Northern Ireland horror film firm fears worst as bank closes in
An independent filmmaker behind a series of movies shot in Northern Ireland is appealing for help to save his business.
George Clarke of Belfast-based Yellow Fever Productions (YFP) says he will have to close the company he set up in October 2007 after falling into debt.
The father-of-two from east Belfast has been struggling for survival since taking out a bank loan in 2011. The business was hit badly a few months later when £14,000 worth of its DVD stock was lost in the London riots after the Sony warehouse they were stored in was burnt down.
"It's a major problem for us," the 35-year-old said. "Our income and financial safety net for YFP became virtually non-existent overnight.
"There has been no backing on this and battling with Sony to give us what we lost is proving impossible.
"Now, the banks are closing in on us, claiming that if we don't get sorted by March 10, we are to be closed down and Yellow Fever Productions is gone."
George – with help from a small team of collaborators – has produced more than 100 hours of TV and five feature films, four of which have been broadcast on Sky.
Among them is 2008 martial arts zombie film, Battle Of The Bone, about a battle with the undead, set around the Twelfth of July.
George grabbed headlines with the quirky film, which cost just £10,000 to make, and it went on to win the Freak Show Film Festival's Audience Choice Award.
Other titles YFP has produced on a shoestring budget include The Knackery, The Last Light, Onus and Splash Area, plus Youtube phenomenon Chaplins Time Traveler (sic) which gained more than six million hits.
"We have paved the way for many new filmmakers, won awards with our work, and shown the world that you don't need a million dollars to entertain the fans," George said.
"We are asking anyone that can help us to get in touch."
Hong Kong-based movie producer Mike Leeder, who has worked on hits such as Rush Hour 3 and Fearless, is backing George's call for help.
He says YFP has achieved a huge amount "without any solid support or financial backing".
"I am working with George on a number of projects, having been very impressed by what he's capable of and his sheer enthusiasm," Mike said.
"There's a lot of people who talk about making films but very few who actually go out and make them, and even less who get their films released and get them screened around the world."