MOVING WITH THE TIMES: Film director Q
FOLLOWING his 2007 debut film Deadmeat, British director Q returns with his latest offering, Fedz.
Featuring a stellar line-up of British stars including Ashley Walters, Wil Johnson and Joseph Marcell, Fedz tells the story of renegade London cop ‘Mike Jones’. Suspecting corruption in the police force, Jones resigns and becomes a ticking time bomb as his old teammates hunt him down. In an attempt to redeem himself, he works hard to try and solve the case of a virus that has been released by a terrorist group.
With its impressive cast and action-packed plot, the film is worthy of a cinematic release. But in a bid to keep up with technology and not get “left behind,” Q – who also stars in the film – has skipped the traditional route of film distribution and set up his own Internet channel to stream Fedz online.
And as if he hadn’t made it convenient enough for audiences to view his action thriller, the director has made his film available for just 66p.
He explains why he took this route: “Streaming is the future because that decision has been made for me by the big companies. Look at all the investment that is going into this sector.
YouTube came along and the TV corporations quickly realised they’d lose audiences if they didn’t keep up, so the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 developed their own players to stream their content.”
He continues: “Streaming has become so natural now, with people watching and streaming music videos, films and other media on their smart phones and tablets, often without even knowing they are doing it. Have you seen how big some of the [smart phone] screens are getting? Have you noticed all the mobile companies are talking about 4G connections when you upgrade your phone? It allows videos and films to be streamed faster to your phone or tablet.”
In addition, Q says that having the ability to set up Internet channels means that black Brits with content to share can side-step the often heard issue of the mainstream showing little support to black-interest productions.
“So many people have mobile phones, so now, there are many ways we can all join in and make money in this growing industry. Jamie Oliver has his own Food Tube channel on YouTube – why has no black chef done the same?
“You can’t say technology is racist when you look at media entrepreneurs like [SB.TV founder] Jamal Edwards and [YouTube stars] Mandem On The Wall; companies like GRM Daily and Link UP TV; and shows like Meet The Adebanjos – all of which enjoy success online.”
NEW FLICK: Fedz is available for just 66p
“The opportunities are there, so there is no point complaining. I refuse to be left behind, so I set up my own channel to stream Fedz, and I made it as cheap as possible, at just 66p. I decided to stream my film because I believe this is where the audiences will be going in the next year or two. And I would rather be there waiting for them, than trying to play catch up.”
With this thinking, it’s perhaps not surprising that Q doesn’t see himself as being at a disadvantage as a black British filmmaker, compared to his non-black counterparts. In fact, he feels that the issue to focus on is not the lack of support from the film industry, but the lack of support from black audiences.
“I am a realist,” he says. “I don’t expect anything from this society, not even from my own black people. This is not America. Black people in the UK did not go through the Civil Rights movement or apartheid. The pain that black people in America and Africa went through got them to where they are now. Black Brits haven’t faced anything like that.
“It is normal for the industry to fund their own people; people that look like them, because they want to see themselves on the screen. The biggest challenge we face is the black audience – they don’t support their own filmmakers and that is more of a challenge. My white contemporaries have their audiences come out and support their films, but black British audiences seem to be comatose. They are sitting in front of the TV not seeing themselves, but they keep watching. Why?”
He adds: “If we support our industry like African people support Nollywood, then we will get there. Black Brits have a lot to learn from Nollywood and the way they market and promote their films in the UK.”
In addition to promoting Fedz, Q is also busy with another pursuit.
“I’m currently working on creating a distribution portal,” he reveals. “With the advent of social media, the demise of HMV, and Blockbuster being bought out of administration, it means cinema and the film business as a whole is changing. We can jump into that space and that is what I am doing.
“I also have a business called Top Dog Agency, which does all the things I want to do, like discovering and developing new acting talent, and shooting and producing music promos, shorts and commercials. There is always something to do – I’m never bored.”
For more information and to watch Fedz, visit www.fedzmovie.com