THE DIARY: At Warp factor 10

Mark Herbert
Mark Herbert
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WARP Films celebrates 10 years next week.

The Sheffield film company - responsible for such movies as Four Lions and This Is England - has been going a decade.

It was set up by the founders of music label Warp Records and Mark Herbert, a film studies graduate.

Films made by the company have won dozens of awards - including a BAFTA for This Is England - and it is recognised as very good in the industry.

Other films it has made include Dead Man’s Shoes and Submarine. It has also done online movies like Donkey Punch, and an advert for Robinsons Fruit And Barley. The firm are currently working on a film about The Stone Roses come back gig.

Mark, 44, of Broomhill, said: “When we first set up I was working along from my garage. I gave it a lick of paint and put in a phone line. That was where we made the first film My Wrongs with Chris Morris.”

Now the company has 14 staff and three offices - in the city’s ElectricWorks complex in the city centre, in London and one recently; set up in Melbourne.

Mark, a father of three, said: “I had known Rob Mitchell, the founder of Warp records for some time. We played football together for The Washington pub.

“We talked about doing this for a while. When Rob tragically passed away with cancer, me and his Warp Records partner Steve Beckett decided we should do it.

“He gave me the backing and the name and I said give me six months and we can make something in the same ethos. That’s how it started.”

That first film, My Wrongs, was a critical hit winning awards etc.

The success continued when a relationship was formed with various movie-makers including now acclaimed director Shane Meadows.

His film Dead Man’s Shoes - since voted the 27th best British movie of all time by film bible Empire magazine - gave Warp Films their second huge success.

And it lead to them making This Is England with Meadows, a film that is arguably the company’s greatest success to date. Much of it was shot around Sheffield.

Mark said: “To win a Bafta for that was just the best moment. Sylvester Stallone was presenting. I remember saying ‘That’s Rocky’ as we went up. We didn’t think we’d win because we weren’t sitting on the aisles and someone had said that’s where they put the winners. It was a huge shock.”

Now for the future.

The company is putting the final touches to that Stone Roses documentary.

Mark said: “I showed it them last night actually and they seem pleased with it.”

They are also working on a children’s film - with a Warp twist.

Mark again: “My three kids keep asking to see my films but they’re not really suitable so that’s our next project - making a children’s movie but one that isn’t sugar-coated. It’s a good place for us to go after 10 years.”