Over the years Hugh & Anson have taken films through various industry workshops and film forums. Hugh went to one of the early EsoDocs in 2006 as a participant and returned later as a mentor. He took Thank You For the Rain through the rough cut lab DokIncubator. He is one of the few filmmakers to pitch at 3 separate Good Pitches.
Hugh & Anson have raised money from several national film funds - British Film Institute, Norwegian Film Institute, Doha Film Institute and European Union. They have been given grants from leading doc funders as well as private philanthropists. They have raised finance through complicated international co-productions with Germany, France, Finland, Norway. And have made documentaries via co-productions, commissions and pre-sales with broadcasters and streamers all over the world - Arte, Yle, ZDF, PBS, NBC, NRK, BBC, C4, Film 4, NHK, Netflix.
What does it all mean
It means we know the indy doc industry inside out. And most usefully, we know it from a filmmaker's perspective.
The industry can feel quite heavily leant towards the facilitators, funders, and distributors of documentary films - not necessarily the filmmakers. Its odd, because you could argue that without the filmmakers there would be no industry at all but we're working on that too. Or at least Hugh is playing a part via his involvement with some of the incredible producers at DPUK.
It means we can advise on your projects from the perspective of a fellow filmmaker and with a practical working knowledge of how the industry can support your film.
Please get in touch with us at development stage and we'll see where we can place a film and how we might help. As well as an overview of the story its useful to know your connection with a film subject - why do you want to tell this story, what is your relationship to the subject.
It's also useful to have visual material. This doesn't need to be a trailer, often trailers too easily paper over the cracks, and sometimes the cracks are just far too deep to carry a longer film. A taster or a scene will be really helpful. And finally who you've taken the project to already - who have you pitched to and what was the response.
With taster material and a developed pitch we can help raise finance. This can be advice on film funds but can also be more hands on, we come on board with a formal role and, once developed, pitch direct to financiers. Every project is different but we've raised money this way through co-productions, pre-sales and investment deals.
Good films can become incredible films between rough cut and picture lock. We've seen it time and time again. Sometimes its just not possible on practical terms - the people paying for a film simply need it by a certain date, but if it is possible and if the energy is there, opening a rough cut to fresh eyes can transform a film. Its worth knowing that the stars don't often align in feature doc making, so when they do and the camera was rolling at that moment, you have something that doesn't come along very often. The average doc takes about 5 years to make, you're doing very well if you're done in 3.
We're happy to take a look at a rough cut and see if we can help with your project. Its best to get in touch first and start the conversation with a synopsis, a taster or a 5 minute scene selects and we can see how we're placed to help.
We're not distributors but we do know a lot of sales agents, distributors and impact producers. More often than not films do best with a hybrid of targeted self distribution and carving out rights in specific territories via third party distributors and/or a sales agent. We've done this before on our own films and advised on many colleagues films.
Two of our films, Thank You For The Rain and Ping Pong regularly get used as case studies on impact distribution - how a film can be used as a tool for positive change in the world. Doc Society commissioned an independent report here.
We've raised significant funding for impact distribution in the past. Often well above the production budget of the film. We have a lot of experience in revenue generation too - either through direct sales, distribution deals and screening fees.