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From the garden shed to silver screen glory

Director Shane Meadows and producer Mark Herbert collect the Hitchcock d'Or award and (below) a clip from This Is England

Director Shane Meadows and producer Mark Herbert collect the Hitchcock d'Or award and (below) a clip from This Is England

 

IT started off in a shed at the bottom of a garden and is now one of the nation’s most well-respected film making firms.

Film-maker Mark Herbert is now celebrating a decade of success of producing modern-day British film classics, and is showing no signs of slowing up.

Mark, from Conisbrough, was a production and location manager, most notably on his comedy Phoenix Nights, before he decided to take the plunge and help set up Warp Films.

After the firm’s debut, Dead Man’s Shoes - which was shot in a budget in just 22 days - Warp has gone from strength to strength, going to produce cult classics including This Is England and Four Lions, becoming the most sought-after film-makers in the business.

“We had the idea of artist-driven films and after two bottles of Jack Daniels, we decided to give it a go, “ he said.

“I’ve got a film degree. But I don’t know who else in the company has. It’s about who they are, their character and their work ethic and that’s been something that will hopefully keep going.”

Dead Man’s Shoes earned a BAFTA nomination, was nominated for a record eight British Independent Film Awards, won the Hitchcock D’or at the Dinard Festival, and won the Southbank award for Best Film. It received strong critical acclaim and was ranked number 27 in Empire magazines list of the best British films ever.

But it was the Bafta winning This is England, an insight into 1980s skinhead culture, that began to draw international acclaim to the company and cemented the ongoing partnership between Mark and director Shane Meadows.

Shane and Mark are currently working together once again on a documentary on The Stone Roses Reunion, which is due to be released in the spring. They are also gearing up for the film Tommy Simpson, based on the Harworth-based cyclist who died during the 1967 Tour De France.

From the humble beginnings of Mark’s garden, Warp now has its head office in Sheffield as well as bases in London and Melbourne, Australia.

Its tenth anniversary has been marked by a series of special screenings, exhibitions, talks and even a bumper film screening next weekend at Rotherham’s Magna centre.

n An exhibition showing ten Warp Film posters as reinterpreted by Pete McKee is now on display at Sheffield’s The Showroom Cinema, Paternoster Row.

An exclusive showing of Warp Films’ Dead Man’s Shoes among other anniversary celebrations will take place at the Magna centre in Rotherham in on November 17 from 6pm to 4am. Tickets £27.50. For full details, visit www.vistmagna.co.uk

 

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