Jim Brown

Jim Brown has worked with many broadcasters throughout the world including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and 5, BSkyB, PBS, Alliance Atlantis, Radiotelevisione Italy, ZDF Germany, Television Espanola, Discovery Networks and A&E. As a Show Doctor Jim travelled the globe creating and placing new formats with international buyers and fixing shows that had lost their way. As an Executive Producer with Granada International and Grundy International he was instrumental in introducing British formats to the international market and visa versa and showrun series’ in London, Rome, Turin, Istanbul, Madrid, San Sabastian, Munich, New York, and Los Angeles.

Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?
Aleister Crowley (The Wickedest Man in the World) was an English occultist, philosopher, ceremonial magician, poet, painter, novelist, and mountaineer. He founded the religion of Thelema, identifying himself as the prophet entrusted with guiding humanity into the 20th century. Crowley has remained a highly influential figure over Western esotericism and the counterculture of the 1960's and continues to be considered a prophet in Thelema. In The Beast of Loch Ness, we tell the untold story that exists within the walls at Boleskine House. A story that is shadowed by the building's pop-cultural modern-history. This film brings together a colourful group of well-known researchers from across the globe who together explore the history and mystery of Boleskine House, replacing timeworn narratives with new insights.

What are your ambitions with your project?

Our ambition is to attract interest in the project, to attract international streamers and broadcasters to this amazing story. We are also looking for distribution and finance to complete the feature length version.

Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?

What pleasantly surprised me was the professionalism of the participants - I knew they were going to be good, but there knowledge and delivery was exceptional. Experts talking about something they are passionate about.

For what group of spectators is your film targeted?

It's produced for a broad audience, for the Crowley devotees, for the Crowley virgins and for those who just love the beauty of Scotland. There is something in it for everyone, but whatever your level of Crowley knowledge you will come away with something.

Why should distributors buy your film?

They should buy the film because its potential is huge - we put the trailer online and it attracted over a million views, the interest in Crowley worldwide is vast, Aleister Crowley's name is synonymous with the occult - He was called The Wickedest Man in the World.

How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?

I would call this an extended trailer - there is so much more to tell, for example Crowley's work as a spy and his part in Hitlers downfall. His wizard fight with Rudolf Hess on the banks of Loch Ness and his association with London and Paris high society. As one contributor says 'Crowley gave birth to the 20th Century'

Why did you decided to become a filmmaker?

I started as a photographer, I loved the artistic image, when I got my hands of a 16mm film camera I quickly realised that I could make these dramatic images tell a deeper story. When I started work at Pinewood Studios my future was sealed.

Who is your role model?

I have many role models - Hitchcock, Lean, Kubrick, Besson - I have stolen from them all.

Which movies are your favorites? Why?

As a BAFTA member I get sent a lot of films, some good, some not so, but I appreciate them all, they got them made, which is not easy. If I had to mention some inspirational films I would say Rebecca - The 39 Steps - Parasite - The Shining - Barry Lyndon - Pulp Fiction, to name but a few.

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?

The story is always the inspiration for me, if I am captivated by the story and I think I can bring a different perspective to the narrative then that is where I find the creative spark. Location is also very important to me.

Which topics interest you the most?

The horror genre (although The Beast of Loch Ness is not a horror) is something that I am very interested in. We have developed a TV show that is firmly in that space and is attracting big Hollywood names. I am also a big fan of the mystery genre - leave the audience guessing till the end.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?

I have done many things that I am pleased and proud about. I was the first person to multi-record daily episodes on UK television. I was the first British person to direct Australian daily drama Neighbours. One of my greatest achievements was to produce and direct a film with King Charles III. It was 10 years in production and is still ITV highest rated single doc since it transmitted.  

What do you consider most important about filming?

No doubt, surround yourself with the best possible people. Give them the confidence to express themselves and above all allow them to fail now and again, because if they are brave and creative and giving of ideas they will fail now and again, that's OK, we can always do it again.
One other thing, only shoot what you need to shoot - Digital has lost the film discipline.

Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?

Cinema Vérité - it looks so easy but is anything but. It's pure cinema, observing - drawing attention away from the presence of the camera and simultaneously interfering in the reality it registers when attempting to discover a cinematic truth.

How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?

I think independent film making is in a good place, of course budgets are tighter than they have ever been. But that just means that you have to be clever and flexible. I should not say this out loud but the tighter the budget you have, the more creative you have to be.

What can disappoint you in a movie?

Over-reliance on CGI and special effects. In my opinion a good story well told is the secret to brilliant film making.

Who supports you in your film career?

Many people support me - but top of the list is my family, it can't be easy living with someone who spends most of their lives in other places with actors and performers, before decamping to a dark room for months on end trying to cut hours of footage into 90 minutes. That takes a special person, someone who wants you to realise you dreams.

What are the reactions to your film? (opinion of spectators, film critics, friends and family)

The reaction has been very positive. Crowley experts have raved about it and as I say the trailer has generated huge interest and a lot of debate.

Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals?

I am a regular at Cannes - but that is very much with my TV hat on.

What are your future plans in filmmaking career?

We have a screenplay that is in production at the moment - 'Between Weathers' is a mystery set on the fictitious Island of Fustra on Shetland Isles.