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THUNDER ROAD, a 35mm engagement

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Thunder Road 35mm preview with Jim Cummings Q&A

Monday 13th May, Jim Cummings and the Vanishing Angle team stopped by the Prince Charles Cinema in London for a special preview and Q&A, before heading off to the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

‘The indie film you need to see this year’ was projected on 35mm Film at the two-screen cult cinema, located just off Leicester Square. Previewing for one night only, the film was followed by a post screen Q&A with the master himself, Jim Cummings.

In the anticipated Q&A, Cummings gave the back story of the film, explaining how this was originally a Sundance award-winning short about a police officer dealing with grief at his mother’s funeral. The short turned into a Kickstarter-backed production which was filmed in a mind-blowing 14 days in Texas. After winning further awards in France, the film is now a major box office hit.

Thunder Road is definitely a DIY heartfelt project. Cummings wanted to see how far an artist could go with just a laptop and their own creative mind. This deliberately small film was made with a tiny budget of only $190,000. Cummings was the writer, actor, director and producer, as well as making the poster, soundtrack (featuring his ukulele talents) and trailer by himself on his laptop. The recording studio was a mic inside a mattress fortress!

On such a low budget, one audience member wanted to explore how the small crew had managed to film this 92min feature on 35mm. In his response, Cummings explained how the print was awarded to him upon winning the Grand Jury prize at SXSW. As a part of a sponsorship program, UK Film laboratory CPC London offer a free 35mm print to the winning filmmakers. The Film print was struck from a DCP, using state-of-the-art Cinevators to record directly onto positive Film at 24fps real time. As we are seeing less celluloid being projected on the big screen, CPC London aims to make 35mm more accessible by offering prints to filmmakers at the equivalent price of a DCP.

Keeping in the spirit of reel Film, tickets for the night were printed on strips of 35mm. Vanishing Angle (producers) posted on Facebook: “This has to be the coolest ticket we’ve ever seen and it just so happens to be our Thunder Road!”.

You can now make these for your own events by using the Film Strip Creator, a DIY design website brought to you by CPC London in collaboration with KODAK. Cinephiles have created their own business cards, tickets, bookmarks, lanyards, event passes, portfolios, and so much more. The movie poster was also turned into a piece of Film artwork, composed of individual strips of 35mm that were framed and illuminated.

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Thunder Road will be back at the Prince Charles Cinema on 35mm Film from 31st May through to 6th June. Tickets can be purchased via the link: