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Devilworks

19 May 15 words: Harry Wilding
The Notts based boutique world film sales company tells us what they're all about

Devilworks is a Boutique World Film Sales Agent – what exactly do you do?
Samantha:
We represent feature films for worldwide distribution. So we take on a film when it’s finished, we work closely with the producer. Generally producers will seek out sales agents, but we also research and look for films at festivals and so on. You could call us the middle man. We take the rights for films, either worldwide or international. Then we travel to markets throughout the year and we propose those films, market them, advertise them and find distribution in individual countries, whether it’s for TV, DVD, VOD, and sometimes theatrical. We travel to five markets each year, including Cannes.

What kind of films do you accept and search out?
S:
We focus on genre films - science fiction, fantasy, thriller, horror – that are compelling. Something a little bit quirky, a little bit different, that demonstrates a new way of telling stories. It needs to be gripping and the story is really important.

Matteo: All stories have been told in film now, really, so if they can tell something expected but in an unexpected way, we’re interested.

Where did the name Devilworks come from?
S:
We had a seven month journey to Devilworks. Its short, sweet, aggressive – it’s a bit fun, the devil in our logo is playful. It could be controversial but we haven’t come across anything. Though, at a Berlin festival party, a man, who I’d never met, noticed me and said; “Oh, there’s the devil woman!”

M: The name works for the fact that we have films that show the dark side of humanity. And as a kind of joke on how sales companies are seen as the devil as well. 

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Time Lapse

How did you meet and get started?
M:
After studying advertising and marketing, I went into the film production side of things, doing shorts and music videos and I was a producer on a feature film, called Break My Fall. I then got involved in the distribution side of film. We worked with a small company in London and there was quite a lot of discontent there with the way sales were handled so Samantha and I decided to open Devilworks.

Why Nottingham as a base?
M: When we started we felt the need to be in London. But moving to Nottingham was more a personal choice, rather than business related.

S: I’m not from Nottingham, but my mum lives here and my brother went to uni here. I used to visit a lot and I just fell in love with it. There are a lot of independent places, its manageable, you can walk everywhere, it has a great music scene and pubs. I’ve been backwards and forwards living here and in London, but I feel more at home here now. With this business, as long as you travel to the markets, we can be based anywhere, as long as there is a good internet connection.

Filmmakers probably don’t think about the sales side when making a film...
S: A filmmaker works so hard. They give their lives for however many months, or even years, to a film. My advice to them would be: don’t just make it and then let it fizzle out. It needs to be handled correctly.

M: My friends, who have been to film school, have told me that there wasn’t much taught about distribution and sales. I think it should be a big topic within film school.

There doesn’t seem to be any British films in your back catalogue – why is that?
M:
Yeah...they are mostly American and Canadian.

S: We just haven’t found any that work for us so far; or are not already taken.

M: We are looking into a British one now, called Nina Forever, which is about a guy who is visited by his dead girlfriend’s ghost whenever he has sex with his new girlfriend – it is really great.

Time Lapse is your latest film release. Can you tell us more about that?
S:
It is from the US – a huge festival hit. It’s won about 35 awards around the world. It is about three friends who discover a camera that is opposite their apartment that takes photos 24 hours into the future. It gets all very messy. The camera takes over their lives. It’s so clever, just three people in one location – it’s quite Hitchcockian.

What other films have you recently been involved with and where can people see them?
M:
  We have just got Black Mountain Side, a Canadian film – a psychological, horror thriller about a group of archaeologists in a remote part of Canada who uncover an old structure that drives them all against each other.

Time Lapse is available on various platforms, such as iTunes and Amazon, now.

Devilworks Website
Time Lapse Website

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