In March 2014 we started filming my first feature, The Ghoul. That Christmas I began working for Curzon.
That Christmas I began working for Curzon. January 2015 came around, which is a busy time for cinema. Everyone was talking Birdman, American Sniper was making a killing at the box-office and Whiplash was drumming up real support as a contender for Best Film at the Oscars. Amongst all these huge Oscar bound films, a tiny, micro-budget British drama called Hinterland was also screening at Curzon cinemas. It was great that they supported the theatrical release. There was hope for us yet!
My own aspirations for our film started years before when Gareth Tunley, The Ghoul’s director, introduced me to Christopher Nolan’s Following (1998) and Ben Wheatley’s Down Terrace (2009). Both films were produced on a shoestring budget. They inspired me to think that I could produce a film. Both had been made for little money. I had no money. But they had realisable scripts, brilliant characters and incredibly talented directors capable of pulling the films off. When I read the script of Gareth’s dark, complex, twisty and unconventional psychological thriller, thinking of those films I knew we had a chance.
The Ghoul was finally finished by mid-2016. A year later, I’m still working for Curzon and I’m happy where I am. I’ve discovered so many wonderful films and have been able to share them with audiences. So many really great films have stayed with me, such as Wild Tales (2015), Embrace of the Serpent (2016) and Manchester by the Sea (2016). I’m thrilled to be working for a cinema that genuinely supports independent film.
Ultimately, The Ghoul is the film that made me. In 2016, we were selected for the London Film Festival and Curzon are supporting its theatrical release. So thanks Curzon and all those filmmakers who showed us the way.
[Jack Guttmann, producer of The Ghoul and assistant manager at hmvCurzon Wimbledon]
On August 5th at Curzon Bloomsbury, Jack joins The Ghoul's director, Gareth Tunley, for a screening and Q&A hosted by Inside No.9's Reece Shearsmith.