefited from a high profile theatrical release at the start of the year, and it will have a similarly impactful campaign for its imminent home entertainment bow. This wi8ll include terrestrial and satellite TV campaign, as well as national newspapers and lads’ mags for print, digital pre-rolls and a mobile campaign across sports and entertainment sites that will be seen by Android, Blackberry and iPhone users. Also set to go live will be a Goonify Yourself Facebook app, set to go live in the run up to its June 4 release, and enabling Facebook users to customise pictures of themselves so it looks like they've been in a brutal ice hockey game. eOne's Stephanie Don said: "We’re delighted to release the hilarious sports comedy Goon, with the success of American Pie: Reunion in UK cinemas proving there’s a huge demand for more Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy comedy pairings!  Goon is being supported with a comprehensive TV, digital, press and mobile media campaign, along with innovative PR and social media activity such as our Goonify Yourself Facebook app." We'll link to the app when it goes live, see our Tweet Of The Week below too, for more of eOne's digital work. 

And it's interesting to note too that one of the key elements of the marketing campaign for another forthcoming title, A Monster In Paris, a family tale due on June 4, will be based on Pinterest, the current hit website that will help it reach the all-important mums market. Talking about the campaign for the CGI title, eOner's Sayoko Tietz said: "A Monster in Paris is being supported by a monstrously marvelous TV, press and online campaign. To engage mums and mummy bloggers we are hosting a screening in cooperation with Cine Lumiere and we set-up an impactful Pinterest campaign. An O-ring will guarantee stand-out on shelf. A Monster in Paris will definitely be a hit with parents and kids alike.
Homeland, one of the most-talked about television programmes of the year (no mean feat, given newspapers’ obsession with particularly American or Scandinavian-based drama), finished its run on Sunday night on Channel 4, although the DVD is not due from Fox until later in the year. Those who fell for the tale of a former US prisoner of war returning to the States and a potentially huge conspiracy, have this week been directed to Prisoners Of War. The Israeli TV series was the inspiration for Homeland, and broadsheet journalists have been pointing their readers towards the programme, which started its run on Sky Arts 1 last night. This will arrive on DVD well ahead of the US remake, Arrow has picked up the rights and will be releasing it on July 18, just after transmission ends. And seeing as Arrow has already helped turn Nordic Noir into a successful brand, expect to see some kind of Middle East Mayhem imprint to follow… Arrow's Alex Agran said: "Audience figures were nearly double what they normally are for programmes in that slot on Sky Arts which was due in part to the wave of publicity that garnered favourable reviews to Homeland. The channel is becoming a real hub for international drama series to rival that of BBC4.. Prisoners of War is grittier and less polished than Homeland but it’s no less compelling a show. Israeli productions are outstanding for such a small country and they have exceptional talent – we’ve got more Israeli series coming through and we’re still working on the imprint branding."
Expect to see a steady flow of acquisitions executives and assorted freeloaders heading out to the south of France next week for the annual film festival, associated market and beano, and, at the same time, there’s a steady stream of announcements arriving in our inbox, both of acquisitions deals and production announcements. And we’ll end where we started, with Revolver. The company this week unveiled that it has acquired UK rights for Riot, from the newly-formed CHATA Pictures, whose producing team includes Jonathan Sothcott, who is not only a devoted Raygun reader but also something of a veteran of British homegrown theatrical and DTV genre films. The film, directed by Simon Phillips, features a cast of familiar British names and is based around last year’s London riots and will also be on show for other territories at Cannes. Sothcott said: “We’re delighted to be in business with Revolver – its track record with British crime thrillers speaks for itself and the results are absolutely remarkable. We’re really looking forward to another of their justly celebrated campaigns to kick off the release of this new film in its home territory.” Revolver’s head of acquisitions Dave Bishop said: “We’re delighted to be in business with Revolver – their track record with British crime thrillers speaks for itself and their results are absolutely remarkable. We’re really looking forward to another of their justly celebrated campaigns to kick off the release of this new film in its home territory.”

Before we headed over to see Dexys, we popped into the Courthouse Hotel in the heart of London’s West End where – and this is no mean feat in itself – Anchor Bay had pulled together the original cast of football hooligan flick ID for a reunion. The film, released by the company (and one we’ve already featured here) features the exploits of a bunch of undercover police who infiltrate the notorious (and entirely fictional) Shadwell, who are nothing to do with Millwall… Among those assembled for the drinks, screening and subsequent Q&A, were Perry Fenwick, now better known as Billy Mitchell, and Sean Pertwee. More on this next week… 
“Everyone in the business, including theatre owners, has an interest. This is a dangerous question. [We need to] be as thoughtful as we can to do it in a way that doesn’t undermine the theater experience. You create a gap for piracy, [consumers] have to get what they want. [DVD and Blu-ray discs are]  still in Walmart and 7-Eleven…The bad news is [they] may have to be cheaper. Now you can put bits and bites across the planet and it really doesn’t cost anything.”
Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner ceo, discussing the need to potentially shorten theatrical to DVD windows on US television this week…

It was another sterling performance for Avengers Assemble, with a haul that, at the end of the previous weekend, stood at a hefty £29 million plus. American Pie Reunion showed that the franchise still has plenty of life left in it, with an opening weekend of £6.33 million. Other new entries included Disney's Beauty And The Beast 3D release and Jason Statham action safe, which both took around the £680,000 mark, and horror remake Silent House, with £215,000.

For our older readers, and us at The Raygun, of course, Paddington means weekday teatimes just before the news, and the Michael Hordern-narrated, stop motion animation of Michael Bond's wonderful family creation. Well, the beer from darkest Peru with the love of marmalade is returning to screens again, in a feature film outing. News has arrived this week from Studiocanal that the company is backing a feature take on the duffel-coated bear, produced by David Heyman, one of the key producers behind the Harry Potter franchise. The company will also distribute the film, a CGI take on the character who has sold more than 35 million books worldwide and was recently polled as the UK's best-loved animated character. It will be directed by Paul King, who's worked on the likes of Bunny And The Bull and, on TV, Come Fly With Me and The Mighty Boosh.
Pitching comedies as this year's Hangover, or The Hangover with a twist, is obviously currently de rigeur in Hollywood. The latest four-pals-get-together-in-Vegas-for-a-stag-party-to-remember tale is Last Vegas (do you see what they did there?). The twist this time is that the participants are older than those in The Hangover. Among those now lined up to star are Michael Douglas, playing a confirmed bachelor finally getting hitched, and Robert De Niro, as the married guy who doesn't really want to join the party…
Nerd everywhere will have been celebrating this week after the news that helmer Edgar Wright is teaming up again with cohorts Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for The World's End. The film is said to be the third in a trilogy that started with Shaun Of The Dead and continued with Hot Fuzz. The previous two outings have taken more than $108 million between them and, said Hollywood website Deadline, the new film sees five old pals reuniting as they hit their 40s and set offf on a pub crawl. This being Wright, Pegg and co, there's also the small matter of the end of the world to deal with. The Working Title-backed film is due in spring of next year…
You can't fault the speed with which spoofsters Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, the team behind the likes of Meet The Spartans, Date Movie and Vampires Suck, have unveiled the next mickey-taking title from the production line. The Starving Games is a spoof of… look, do we really have to explain it? As well as Lionsgate's recent massive hit, it will also send up other recent blockbusters such as The Avengers, and again, you've got to admire the speed with which they turned that round. The Starving Games will be up for grabs at Cannes this year, and is set to add to the writer and directors' box office haul of $350 million.
And this week, if you're going to follow anyone who's not The Raygun, make it eOne's home entertainment division, new to the world of Twitter…!/eOneHomeEntUK
Girls and guys swoon as Gosling returns…
If only politics really was this much fun…
Answers the whatever happened to Lukas Haas question…
New from Oliver Stone…
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