Meet The Exhibitors Interview: Bristol Bad Film Club

In a packed Scalarama Bristol line-up, contributions from Bristol Bad Film Club are already looking like festival highlights.

First up on Saturday the 2nd of September is Genre-geddon, a 12-hour American style B-Movie marathon featuring films from Arrow Video and 88 films, alongside B-movie classics Bloodsport and Action Jackson, with a few hidden gems thrown in for good measure. Check out the trailer:

 

12 Hours, 7 Action B-Movies, 1 Epic Movie Marathon Genre-geddon: Action (A 12hr Action B-Movie Marathon): Coming to Bristol this September.Tickets on sale now: www.genregeddon.co.uk

Posted by Bristol Bad Film Club on Sunday, 9 July 2017

 

And as if that isn’t enough to get Bristol excited, they are also bringing both Tommy Wiseau and fellow The Room star Greg Sestero across to Bristol together for the first time. Not only will they be putting on two more screenings of The Room, they will also be showing special preview screenings of Tommy and Greg’s brand new film, Best F(r)iends.

 

"Together again"13-16 September: The Room/Best F(r)iends LIVE feat. Tommy Wiseau and Greg SesteroTommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero are returning to The Redgrave Theatre to screen The Room and do special preview screenings of their new film Best Friends Movie! Both Tommy and Greg will be at ALL screenings. Watch an exclusive clip below and get your tickets now: https://www.getawriggleon.com/o/bristol-the-redgrave-theatre-tommy-wiseau-and-greg-sestero-in-bristol-the-room-or-best-f-r-iends-with-q-a

Posted by Bristol Bad Film Club on Wednesday, 19 July 2017

 

We met up with founder Ti Singh to talk future plans, his burgeoning relationship with Tommy Wiseau and how to behave in a bad film screening.

 

Obviously you’re pretty seasoned in cinema exhibition now, but can you remember the first screening you ever put on?

Yeah, I screened Plan 9 From Outerspace above the Lansdowne Pub in Clifton. 50 people came along and I realised then that maybe the idea for a Bristol Bad Film Club had legs. If I could get 50 people along for that, just showing a DVD above a pub, then what could I achieve with a better venue and better equipment? Then the whole Bristol Bad Film Club just grew from there.

 

Genre-geddon is a pretty epic event, how did the idea come about?

Over the past couple of years we have been putting on 24-hour bad movie marathons to raise money for charity, just me and a select bunch of film nerds from Bristol. Initially, it wasn’t open to the public because we didn’t have the licensing, but we were still raising a fair amount of money. Then last November we put on Cancel The Trump-ocalypse which was 24 hours of 50s Monster Movies, where some pre-historic monster grabs women. The success of this made us realise that maybe we could do it on a bigger scale in an actual theatre. Since then we have put on Arnie-geddon, which was 3 Arnold Schwarzenegger films back to back to celebrate his 70th Birthday. That sold out 200 tickets. So we thought why not do a proper movie-marathon?

 

Have you come across many logistical hurdles so far putting on the event? Getting licensing for all the different films etc.?

The licensing side of it is actually relatively straight forward, because most of the films have their licensing done by Filmbank or MPLC, so it was simply a case of telling them about the event, asking for permission and sorting out the money. The hardest thing was finding a venue that would let us do something for 12-hours, and that also has comfortable enough seating and a decent AV set-up to give it that scope.

 

You have ended up putting it on at the University of Bristol in the Winston Theatre. What was their reaction when you proposed the idea? 

When I first proposed it they were kind of like “that’s a bit weird…”, but then they realised it’s outside of term time and the students won’t be back so they thought why not give it a punt. It’s actually a really nice 200-seater venue and cheaper than anywhere else. For 12 hours it’s unbelievable value for money.

 

My own experience of watching bad films has always been watching them with friends. We would start off by sending each other ridiculous trailers, and then find a way to track the most intriguing ones down. How integral do you think the group viewing experience is for your screenings? 

The group experience is definitely crucial to the Bristol Bad Film Club. I used to get a group of friends round to kind of ‘vet’ the bad films with me and we would watch so many legitimately bad films before you would find those nuggets of gold. If you have a group of people who are all experiencing something really insane for the first time together, that can’t be beaten.

 

What are your audiences like? Would you say there is a slightly different code of conduct when you are watching a bad film?

It’s a wide demographic. Everyone tends to have a drink; we normally put our screenings on at venues where there is a bar so everyone is pretty loosened up. There is always laughter throughout, but there’s no talking, as people genuinely want to hear the bad dialogue. Obviously The Room screenings are a bit different, it’s more of a Rocky Horror Picture Show type of experience where people quote along and throw spoons. If you have never been to one of those screenings before, the first time is a bit “Oh my god, What’s going on!?”. But the Bristol Bad Film Club in general is respectful of the film, although they might heckle and laugh at it. It’s a good time.

 

You mentioned The Room, how did your relationship with cult hero Tommy Wiseau come about? How was it getting in touch with him?

I always knew that I wanted to show The Room, but I had heard in advance that Tommy never likes The Room to be referred to or screened as a ‘bad’ film. We are obviously called the Bristol Bad Film Club, so that was a problem. I ended up just emailing him as myself, telling him I wanted to screen the film and eventually we got permission to screen it for the first time back in February 2014. Since then we have put on lots of The Room related events, and Tommy and Greg Sestero have both been involved, however this is the first time we will have them both In Bristol together. I really like Tommy and I love The Room. He is justifiably defensive of his film, so we just make sure we keep our name off of any of the posters or promotional material out of respect.

 

What does the future hold for the Bristol Bad Film Club? Do you have any more big events in the pipeline?

There is nothing at the moment actually. We are going to go back to doing our regular monthly screenings to raise money for charity, but these bigger events like Genre-geddon take up a lot of your time. I am writing a book at the moment, so I want to put a couple of months into that.

 

Is the book related to what you do with the Bristol Bad Film Club?

It’s film related, but it’s not bad film related. If this book is a success then I do have a bad film related follow up. I currently have a few contract offers that I’m mulling over.

 

Do you have any advice for those who want to put on screenings of their own? Anything you wish you had known back when you were starting out? 

I would just say: make sure you are doing something that will stand out. Bristol is a big film city and there are lots of groups so you’ve got to make sure that yours stands out. I cannot over state how useful social media can be. Have a good facebook presence or instagram if that works for you. Relying on local publication to pick up your event can be frustrating. It’s all about doing stuff yourself; putting out regular emails, you’ve got to get your product in front of people.

 

Genre-geddon is on at The Winston Theatre, University of Bristol on Saturday 2nd September at 12pm. Tickets here

The Room will be on at The Redgrave Theatre on the 14th and 16th September at 7pm. Tickets here

Special preview screenings of Best F(r)iends on the 13th and 15th September at 7pm have SOLD OUT. So an additional screening has been added on the 15th at 9:40pm. Tickets here

 

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