When I set out to make Lad I set out to make a small intimate drama that paid tribute to a man who was a mentor to me as a teenager and to the stunning Yorkshire Dales where I was lucky enough to grow up.
As such Lad will always occupy a very special place in my affections and it has been a great privilege to take the film to festivals around the world and enjoy the response of audiences to this small story about a boy with a big heart.
But the reality of the film distribution model is that low budget films are unattractive to sales agents, distributors and middle-men and no matter how much I tried to convince them otherwise, no one wanted to pick-up a small film with an unknown cast, despite Lad attracting significant interest and awards at film festivals around the world.
After three years of closed doors, I finally threw in the towel and focused my energies on my young family.
Then something quite wonderful happened.
An email landed in my inbox; A man from Australia who wanted to thank me for a 'beautiful and convincing drama.'
Then came another, from America. And another.
Someone had uploaded lad to YouTube and suddenly thousands of people were watching it and commenting on it.
Then tens of thousands. And the comments that people were leaving were incredible and I realised that against the odds the film had somehow managing to find the audience that the gatekeepers told me didn't exist.
In the past year based on word of mouth alone Lad has been viewed 400,000 times and has an IMDB rating of 8.2.
According to IMDB's charts that would places us in the top 10 British films of all time.
But here's the rub. IMDB only includes a film in their rankings if more than 25,000 people have rated the film.
25,000 people. That's basically saying to the smaller films that don't have the marketing clout of the big studios that we don't count.
IMDB is at the heart of the Hollywood system. The studios use it for casting, funding, business deals, networking, box office statistics and box office forecasting. So when a studio decides what projects they are going to fund, distribute or promote, IMDB is where they get their information. Could this be the reason that the studios continue to make such homogenized products?
Well I want to change that and I hope that you will help me.
My goal is to get the 25000 votes required by IMDB so as to get Lad officially ranked. If we can get Lad onto the world stage we can disrupt a movie making system intent only on franchises, superheroes and brand affiliation and try to move the goalposts so as to give the little guys a chance and allow audiences greater say in the sort of films that they want to watch.
The film is available on this site by scrolling down, or on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and YouTube.
Please do take a moment to rate the film on IMDB if you're a member or share the film with family and friends. Your support is what will make this happen and for that I'm truly grateful.
I hope you enjoy the film!
Writer/Director Lad : A Yorkshire Story