After a monumental amount of effort, filmmaker Jon Spira’s cinematic ode to the musical history of Oxford, Anyone Can Play Guitar, has a release date set. The DVD will come out on 31 October, and be available through the film’s website. Following up on this there will be a screening at Oxford’s Phoenix Picturehouse cinema, as well as a tour of independent cinemas and arts centres throughout the country. The team behind the film will be handling the film distribution themselves, and a sponsorship deal with Fender guitars has been set up, which may well include an Anyone Can Play Guitar guitar being created!
Spira gave us an overview of where things are with the film, and what to expect:
“We’ve decided to self-release for a variety of reasons. Firstly, we’ve yet to receive what we would consider a good distribution offer. The risk with independent films is that you sign the wrong deal and the film gets buried. I don’t want the film to get buried. Myself and Hank Starrs, who is producing the film with me, decided that with our knowledge, contacts and – most importantly – enthusiasm, we could self-book a tour of the UK’s indie cinemas and arts centres. Give them a real exclusive, and make each screening a proper event with Oxford bands playing and a Q&A. The problem we keep coming up against with the industry is people dismiss it as a ‘niche’ film. I happen to know that this particular niche is a really supportive and passionate one, so we’re going straight to them. This, to me, is exactly like the Indiegogo thing [the means used to raise some funding for the film] – no company would give us the money we needed to finish the film, so we went straight to the niche and they gave us more money than we would have got from a production company AND allowed us to retain ownership of the film.
“So, we’re going to the niche. The same with the DVD. I have some experience of DVD distribution, having released the film Jerkbeast on the Videosyncratic label. I’m really confident that we can get this film to it’s audience through social media and clever, honest marketing. We’re releasing it in the DIY spirit in which we made, and this reflects the DIY nature of the subject matter. So, it just feels right.
“We’re very spurred on by the support the film has received recently from the Adam & Joe and Radcliffe & Maconie 6Music shows, as well as being featured in NME‘s recent ’20 Rock Docs You Must See’ article.
“We’re also really excited about our sponsorship deal. Fender Guitars are an obvious fit and have been tremendously supportive of us. Pretty much every band featured in the film uses a Fender somewhere so it’s awesome to have their endorsement. They’re going to be producing a very limited run of guitars based on the film, most of which will be competition prizes and entered into charity auctions.”
Keep up with developments at the Anyone Can Play Guitar website, and follow @acpgthemovie on Twitter or join the Facebook group to be in with a chance of grabbing one of those limited-edition guitars.