Friday, 14 December 2012

Genesis Cinema Q&A Photos

Q&A after our screening at the Genesis Cinema, 13/12/12. L-R: Niall Phillips ('Ollie'), Fiona Ryan ('Claire'), and writer/director Alex Barrett.

Q&A after our screening at the Genesis Cinema, 13/12/12. L-R: Niall Phillips ('Ollie'), Fiona Ryan ('Claire'), and writer/director Alex Barrett.

Q&A after our screening at the Genesis Cinema, 13/12/12. L-R: Niall Phillips ('Ollie'), Fiona Ryan ('Claire'), writer/director Alex Barrett and host Anna Delaney.

Fiona Ryan Set Tour

To celebrate this weeks release of our DVD in the UK and Ireland, we thought we'd look back to the shoot with this set tour, hosted by our 'Claire', Fiona Ryan. Buy the DVD here:

ICA Q&A Photo

Q&A after the screening at the ICA, 09/12/12. L-R: host Philip Concannon and writer/director Alex Barrett.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Andrew Hawley Improv

When shooting one of the party scenes in LIFE JUST IS, the actor Andrew Hawley was asked to improvise. This was the result...

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Riverside Studios Preview Photos

Here are some photographs from the Q&A after our Special Preview at the Riverside Studios last night. Thanks to everyone who came along!
L-R: Executive Producer Christine Hartland, Nathaniel Martello-White ('Tom'), Fiona Ryan ('Claire'), writer/director Alex Barrett and host Zena Howard.
Photographs by Jason Creasey.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Profile Picture Campaign

As a small, independent production we are reliant upon the support and the kindness of people like you, dear reader, to help us spread the word about our upcoming release. With this in mind, we have created our profile picture campaign. There are three ways that you can help:

1) You can change your Twitter and/or Facebook profile pictures to the picture labelled 'profile' below.
2) You can change your Facebook cover picture to the picture labelled 'cover' below.
3) You can click this link and then 'share' the picture on your own Facebook page.

Of course, if you want to be really helpful, you can also share this blog and encourage other people to get involved!

- Alex

Profile Picture

Cover Picture

The Stills of Life Just Is...In Motion

Thursday, 15 November 2012


Here it is! Our trailer! Hope you like it!

Don't forget that public booking is now open for our BFI run, and tickets are still on sale for our special preview at the Riverside Studios. More soon.
- Alex

Friday, 9 November 2012

From Education to the Abyss - Share your stories!

While working on Life Just Is, we came to realise that everyone has a story to tell about entering 'the real world' after education. As Justine explains below, WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR STORIES! Post a video reply on Justine's video, sharing some of your experiences, thoughts, funny moments or heartbreaks from that time of life. This is a social experiment to get the conversation going about life after uni. We hope that by sharing these stories, we can shine a light on the issues faced by young people leaving uni today.

And, to get the conversation started, here some stories we've added ourselves:

Friday, 2 November 2012

What You Can Expect, and When You Can Expect It!

As you can imagine, we're busy beavering away getting things ready for our release in the UK and Ireland in December, and in celebration we have a host of things planned for the coming weeks. So I thought it might be a good idea to just quickly note down what you can expect, and when you can expect it!

w/c Nov 5th
From Education to the Abyss: Next week we'll be kicking off our video campaign, 'From Education to the Abyss'. The idea behind the campaign is to open a discussion about what happens during that awkward first year after you've finished University: we're sure that the characters in LIFE JUST IS aren't the only ones who have had life-changing (and life-challenging) experiences during that time. Launching on our YouTube Channel, we'll be inviting video responses to spark off the discussion. So, whether you have a funny story, a heartbreaking anecdote, or a terrifying tale, get ready to tell us about it! We want to hear all about your horrendous jobs, your disastrous love affairs, and your hilarious adventures… but most importantly of all, we just want to hear YOUR voice and find out what happened to you when you entered the gaping abyss of 'real' life!

w/c Nov 12th
The Trailer: The moment many of you have been waiting for – the official launch of the LIFE JUST IS trailer!

w/c Nov 19th:
The Stills of Life Just Is…In Motion: As we approach our release, we look back to the shoot with a unique behind-the-scenes documentary made from the stills taken on set by photographer David Lau. I'm particularly pleased with the way this has come out and wish we'd have had it in time for the DVD… be sure not to miss it!
Facebook Profile Picture campaign: A double-whammy this week! As well as releasing the video, we'll also be asking you to help us spread the word by changing your Facebook profile picture to an image with all the details of our release. As a small, independent production, we really need people like YOU to help us make our film a success.

w/c Nov 26th:
Andrew Hawley Improv: During the shoot it became apparent that some dialogue I'd written for the character of Nick (played by Andrew Hawley) wasn't long enough for what I needed from the scene. So I asked Andrew to improvise. Which he did, to hilarious effect. Unfortunately for me, the first few takes were ruined by our lead actors Nathaniel Martello-White and Will De Meo being so amused that they couldn't keep a straight face. Luckily for you, we're releasing this footage as a special bonus. Another one not to be missed!

w/c Dec 3rd:
Fiona Ryan Set Tour: Another look back to the shoot, this video features a short tour of the set, in which lead actress Fiona Ryan takes us around the film's main location and introduces us to the cast and crew in her own, inimitable style.

So, there you have it – what you can expect, and roughly when you can expect it! With any luck there will be one or two further surprises along the way, but hopefully this is enough to get you excited for now!

More soon.
- Alex

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

BFI Screening Details

Full details of our BFI screenings are now available below. From the Guide: 'An independently made British debut with a difference, Alex Barrett’s look at the difficulties faced by a group of friends confronting the ups and downs of post-uni life avoids the usual clichés. First, the concerns of the two sets of London flatmates are not all to do with sex ‘n’ drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’roll; work, professional ambition, even religious doubt get a look in. And while sympathising with his vulnerable characters, Barrett doesn’t indulge them; deft dialogue, careful compositions and naturalistic performances leave room for wry humour as well as keen insights.'


Dec 7th: 18:40
Dec 8th: 16:20, 20:50
Dec 9th: 18:40
Dec 11th: 18:40, 20:50
Dec 12th: 18:40
Dec 13th: 20:50
Dec 14th: 20:50
Dec 15th: 18:40
Dec 16th: 16:20, 20:50
Dec 18th: 18:40
Dec 19th: 20:50
Dec 20th: 18:40

Tickets for members go on sale Tuesday 6th November, while non-members can book from Tuesday 13th.
Click here for more details.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Tickets now available for Riverside Preview

Just a short one today, to tell you all that tickets are now available for our Preview Screening at the Riverside Studios: Hope to see you there!
- Alex

Thursday, 18 October 2012


We are pleased to announce that we will be publishing two books to tie in with the release of LIFE JUST IS – "LIFE JUST IS: DIRECTOR'S JOURNAL" and "LIFE JUST IS: SCRIPTBOOK". We'll be bringing you more information about the books in due course, but for now here are their blurbs:


Graduating from a university film course in 2005 at the age of 21, Alex Barrett had an idea: he wanted to make a feature film. Flash forward seven years, and the idea has been realised as his debut feature LIFE JUST IS, nominated for the Michael Powell Award for Best British Film at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012. But how did a young graduate with no industry connections manage to get a film made, sold and distributed? And why did the process take so long? And what was the toll it took?

LIFE JUST IS: DIRECTOR'S JOURNAL offers all these answers and more. Giving an unparalleled exploration of what it takes to get a debut microbudget film made, the journal presents a fascinating glimpse into the conception, development, production and postproduction of a film.

Alongside its insight into the development of a film, LIFE JUST IS: DIRECTOR'S JOURNAL also builds a vivid picture of the development of an individual. Edited as it is from seven years of daily entries, Barrett's passions and frustrations are laid bare in full, while his honest, open and engrossing journal entries are filled with anecdotes, musings, reviews and thoughts which slowly build into a coherent philosophy of film and of life.


Throughout the production of LIFE JUST IS, writer/director Alex Barrett has been documenting the process of the film's creation. In keeping with this open exploration of the making of the film, LIFE JUST IS: SCRIPTBOOK presents not only the final draft of the script, but also the first draft, thereby offering a unique insight into the film's development.

LIFE JUST IS tells the story of Pete, Tom, David, Claire and Jay, a tight-knit group of friends who share neighbouring flats in London after recently graduating from university. As they hang out, throw parties and navigate the new responsibilities of adult life, romantic tensions and existential crises begin to simmer beneath the surface.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012


Further to our last update, it brings us great pleasure to give you more information about our UK release, and offer you the first glimpse of our DVD cover artwork.
First up, we will be having a special preview of the film at the Riverside Studios on November 26th. This screening will be followed by a QA with writer/director Alex Barrett and actors Nathaniel Martello-White and Fiona Ryan.
The film will then open theatrically on December 7th, with a two-week run in the Studio at the BFI Southbank, before being released on DVD and VOD on December 10th.
Tickets for the theatrical screenings will go on sale in the coming weeks, and we'll post more details here as we have them. The DVD, meanwhile, will be available from all good retailers, and you can pre-order yours from Amazon right now by clicking on the picture or link below!

Friday, 31 August 2012

LIFE JUST IS goes theatrical at BFI SOUTHBANK

We are absolutely delighted to announce that LIFE JUST IS will be getting a theatrical run at the BFI SOUTHBANK later this year. We'll release further details nearer the time, but it's safe to say we're all extremely excited about this.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

LIFE JUST IS at Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012

Some pictures from our recent World Premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012.

L-R: Production Designer Niina Topp, 1st AD Alice Caronna, 'Tom' Nathaniel Martello-White, Writer/Director Alex Barrett, 'Pete' Jack Gordon, Executive Producer Christine Hartland, Producer Tom Stuart, 'Claire' Fiona Ryan, Soundman Jason Creasey, Editor Murat Kebir, EIFF Artistic Director Chris Fujiwara.

First Q&A, in Cineworld 3.

L-R: 'Claire' Fiona Ryan, Production Designer Niina Topp, 'Pete' Jack Gordon, Soundman Jason Creasey, 'Tom' Nathaniel Martello-White, Writer/Director Alex Barrett, Executive Producer Christine Hartland, Producer Tom Stuart, Editor Murat Kebir and 1st AD Alice Caronna.

In the Delegate Centre.

Second Q&A, in Cameo 1.

In the Delegate Centre.

In the Cineworld foyer.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Flicks and the City

During the Edinburgh International Film Festival London launch last week Journalist and Presenter Jan Gilbert interviewed Alex, Roland and Christine about Life Just Is and what EIFF means to them. You can watch the interviews below, or on Jan's film blog or YouTube channel. 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

World Premiere set for Edinburgh International Film Festival!

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that the World Premiere of LIFE JUST IS will take place next month at the 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival! The team and I are extremely excited to be given the opportunity to launch the film at such a fantastic event, and many of us will be attending the festival in person.

The details of our two public screenings are as follows:

Saturday 23 June 15:15 Cineworld 3 (+ QA)
Wednesday 27 June 21:00 Cameo 1

Tickets go on sale at 12:00 today for Filmhouse Members, and at 10:00 tomorrow for non-members. To book tickets please call 0131 228 2688 or visit Tickets are also available in person at the Filmhouse Box Office.

For more information, please visit the film's page on the festival's website, here.

I hope to see some of you there!

- Alex

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Picked Up by Independent

It brings me great pleasure to announce that Independent Distribution has acquired UK home entertainment rights for LIFE JUST IS, and will be releasing the film on DVD and VOD in the UK and Ireland later this year. We'll announce more details as we have them, but we are currently aiming for an autumn release. All of the team are extremely excited about this news, and we hope you will be too. INDEPENDENT's Head of Distribution Stefanie Fahrion has commented: "This is an engrossing and accomplished debut. We're very happy to give the film a home and foster our commitment to fresh and innovative filmmaking talent."

More soon.
- Alex

Monday, 26 March 2012

Finishing the Film

I'm a little bit late with cross-posting this, but I've just realised I never put something on here about a new piece I wrote for Directors Notes, detailing the final stages of our postproduction, Finishing the Film. Hope you enjoy it!
- Alex

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

First Reviews

As mentioned in our previous two posts (here and here), we held our Cast & Crew screening last month. As well as inviting people who worked on the film, we thought we'd invite a few critics along so that we could start getting a sense of how the film would be received among the critical fraternity. I think the response somewhat astonished us all. Here are a few excerpts from the reviews:

* * *

'In his first feature, Barrett has already acquired the skill to know exactly where to position his camera in order to suggest a view on the material without ever imposing such a view artificially... It may be a cliché, but Barrett's key influences clearly come not from art but rather from life, from the generosity and curiosity with which he has observed both his contemporaries and himself...for it seems to me that each of the central characters represents a different aspect of their creator's personality. It is tempting to describe LIFE JUST IS as one of the most promising debuts in contemporary cinema, but this temptation should be resisted. We are not dealing with promise here: we are dealing with achievement' - Brad Stevens, Sight & Sound contributor & author of Abel Ferrara: The Moral Vision

* * *

'The sharply written and skilfully acted LIFE JUST IS explores the emotionally fraught lives of its young characters with humour, intelligence and compassion. It's a confident and impressive debut from Alex Barrett' - Philip Concannon, Phil on Film

* * *

'LIFE JUST IS will hit a nerve with those going through the post-graduate slump but also resonate with anyone trying to work out their place in the world. It is a film that will connect with its intended audience due to the strong script and great characters...

A ferociously smart and perceptive film that confronts the issues of modern life. A strong debut that is as affecting as it is funny. It is so exciting and refreshing to see a British director make a film like this' - Katherine McLaughlin, Film Critic for Cinetalk

* * *

'Barrett's film is fresh and assured...For while his film is a kind of post graduate slacker film for the 2010s generation, it is also witty, moving, charming and well-paced... He has appeared in our presence as a confident, eloquent and articulate new voice - one that will be heard of in the not-so-far future and I for one, can't wait.

LIFE JUST IS has an engaging cast who carry off the equally engaging script with style and professionalism. Everything about the film, from locations to mise-en-scene and from visual quality to direction belie the micro-budget of the production. As both writer and director, Alex Barrett has arrived and arrived with class - the barefaced cheek!' - James B. Evans, Film Critic and Author. Contributor to Electric Sheep, Little White Lies and Cinema Scope

* * *

'Barrett is unafraid to tackle ‘proper’ spiritual issues and have his characters discuss the G— word. It’s a bold move. But this doesn’t mean they spend the whole time sitting around expostulating Kierkegaardianishly: there’s room for humour and even – thank... errrr ... heavens(?) - a sort of a knob gag. Which goes to make them seem all the more normal...

LIFE JUST IS is a controlled debut from an assured filmmaker confident to make his own film in his own way' - John Riley, Film Critic for Resonance 104.4fm

* * *

'Barrett's meticulous eye elevates this beyond many of his peers... The uniformly excellent (and good looking) cast deserve to break out as a result of their work here' - Hemanth Kissoon, Filmaluation

* * *

'The film manages to be both very large in scope, discussing religion and the existence of God, and also extremely intimate. The conversations are very realistic in the way they are written and are performed naturally by the cast, which really brings the characters to life…

Ultimately, once the film had finished, I find myself wishing I could see the next day in the lives of these characters. Watch it, and you’ll feel like you’ve made some new friends' - Tom Roberts, Manager Gate Cinema, Notting Hill and writer for Cinetalk.

Friday, 20 January 2012

End of Phase One

As some of you may have gathered from the various posts and tweets that have been flying around in the last week, Life Just Is is now finished. This blog might seem like a rather low-key way to announce what is, in many ways, the summit of everything that we've been working towards... but we are all too aware that our biggest challenges still lie ahead of us: breaking onto the festival circuit and trying to secure some kind of distribution deal. Completing the film is only half the battle. We have an exciting and scary time ahead of us as we enter the second phase of the Life Just Is journey.

This time last week, we were getting ready to hold our Cast and Crew screening at BAFTA. I'm pleased to say that the evening was a great success, and so far the response to the film has been amazing (especially from critics... more on which soon). For now, though, here are a few pictures from the evening, taken by the super awesome João Serejo. Enjoy!
- Alex

Left-Right: Producer Tom Stuart, Co-Producer Pat Wintersgill, Writer/Director Alex Barrett and Exec Producer Christine Hartland.

Producer Tom Stuart (left) with Writer/Director Alex Barrett (right).

Jayne Wiserner (Jay) with Alex Barrett (writer/director).

Music Supervisor James McWilliam (right).

The pre-screening drinks reception.

Writer/Director Alex Barrett (left) with Jef Streatfield, frontman of the band Plan A, whose song Moving Along is sung by 'David' (Will De Meo) in the film.

Writer/Director Alex Barrett (left) with Editor Murat Kebir (right).
Left-Right: Nathaniel Martello-White ('Tom'), Alex Barrett (writer/director), Will De Meo ('David'), Andrew Hawley ('Nick'), Jayne Wisener ('Jay') and Fiona Ryan ('Claire').

Joshua Osei ('Vince') with Writer/Director Alex Barrett.

Producer Tom Stuart (left) giving his intro.

Alex Barrett (Writer/Director) and Tom Stuart (Producer) giving their intros.

Writer/Director Alex Barrett giving his intro.

Actress Fiona Ryan ('Claire').

Costume Designer Charmaine Parram (left) talks to actress Fiona Ryan ('Claire', right).

Actress Alix Wilton Regan ('Zoe').