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?
See http://www.ageofstupid.net/contact_us . But hopefully this FAQ covers everything you need to know anyway.
Q: Who are you?
Spanner Films was founded by director Franny Armstrong in 1997, although it was originally called just Spanner.
This lot made our best-known film, The Age of Stupid: http://www.ageofstupid.net/crew
These 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.spannerfilms.net/ageofstupid
McLibel (McDonald's libel trial doc): http://www.spannerfilms.net/mclibel
Drowned Out (fight against the Narmada dam doc): http://www.spannerfilms.net/drownedout
10:10 (climate action campaign spawned from Age of Stupid film): http://www.1010uk.org
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?
Facebook (Age of Stupid): http://www.facebook.com/ageofstupid
Facebook (10:10): http://www.facebook.com/tentenuk
Twitter (Franny): http://twitter.com/frannyarmstrong
Twitter (10:10): http://twitter.com/tentenuk
YouTube channel (for videos): http://www.youtube.com/spannerfilms
Vimeo channel (for higher quality videos): http://vimeo.com/channels/ageofstupid
Q: Are you GDPR compliant? Do you protect my data?
We do indeed. See our privacy policy, updated May 2018, here: www.spannerfilms.net/privacy_policy
Q: What have you been doing since Age of Stupid came out in 2009?
We spent 18 months launching Age of Stupid - including running our live web TV show, Stupid Show, from the Copenhagen climate summit - and then followed that up with our climate campaign, 10:10. From 2013 to 2018 we've been developing our new project SCRUFFY SQUAD (www.scruffysquad.tv), as well as some human babies.
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 your films on the net?
You can download or stream our films directly from our website: http://www.spannerfilms.net/download
Q: I'm a distributor and I want to buy one of your films for TV. Who do I speak to?
Great. Please contact the appropriate sales agent, as listed on our Contact page: http://www.spannerfilms.net/contact_us
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, Kofi Annan's Global Humanitarian Forum in Geneva and the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009.
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 person2018@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 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.
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: 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: 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 person2018@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 / a campaigner speak at my event/conference/festival?
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: 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?
As of May 2018, on IMDB we have a rating of 7.1/10 with 3,812 votes (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: 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 world of Spanner Films. All the detail about how to sign up - and how to unsubscribe - are here: http://www.spannerfilms.net/mailing_list
Q: I ordered the DVD two weeks ago, but haven't received it etc
Any queries with merchandise, please email shop@ageofstupid.net
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 can book a screening of the film via the Indie Screenings website.
Q: Is there 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'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: 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
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?
See the counter on the front page of the website.
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
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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 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 working on our own projects. Why not make it yourself? Or find other indie filmmakers here: www.shootingpeople.org
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'd like to hear about the next one if/when it comes up, please join our mailing list: http://www.spannerfilms.net/mailing_list 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