News Reel & Blog

Written by Jack Hopkins on 28th September 2018

The Ryder Cup is back. It’s the ultimate biennial golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States, with the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe – this year it’s hosted at Le Golf National in Guyancourt, just outside Paris.

It’s a huge date in the golfing calendar, with fans all around the world tuning in to see the feisty pinnacle of professional golf. The fact that a little known golfer called Tiger Woods is back to his previous high standards of a bygone era clearly explains this year’s hype and the consequent predicted viewing figures, with audiences generally increasing by over 40% when Tiger’s involved.

When the tournament is based in the US, the estimated worldwide income generated is around $35-40 million, while for the European contests, it is estimated to be around £15 million. This is because Americans are willing to pay more for Ryder Cup matches that are aired during their primetime rather than a match that is played in the middle of the night in Europe.

Thankfully, this years tournament is going well with a home advantage, with Europe leading 5-3 after the first day. But, as with all golf tournaments, it’s not over until the final put.

Hope you enjoy watching this weekend, we certainly will be!

Come on #TeamEurope  


Written by Jack Hopkins on 20th September 2018

We once again sponsored the “How to freelance” session at this year’s London BAFTA Guru Live at 195 Piccadilly and it was yet another amazing day, as it always is.  

BAFTA Guru live is a 2-day event with industry masterclasses, panels and Q&As for aspiring creatives - the London leg of the festival took place last weekend and was an outstanding success, yet again, with over 100 audience members in attendance at our session.

Searchlight sponsored the packed session “How to be a freelancer” and Cathy Alford, Searchlight’s Managing Director, introduced Sara Putt who provided valuable tips on how to represent yourself effectively and manage a freelance career.

Sara continued by stating that as a freelancer you need to build your brand as an individual company, and that etiquette on social media can play a big part in whether you get a job or not.

Personal relationships and their impact on future placements was also heavily focused on, with personal relationships being labelled as “career currency”.

Sara ended her talk by stating that, wherever you go, you should also try and double your network, getting your name out there ensuring that the work doesn’t stop.

The audience were then invited to partake in a Q&A with both Cathy and Sara.

Our consultants were on hand afterwards to host a CV surgery. Suzanne was there to provide guidance on putting together a great CV and possible career-paths. Whilst Ian, our freelance consultant, helped budding creatives refine and perfect their show-reels which are gospel when it comes to finding work.

Many thanks to BAFTA and the Partnerships team for inviting us back and helping with the organisation of the session and the surgery – it wouldn’t have been such a success without you!

And may thanks to Sara Putt for hosting a brilliantly insightful session!

Thanks for a great day – and if you were there, thanks for coming!  



Written by Jack Hopkins on 14th September 2018

There’s always been the capacity for musicians to transfer their trade over to the visual side of entertainment, whether that be through documentaries, cameo appearances or live performances. The Beatles were the masters of this, playing themselves in multiple feature films as well as an abundance of documented live performances. We’re going to look at a couple of recent music documentaries, how live performances are changing and the positives and negatives of having musicians acting in films.

One recent successful music documentary is Stone Roses: Made of Stone (2013). Directed by Shane Meadows (This is England, Dead Man’s Shoes, Somers Town), the film shows the Stone Roses preparing for their comeback tour in 2012. It’s a special film because Meadows himself is a huge fan and so is appreciative of the effect the band can have on someone. The same can be said about Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Baby Driver) and his latest project, filming his beloved Sparks on their world tour and combining the footage with the content he filmed during their gig at the O2 Forum, Kentish Town.

Music documentaries are significant because they grant access to adoring fans and reveal unseen material. It also allows viewers to see their idols in a more casual light, rather than a performing one. New Order fans will be able to do just that before their only London show in 2018, at Alexandra Palace in November. Their new show, a concert film/documentary about the group titled New Order: Decades will air on Sky Arts on September 22 at 9pm. This will surely ramp up the excitement for the gig - not that it needs it, with the band announcing today that it’s sold out.

Arctic Monkeys have come back after a 5 year hiatus and are currently in the midst of a sold-out UK tour. On Monday, during the song ‘Cornerstone’, a cameraman followed Alex turner around the stage as he serenaded the hit song directly into the lens. It felt like it was part of a documentary in the making with how personal and established Turner looked as he commanded the stage and crowd simultaneously. It certainly strikes contrasts with the band’s appearance in Le Donk & Scor-Zay-Zee, the mock music documentary written and directed by that man again, Shane Meadows. The band come across shy and reserved which may come as a surprise. In reality, it actually allowed fans to deeper explore their favourite band, seeing them in a new scenario allowed supporters to see them in a more natural state, rather than a performing one.

Then there are films like This is Spinal Tap (1984) which totally turn the discussion on its head. The mock documentary style film shows a fictitious band in and out of the limelight, further blurring the line between reality and superficial performance. This blurring is what some music documentaries sometimes struggle with due to the fact it’s always questionable, like with many live recordings, how genuine the people in front of the camera are, and whether they’re playing up to the occasion. 


Written by Jack Hopkins on 7th September 2018

Our spidey-sense is officially tingling. Today’s the day the newest game in the Spider-Man franchise is released. Being brought to PlayStation exclusively, the most recent instalment of our favourite web-slinging vigilante is due to continue the rich vein of form of Spider-man video games. We’re going to look into the longevity of the multi-billion dollar franchise, the ways in which it has advanced its brand across multiple platforms and what’s in stall for the future.

Spiderman first graced our mortal world within a comic in 1962. He’s a fictional character who was created by Stan Lee and is one of the major jewels in Marvel’s crown. Since then, he’s featured across pretty much every medium possible, including a number of movies, television shows, and video game adaptations. The beauty of Spider-Man and other super heroes is the amount of enemies that they comes up against, with the likes of Doctor Octopus and Green Goblin featuring heavily in the storylines, epitomised by the imminent release of a stand-alone Venom movie featuring Tom Hardy.

The films alone have grossed nearly $5 billion worldwide, and in a similar style to James Bond, the regeneration of the character into different variations and opinions of what Peter Parker should resemble helps keep the character and the franchise fresh. Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland have all carried the baton in recent years and have received huge critical acclaim in the process, with many holding the original Spider-man movie and it’s sequel, Spider-Man 2, as two of the best super hero movies of all time as it debunks the dreaded second film flop theory.

The natural progression from films is to video games. Spider-Man games have always done well due to the popularity of the films, but the actual games themselves more than hold their own in the gaming world. Spider-Man (2000) on PlayStation 1 was an incredibly futuristic game which was reflected in its eventual "Platinum" sales award, indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the UK. IGN gave it an outstanding review, stating that it provided an “excellent framework on which to base future Spider-Man games.” And it certainly has done that, with the franchise releasing on average a game a year since 2000.  

The new Spider-Man game that’s released today has seemed to have followed suit. Developed by Insomniac Games (the studios behind Ratchet & Clank and Spyro The Dragon), the game has received rave reviews, being rewarded a 9/10 by GameSpot, 9.5/10 by Game Informer and 4.5/5 by GamesRadar.

What have been your favourite video games? Have they been derived from films or have they been originals?