Discover the new indie film comedy about the world of comic book publishing that came about as the result of a bet
Eighteen months ago, there was no Pulp. It wasn’t even a twinkling in co-director and main motivator Adam Hamdy’s eye. One San Diego moment of epiphany and a drunken bet changed all that. And by last month, the completed film was already being screened to test audiences and a exuberant cast and crew.
That’s some going, in anybody’s books.
So what is Pulp? Think Spaced meets Withnail And I with a little bit of Carry On and Richard Curtis films mixed in. Set in the world of comic book publishing, it’s the classic tale of the struggling artist trying to break into the big time while having to deal with money-laundering gangsters. “It’s was only supposed to be a bit of fun,” says Hamdy when we meet for a chat London’s Soho Theatre. “But we did some test screenings – using some of those score cards that the studios use which we, um, pilfered – and while it was never meant to be a social commentary, people identify with [lead character, comic book writer] Tony’s struggle. The fact there’s this guy here who’s pursuing his dream as at all costs seems to resonate with a broader base than we expected. People identify with his struggle. I think maybe if we’d been filming in the champagne-guzzling atmosphere of five years ago, it wouldn’t have had so much resonance.”
Hamdy is an independent comic book writer himself, so he knows the world he’s putting on screen well. His debut comic, The Hunter, launched in December 2007 to critical acclaim built an international readership of over 130,000 through its innovative print and online distribution strategy. “I can put in a plug for SFX here,” he says. “It was the first magazine we advertised in.”
Um, and did the ad work? “Yeah, it did!” he says. Phew.
Pulp came about because, while working on developing other nearly-not-quite film projects, he suddenly realised that he should fall back on that old adage – write what you know.
“I’ve been writing for screen since 2005 and have various projects that have reached quite late stages in the gestation process… Pulp for me was a reaction against the four or five year development process. With Pulp the idea was almost like ripping off a sticking plaster. We’d just do it”