The production arm was spurned by a well perceived gap in the UK urban youth market and subsequent successes drew upon Revolver’s extensive distribution expertise with similar films, such as Kidulthood.
This led to an innovative marketing strategy for the release of Shank, a campaign that spoke directly to fans of this burgeoning genre – an example of this being the collaboration of urban musician Ashley ‘Bashy’ Thomas, who stars in the film, alongside Adam Deacon and Kaya Scodelario, who created a music video for “When The Sky Falls,” the title track from the film, which garnered more than 1.3M views on YouTube. The Facebook page for the film currently has over 97,000 ‘likes’ and is growing by the rate of a 1,000 new fans a week.
The follow up to Shank, Anuvahood – an urban comedy devised and penned by Kidulthood and Shank star Adam Deacon, the first film of its kind ever made in the UK, was shot in September 2010 and co-directed by Deacon himself, alongside Dan Toland. Once again the Revolver marketing machine kicked in and instantly engaged with the Shank community on Facebook and Twitter to build up awareness for Anuvahood. This strategy paid dividends as come the theatrical launch in March 2011 we had an avid fan base of over 60,000 ‘likes’ on Facebook – a community we had kept entertained and engaged through the use of fun interactive content, competitions and virals, along with a hugely popular trailer that was viewed over 1.3M times by the time the film was released. With the film generating so much buzz pre-release, Revolver upped the ante with the marketing spend and invested in national TV and radio advertising, as well as a high profile poster campaign on the London Underground.
The film opened on 149 screens and grossed an impressive £536,818 on it’s opening weekend, providing a very healthy £3,603 screen average. It was the NO. 1 film in London and ranked 7th nationwide and after 5 weeks on general release has grossed £2.1M, a company record!
In early 2011 the third Gunslinger production, Sket, a girl gang retribution thriller started principle photography for a 4 week shoot. Starring Ashley Walters and a cast of freshly discovered young talent, Sket looks set to follow the success of Shank and Anuvahood on it’s late summer 2011 release.
The company has now green lit a further feature film, Feltham, which is now in pre-production and will hit UK screens in late 2011.
Gunslinger’s primary focus is to produce films aimed at local audiences, utilising the phenomanel talent available in the UK. We are particularly excited about the prospects of breaking new, undiscovered, talent both on and off screen which has been integral to the success of Gunslinger’s slate so far.