Revolver Gunning For Glory


Written by Archie Thomas
26 Friday 26th February 2010

That’s because cinema audience attention spans are increasingly short – they seem only to care about this weekend’s big, blockbusting new release – and most cinema owners like to play ‘reliable product’ ie something toplining a barrel-chested Hollywood A-lister and co-starring Pointless Explosions alongside Car Chases.    

Undoubtedly, it’s a tough old game for smaller distributors trying to get smaller budget, story-led films ‘out there’ and seen. That’s why enterprising distributors lie in the bath all morning dreaming up marketing stunts which will create a genuine buzz around a film. Usually the water run outs (despite the plug being in) before they come up with anything genuinely smart.

Probably the most inventive indie distributor on the block today is Revolver Entertainment. The young firm, which is head-quartered in Notting Hill and run by Justin Marciano, has built a teak-tough reputation for controversial guerrilla marketing campaigns which have delivered lots of press coverage and a fraction of the cost in taking full-page ads in the nationals and bill-boarding the West End.

Revolver’s first big success was Kidulthood. To promote the 2006 film about tearaway teens in west London, Revolver dreamt up arresting posters of the British cabinet with the faces of hoodies from the film superimposed on Blair and co. The well-pitched and executed stunt grabbed the headlines and the film went on to be a commercial success (especially on DVD).

Subsequent edgy Revolver campaigns included promoting stoner comedy The Wackness with a competition offering winners a trip to Amsterdam with free skunk thrown in upon arrival.

This year Revolver has moved into overdrive with a spate of smart stunts. Rather than take out ads in the papers - AKA tomorrow’s chip wrapper - they carpet-bombed Manchester’s Arndale Centre and London’s Liverpool Street station with £5,000 in fivers and tenners to promote Danny Dyer movie Dead Man Running. Inevitably, the surprise cash drop sparked a commuter feeding frenzy who discovered Dead Man Running branded cash amongst their real readies. As well as bringing delight to commuters, it also delivered ‘free’ publicity for Dead Man Running.

Futuristic gang thriller Shank marks Revolver’s first in-house production and the marketing machine is gearing up for the 26 March release. Spearheading the pre-release hype is the film’s theme tune – Bashy’s When the Sky Falls - which clocked up 100,000 views on YouTube in its first week.

I hate the vid but that doesn’t mean it won’t deliver the desired effect for Revolver. This film is aimed squarely at the naughty yout. So, if you are a trap star from Norf Weezy shank town or an admirer of such mean folk you’ll be currently rinsing Bashy as your ringtone and counting down the days until 26 March. Revolver has you by the nuts.

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