London film company Hereford Films, best known for The Krays Dead Man Walking and the We Still Kill The Old Way series, has announced an ambitious production slate for this year, while making several key hirings to support their growth strategy.
Hereford CEO Jonathan Sothcott, a veteran producer with nearly 40 movies to his name, has steered Hereford to become the leading producer of British crime and gangster movies, with well over a million DVDs sold. Passionate about his chosen genre and with an obvious ambition to match it he continues to expand on the company’s success year on year. Says Sothcott: “We are going through a period of significant growth and transition, building up to a return to my productivity 5 years or so ago when I was making 5 or 6 films a year. That’s an achievable number – in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if we made more in 2019. Our Krays film last year showed that these films still work and we’ve worked out a few bugs in the model and are ready to roll out a conveyor belt again. With all the changes in the air – not just Brexit although that is a big part of it, I think there will be a renewed appetite for unashamedly commercial British films. And Hereford is here to give the people what they want. We’re expanding and I’m hiring the absolute best people I can in order to make the company the absolute best it can be.”
Author Steve Wraith has joined the company as True Crime Consultant, highlighting Hereford’s position as the number 1 producer of true crime films in the UK. Wraith, who recently co-wrote Paul Ferris’ second autobiography Unfinished Business, commented: “I am delighted to be joining Hereford Films as True Crime Consultant. I really enjoyed working on both sides of the camera on The Krays Dead Man Walking ,and working alongside Jonathan who has cornered the market In British Crime films is a good fit for us both. Over the last 30 years I have met most high profile villains in the UK and can give a good insight into their respective stories. There is a real buzz about the forthcoming Roy Shaw film Pretty Boy and the follow up to ‘Dead Man Walking’, which is called The Krays 2 – Marked For Death.”
“Steve is an important addition to the team,” explains Sothcott, “we have quite a narrow focus on our homegrown stuff and I make no claims to be an expert on British crime, but that’s exactly what Steve is. I’m looking to take on more people on a permanent basis this year and he’s certainly set the bar high.”
As well as the aforementioned Krays sequel, Hereford has a veritable gang of new genre films on the horizon – urban drug dealers film Trapers, gangland home invasion movie Reckoning Day, sequel We Still Die The Old Way and casino heist thriller Swipe are all due to go into production this year and all promise to deliver the mixture of geezery banter and sweary violence that make Hereford the nation’s favourite provider of post pub ‘bloke films.’
The company has also announced plans to produce official merchandise for its films including T-shirts, posters and books. VP Adam Stephen Kelly explained: “we are asked for posters on a daily basis so it makes sense to produce them and I think the clothing range will only strengthen our brand. We’ve dabbled in publishing before but Hereford Books will publish behind the scenes book and ‘expanded universe’ material for our most popular characters, as well as the novelisations like we did for Vendetta and We Still Kill TheOld Way. It may even be that we become a home for true crime authors without a film connection, we’ll have to see how that goes.”
Does Hereford have plans to up sticks and move to Hollywood? “No,” says CEO Sothcott, “we’re not going anywhere. There’s a tremendous public appetite for the films we make so we’ll keep making them. Supply and demand is pretty simple.”
You can find out more about Hereford Films at www.herefordfilms.co.uk