Tag: stephen woolley

The Crying Game Revisited

People remember The Crying Game as a footnote in cinematic history but it should be reassessed to all budding filmmakers on how much passion and trauma it takes to get a film made and what some people are willing to risk to realise their dreams.

Palace Pictures was the big brash British Indie Producer/ Distributer during the 80’s, run by Nik Powell and Stephen Woolley which released and innovatively marketed seminal classics like The Evil Dead but ultimately died due to bad financial management. This was their last hit film. Eccentrically this film that could have saved them was sold off to Miramax who raked off the profits and let Palace die.

This low budget film directed by Neil Jordan was only kept going by the Producer Stephen Woolley using his credit card so filming could be completed. It was this bloody mindedness and suicidal attitude that stopped the film being an unfinished masterpiece. Remember the rule, NEVER PUT YOUR OWN MONEY IN FILMS but sometimes passion does weird things.

Nobody know that the film was going to be a cultural phenomenon until Harvey Weinsten marketed it with the tantalising ‘twist’ element otherwise it would have been a glorified tv movie.

I wouldn’t recommend doing such a thing but read The Egos have Landed by Angus Finney is a must read to get the full story.

What happened to Stephen Woolley? Neil Jordan brought him on as a producer on Interview with a Vampire and currently runs Number 9 Films.




Revolver Films and the dark side of distribution

A friend of mine sent me a link of an article stating that Revolver went down the toilet. He also went on to say that it was a good thing they were out of business as they were fleecing people but let’s face it; the distribution industry is full of rip off merchants and badly paying sharks. For those that are old enough to remember there was Palace Pictures run (badly!) by Nik Powell and Stephen Woolley which released seminal classics like Evil Dead, the early John Woo films and a host of others who went under leaving a lot of people out of pocket. Ironically the biggest hit in their history, The Crying Game, was released after their bankruptcy by Miramax who sold it cleverly on the ‘willy surprise’. This windfall would have saved Palace but only for the short term, as they were really bad when it came to bookkeeping and would only have postponed their inevitable death. Miramax themselves (prior to selling out to Disney) were another distributer notable for its financial banditry but champions of films that would otherwise never reach a wide audience.