On The Firm

Monday, June 18 2012
On The Firm

The Rise And Fall Of A  White Collar Hooligan arriving in July (see trailer below) could, it be argued, mark the next stage in development of the homegrown, DTV-style British flick.

For while it contains the requisite elements needed for this kind of outing – not least in its title – it is, both Momentum, distributing the film, and its producers, including Jonathan Sothcott believe, the title has a bit more substance than your average Brit-hoolie flick.

And for Sothcott, who has an impressive filmography in terms of predominantly DTV fare, much of it eminently commercial (think Kaleidoscope’s recent Strippers Vs Werewolves), it represents another step in his seemingly inexorable march towards bigger and better things.

As he explains: “They say you have to kiss a few frogs to find a prince and sometimes the same is true when it comes to making films. After making numerous B movies and then taking them to market, The Rise And Fall of a White Collar Hooligan was really a bit of reverse-engineering – it was made in response to numerous requests from distributors to make ‘that type of film’ – of course nobody (well, not many people) could tolerate 90 minutes of nothing more than thugs bashing each other in east end boozers, so we chose a true story about credit card fraud, expertly fictionalised for the screen by Paul Tanter.”

He continues: “Paul crafted a thriller that is so much more than just another Mockney crime film – it has characters you care about and situations that aren’t a million miles from everyday life – if you had a credit card with no limits and no consequences, you might be tempted too.

“Paul weaved this in with a believable notion that the credit card fraudsters are also football hooligans which dovetailed perfectly. The white collar hooliganism of the title can be seen as the mayhem caused by the fraudsters with their cloned credit cards as well as the more literal football hooliganism in the film.”

That view is shared by Momentum. The company’s Adam Eldrett concurs: “With so much DTV product still hitting the schedules every week it is always a pleasure to work on those where the production values and story really do stack up, WCH achieves this and dare I say brings a new anti-hero to the screen in Nick Nevern, an emerging talent who I am sure has a bright future ahead of him.

“There is a substance to WCH that goes way beyond a hooligan slug fest.”

Both Sothcott and Eldrett believe that the film’s lead, Nick Nevern, has the makings of a big Brit star. Sothcott says: “In Nick Nevern, we believe that we’ve found a next generation movie star – he has none of the (good or bad) DTV baggage of the Nick Love alumni and has both the star quality and the acting chops to go all the way to the top. He gives a great performance in White Collar Hooligan and we’ve already had him back twice more for Riot (Revolver) and Once Upon A Time In Essex (Metrodome). As they say in the States, watch this space.”

Momentum will be doing its utmost to widen the potential audience, while at the same time going for the all-important 18 to 34-year-old market.

As Eldrett says: “We are one of a few football films coming out over the next few weeks and as Euro 2012 fever grips hold we will be capitalising on this through our marketing strategy for the excellent and visceral  – Rise And Fall Of A White Collar Hooligan.

“The film will be getting a limited theatrical release and will be kicking off in Empire Leicester Square from June 22 with our DVD scheduled for July 2, the day after Euro 2012. Going at the end of the tournament ensures that footfall in store will be greater than the three weeks before it and should trigger some interesting features and review coverage whilst football fans eyes are glued to relevant publications and websites.

“We will also be running a TV campaign during that last week of the tournament as well as plenty of pushes across our social channels. www.facebook.com/hooliganfilm is picking up quite a loyal following.”

You could argue that, given Momentum’s nous within this sector aligned with Sothcott’s experience and you’re looking at a perfect pairing. Eldrett concludes: “It is also a delight to be working with legendary producer Jonathan Sothcott who has a similar passion for these films as we do here at Momentum.”

But we’ll leave the last words to Sothcott, understandably proud of his film… “The Rise And Fall of a White Collar Hooligan ticks all the commercial boxes but it is also the first film I’m genuinely proud of without any caveats about budget or cast. It does what it says on the tin but it’s also a solid British crime film and I really hope people will give it a chance. Momentum has, on our second happy partnership, been an absolute dream to work with on this title, with Robert [Walak, acquisitions], Ken [McMahon, home entertainment chief] and Adam [Eldrett, marketing] all being incredibly supportive and it is great having Fetch in our corner on the PR side. I really hope that people will give this film, the first from my new company CHATA Pictures, a chance. I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised…”

Keep an eye out shortly for an excellent chart and feature penned by Sothcott, looking at five films that influenced Rise And Fall…, in the meantime, here’s the trailer…

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