FAQ

How did you raise the cash? Can I hold a screening? Who's your press agent? Where's the downloadable trailer? Below are answers to all the questions we've ever been asked, split according to the subject headers on the right.

Q: I can't find your phone number/postal address on your website. How do I contact you?
We had to take them off as we were getting so many timewasters, climate deniers and death threats. No, really. All our contact details - including our PO Box if you'd like to post something - are listed here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/contact_us . But hopefully this FAQ covers everything you need to know anyway.
Q: Who are you?
Team Stupid runs the show: http://www.ageofstupid.net/team_stupid
The crew made the film: http://www.ageofstupid.net/crew
The funders funded it: http://www.ageofstupid.net/funders
Franny Armstrong directed it: http://www.ageofstupid.net/people/franny_armstrong
Lizzie Gillett produced it: http://www.ageofstupid.net/people/lizzie_gillett
John Battsek exec-produced it: http://www.ageofstupid.net/people/john_battsek
Pete Postlethwaite stars in it: http://www.ageofstupid.net/people/pete_postlethwaite
As do six documentary characters: http://www.ageofstupid.net/the_stars
The Not Stupid campaign attempts to inspire climate action: http://www.notstupid.org
10:10 is Stupid's big idea to cut 10% of emissions in 2010: http://www.1010global.org
Q: Where can I find out more about the film/ the filmmakers / the funding?
Hopefully this FAQ answers all your questions. Or see our websites:
The Age of Stupid (climate change film): http://www.ageofstupid.net
Not Stupid (action campaign): http://www.notstupid.net
Spanner Films (production company): http://www.spannerfilms.net
Crowd-Funding (share scheme which raised the cash for Stupid): http://www.ageofstupid.net/node/1253/
Q: What's the best way to keep in touch?
Join the mailing list (see next section) or one of our social networking pages below.
Q: What is your Facebook/Twitter/ MySpace/YouTube page?
Q: Can I contact Piers the windfarm man?
Sorry we can't give out Piers' home phone number, but so many people are writing offering to with his windfarm battles, that we've set up a special online form where you can get involved: http://www.notstupid.org/help-piers
Q: Will Pete Postlethwaite attend/ speak at/ endorse our climate change campaign?
Pete would have to give up acting if he accepted all the requests we get for him, so please only send very special offers. You can email us on person@ageofstupid.net and we will forward any really good requests.
Q: How can I see the film in Argentina/Austria/Azerbaijan?
We try our best to keep the info on the website updated, but there's more than 120 countries and only a few of us... The summary list is here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/worldreleases - all upcoming screenings are listed here http://www.ageofstupid.net/screenings/upcoming and then most countries have their own page eg http://www.ageofstupid.net/france or http://www.ageofstupid.net/usa
Q: How did you launch the film?
The Age of Stupid was launched in the UK on 15th March 2009 at the People's Premiere - http://www.ageofstupid.net/premiere . The green-carpet, solar-powered, celeb-tastic event broke the Guinness World Record ( http://www.ageofstupid.net/news/dedications_what_you_need ) for biggest simultaneous film screening (the cinema tent in Leicester Square beamed live by satellite to 61 cinemas round the country), whilst only producing just 1% of the emissions of a normal premiere - http://www.ageofstupid.net/news/the_1_event . Highlights included Gillian Anderson, Will Young and loads of celebs on the green carpet ( http://www.ageofstupid.net/news/on_the_green_carpet ), President Nasheed announcing that the Maldives will go carbon neutral in ten years ( http://www.ageofstupid.net/news/maldives_become_carbon_limbo_world_champions ) and Pete Postlethwaite ambushing Climate Minister Ed Miliband with a giant pledge ( http://www.ageofstupid.net/news/peoples_premiere_not_stupid ). All of which was done on people power - unbelievably, more than 1,000 people worked on the London event and the 61 screenings - as we had no advertising budget. And Stupid was Number 1 at the Box Office (by screen average) too ( http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/15333 ) .
-> Round-up of the premiere, with all links: http://www.ageofstupid.net/premiere
Australia/New Zealand: we headed downunder (yes, we did fly - see below for reasoning) for the joint Australia and NZ premiere on August 19th 2009 - http://www.ageofstupid.net/news/oz_nz_premiere_report . A solar-powered tent in downtown Auckland, linked by satellite to Cate Blanchett's Sydney Theatre, with a live link-up to a Greenpeace ship in the Arctic and celebs aplenty on the green carpets.
-> Round-up of the premiere, with all links: http://www.ageofstupid.net/news/oz_nz_premiere_report
-> Photos from Oz: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ageofstupid/sets/72157622103222414/
-> Photos from NZ: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ageofstupid/sets/72157621976494995/
-> Lizzie & Franny on NZ main news: http://vimeo.com/6297151
-> Lizzie on NZ breakfast TV show: http://vimeo.com/6296595
Global: Finally, we launched at the Global Premiere on September 21st from New York, when one million people in 63 countries watched Stupid at the biggest live film event the world has ever seen, we're pretty sure. Celebs arrived by sailing boat, bicycle, rickshaw, electric car and skates. Moby and Thom Yorke from Radiohead played live. Greenpeace linked in live from the Himalayas and Indonesia. Kofi Annan, Dr Pachauri and Ed Miliband spoke live. Full report: http://www.ageofstupid.net/global_premiere
Q: Why did you only do one day?
We didn't want to schlep all round the world burning up loads of carbon by launching in a couple of cities per country, one at a time. So we thought we'd do the whole world all at once, with a big live event too, for one night only. Was it a good plan? Time will tell, but the Huffington Post said that The Age of Stupid "represents the future of film, film culture and film distribution and marketing".
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-reiss/ithe-age-of-stupidi-is-th_b_293361.html
Q: Can I see Stupid in the cinema?
The film is currently (Oct/Nov 2009) on release in cinemas in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, South Africa, Turkey, Hungary, France, Czech Republic, Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden. Check those country pages to see whether it's still playing near you. There are also occasional one-off screenings in other countries, check this page: //www.ageofstupid.net/screenings/upcoming
Q: Can I buy a DVD?
The DVD is released on November 2nd 2009, except in the countries listed below*. It will be in high street shops in some countries, but easiest (and best for us, as we get a bigger chunk of the cash) if you can buy it direct from our website: http://www.ageofstupid.net/shop . You can get the complete Spanner Films trilogy - Age of Stupid, McLibel and Drowned Out - for 30 quid: http://www.ageofstupid.net/product/spanner_trilogy . That's 2 quid per year as the three darlings took 15 years to make.... bargain.
Q: What does the DVD contain?
The Age of Stupid in 31 languages (subtitles, not dubbed - too expensive), plus six hours of extras including the 50-minute Making Of documentary, six short climate films, eight deleted scenes, eight extended interviews, crew commentary, photo gallery and on and on.... see full listing of DVD contents here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/product/the_age_of_stupid_dvd
Q: What languages are on there?
Arabic, Bengali, Brazillian Portugese, Chinese, (Hanji, and, traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Fasi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hinid, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Kiswahili, (Swahili), Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbo, Croat, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
Q: What's the format?
It's PAL, region 0 (ie no region restrictions). We are making the NTSC version now and it will be ready in mid November.
Q: Is it suitable for children?
See "About the Film" below.
Q: Which countries is it available in?
It's available to purchase from our website worldwide, except in these countries, which have their own versions coming soon: USA, Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland, Former Yugoslavia (inc Croatia, Servia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo)
Q: I ordered the DVD two weeks ago, but haven't received it
Any problems with your orders, please see section "Merchandise & Shop" below.
Q: Can I watch Stupid on the net?
Our film is probably already on the net on some of the pirate sites. If you watch it on one of these, please make a donation afterwards as we are more than $2 million in debt.
Q: Where can I watch it legally?
We are currently finalising deals with itunes, netflix and all the main sites - should be available by early November. We're also trying to fix up our own viewing service on our website. If you'd like to hear when it's ready, please join the mailing list by emailing addtolist@ageofstupid.net
Q: Will it be on TV in my country?
Our sales agents, Celluloid Dreams, are busy selling the film to TV in as many countries as possible. So far, they've sold to about 15, including some of the biggies, but we can't say yet. We will list the TV screenings on the International Releases page, as well as the individual country pages (eg http://www.ageofstupid.net/australia ) as soon as contracts are signed. Obviously we are trying to get as many TV stations to broadcast before Copenhagen as possible, but it's not up to us.
Q: I'm a distributor and I want to buy it for TV. Who do I speak to?
Great. Please contact our International Sales agents, Celluloid Dreams, on: +33 1 49 70 03 70 or info@celluloid-dreams.com
Q: Have you done the festival circuit?
We didn't want to burn a load of carbon schleping all round the world, so instead we launched at the Amsterdam Doc Festival (IDFA - very prestigious) in November 2008 and then held our own Global Premiere (see above), so as to launch across the whole world simultaneously. Having said that, we are of course happy for festivals to play our film and for us to join the event by skype/video conferencing whenever possible.
Q: I want to screen the film at my festival. How much will it cost? How do I go about it?
Please try to book your festival through the Indie Screenings website: http://www.indiescreenings.net or contact person@ageofstupid.net if you feel your event is outside the system. If you do email, please include all details - eg where / when, festival website, how many attendees, proposed screening fee, language version requested, screening format, speaker requests, press attendees, entry deadline and so on. Basically, the more info you provide, the faster we can respond.
Q: Will you come and speak at our festival?
Only if it's near London and accessible by train. But we're happy to do skype Q&As if that works for you. Please contact speakers@ageofstupid.net
Q: Have you done any funky screenings?
Most certainly have. Think we're up to 9 parliaments now (including UK, Scotland, Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, er... ), plus the UN, the World Bank, the EPA, the Environment Agency, the UNFCCC meeting in Poznan and at Kofi Annan's Global Humanitarian Forum in Geneva.
Q: Will you be screening at the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December 2009?
We most certainly will. All sorts of adventures are planned.
Q: I have good contacts with my country's parliament/president/environment agency/media mogul. Can I screen the film to them?
Sounds great. Please email person@ageofstupid.net, if you can make it happen.
Q: How can I put on my own screening of The Age of Stupid, McLibel or Drowned Out?
Our revolutionary Indie Screenings website - http://www.indiescreenings.net - is now up and running, allowing anyone, anywhere (except countries listed below) to book the film, put on their very own Stupid screening and- crucially - charge for tickets and keep the profits for their climate campaign or pocket. The website also allows individuals to request speakers to attend their event (including Franny Armstrong, Mark Lynas, Tony Juniper and Pete Postlethwaite). Other films - including McLibel, Drowned Out, The Yes Men Fix The World and Heavy Load - will be up on Indie Screenings from December 2009, probably one per month.
Q: When can I screen?
The first date for international screenings is October 24th, to tie in with 350's International Day of Climate Action. If at all possible, please arrange your screening for October 24th. It would be very cool to have 350 screenings that evening and you'll get lots of punters to your screening as there will be lots of media around the 24th October actions. And we'll probably maybe definitely do a webcast that evening, which you can hook your screening into.
Q: Which countries are complicated?
ada: screenings are allowed, but they need to be booked through the Canadian distributors, Criterion Pictures: call 1-800-565-1996 ext. 260 or visit http://www.criterionpic.com
Netherlands, Belgium or Luxembourg: Screenings are allowed, but they need to be booked through the local distributors, Chrisje Simon-van Oosterhout: cs@mgmc.nl
Poland: Screenings are allowed, but they need to be booked through the Polish distributors: Against Gravity, t +48-22-828 1079, aliebhart@docreview.pl, http://www.againstgravity.pl
Former Yugoslavia (including Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Macedonia, Kosovo): Maybe. Please contact the local distributor: Demiurg: Vasja Bibic - vasja.bibic@siol.net - 386 40 870 175
Q: Where can I screen?
You can hold your screening absolutely anywhere you like, as long as it's in the country you booked it for: pubs, schools, churches, museums, bookshops, offices, fields and canal boats have already hosted Stupid screenings. If you want to screen in a cinema it gets a bit trickier, but if you find a cinema willing to go along with your plans, that is fine by us.
Q: Can I screen the film in my language?
There is a multi-language version of the screening DVD, which contains subtitles in 31 languages (Arabic, Bengali, Brazillian Portugese, Chinese, (Hanji, and, traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Fasi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hinid, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Kiswahili, (Swahili), Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbo, Croat, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese). Sorry we don't have a dubbed version of these languages, as it's too expensive to make.
Q: Do you have a shorter version of the film I can show my work / friends / family / organisation?
Sorry, no. The long one took five years to make and it would take another year to make a short one.
Q: How much does it cost?
Go to the website - www.indiescreenings.net - plug in the details of your screening and it will generate a quote for you. The amount is set according to who you are, where you want to screen, which country they're in, how many people will watch and various other factors. The lowest fee is 1 pound (for a school screening in eg Sierra Leone) and the highest 12,000 pounds (for a multinational corporation screening to 1,000 or more people in eg America).
Q: Then what?
ew days before their screening, you'll get a DVD in the post. You can charge whatever you like for tickets - and pass round a fundraising bucket too, if you want - and all profits are yours to keep for your campaign group or pocket. After the screening, you post back the DVD (unless you paid extra to keep it). That's it. (BTW - we are adding the option for people to download the film instead of getting a DVD in the post - should be ready in next few weeks).
Q: Why isn't the film free?
Quite a few people have said that if we "really cared about the planet", we would give our film away. Here's why we're not going to. Firstly, the £450,000 budget was raised by our "crowd-funding" scheme ( http://www.ageofstupid.net/money ) 228 people invested between £500 and £35,000 of their own money. (Which is incidentally the largest amount any project has ever raised using similar schemes.) We want to repay our investors' belief by returning at least some of their money. (We would have to take £10 million pounds to pay everyone back completely, so that's never going to happen - it's not a profit making exercise.) Secondly, if we can prove that this alternative funding system works, we might persuade other filmmakers (or writers or artists or whatever) to step outside the mainstream media and start making independent films, without advertising execs or corporate suits watering down their content. Thirdly, the film was made by 104 people - including top animators, editors, composers and everything in between - working at minimum wage or just above, some of them for five years. If we can take their wages up from almost nothing to ridiculously low, then they are more likely to give their skills to future low-budget projects. Fourthly, we can only make more films if we make our business viable - clearly we have to pay rent and eat. And if we had to get day jobs, we wouldn't be able to concentrate on our films - or our new distribution models - or the Not Stupid action campaign - or writing this FAQ to answer your questions. And finally, we have put our hearts and souls into the film and feel that it has value: the fact that you'd like to hold a screening kind-of means that you agree. So in the same way that car manufacturers don't give away their cars, publishers don't give away their books and hot dog sellers don't give away their hot dogs, we're not going to give away our film. Having said all that, you can of course find a pirate copy of the film and screen it illegally without a license and we'll probably never find out. And you can steal from charity shops, evade your tax and change your granny's will when she loses her eyesight.
A: I'd like to make a poster for my screening. Can I use the logo/pictures?
Q: Yes, help yourself to anything on the website. Everything you need is here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/pr_resources
ernatively, you can use our automatic poster-maker: http://www.ageofstupid.net/postermaker
Q: I'm a filmmaker. Can I get my film into the Indie Screenings system?
Yes. Well, as long as you control the non-theatric rights in some or all territories. We are going to start putting other films onto the system from about December 2009. We haven't worked all the details out yet, but basically we will take a cut of the income generated by your film and the rest will be yours. Please join our mailing list by sending an email to addtolist@ageofstupid.net to hear about when this service is ready. Alternatively, email filmmakers@indiescreenings.net and we'll try to remember to contact you.
Q: Would you like me to translate the film into French/ Greek / Hebrew?
Thanks very much for the offer. 68 lovely volunteers all round the world have already translated the film into 34 languages (see list in next question). If your language is not in the list, please contact translators@ageofstupid.net
Q: What languages is the film available in?
Arabic, Bengali, Brazillian Portugese, Chinese, (Hanji, and, traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Fasi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hinid, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Kiswahili, (Swahili), Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbo, Croat, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
Q: Subtitles or dubbing?
We may get dubbed versions for certain languages, depending on TV sales. But for now, just subtitles for those languages.
Q: How can I screen the film in my country/ language?
See Indie Screenings section above.
Q: I am one of your volunteer translators. Can I screen the film in my country?
Thank you very very much for helping out with the translation. Many more people will see the film because of your hard work. We would like to offer you a free screening as a further thank you for all your efforts. Please contact ben@indiescreenings.net to arrange. (You will still be able to charge for tickets for your screening, even though we won't charge you a license fee.)
Q: Could Franny / Lizzie / Pete / a campaigner speak at my event/conference/festival?
If you are holding a screening of the film, then you can request a speaker at the same time as booking your DVD through Indie Screenings: www.indiescreenings.net. But, for 2009 at least, we are all run off our feet and sadly have to turn down the majority of speaking requests. If you are not screening the film, but would like to ask one of us to speak at your event, please contact speakers@ageofstupid.net
Q: Who is your press contact?
We employ professional press agents at certain times in certain countries (eg when the DVD is being released). The current ones are listed on: http://www.ageofstupid.net/contact_us If there's nobody listed for your country, please contact press@ageofstupid.net with genuine press queries.
Q: Can I have an interview with Franny/ John/ Pete P?
Maybe. But they're all so overworked that they have to turn down most requests. So if at all possible, please take quotes from existing interviews from here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/pr_resources . There's also high-res pictures and everything else you could need on there. But if you'd still like to request an interview, contact us on press@ageofstupid.net
Q: Do you have an EPK?
Q: Where is your press book?
There's a whole page of resources for journalists at http://www.ageofstupid.net/pr_resources and the press book here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/press-pack
Q: Do you have print-quality images?
Yes. These images are all free to use if promoting/featuring the film. If not, please contact us for permission. Details of the credit required are by each picture.
- Selection of the best ones: http://www.ageofstupid.net/image/tid/1229
- Key press image (Pete in the archive) at very high res: https://www.ageofstupid.net.s3.amazonaws.com/InterfaceStill_forPrint_Nov14_HDPete01.tiff
- Production photos: http://www.ageofstupid.net/photos.
- People's Premiere: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ageofstupid
- Screengrabs from the film: https://www.ageofstupid.net.s3.amazonaws.com/screenshots.zip
- Devastated images of the world in 2055 (folder which will download and then needs to be unzipped): https://www.ageofstupid.net.s3.amazonaws.com/Devastated%20scenes.zip
Q: Can we reproduce The Age of Stupid logo?
Yes. Help yourself and we don't need a credit: http://www.ageofstupid.net/image/tid/1205
Q: Could we license some of your footage for our news item/documentary/website/art project?
Probably. There would be a fee set according to who you are and how you plan to use our material. We also have tonnes of footage around each of the main stories that didn't make it into the film, if you're in need of shots of the Alps or Nigeria or New Orleans devastation. Contact us on press@ageofstupid.net
Q: Can I use your photos on my website/ blog/ art project?
Yes, as long as it's related to the film and not commercial. If it is commercial or for an unrelated project, contact us on press@ageofstupid.net
Q: Can I put your trailer on my website/blog and/or can I screen it at my event?
Absolutely. No need to ask our permission, just embed the trailer onto your website straight from our Vimeo channel here: http://www.vimeo.com/2991411
Or download a high-res version for screenings here: https://www.ageofstupid.net.s3.amazonaws.com/AoS_trailer_HD.mov
Q: The poster/trailer/clip doesn't download/is in the wrong format/keeps crashing my browser
We promise you they all work, as they've been downloaded loads of times. Could you ask a technically-minded friend to help you? Or try on another computer? Or use a different web browser? Sorry we don't have time to talk you through it.
Q: Have you had much press yet?
Q: What did reviewers say about your film?
Everything from "The most important film you'll see this year" (News of the World) and "represents the future of film, film culture and film distribution and marketing" (The Huffington Post) to "the second most lame, risibly awful and toe-curlingly emetic movie in British cinematic history after Love Actually" (James Delingpole)
Best quotes: http://www.ageofstupid.net/franny_quotes
Full list of press reviews: http://www.ageofstupid.net/press_reviews
Our Rotten Tomatoes page looks as though we've only had a few reviews, when actually we've had more than 100. Not very helpful, as their raison d'etre is to aggregate press reviews. (Interesting fact, Franny's earlier film McLibel has an almost-impossible 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes: http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/m/mclibel/ )
Q: And the public?
On IMDB we have a rating of 6.8/10 with 224 votes (or a median of 8, if you take out the climate deniers trying to spike us - see detail http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1300563/ratings ). If you'd like to cast your vote then please do so at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1300563/
Or see our Public Review page: http://www.ageofstupid.net/public_reviews
Q: Can I write a review?
We'd love you to. There's an easy form on the website: http://www.ageofstupid.net/public_reviews
Q: I've written a blog/article about the film. Pls could you link to it?
Add it to the Public Review page and then add a link to your blog's website from there: http://www.ageofstupid.net/public_reviews
Q: Can I screen the film?
See "Indie Screenings" above.
Q: Can I use a clip from your film in my film/presentation?
Yes if it is one of the ones available on the website and it is not for commercial purposes. Just help yourself from our vimeo channel: http://vimeo.com/ageofstupid If you want a clip that isn't already available, we'd have to charge you to copy it and screen it, so probably not worth it. But contact us on press@ageofstupid.net if you like.
Q: I run a charity and would like to use clips of the film, especially the animations, as part of our educational work. How much would this cost?
As above.
Q: Do you have a shorter version of the film I can show my work / friends / family / organisation?
Sorry, no. The 85-minute version took five years to make and it would take us another year to make a short one. Having said that, we are vaguely thinking of doing a 10-minute version. If you join our mailing list (by sending an email to addtolist@ageofstupid.net) you'll hear if/when we do that.
Q: I'm thinking of joining your list. Can you tell me a bit about it?
Our email list is by far the best way to keep in touch with everything that's happening in the Stupid world. Lots of people write saying "Can you let me know when the film is out in my country?", but obviously it's impossible for us to remember to reply six months down the line. So just sign up to our list and you'll hear everything as it happens. We send messages about once or twice a week - about the film, the Not Stupid and 10:10 campaigns and climate change generally - though more during peak periods (eg around the Global Premiere in September 2009). And as we get towards Copenhagen (see below), there will be lots more ideas about how you can get involved. The list tries to be funny and sometimes succeeds. See back issues here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/diary
Q: Sounds splendid, where do I sign up?
Either email addtolist@ageofstupid.net or sign-up on the front page of the website: http://www.ageofstupid.net
Q: Take me off your f*&^&^%^% list !!!!!!!
You can unsubscribe from the list at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link on the bottom of every message. Or here: http://aos.dh.bytemark.co.uk/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/age-of-stupid. We used to have a dodgy server which made it hard for people to unsubscribe themselves, but it's now fixed. Alternatively, email addtolist@ageofstupid.net with UNSUBSCRIBE in the mailing list and a volunteer will take you off next time they are in the office (about once a week).
Q: Please could you promote my book / film / campaign / event on your mailing list?
If it's relevant - we only send climate change or independent film-related stuff - then send a clear, concise message, including any web links to: mailinglistcontent@ageofstupid.net. Pls don't email us to ask whether it's going on, as you'll soon see by reading the next few messages.
Q: I ordered the DVD two weeks ago, but haven't received it.
Apologies that the DVD keeps getting delayed.... it's because we kept stuffing more and more extras on there. Anyway, the copies arrive in our office on October 26th and we've got extra people booked in to come and post them all that day. So if you pre-ordered on the website, you will get it soon after that. In normal circumstances (ie once the DVD is out, after October 26th), you should receive your DVD within one week + normal postage times to your country. If you haven't received it after that, please email shop@ageofstupid.net
Q: I haven't received my T-shirt/bottle/bag
All merchandise is sent out once a week. So please allow at least 7 days + normal postage times for your order to arrive. If it hasn't after that, please contact the shop keeper on shop@ageofstupid.net
Q: Why do you sell merchandise, isn't that more consumer products making the problem worse?
It's extremely difficult to make independent films without taking the corporate dollar. Very few filmmakers anywhere in the world manage to make it work. By buying our stuff you're helping us not sell out. And each item will hopefully decrease consumerism overall, as the reuse water bottles stops you buying plastic bottles, the reuse bag stops plastic bags etc. Apart from the T-shirts and DVDs. Er.
Q: What is 10:10?
10:10 is The Age of Stupid's answer to the question: what can I do about climate change? 10:10 asks individuals, businesses, schools, hospitals, the military, the monarchy - everybody - to commit to cut their emissions by 10% in 2010. Once we have a sizeable chunk of the UK population signed up, we will challenge the UK Government to follow suit and introduce legislation to quickly cut the whole country's emissions. In the hope that, if one of the bigget polluters (the UK) acts first, it may just break the deadlock in the international climate negotiations and inspire other countries to start quickly cutting their emissions too.
Q: Blimey, sounds ambitious. How's it going?
10:10 was launched at Tate Modern on 1st September 2009 ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/sep/01/10-10-launch-ian-katz ) and within 48 hours, sign-ups included 10,000 individuals, 700 businesses, 50 schools, all the leaders of the main political parties, all the cabinet and the Prime Minister. As of 11th October 2009, there are now 31,305 individuals - including Colin Firth, Stella McCartney, Antony Horowitz, Lord Stern, Lord Giddens, Kevin McCloud and Sara Cox - plus more than 1,000 businesses including some very well known brands such as Microsoft, Pret A Manger, B&Q and Royal Mail. Sign up your family, school, business, workplace or scout group here: http://www.1010uk.org
Q: How did it start?
Q: But is 10% enough? How can I cut my 10%? What about Government action? Where can I get a tag?
All 10:10 questions answered here: http://www.1010uk.org/#what_is_1010/faq
Q: What's the Guardian's involvement?
We asked them whether they'd do an article about 10:10 and they went absolutely crazy for it - to the extent that many people think that it's the Guardian's campaign. Check out their fantastic 10:10 minisite here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/10-10
Q: How can I help?
First, sign up yourself, your family, your friends, your workplace, your school and everyone you know on the 10:10 website: http://www.1010uk.org . You are committing yourselves to cut 10% of your emissions next year. And then: do you have any spare cash? http://www.1010uk.org/1010/what_is_1010/donate
Q: I'd like to start 10:10 in my country. Is that possible?
We've already had offers from more than 15 groups wanting to start eg 10:10 France and 10:10 Australia. We're definitely going to do it, as soon as we can work out the logistics. Please contact mal@1010uk.org
Q: What is Not Stupid and how is it related to the film?
Not Stupid is the action campaign of The Age of Stupid film. During the five long years of production we felt that the film itself was our contribution to climate change and that we could retire as soon as it was finished. But then we were persuaded that, seeing as the climate crisis is so desperately urgent and we completely control the film (as we own the rights - see "crowd-funding" below), that the responsibility had only just begun...
Q: Who runs Not Stupid?
The filmmakers, together with a small team of campaigners. It is supported by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, WWF, Stop Climate Chaos and all the big climate campaigns in the UK. See list here: http://www.notstupid.org/supporters
Q: What is the aim?
To reach 250 million viewers worldwide and inspire them all to become active citizens, pressurising their Governments to make the right deal at Copenhagen.
(Yes, we know 250 million sounds ludicrous, but it's only 10 times more than we managed for our last film, McLibel and now we have at least 100 times the resources. Plus, all of life on Earth is at stake, so may as well aim high.)
Q: What has Not Stupid achieved so far?
At the UK Premiere in March 2009 ( http://www.ageofstupid.net/premiere ), we ambushed the UK Climate Change Minister, Ed Miliband, with a giant pledge: Stupid-star Pete Postlethwaite threatened to give back his OBE if the Kingsnorth coal power station got the go-ahead. Within a month Ed had changed his coal policy - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/apr/24/energy-coal-carbon-capture-environment - and then in October 2009, the Kingsnorth project was shelved indefinitely (which we've definitely not taking the credit for as there was loads of pressure from all sides).
We have also presented Stupid certificates to Global Warming Swindle Director Martin Durkin (live on Newsnight: http://notstupid.org/news/stupid-vs-swindle-newsnight ) and to Belfast City Airport (http://notstupid.org/news/belfast-city-airport-officially-stupid ). And we've presented Not Stupid certificates to climate writer George Monbiot (at the launch of Indie Screenings: http://www.ageofstupid.net/news/webcast_wizardry_the_rsa_indie_screenings_launch ), to the Maldives negotiating team (at the Bonn climate talks: http://notstupid.org/action-stations ), to Eurostar ( http://notstupid.org/news/not-stupid-flashmobbers ) and to President Nasheed of The Maldives (at the Global Premiere: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ageofstupid/3944596848/in/set-72157622430257280/ ) for being the first country to commit to going carbon neutral within ten years.
Lots of naughty people we've never met before, honest, have done lots of funny stuff involving the word Stupid. Best of all has to be Greenpeace re-decorating a coal power station in Italy: http://www.ageofstupid.net/node/3266 . http://www.ageofstupid.net/action_stations
Copenhagen & climate action
Q: What is Copenhagen?
The capital of Denmark.
Q: Very funny. What's Copenhagen got to do with climate change?
The only way we can prevent catastrophic climate change is to massively cut global emissions very quickly over the next couple of decades. The only way we can do that is by agreeing a binding international treaty. And the last chance we have to do that in the timescale set by the science of the planet... is the UN climate summit at Copenhagen ( http://en.cop15.dk/ ) in December 2009. So when people call it "the most important meeting in human history", they are not exaggerating.
Q: Blimey. How's the new treaty coming along?
Obviously they don't just write the deal at the final meeting, they've been working on it for years. The best option currently on the table (the EU's) would, if it were agreed and then if all the cuts made - which are two gigantic ifs - only give us a 50% chance of averting catastrophe. So our elected leaders are giving us - at best - a coinflip chance of survival. We could have a much higher chance - we're not waiting for technology or knowledge or anything - it's only the politics.
Q: So it's all the politicians fault?
Sorry, nobody gets off the hook that easily. Every part of society has pretty much failed so far. The politicians have failed to lead. The media have failed to convey the urgency of the problem. The public have failed to protest - and failed to cut their own emissions. Civil society has failed to put aside differences and unite...... BUT there is just about still time. We have six months left before Copenhagen and we could yet turn everything around. These six months will define our generation, as others before us were defined by ending slavery or landing on the moon or winning independence or whathaveyou. Hence the title of our film. Though if, as looks likely, our collective actions will lead to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people and leave the planet pretty-much uninhabitable, then future generations will be calling us much worse names than "stupid".
Q: Shouldn't there be one simple campaign that everyone can join?
Yup. See 10:10 above.
Q: What is the one thing I should do to stop climate change?
Oh, but it were that simple. There are a million different solutions to climate change, so there is something for everyone to do, depending on your age, location, skills, life-commitments and so on. But if you insist on one thing, then join our mailing list by sending an email to addtolist@ageofstupid.net. That way, you'll get news of all sorts of climate actions going on so you can choose the one that suits you. And then pledge to cut your emissions by 10% near year at 10:10. Oops, that's two.
Q: Where can I get more information?
Loads of really good books and films detailed here: http://www.notstupid.org/get-cleverer Don't forget to buy them second-hand or borrow from a friend.
Q: What's the Stupid-Maldives connection?
Stupid's climate change supervisor, Mark Lynas ( http://www.ageofstupid.net/people/mark_lynas ), met the Maldives administration at a conference in February 2009 and had a good old chat... Less than a month later, on March 15th 2009, President Nasheed caused a riot at the People's Premiere of The Age of Stupid by announcing that The Maldives will be the first country to go completely carbon neutral within ten years (see video: "http://www.ageofstupid.net/news/maldives_become_carbon_limbo_world_champions ). Leading to plenty of fireworks in the international press - including six pages in the New York Times ( http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/10/magazine/10MALDIVES-t.html?pagewanted=all ) , a think-piece from Nasheed in the Huffington Post ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mohamed-nasheed/climate-change-requires-a_b_292747.html ) and a double page feature in the Observer newspaper http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/mar/15/maldives-president-nasheed-carbon-neutral . Since then, the Maldives have continued their revolutionary ways by holding cabinet meetings underwater and all sorts of shenanigans summarised in this article. Stupid director Franny Armstrong presented President Nasheed with a giant Not Stupid certificate at the Global Premiere in New York on 21st September in recognition of his world-leading ways.
Q: What's with the Age of Stupid / Ed Miliband love-in?
We first met the UK's Climate Change Minister, Ed Miliband, at The Age of Stupid premiere in March 2009, when we ambushed him with a giant pledge - http://www.ageofstupid.net/news/peoples_premiere_not_stupid - which helped persuade him to change his coal policy less than a month later. Frankly, we thought that would be the last time we saw the likes of him, but then his office called up and challenged Stupid director Franny Armstrong to a public debate. Since then, Ed and Franny have been trading blows in public every few weeks. This is the scoreboard as it stands on 12th October 2009.
- Round 1: Age of Stupid premiere. Pete P ambushes Ed. Victor: FRANNY (technically PETE P) http://www.ageofstupid.net/premiere
- Round 2: Tricycle Theatre debate. Franny suggests 10:10 and Ed says blocking windfarms should be "socially unacceptable". Victor: TIE http://www.ageofstupid.net/node/2762
- Round 3: Hay Festival debate. Franny goes for the jugular on flying. Victor: FRANNY http://notstupid.org/news/ed-vs-franny-round-3-hay-festival
- Round 4. Latitude Festival. Franny surprises Ed with a giant Not Stupid certificate for his Low Carbon Transition Plan. Victor: ED http://www.actoncopenhagen.decc.gov.uk/en/ukaction/culture/Latitude-festival
- Round 5. Newsnight. Ed lands killer blow "You (the host) are a defeatist) and you (Franny) are an impossibilist". Victor: ED
- Round 6. Age of Stupid Global Premiere. Franny's "thanks for the politician answer" causes much hilarity in cinemas across the world. Victor: FRANNY http://www.ageofstupid.net/global_premiere"
Current score: 4-3 to Franny
Next round: Guardian podcast series
Q: Page/link/feature X isn't working and/or is out of date. Who should I tell?
Please let website@ageofstupid.net know. Thanks very much.
Q: I think you should do a low-bandwidth version of your website
Yeah, we agree. It's on our to-do list, but to be honest there's quite a lot of stuff higher up.
Q: I think you should do a foreign language version of your website
Ditto.
Q: I would be interested in helping translate your website. Who should I contact?
Sounds great, thanks very much. Please list the languages you could help with and your availability over the next three months to: website@ageofstupid.net
Sorry, but we can't afford to pay you, so please only get in touch if you are happy to work voluntarily.
Q: Will it be available for schools?
Yes. Any school anywhere in the world (except the exception countries listed under "Indie Screenings" above) can book a screening of the film via the Indie Screenings website.
Q: Will there be a UK schools resource pack?
Yes. We've teamed up with Action Aid to produce a special pack about the film, which was launched in October 2009. More info and to order your copy: http://www.actionaid.org.uk/101751/the_age_of_stupid.html
Q: What about a global schools pack?
We're interested to hear any suggestions. Please contact person@ageofstupid.net
Q: What's the rating? Is it suitable for children aged X?
The UK cinema rating for the film is 12A, which means that no child younger than 12 may see it in a cinema unless accompanied by an adult. More info about the UK's 12A classification: http://www.bbfc.co.uk/classification/c_12.php . There is a version on the DVD where all the swearwords have been bleeped out, so teachers may decide this version is suitable for their classes (though it does still contain harrowing stuff about the destruction of humanity). Up to you.
Q: I'd like to write my thesis / do some research on your film/methods. Is that OK?
Sure, go for it. At least 20 students have asked to do this, over the years. Every single one promised to send a copy of the finished thesis, but not a single one followed through, so we are kind-of jaded with helping with these requests. So please just take info from the website.
Q: How did you persuade Pete Postlethwaite to be in your low-budget climate change documentary?
We literally googled him to see if he was into climate change, and found this article http://www.shropshirestar.com/2007/05/01/movie-star-pete-going-green/ . On Dec 17 2007 at 3.27pm, he said 'Yes'.
Q: Will Pete attend/speak at/ endorse our climate change campaign?
See "Contacts" above.
Q: How long is it / who wrote it / what was it shot on etc?
Q: Who made it?
Complete credits here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/credits
Q: What's the rating?
12A in the UK. Which means children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. But the DVD will be E (Exempt), as it's a documentary. So, as far as we understand it, anybody can watch.
Q: Are there swearwords?
Yes, in the original version there are some swearwords, but we bleeped them out to get the 12A rating. Both versions are on the Indie Screening DVDs, so you can choose which to watch.
Q: Why doesn't the film include deforestation / over population / vegetarianism?
Actually all of those issues are mentioned briefly in the animation sections, but clearly we couldn't go into great depth on all the related issues because that would make a 46 hour film that nobody would ever see. There's just too damn many of them, as everything's related to climate change, one way or another. We felt that we choose strong, symbolic examples which the viewers could use to extrapolate. We're sorry if you disagree. And there's always room for more takes on the subject: why don't you make the film you feel we should have made?
Q: Is the film based on real science?
Yes. See: http://www.ageofstupid.net/the_science
The Met Office has also officially endorsed the film: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/stupid/index.html . Franny recently put the question "Did we exaggerate the science in Age of Stupid or is it about right?" to Dr Richard Betts, the Head of Climate Impacts, and he replied: "I wouldn't be sat here now if you had exaggerated it. It's all based on science in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. From the IPCC. So, yes, you did a good job."
Q: Why did you make another doom film? Martin Luther King said "I have a dream", not "I have a nightmare"
We thought long and hard about this one, we promise. In the end we decided that the key message is "Our house is on fire, get the fire engines!", rather than "Our house is on fire, but we feel there is hope about whether or not we will put it out". We may be wrong and someone may make a "dream" film at a later date which is more powerful than ours.
Q: Who wrote the music? Can I buy the soundtrack?
Chris Brierley composed most of the original music - http://www.ageofstupid.net/people/chris_brierley . More info, including full music credits at: http://www.ageofstupid.net/music The soundtrack will be available to buy as a CD or download if we ever get round to it. Maybe December 2009?
Q: Who did the animation?
About fifteen male people. Lots of info and cute production videos here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/animation
Q: How was John Battsek involved?
John Battsek started off as the Producer of the film but as the years wore on he took over the Executive Producer job and Lizzie Gillett did the day-to-day producing of the film. More about John at: http://www.ageofstupid.net/node/224
Q: What other films have you made?
Q: How did you make Age of Stupid with no industry backing?
See the 50 minute Making Of documentary for the full story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2009/mar/02/age-of-stupid-making-of
Q: How long did it take?
About five years all up. See the timeline for every detail: http://www.ageofstupid.net/timeline
Q: Where can I read more about the way you made the film?
There are loads of articles and full production notes in our press pack: http://www.ageofstupid.net/press-pack
Also, see Franny's diaries, for the daily thrills and spills: http://www.ageofstupid.net/diary
Q: What was the carbon footprint of the film?
The production totalled 94 tonnes. Which is equivalent to 8 European people or 4 Americans living for one year. Or 184 patio heaters for one month... Not bad for a film that was shot in six countries over five years and had a crew of 105 people. Then the promotion added another ~50 tonnes, mainly in flights to America and Australia/New Zealand. See calculations here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/carbon_footprint
Q: Doesn't the fact that you flew loads to make the film cancel out any good the film may do?
It's all about numbers at the end of the day. We have to cut global emissions by more than 40% by 2020. If we don't, we're basically toast. As the situation currently stands we are going to utterly fail to cut anywhere near enough. So we need a fast, massive awakening of both the public and the politicians. We made our film - producing 94 tonnes of carbon dioxide - in the hope (there's that word again) that our film may contribute to the awakening in time. If it doesn't, we have sped up the apocalypse by a few days. If it does, we may have helped avert the greatest humanitarian disaster of all time. In which case the 94 tonnes would be well spent.
Q: What about your personal lifestyles? Do you practise what we preach?
We don't make people sign a "I will live on one tonne a year" pledge when they come to work for us. But clearly we're all working here because we believe in the aim, not because we want to get rich (we wouldn't have spent five years on minimum wage if we didn't passionately believe in the issues). So, yes, the majority of Team Stupid do not fly for personal reasons, are vegetarian, travel everywhere by bike or public transport, mainly buy second-hand stuff, recycle & compost, wear lots of jumpers rather than turning the heating up, don't have cars and spend every waking hour working on climate change. And Franny managed to get the second Camden council grant to install solar hot-water at her house - the first Camden council grant went to someone else who worked briefly on the film, we found out later. Small world.
Q: How many people have now seen the film?
As of 10th October, we're up to about one million people in 63 countries. We're going to try to get a counter going on the website soon.
Q: Has the film had any impact so far?
Loads of people have written to us saying they've changed their lives, so anecdotally we can say it's definitely had an impact. Some of the actions inspired by the film can be seen at: http://www.ageofstupid.net/action_stations And some of the emails we received from people after our UK premiere are at: http://www.ageofstupid.net/peoples_premiere_the_world_seems_a_little_different_today
Q: Are you just preaching to the converted or have any influential people seen the film yet?
We've already screened at the EU, British, Scottish, Welsh, Swedish, Australian, Canadian and Dutch parliaments, as well as at the UN's climate summit in Poznan in December 2008. Obama's think tank (the Center for American Progress), the World Bank, the Environment Agency, the UN and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have also held screenings. Kofi Annan hosted a screening at the Global Humanitarian Forum in Geneva in June.
Q: What do people generally think of the film?
a full list of public reviews at: http://www.ageofstupid.net/public_reviews
Or some quotes form famous people at: http://www.ageofstupid.net/famous_people_quotes
Q: Has it won any awards?
Q: What do you want people to do once they've seen the film?
Become actively involved in solving the problem. For anyone producing more than 1 tonne of emissions per year, start by joining 10:10. http://www.1010uk.org
Q: What is crowd-funding?
The cunning financing model we invented for this film, which basically allowed us to raise 450,000 UK pounds to make the film, without giving away any of the rights (normally when a TV company or film financer invests in a film they take a proportion of the rights and then control the distribution). We then raised a further ~300k to distribute it. More info, including links to press about it, here: http://www.ageofstupid.net/money
Q: Who invested in the film?
228 people and groups - including a hockey team and a women's health centre. See the funders' page for a selection: http://www.ageofstupid.net/funders
"
Q: What are the advantages of crowd-funding?
1. Complete editorial freedom (no commissioners or advertising execs telling us to water down the content). 2. Control of the distribution (we wouldn't be able to do Indie Screenings if the film belonged to the BBC). 3. No outside deadlines. 4. 228-person strong PR team. 5. Loads of moral support.
Q: Sounds great. I want to crowd-fund my new film, can we have a chat?
Sorry we don't have time to meet or speak, but we have put all the documents - including the legal contracts - online so anyone can follow our model: http://www.ageofstupid.net/how_to_crowd_fund_your_film .
Q: I want to invest in the film. Are there any shares left? How do I go about it?
As of October 2009, we are selling some of our own shares to fund our Copenhagen plans. Would be fantastic if you could buy one for 10,000 pounds - or half for 5,000. More info: http://www.ageofstupid.net/node/1253/ . This is your last chance to own a slice of the Stupid profits. The deal is that you give us your 10K (or 20K or 30K etc) and we give you a percentage of the income, paid once a year for ten years.
If you're interested in finding out more, go to http://www.ageofstupid.net/buyshare where you can download the Funding Plan with all the details, and the standard Letter of Agreement investors have to fill out. If you want to have a chat about any of this before signing away upwards of ten grand, please drop lizzie@ageofstupid.net an email, and she'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. It's first come first served on this last handful of 'shares' and we were over-subscribed for the earlier funding rounds, so if you're interested, best to get in there quick! (*'shares' is in inverted commas because according to our lawyers, they're not technically shares, but some clever form of loan that's sort of like a share.)
Q: I don't have 10,000 pounds to invest, but I'd like to support your work. What to do?
We gratefully receive donations of any amount, either as a one-off or a monthly donation: http://www.ageofstupid.net/money . You can specify whether you want your money to go towards the distribution of the film or the Not Stupid action campaign. Thank you very very much, we couldn't do any of this without our supporters.
Q: How can I help support the film in my country?
Please hold a screening, spread the word (via email, Facebook, Twitter etc - all links in first question above), buy a share or make a donation: http://www.indiescreenings.net
Q: Can I volunteer at Spanner Films?
We're often in need of volunteers to come and help out in the office in Camden, North London, as there's always far more to do than our small team can manage. At the moment, we're not making any films, but we do have tonnes of exciting plans for Copenhagen. So if you join us as a volunteer you won't be shooting a masterpiece documentary with Franny - you'll be helping keep the ship afloat by picking stuff up, sorting receipts, going to the post office, updating the website and so on and so forth. NB: This is how Lizzie started six years ago and she's now the producer of The Age of Stupid! If you're interested, email volunteers@ageofstupid.net telling us a few lines about your skills, experience, why/how you want to be involved, where you live and what your availability is like (how many days per week over what time period).
Q: Can I have a job at Spanner Films?
Jobs come up from time to time. Join our mailing list by emailing addtolist@ageofstupid.net and you'll be first to hear about them. Alternatively, keep checking the website. There's not much use sending us your CV randomly, as we never know what to do with them.
Q: What advice do you have for budding filmmakers?
See Franny's "Top Ten Tips", written for The Guardian, here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2004/feb/18/1 or watch the complete 50-minute story of the Making Of Stupid here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2009/mar/02/age-of-stupid-making-of
Q: I have an idea for a film I think you should make about a really important issue.
We're a wee bit busy for at least the next year trying to help stop catastrophic climate change. And after that we are all planning to have a lie down. So there's no point sending us your great film ideas. Why not make it yourself? Or find other indie filmmakers here: www.shootingpeople.org
Q: I'd like us to work together on a non-film idea
Our problem at the moment is too many good ideas and not enough time to do them all. But if you really think your idea would fit well with our plans, you are welcome to email it to person@ageofstupid.net
Q: I would like to have a chat to Franny / Lizzie / someone from the team about my project.
Sorry to be rude, but we are currently spending every waking hour on our own projects (We used to feel guilty if we took a day off, then it became an hour and right now we feel bad if we stop working for five minutes.)
Q: What happened to your training courses?
In the past we have run a SWOTS session, our one day course that covers everything you need to know to make a documentary with no cash, crew or commission, but we are too busy to run this course for the foreseeable future. If you're interested in putting your name down for the next one - maybe in 2010, maybe not - email swots@spannerfilms.net The info from our last SWOTS course is at: http://www.spannerfilms.net/?lid=1029
Q: Is there any hope?
The people who came before us didn't know about climate change and the ones who come after will be powerless to stop it. So it's down to us. Other generations came together to overturn slavery or end apartheid or win the vote for women. There is nothing intrinsically more useless about our generation and there is no doubt about what we have to do. The only question which remains is whether or not we give it a go.
Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/franny-armstrong/the-age-of-stupid-gives-a_b_281903.html