When I came up with the idea for Redemption in 1992 I knew absolutely nothing about film distribution or how to license a film. I had raised about £10K and, through a contact at the BFI, had been able to license five films; Mask of Satan, Lisa and the Devil, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, Killer Nun and Salon Kitty. That had pretty much used up all of the cash so I was still working fulltime in publishing.
I then managed to get a distributor, a company called RTM, so in theory, was all set to go but I needed a brand and a look for the label and that was something I did know about.
I chose the name Redemption because my own film, Visions of Ecstasy, had been banned for blasphemy and it seemed appropriate. Its banning had also pushed me sideways in that I came to the conclusion that if I couldn’t make my own films then I could at least release the films I liked.
I started by creating the magazine The Redeemer, a sort of posh fanzine which the Guardian called a ‘Death Vogue for the Nineties’, which would act as a not too subtle publicity driver for Redemption. I then set about creating a branded design for the sleeves. With no money, I couldn’t afford to advertise so I needed the sleeves to do everything, essentially I needed them to make an impact and most importantly of all encourage retailers to rack them together thereby creating a mini ‘Redemption section’ which would, in turn, attract customers.
The sleeves had to, like book jackets, make people judge a film by its cover.