A week has past since my film version of A Christmas Carol was released and the word is spreading across the globe!
In the fog and rain of an English winter my thoughts have gone back to those few days of gloriously bright sunshine and crisp autumn colours when Emily, Jordan and I worked as quickly as we could in order to complete our filming before further lockdown measures were imposed. Only this week the government have announced new restrictions across the country and the county of Kent, where we filmed, is in the highest tier meaning it would have been impossible for us to return. So what we achieved in those few days was quite remarkable.
As I watch the film now I can remember setting up the scenes as I had imagined them but also those ‘happy accidents’ when an idea suddenly came to us. The room at Eastgate House that we used as Scrooge’s bedroom was on the top floor and it was only as I looked out of the window to the street below that I began to wonder if we could film from two different angles so as to create the conversation between Ebenezer and the little boy who runs to fetch the prize turkey.
It is one of the most successful sequences in the film and I hope that we can re-film a couple of other scenes next year, using the same idea, (although as has been pointed out to me, I will have to make sure that my beard has EXACTLY the same degree of bushiness with no further grey in it!)
The original reason for making the film was so that venues that I would normally be visiting (led in particular by the Mid Continent Public Library) could have access to my performance even though I couldn’t tour this year. The film would be made available to any of our sponsors who wanted to distribute it to their patrons. But with the amount of work that we put in we wanted to ensure that the end product was available to as many people as possible, however not being film distributors we didn’t have a network in place to get it out there: it was then that Bob Byers had a brilliant idea – we use every one else’s networks! The plan that Bob proposed, and we adopted, was that an organisation could sign up with us to act as distributors of the film. They would have a specific access link to Vimeo which they would promote in their emails and general marketing, and for each rental made as a result the organisation would receive a commission: the more rentals, the higher the end payment and all for no capital outlay – it was a win, win plan for everyone!
Many of our established venues, both in America and in England, leapt at the idea and are even now encouraging their customer bases to celebrate Christmas with Gerald Dickens, but now other groups are seeing the benefits too, for example our local school has signed up so that local families can all watch together over the next few weeks in lieu of nativity plays and carol concerts. Festivals have come on board as have museums and libraries and city councils. As more people watch our ‘ghostly little film’ (to borrow Charles Dickens’ own words in his preface to the first edition), the reviews and comments have started to come in too:
‘Bravo! This is wonderful – what a treat!’
‘It’s strange to know a text so well, anticipate what is coming, and still feel delight when it arrives.’
What the Dickens! Gerald Dickens IS Charles Dickens for my money!
Gerald Dickens brings his great-great-grandfather’s story to life with so much humour and heart and truth. This is A Christmas Carol told as it should be told – by Mr Dickens himself.
A plum pudding of a show – stuffed full of delights – and served with authentic Dickensian relish. 5 stars!
‘It’s so cleverly put together. So we’ll observed. Dark where it needs to be dark, funny and uplifting where it should be, deeply emotional at all the places one expects.’
‘It’s a brilliant merging of a one-man stage performance with the luxuries that locations and sound effects allow.’
‘I LOVED IT !! FANTASTIC!!’
‘It is the story just as it should be – wonderfully ghostly but also fun, sad, happy and Christmassy.’
‘The Christmas Carol was awesome’
‘Well done – a great piece of work and a very entertaining hour of classic Christmas joy!’
‘Glorious – loved it loved it loved it!’
‘The film is wonderful! To see A Christmas Carol brought to life by Charles Dickens’ talented and delightful great-great-grandson has always been special, but to see it done against the backdrop of historic places Dickens himself knew brings the story to life in a unique and meaningful way that truly stirs the imagination.’
Looking ahead there is more and more media interest building as newspapers, radio, podcasts and TV all contact us daily for interviews. In England A Christmas Carol is a text on the GCSE exam syllabus and teachers are asking if they can use the film next year as a resource for their ongoing teaching. We are finding interest and enthusiasm from quarters that we hadn’t even considered
The film is taking on a life of its own and all in all I think that we as a team can be pretty pleased with our first week as movie moguls.
To watch the film visit my website: http://www.geralddickens.com/films.html
To enquire about being a distributor: gerald@geralddickens