Looking back, looking forwards…

Monday, February 16 2015
Looking back, looking forwards…

So, at the end of the year, and beginning of 2015, we asked assorted Raygun readers, industry people, senior executives and other key figures and observers, about the best and worst of 2014 from their perspectives, what they’d seen of note over the year, what their hopes and fears were for the year ahead.

Here then, are a selection of the answers to those questions. We posted it a while back, but it got lost on our website, so we’re putting it back up, bringing it to the fore…

Favourite three releases of the year: Stations of the Cross, The Bridge Season 2 and The Stag
Highlights of 2014: working with some top talent including Juliette Binoche and Christina Hendricks
Lowpoint of 2014: Stations Of The Cross didn’t find the audience it deserved in cinemas sadly
Event of the year: Our God’s Pocket Q&A at the BFI Southbank was great
Biggest challenge in 2015: Getting indie films working in cinemas with healthy screen averages
What I’m looking forward to in 2015: Working with more top-draw talent in some of our biggest ever film releases
Jon Sadler, Arrow Films

Favourite of  three releases of the year: 12 Years a Slave, Her, Only Lovers Left Alive
Highlights of 2014: Working with Jim Jarmusch and his team on Only Lovers Left Alive and the Blu-ray collection
Lowpoint of 2014: Can’t think of anything! (Possibly the uber-professional moment of (due to my non-Britishness) asking a band-member of Pulp their name and who they were on their own guestlist through… oops)
Event of the year: Taking Nollywood and Hollywood to Streatham for the Half of a Yellow Sun premiere
Biggest challenge in 2015: The usual physical vs digital – starting with a digital-only release of a carbon-neutral British film
What I’m looking forward to in 2015: Releasing Soda’s biggest slate ever!
Louise Rae, Soda Pictures

Favourite three releases of the year: The Imitation Game, The Theory Of Everything and American Sniper, all seen in 2014 because of my BAFTA involvement
Highlights of 2014: Going to my first US Walmart store manager’s meeting and taking Marcus Luttrell, the former US Navy Seal who received the Navy Cross and a Purple Heart for his actions in facing the Taliban in 2005. He was an inspiration and his humility was humbling. He was, of course, plated by Mark Wahlberg in our film Lone Survivor
Lowpoint of 2014: None really, I like to see the best in every situation. Whatever the pressures, we should all feel grateful to have a part in this incredibly exciting business
Event of the year: Attending the Royal Variety Performance in the presence of Prince Charles
Biggest challenge in 2015: Working with our retail partners to maximise every title in the biggest slate in Universal’s history, including Lucy, Fifty Shades of Grey, Furious 7, Ted 2, Minions and Jurassic World
What I’m looking forward to in 2015: Maximising the huge drafting opportunities on the catalogue of the above titles during our big theatrical campaigns through to home entertainment release and beyond
Eddie Cunningham, Universal

Favourite three releases of the year: The Drop, Two Days, One Night, Under the Skin
Highlights of 2014: TIFF and other travels, becoming an engaged person
Lowpoint of 2014: The continued slide of my local Picturehouse multiplex in Greenwich towards a preponderance of US studio films in their offering, with fewer arthouse and indie films in the mix than previously (attributable to their new corporate parent? Most likely)
Biggest challenge in 2015: Finding new sources of music content for DVD (anybody have any long form live music programs of any sort of genre they’d like to discuss licensing to us? Contact me at ig@unionsquaremusic.co.uk)
What I’m looking forward to in 2015: Traveling to Asia in April, TIFF in September, seeing lots of great new films throughout the year. Check out Whiplash everyone! And getting hitched to my lovely fiance!
Ian Gilchrist, Union Square Music 

Favourite three releases of the year: Godzilla, Wolf Of Wall Street, Mockingjay Part 1
Highlights of 2014: Expendables 3 week 1 result / Industry Joint Christmas Gifting Campaign
Lowpoint of 2014: Cancelling The Interview Theatrical release /
Event of the year: Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 World Premiere
Biggest challenge in 2015: Keeping consumers excited about Home Entertainment Film content in new and exciting ways
What I’m looking forward to in 2015: A crazy film slate in Q4!
Ben Grunbaum, Lionsgate

Favourite three releases of the year: Maleficent, Gone Girl and 100 Year Old Man who climbed out the window and disappeared
Highlights of 2014: Creating Movie Magic resource getting five stars from TES and Vin Diesel’s Socks getting an RTS nomination
Lowpoint of 2014: The Sony hack. Without question.
Event of the year: For me it was the CEA’s north and midlands branch meeting, as I spoke about the Trust’s work and we got a round of applause from independent cinemas!
Biggest challenge in 2015: Reduced funding
What I’m looking forward to in 2015: the AMAZING slate that’s coming up – Ted 2, Pitch Perfect 2, Avengers 2, Magic Mike 2
Katy Carter, Industry Trust

Favourite three releases of the year: Her, Faust re-release, Dallas Buying Club
Highlights of 2014: HMV is alive and well
Low point of 2014: Seven months of rubbish movies and sequels after the academy awards
Event of the year: Ian Dawson’s wedding
Biggest challenge in 2015: a slate without Frozen
What I’m looking forward to in 2015: the government supporting even more the creative industries
Philippe Roucoule, Right Angle Consulting

Favourite three releases of the year: Detectorists, Northern Soul, Hard Days Night
Highlights of 2014: Tarras live at the Whitstable Session Music Club in August and playing ‘Dark Eyed Sailor’ at the Royal Native Oyster Stores right on the beach during an amazing electrical storm
Lowpoint of 2014: Being 61
Event of the year: playing banjo-sideman to Canadian singer songwriter Cara Luft
Biggest challenge in 2015: multi-platform releases
What I’m looking forward to in 2015: multi-platforms!!
Johnny Fewings, consultant

Favourite three releases of the year: Stranger by the Lake, The Raid 2, Pride
Highlights of 2014: Kate Bush Live at Hammersmith
Lowpoint of 2014: The continuing dismantling of our NHS
Event of the year: If not Kate Bush then Glastonbury.
Biggest challenge in 2015: Deflation in the home entertainment market.
What I’m looking forward to in 2015: The unceremonious ousting of our current government.
Neil Williams, eOne

Favourite three releases of the year: Finding Vivian Maier, Two Days, One Night, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Highlights of 2014: So many but if I had to choose it would be putting on a screening of Toy Story 3 (for Demelza Hospice Care for Children), selling out the 403 seat venue and getting everyone (adult & child) to bring along their favourite toy to the screening!
Lowpoint of 2014: Watching Brazil losing so unceremoniously in the World Cup (an experience heightened by watching with our weeping Brazilian neighbour)
Event of the year: Horns premiere… my daughter got to meet and speak to Harry Potter… I mean Daniel Radcliffe
Biggest challenge in 2015: No challenges just massive opportunities
What I’m looking forward to in 2015: Building relationships with folks who care
Tom Langlands, Elevation Sales

Favourite three releases of the year: Under The Skin (Blu-ray and vinyl), Blue Sunshine (VHS), Cold In July (Steelbook)
Highlights of 2014: Independents continuing to give the majors a good run for their money. Friends of The Raygun doing well
Lowpoint of 2014:
Personal bereavement overshadowed everything else for me
Event of the year:
Cannes for the film festival after a few years off, Carcassonne for music and the Northern Soul premiere party at Madame Jojo’s (RIP)
Biggest challenge in 2015:
Trying to get studios to talk more freely, with less approvals…
What I’m looking forward to in 2015: A memorable year in terms of output…
Tim Murray, The Raygun