INTERVIEW WITH FILM PREMIERE ORGANISER SNOW IRWIN - ''I fell into it by chance, and everyone I know in the industry took a different path''
So to start off with, what do you do and how did you find yourself in this role?
I'm a Senior Event Manager. I'm freelance and this means I can be involved with either planning and staging events to running the production on the event itself. I have a lot of experience with guest list management (RSVP management, ticketing and seating) and working on large scale red carpet events such as film premieres. I trained and worked in the fashion industry for 10 years before working in tv post-production and finally started, by chance, working for Nibbs Events, beginning at the bottom and working up. I've been freelance for the last three years.
When people think of the making of a film and the important processes involved, the premiere launch is maybe not as often considered as a vital process. When do you come aboard a project and how vital can a launch be to a films success?
We are usually brought on board by the film distributor launching the film. The premiere is just a part of the marketing plan that will be put in place to launch a film. It is an effective way of getting media coverage in a variety of outlets (tv, radio, online, digital and print) in a relatively short space of time whilst also getting photography that can be circulated globally. The rise of social media has helped this enormously. Where once you only had the photographers and press on site to help spread the word, now you have the audience too so the reach is much further. However, premieres are not cheap to produce and so they are generally only put on depending on the availability of the film's talent, the expectations of the distributor and the available budget.
About ten years ago it used to be that Hollywood titles would be released in America months prior to being released in Britain, but now we have US titles like Horrible Bosses 2 which Nibbs Events helped with the launch of its world premiere, is there a new respect that US films can get the big launch here now and not just in Hollywood or major film festivals?
In global terms London is renowned for putting on very impressive premieres, but the decision to have a world premiere in London is down to a number of factors. The coverage that an event will receive will also vary for a number of reasons regardless of whether it's a World, European or UK premiere.
Can you give us some insight into the process of approaching a project for a film launch?
The distributor will normally book the cinema and confirm the date, give us an outline of the budget they have to spend and what their objectives are and we then look at options and ideas within those criteria which we put forward to the distributor for their comment and hopefully approval. We develop it from there.
As many of your clients are some of the biggest in the business and deal with famous celebrities, does the job mean there is zero room for error?
We try to plan for all eventualities but sometimes things happen that are out of our control. We will always do our best to minimise any changes to the plan, but have enough experience to usually know the best way to control a situation. We also work with great teams of people who appreciate that things can often change at the last minute and will do all they can to help.
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to get into your line of industry?
It can be fun and it can seem glamorous (it's generally not), but the hours can be gruelling and stressful, and it's very competitive. It's also a very niche market so there's probably more scope elsewhere within the event industry. I fell into it by chance, and everyone I know in the industry took a different path. There are lots of Event Management degrees out there but I don't know anyone who works in the film premiere industry who has one.
If there was or is one film you'd love to do the launch event for, what would it be?
I think that meeting your heroes is often disappointing so actually I don't think I can answer this!
You can find out more about Nibbs Events and the work they do on their website.