Skip navigation

ats_header_-twitter_newsletter

We are delighted to announce that Addicted to Sheep, a labour of love for our team, will be released in UK cinemas and celebrate its London Premiere on Friday 28th August at Picturehouse Central on Shaftesbury Avenue!

It’s rare for independent films to get a theatrical release, even rarer for a documentary! We are proud to be presenting our film with prestigious partners who really care about indie films including Picturehouse CinemasTyneside CinemaBertha DocHouse many others.

The film will have a 7 day run at Picturehouse Central in London and it doesn’t stop there! Addicted to Sheep will also be shown at a number of cinemas across London and around the country at one-off Q&A screenings.

Thanks to the Hutchinson family all those involved in the making of Addicted to Sheep, it feels like a real achievement to now be able to share the film with a wide audience to show a world difficult to witness up close, especially given the current headlines about the issues farmers are facing.

For more information about the release, you can read our newsletter here http://eepurl.com/bwiDoj and to see where the film will be screened please visit http://www.addictedtosheep.com/screenings/. New screenings will be added as they are booked! So far we have 26 screenings booked and a 7-day run at Picturehouse House Central in London.

If you can’t see a screening near you, community and educational screenings are available. Please visit http://www.addictedtosheep.com/screenings/community-educational-screenings/ for more info.

EXCITING NEWS! We’re delighted and also a little bit humbled to have been selected to screen Addicted to Sheep at Sheffield Doc/Fest, one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals. Having the backing of Sheffield Doc/Fest for our Festival World Premiere is a real honour and with over 3,000 industry delegates from around the world and 26,000 public audiences from across the UK it’s also a great launch-pad for the film! For more details please read our blog here http://www.addictedtosheep.com/world-premiere-of-addicted-to-sheep-at-sheffield-docfest/

 

Watch what we have been up to on Addicted to Sheep’s website. Some precious moments filming on location!

 

On Feb 19 2015, it was the first cinema preview of Addicted to Sheep at The Gala in Durham which coincided with The Chines New Year of the Sheep!

I spoke to Presenter Ewan Allinson from Radio Teesdale about the process of making Addicted to Sheep.

Listen to the interview here

We have also recently featured in BBC Cumbria and The Journal amongst others. For more info, please visit our Media page on the Addicted to Sheep’s website.

Radio Teesdale Addicted to Sheep Interview

 

On Feb 19, we held the first cinema preview of Addicted to Sheep at The Gala in Durham, which coincided with The Chinese New Year celebrations. And this is year it’s The Year of the Sheep, a good omen for our film!

We had the pleasure to have the journalist David Whetstone in the audience who wrote a 4-star review and we were delighted! You can read it below! To find out more about the preview, visit our Facebook page here.

A documentary about tenant sheep farmers in Upper Teesdale could be an unlikely hit at film festivals this summer

Sheep on BailA scene from Addicted to Sheep

The Oscars will be doled out in Hollywood this weekend, rewarding the best cinema releases of 2014, but it’s a fair bet none of the judges will have seen a film like Addicted to Sheep.

The feature-length documentary charting a year in the life of the Hutchinson family, hill farmers in Upper Teesdale, had its first cinema screening this week at the Gala in Durham with many who appear in the film seeing it for the first time.

The film shows the beautiful sights and sounds of this upland landscape through the seasons while taking the viewer uncomfortably close to a lot of muck and slop – things the farmers live with every day.

French director Magali Pettier, who grew up on a farm, originally planned to contrast English and French farming families. As she explained in Durham, “financial reasons and time” meant she had to revise her plans, focusing instead on the County Durham family recommended to her by Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Services.

You sense she recognised the Hutchinsons as cinema gold. In the end she spent four years with Tom, Kay and their three children, Jack, Esme and Hetty, who are now aged 13, 12 and 11 respectively. They are the stars of this film, a close and loving family whose daily routine would make most of us shiver.

We see them up and out in all weathers and at the crack of dawn. We laugh as Hetty – a much younger Hetty – struggles to close barn doors and, as a tethered cow does what cows do, murmurs mournfully that she wishes they’d pick up their own mess.

Read the full review here

To find out about our release plans, please sign us for occasional newsletters on Addicted to Sheep’s website here.

In the last few weeks, we have watched Addicted to Sheep on many screens (TV, desktop computers, laptops…) and each time it feels like a different experience.

 Cinema Addicted to Sheep

For our final test before we said ‘that’s it we are happy with the sound mix and the colour grading’ we watched it on a Cinema screen.

Cinema Addicted to Sheep

The technician did all the set-up for us to make sure we got the screening format right and the sound levels spot on.

 Cinema Addicted to Sheep

After 4 years of hard work, it felt like the first time we could really sit back and relax, and enjoy taking in the scenery, appreciate the sounds and music.

 Cinema Addicted to Sheep

We have watched it many times, but this time it felt like we were all enjoying watching the completed film as viewers. Secretly, we all had a little tear in our eye!

 Cinema Addicted to Sheep

We have now entered a few high profile film festivals. Fingers crossed they like it as much as we do! It’s the first step to taking our film out to the world. We have a few busy weeks ahead of us! As well as cutting a new trailer, we will be applying to more festivals as well as arranging a ‘sneak preview’ for all those who have supported us to get to this stage. Very exciting times ahead! Watch this space!

Grade Addicted to Sheep

After a week of colour grading our 85 minute final cut, we’ve now checked it all on broadcast monitors to make sure it’s top notch for cinema, TV and online viewing.

 Grade Addicted to Sheep

Thanks to our friends at Meerkat Films we passed the test.

Grade Addicted to Sheep

According to Magnus here’s what real life looks like on a colour grading monitor.

 Grade Addicted to Sheep

We’ve lost count of how many times we’ve watched the Addicted to Sheep but it’s looking good!

 

  Cinema Addicted to Sheep

After many weeks of editing and watching Addicted to Sheep on computer screens, we decided it was time to see it on a big screen.

  Cinema Addicted to Sheep

The thoughts going through our minds were: ‘woo, beautiful, powerful, very intense, so sweet, out of focus, too dark, too light….’ and it goes on. Basically, it was amazing to finally watch it in the cinema but impossible not to mark up adjustments to make it even better.

  Cinema Addicted to Sheep

On a small screen it looks powerful but when watching it on a big screen, we realised how important it was to strike the right balance between making the pace of the film engaging but not too fast and not too slow.  Sound draws you in and engages too.

  Cinema Addicted to Sheep

So we went back in the edit and adjusted a few things so the story and the pace of the film is as memorable to watch on a TV screen as it is on a Cinema screen. After another round of edits, we decided to watch it again on the big screen and check we didn’t have all these thoughts in our mind again ‘out of focus, too light, too fast, too slow’ but instead only thought ‘woo, beautiful, touching, funny…’ and we did! So the next step is the final colour grading!

Tom and Kay watching the rough cut of Addicted to Sheep

Filming for us is a joint venture between subject and crew.  Before the start of filming, we discussed why we wanted to make this film and the story we wanted to tell.  4 years on, and with many twists and turns in between we hoped the final film conveyed the original themes and sensibility.

After lots of time in the edit, the team decided it was finally time to show the family a rough cut. We thought the film was at a stage that would give them a good enough idea of how the finished film would be. We wanted to make sure that they felt we portrayed their way of life and that of the community accurately and with integrity.

We were nervous.   ’Are they going to like it?  What do we do, if they don’t?’

Luckily for us they did!  They laughed all the way through.

With their positive feedback in mind, we went back into the edit and knew that whatever we did next could only make a better film.  With colour grading, music and the final sound mix to be completed we’re nearly there.

Sound-Studio Addicted to Sheep

It’s been a rare treat for us to spend a day in the sound studio with Chris Watson, one of the world’s leading sound recordists. When we first heard Chris talk about his craft at a Royal Television Society event he took off his shoes and paced the floor in his socks. He’s very sensitive to ambient noise. Chris watched the rough cut of Addicted to Sheep and then suggested we have a coffee to ‘rest our ears’.

In the sound mix studio

Over the next few hours we talked about engaging the viewer through sound. Silence helps. Taking out rather than filling up.  Allowing for breathing space, moments of reflection and light and shade.

Sound-Studio Addicted to Sheep

The North Pennines where we filmed is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and we wanted to establish a strong sense of place. Chris talked about creating a richer sense of perspective.  We don’t always need to hear what we see on screen. We cut out the quad bike, created a sense of ebb and flow between skylarks and curlews and then heard snow falling on the washing line. It’s delicate artful work.

We left the studio and heard the deep hum of the coffee machine in a way we’d never noticed before.