Last week Wednesday, courtesy of The TV Collective, I attended the screening for RANDOM, a new film by Channel 4/Film Four.
RANDOM, written and directed by Debbie Tucker Green, was adapted from Green’s play of the same name which was a hit at London’s Royal Court Theatre.
“The screen debut from Debbie Tucker Green, adapted from her critically acclaimed play at London’s Royal Court Theatre, is a gripping drama starring Nadine Marshall.
It’s a chilly spring morning and there’s family banter in the household as Sister hustles to work, not looking forward to the daily grind of her office job. Brother (Daniel Kaluuya) has overslept and is late for school, Mum (Jay Byrd) has burnt the breakfast and an exhausted Dad (Louis Mahoney) sleeps off his nightshift. The business of the morning races into the afternoon, when the routines of the family members are abruptly, devastatingly disrupted by a single random event. Then time stands still, as everyone struggles to come to terms with what has happened…”
(Channel 4 website – click here for the trailer!)
So how was the film? Well without giving too much away, I thought it was a brilliant way of doing film; the fact that it had been adapted from a play was a great advantage as some of the theatre elements were kept intact which made it even more unique. This was further enhanced by the brilliant lead actress Nadine Marshall; playing multiple characters, Marshall displays a range of emotions that make you both laugh and cry with her. The ticking clock that pops up now and again creates suspense that keeps you intrigued in the story and where it’s heading. The film is realistic in that it reflects on parts of mundane life that we all experience – for example, waking up in the morning, man trouble, teasing your siblings, strong willed mothers telling you what to do regardless of your age, a Dad who stays silent just to keep the peace and dealing with your work colleagues (this part I found particularly hilarious). It’s because it is so relatable that you get drawn in, waiting on the edge of your seat to see what happens when the clock runs out.
Now, the most ‘random’ thing about the event was that the drinks reception was held on a rooftop car park in Peckham and the actual viewing of the film took place in a small, cosy room where we all gathered together on wooden benches and bays of straw and hay! This was all part of the plan apparently – Channel 4’s plan of “experimenting with new ways of doing things”. David Abraham, Chief Executive of Channel 4 said that taking on RANDOM and delivering a unique and distinctive launch is part of Channel 4’s commitment to working with a diverse range of voices and communities. They aim to bring media and content to communities in new and exciting ways.
Katherine Butler, Film 4’s Senior Commissioning Editor went on to talk about the creative, word-of-mouth and grassroots promotional campaign. Over the next couple of weeks leading up to the airing on August 23rd, a series of pop-up screenings will be taking place around the country – in parks, hairdressers, community centres, pubs, a tanning salon, a tattoo parlour and a music festival to name a few. After the television debut on the 28th, the film will then receive its international debut at the Toronto Film Festival in September. Details of the screenings that are taking place around the UK can be found here. If anyone would like to host their own screening you can contact Kimberly at Strong & Co for more information and a DVD pack including poster and flyers for you advertise your own event: firstname.lastname@example.org
Another element of the campaign was the spoken word competition. Channel 4 put out a call for spoken word pieces that described a random life-changing event and received over 400 entries. The winner, who will be announced on Wednesday 10th August, will have their entry made into a short film and broadcast the same evening as RANDOM.
Yet another great, innovative, campaign by Channel 4. Don’t forget to watch RANDOM on Tuesday August 23rd at 10pm (60mins). Click here for more info.