A Newcastle United fan film has finally been released after the filmmakers secured funding for the Coronavirus business.
We are the Geordies was finally released on December 11 as the culmination of a four-year project to chronicle the club’s championship promotion season through the experiences of 11 supporters who have watched the team at the home and outdoors.
The documentary features interviews with then-manager Rafa Benitez, former players Les Ferdinand, Alan Shearer and Malcolm Macdonald, as well as journalists John Gibson and George Caulkin.
The film features an unusual mix of interviews and professionally filmed footage, interspersed with “camerafan” footage.
Producer Zahra Zomorrodian, director James DeMarco and executive producer Keith Bell had completed the film, but needed funds to pay for a range of items, including permissions to use news footage, music and other archival documents.
Determined to find the cash shortage, Ms Zomorrodian said she was relieved when she managed to secure a Coronavirus Bounce Back loan for an undisclosed sum via Santander.
She said: “It was actually an investor’s money and a rebound loan from Santander that got us over the limit with the funding we needed.
“The film was finished and ready to release, but we still had to pay fees for some licenses, archival recordings and stills, and there was also a lot of back and forth with investors.”
One investor, for example, gave up when Rafa Benitez parted ways with the club.
Other potential investors also wanted the club’s star players to play a bigger role – but the filmmakers were determined to maintain their independence and make a film to burst the bubble of cliché Geordie supporters, with fans at the heart of the game. project.
Using Mark Knopfler’s local hero turned out to be one of the last hurdles to overcome before We Are The Geordies could be released, Ms Zomorrodian has revealed, despite the support the musician has already provided.
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At the start of post-production, she contacted the songwriter’s London record label and her personal assistant returned in half an hour, giving the green light for its use – but the team also had to get it right. the green light from his sister music company in LA. . This, unfortunately, took over a year to come to a conclusion.
“I finally emailed them to tell them this was getting ridiculous, and that it was quibbling over such a small amount of money – and they finally said yes.
“I’m really glad it came out, and especially happy that the people we made it for, the Newcastle United fans, received it so incredibly favorably.
“It sells very well too. Whistler, one of the people in the movie, texted me saying he’s number 7 in the iTunes documentary chart. Considering the people around us in the top 10, we certainly have the smallest budget.
“And here in the Northeast at HMV, we sell more than Mulan who had a budget of $ 200 million, so it’s pretty amazing.
“Most importantly, this experience highlighted the importance of building a sustainable production business here in the North East.
“It’s awful that he got out because of Covid, but that’s what it is – I’m just happy that after four years we can get him out, and maybe at some point given at Christmas I will sit and celebrate this because I haven’t had time yet!
We Are the Geordies is on sale at select retailers, including HMV, and is available to purchase on DVD or stream at wearethegeordies.co.uk.