How to Raise $325 Million in Film Financing with Wayne Godfrey
I promise the title of today’s episode is not clickbait.
Our guest, Wayne Godfrey is a British film producer, CEO of Fintech platform, Purely Capital, and expert film financier who’ve raised nearly $325 million for more than 120 independent feature films.
Wayne founded Purely Capital in 2018 to enables film and TV rights owners a way to accelerate payments from years to days, for their content from streaming platforms.
This year, he became a mentor at Creative Futures Collective in the UK to contribute to unearthing the next generation of creative industry leaders from disenfranchised backgrounds and empower them to break cycles of systemic inequalities they’ve experienced.
He’s credited as executive producer for numerous independent feature films, including , The Man Who Invented Christmas, Robert Rodriguez‘s Sin City, Martin Scorsese‘s Silence and Joe Carnahan’s Boss Level.
An undeniably impressive career Wayne has built as a ‘problem solver in film procurement investment – a long way from DJ-ing around London as a young guy with only a deep interest and some skill in sound production.
Some of his other key production credits include The Foreigner.
THE FOREIGNER, starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan, is a timely action thriller from the director of “Casino Royale.” The film tells the story of humble London businessman Quan (Chan), whose long-buried past erupts in a revenge-fueled vendetta when the only person left for him to love — his teenage daughter — is taken from him in a senseless act of politically-motivated terrorism.
In his relentless search for the identity of the terrorists, Quan is forced into a cat- and-mouse conflict with a British government official (Brosnan), whose own past may hold clues to the identities of the elusive killers.
It was really cool getting Wayne’s perspective on what he considers as the pillars of a successful film from a marketing POV to thrive in the current diluted and competitive marketplace. He points out that a great story, recognizable talent, and capital can determine a film’s success right out of the gate.
I know it has not been smooth for a lot of indie filmmakers during these COVID times and I promise, there is something in this conversation for everyone because Wayne doesn’t speak only from a marketing standpoint, but he understands extensively, the development, negotiating, and production structures of film financing are always an assuring point of sale for filmmakers.
Enjoy my eye-opening conversation with Wayne Godfrey.
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
- DONATE to Feed America to help people affected by the pandemic
- Rise of the Filmtrepreneur®: How to Turn Your Indie Film into a Moneymaking Business (FREE AUDIOBOOK)
- $1 Closed Captions for Indie Filmmakers – Rev ($10 Off Your First Order)
- The Complete Indie Film Producing Workshop with Suzanne Lyons (COUPON CODE: IFHFILMPRODUCE)
- Shooting for the Mob (Based on the Incredible True Filmmaking Story) (FREE AUDIOBOOK)
REAL-WORLD STREAMING FILM EDUCATION
- Indie Film Hustle TV (Streaming Real-World Film Education)
- Hollywood Film School: Filmmaking & TV Directing Masterclass
- Filmmaker in a Box – Learn How to Make an Indie Film – 18 Hours+ of Lessons
- Storytelling Blueprint: Hero’s Two Journeys
- The Dialogue Series: 38 hours of Lessons from Top Hollywood Screenwriters
WATCH MICRO-BUDGET CASE STUDIES
- IFH Academy – Exclusive Filmmaking & Screenwriting Training
- FreeFilmBook.com (Download Your FREE Filmmaking Audio Book)
- Indie Film Hustle® Podcast
- Bulletproof Screenwriting® Podcast
- Filmtrepreneur™ Podcast
- Inside the Screenwriter’s Mind® Podcast
Alex Ferrari 0:08
I'd like to welcome to the show Wayne Godfrey man How you doing Wayne?
Wayne Godfrey 0:14
It's really good to be here. Thank you so much for having me
Alex Ferrari 0:17
you know thank you so much for being on the show. Man. I'm excited to get into the weeds with you about your your very interesting career so far in the film industry and you're a young guy, you were of similar vintages. But you know, you've done a lot for a guy of your age and and what you've done in the business is pretty, pretty extraordinary. So. But before we get into all of that, how did you get into this ridiculous business?
Wayne Godfrey 0:46
Oh, wow. Well, you Sam young guy, but yeah, I kind of remember that. So no, it was, I was fortunate enough to start as a runner. So I began, really my whole career at a post company in the UK called Goldcrest, one of the post houses in the UK. And, you know, I started one day by knocking on the door, putting my CV in needing a job in, you know, in London and trying to really figure out what the whole concept of moviemaking was all about. And I actually was a bit of a DJ back then. So I was very interested in sound and the behind the scenes of finishing movies, and began being a post runner AT Gold crest in London. And from there learn about the business of making films. And I had fantastic teachers in john quested, Tony Murphy, Steven Johnson, who were these old school, you know, indie film, guys, who were no expert teachers of showing how to take a movie, take it to a market, I can package it up, and sell it to a bunch of buyers and actually monetize what a movie is. And this was a whole new world for me as a young kid, because when you go and buy them, you didn't think about how they got there in the first place. And this was a whole new kind of education. And so that's how it all began, really, as a runner, right from the bottom up.
Alex Ferrari 2:18
Now, so the the, the the concept of like packaging a film and making money with a film is so I mean, look, the film business is the only business in the world where you could spend $100 million on a product, and it's worthless. I mean, it's the only, like, you spent $100 million on a building kind of building.
Wayne Godfrey 2:38
You would think, and also a lot of a lot of, you know, CAD for and market research and keg and probably pre selling goes into identifying whether you should spend 100 million on that building in the first place. Right. As opposed to maybe doubling it in a little silo, with a few of your mates, thinking this is a great idea. But no, I think I think, you know, there's different ends of the film spectrum, the 100 million dollar. blockbusters are immense businesses in their own right. I'm fortunately I'm not in that arena. I've never been in that arena. It's an amazing arena. They make amazing movies, but I'm in the the other end of the arena, the issue of film, and but whether it's 100 million or a million, it's still significant amount of money that you are, I don't want to say gambling, but you are rolling the dice on really, you know, putting together these these businesses and establishing whether or not Can you find an audience? And that's a very interesting proposition. And you know, I think as a producer, you're ultimately creating businesses, every film is their own business.
Alex Ferrari 3:43
Wayne Godfrey 4:38
Just to that point, I think the other thing to think about is you're not just competing against the new round of your scene with every movie that's ever been made ever.
Alex Ferrari 4:47
So jars, Star Wars.
Wayne Godfrey 4:50
It's all available the click of a button now for free or very affordably with the streaming subscription model. So suddenly We've this incredible shift in consumption that's occurred over the last few years with the plethora of movies that are available. The catalog, as well as the new content is incredibly competitive. But that's a great opportunity as well, because whereas the barrier to entry was, you know, quite high to make a movie, and actually get distribution and get your product out there. And in some respects now, the availability of resources and technology and reduction in cost of making movies has enabled really independent filmmakers to really be able to tell a story and find an audience and find a home, which wasn't so easy many, you know, 510 years ago. But again, the key question is, how do you identify what story is the right story to make? And how do you stand out in the crowd? I guess that's a that's a key question. And unfortunately, I don't have the exact answer, if I would be making a movie.
Alex Ferrari 6:05
But that's the thing, there's like no real, there's no real formula like, like a cookie. A cookie is a recipe, it's not hard. And it's been done a million times, it's now just about maybe some nuances in marketing and packaging, and things like that, maybe some new ingredients and things. And but movies, every movie is a new beast and new thing.
Wayne Godfrey 6:25
Look at it as Alex, like the three pillars of every movie, there are there, you need three pillars, well, you don't need three you need to story is the star, I don't really care how much you're spending on it, who's in it, if your story is golden, you have a chance, but it's a bit wobbly. So you need another pillar. And that will be maybe capital money investment budget. So if you had a load of money and a really good story, but no one you know, in it, you've got to you know, you got to show, you get that third pillar in, which is your talent, your recognizable names, your quality director, whether they're new or old, you know, you've got a solid foundation of building the bricks of that house, three pillars foundation have a great chance of making a successful movie. Now you move one of the pillars of two of the pivots, you had a load of money and no story in no time, you can make it it's a bit wobbly, but you might get it made. Similarly, you can have the best actors in the world. No story, no money. It can be challenging. So it's all about finding the right dynamic and the right. I guess, the balance of story, talent and capital.
Alex Ferrari 7:38
Right. And well, let me ask you so so I get asked constantly by filmmakers, about how do you get money for your movies? How do you raise financing for your films? And I always tell them a very similar thing to what you say, is like, you know, it all depends. And there's also the genre involved there too. There's that there's that other pillar, which is genre, because if you have all of those things, and it's a drama, it's a much tougher sell. To sell internationally depends on this talent. Of course, you know, that's the thing with all of this stuff. It's all variable like it like oh, well, Meryl Streep's in it. But I've seen movies with Meryl Streep in it, that don't do money in the box office, even though it's Meryl Streep, and the story was good and things like that. So what advice do you have for filmmakers who are trying to raise financing for their half a million dollar budget movie or a quarter million dollar budget movie or million dollar budget movie? What advice do you have in today's marketplace? Which is pretty insane. for financing?
Wayne Godfrey 8:31
Is it is it isn't these? I mean, that's a really good question. I think there are a number of variables that one has to consider with what's the best advice for that question. So the first thing is, what is the budget level? What are you trying to achieve? What are your expectations both for you as the filmmaker and for your investors. So that's a very important thing to start with. Just like any business, just a movie is a business, you are starting a new company. So this new company has an objective, make the asset and distribute it to hopefully generate a return on investment. So what is the most efficient way to make it? What is the right and appropriate budget level? That is a normal thing that people kind of jump over? Some movies are made too small, and some movies are made too big? What is the appropriate budget level for the movie and that is very much an equation of where is its home? Where will it land? Where do you think the best opportunity is to monetize the movie, we are in a golden age of distribution with the streamers and broadcasters but that doesn't make it any easier to license to them. Or to sell to them. You still need a quality story, you still need to package it, you still need to potentially have a great execution. So but you know that your upside is capped. You're not got that box office. You know, super sky high potential return you pretty much have a limited or capital return when you license to a streamer because they buy it for extra amount of money. And doesn't matter whether one person watches it or you know, everyone watches it, you're pretty much getting that a fixed amount of money. So what is your expectation for the movie? What is the direction of travel? And I think raising capital in this market requires, like, I mean, it's never been easy, let's be honest, it just, it's never been easy to raise money. So you have to look at a my view, it's always about an eye, my whole approach has always been about offsetting as much risk as possible for any investor or lender entering into an investment infill. As a strategy that I wear, has always been low risk, and, and kind of get in, get out and do another one. And it's a different strategy. And there's not it's not the only strategy, not the best strategy is just the way that my head works. I always look to pre sell, or to offset risks with any kind of quantifiable revenue stream, which may affect my upside, it may reduce the potential of the home run, but it is going to certainly reduce the likelihood of a Wipeout.
Alex Ferrari 11:16
So use that analogy. I love the homerun analogy, because so many filmmakers go up to bat and they're always expecting the homerun, they're always expecting the box office hit. But what's not sexy is the bunts the the single the base hit stealing a base pushing another man base at the end of the day, you have runs coming in runs coming in? Is it as sexy as a Grand Slam? Is it as a sexy as a Grand Slam with everybody on base?
Wayne Godfrey 11:41
No, I people buying t shirts with my name on it, you know, autograph off to the man again. I'm not really into baseball. So I don't really can't really play the analogy as well as someone else good. football, soccer. I got it, you know?
Alex Ferrari 11:57
Wayne Godfrey 11:58
You're absolutely right. I'm the guy who's just gonna get on first base every time. But every time as opposed to one in 20, I get a home run, which will be great in that 20th. But the 19 before have been held. Now, it's okay, almost if wanting 20 covers the cost of the 19 before because if that's a strategy, a portfolio approach where we'll put in X amount of money and seven movies on the basis that one or two will hit the rest might not but the one or two will cover in spades, all the other investments, that's okay, as well. It's just not really how my head works. So I've always gone for the ones the singles, get in, get out, get our money back and go again. And, and that's one of the reasons I think that, you know, I've had a lot of there's been a lot of movies
Alex Ferrari 12:47
that, yeah, it's an obscene amount. It's an obscene amount of movies you've made.
Wayne Godfrey 12:52
Because I don't have that kind of, you know, that emotional attachment to these movies in this one, I'm in them, they're still my babies don't get me wrong, I love them. But they're not about you know, nurturing this little child to flourishing forever, and then living with it and never letting it leave the house and, you know, staying to their teenager and thinking, gosh, is it ever gonna leave? You know, I'm kind of like, get out the house go move on to another one.
Alex Ferrari 13:24
I completely understand. And, and, but I have to ask you, because I, you know, my show and I've been known to, you know, talk about the darker side of distribution, which is the predatory distribution. These are some of your thoughts. You've heard some of my thoughts. Okay. So, yes, if you've heard of a few of them, so I was listening to your your fantastic audio book. Oh, really? Oh, you're promoting the film? intrapreneur? Yes. Oh, yes. Yes. It's terrific. Thank you so much. I appreciate that. But so I'm assuming with 125 plus projects you've done, you have been paid on time perfectly from every single deal you've ever made from every distributor. Oh, I mean, literally, sometimes they just send me money or even ask for it. for pleasure. So if anyone listening, there's a lot of sarcasm right now running in the room. So how do you what are your experiences when and I'm assuming early on in your career? Probably. I don't know if you still run into these problems now. But, but earlier in your career, I'm sure you had to deal with issues like this, and I'm sure you've probably dealt with throughout your career.
Wayne Godfrey 14:44
Yeah, and it's not an issue that is, you know, isolated to any one individual. It's just the way the industry works. You know, as you said, and I hear you talking about it. We live in a very opaque industry. With studio accounting, I know you use that reference.
Alex Ferrari 14:58
Hollywood accounting Hollywood accounting in
Wayne Godfrey 14:59
Hollywood. Counting. And, you know, I mean, we'll talk about it soon, hopefully. But you know, one of the kind of drivers of of starting purely My, my, my latest company, was because of my frustration with the lack of transparency and the opaque reporting, and the kind of will just the the, the within with millions of dollars of assets, as you talked about at the beginning, high risk ventures that require millions of dollars of investment, you spend years developing and making projects and living with them every minute of the day. And then you hand them over to a distributor, and you don't hear anything for months, if not years. And then you get a one page state. That's your report that says nothing. We'd like a few lines that has no detail. And you're thinking, I spent eight years of my life making this thing and this is what I get. Yeah, exactly. And doesn't make sense. And nothing makes sense. And it drives you mad. And so, yes, I have a little bee in my bonnet about the quality of reporting. Now, that doesn't mean there aren't some fantastic district grid who agreed to and spectable and communicate Yes, and there are and I've worked with a lot of them, and they are fantastic. And, you know, I always try and gravitate to those sorts of individuals in all walks of business life, because people that communicate well, in good, bad or indifferent, tend to be good people to work with. Even if it's bad news, you're hearing about it. It's a difficult, difficult thing. And I appreciate as well, that if you're juggling a lot of distributions, and lots of different films and reporting that comes from all these different sources are not instantaneous. So getting transparent reporting, not even just distributor, but from the various retailers or sources of distribution are all very bitty, complicated, different formats, bah, bah, bah, bah, bah. It's hard. It's complicated. So I acknowledge that, but there has to be a better way. And likewise, as creators, as participants within a movie, whether you're, you know, an actor, writer, director, costume, you know, if you haven't participated, it should, you should have a, in my view, anyway, a regular and transparent view on how the assets performing. And, you know, you find them out things so late, Alex, that he can't do anything to check with the lifecycle of that asset. What's the point of getting report, nine months after the release to be told it didn't quite work in this way, because the marketing wasn't very good. If it was, if you knew about it in real time, you might be able to do something about it. Hell,
Alex Ferrari 17:54
you might know real time just like within 30 days, within 30 days, it would be nice.
Wayne Godfrey 18:01
so poorly actually was one of the things that purely kind of my company, purely capital was really came out this idea that we deserve better transparency, we preserve a system where you can see how your assets less opaque and more open and be more inclusive with all the beneficiaries around an asset within reason, of course. Right. Exactly. And
Alex Ferrari 18:29
so with within purely Dell, it's apparently so how, explain what purely capital is and what it what it's doing and how it's kind of changing the game a little bit for for distributor filmmakers.
Wayne Godfrey 18:43
Well, one of the challenges in this changing face of consumption is we are licensing content increasingly to streaming platforms. And you may or may not be familiar or your listeners may or may not be familiar that actually, when you license to the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Disney sky and UK, Viacom, Comcast, all of these guys, they pay you a license fee but typically over two to five years. So you can end up with quarterly payments, contracted payments that take quite a long time to get paid. And that is killer. If you've gone and raised that half 1,000,002 million bucks to make that indie film. You know you slow to do that. You know how hard it is to raise that money but you've achieved that goal. You've made that film you've then done the holy thing of selling it, licensing it to Netflix, Amazon, Disney, whatever. You're winning. And then you decide on here, you've got to wait 36 months to get paid. It's like this is hard work. So purely was designed to basically completely accelerate that so we basically give you the money today. And we wait the 36 months for Netflix, Amazon Disney to pay so We crystallize that contracted income, as soon as you've contracted with that, s VOD platform or broadcaster, and we accelerate the money to your bank account today. So you can refinance your investors, you can go and make your next movie, if you're a distributor, you can go and buy more assets. So to basically keep those businesses keep these people moving, so they don't have to keep waiting for long dated contracted revenues. And that was, that's what period is all about
Alex Ferrari 20:28
that, and that's brilliant. Because I've heard this, I've heard the same stories from from partners of mine who who've sold to Netflix and, and, and to all the streamers and that you're like, Okay, we got 100,000. Great, yeah, they're gonna start paying at the end of year two, and it's gonna be over the next four years, and it's gonna, like trickle in little by little. So that 100 grand will essentially be maybe 10 to 15,000, a quarter, or something along those lines, and you're just like, you'll grow old, before you get all the money. And it's like, oh, my God, this is brutal. And
Wayne Godfrey 21:04
you write that email to your investors, like, hey, congratulations. By the way, I can't pay you for three years. It's like a, what a What a bummer. So, you know, I witnessed this problem firsthand, you know, we had the great and, you know, is a great, you know, achievement and feeling when you license to a great home. And, and this not critical on the business models of Netflix, Amazon, Disney, you know, we understand that they have to spend, and they are spending billions of dollars on content to serve their global consumers, and subscribers with amazing amounts of content. So if you're lucky enough to be selected and chosen, it's brilliant. But waiting for money, just as a pain, it doesn't matter what walk of life, you know, you don't want to chase money, you don't want to wait for it. And that's what we're trying to solve and trying to find a way to do that in with technology, with efficiency with a standardized approach that creates a, it's super easy for any rights owner, producer or distributor to just crystallize that revenue stream, and it doesn't matter if it's 100 grand, you know, we can do, you know, small amounts of money all the way up to significant millions of dollars at a time.
Alex Ferrari 22:13
Right? And then I'm assuming you take a percentage of what like, where's where's the rub? As far as III mean, come on. Exactly. So but but the service? Yeah,
Wayne Godfrey 22:21
we get a discount. It's very competitive. It's bank pricing. But yes, count money. So we give you 95 cents on the dollar type thing. Right?
Alex Ferrari 22:31
Which I mean, I'll it's Right, right. That's the difference. Like, okay, you can wait three or four years, or I could I could pay you 5%. And I have it on that. Yeah, essentially, effective, whatever, that way. It's something small. And then now you're like, Okay, great. So now I have that 100 grand, I can then repay my financers. And my investors, and now they're happy because they get their money back. And they're like, Hey, can I can I do another one? Can? Yeah. Because I promise you, if you if you call them up and go, Hey, I'm waiting three years from my for you have to pay you. Oh, yeah, I have this other project. They're going to go here. That's nice.
Wayne Godfrey 23:06
Yeah. Or could we when the money's back in three years, if you still have the project, you know, right. So that's but but you know, these are real world problems. Cash Flow is a real world problem. And also the time because the money, the money in your hand today is worth more than it is in three years time, because you can do things with it, you can make more films, you can make more money from it. So, you know, we, you know, we're trying to help. But there's more to it than that Alex, and this alludes to the hunt of transparency and opaque nature reporting, the whole system is fully transparent. So one of the strategies we're developing in the verticals is to plug in all your revenue streams and provide an instant, kind of real time reporting system for films, not just from the distributor, but from the ultimate retailer. So you can see how your assets are performing in real time, and then dispersed to your beneficiaries. Also, in real time, any collected revenue. So really trying to change this idea of having to wait weeks and months for money, but also reporting and information and trying to give it in the palm of your hand on your iPhone, or your Samsung wherever you are in the world. You can be like, Oh, this we're doing or you know, we did we sold, you know, 1000 units today or whatever.
Alex Ferrari 24:21
That's fantastic. And also wanted to ask you so with with, where do you see streaming going, because, and VOD, in general because, I mean, there's basically the three categories fit VOD on a VOD. Avon has a very strong place right now for independent film. It's where I see the most revenue being generated for the lower end. movies that don't have big stars in it. s VOD. Obviously, if you can get the five deals. Amazing. If you can get a Netflix deal in a bought you know or Hulu, nice nice junk, awesome. T VOD, unless you drive traffic is pretty much dead, in my opinion, or has the star involved like if you have a star involved that means people like you If you got john travolta throw by or Bruce Willis go by, people will probably rent it because of them. But if you don't have that star and you can't drive traffic to VOD is essentially a dead issue as opposed to what it was 1015 years ago. Do you agree? I,
Wayne Godfrey 25:13
I have to agree. I think I think I think as you said, streaming is export is the holy grail, if you can get a license on a streamer that will pay you up front, or even over two, three years, great. transactional and evil are a lot more challenging to quantify value. And with transactional because of the plethora of free content available on a VOD, and through a VOD. And yes, it's not free, you have to watch ads, but you know, in terms of the consumer spend its time as opposed to cash that they're spending. In my opinion, it's harder and harder to justify the 499 or 799, or 999 acquisition of a rental or purchase of a movie. The commodity of owning an asset, a movie. I think it with the younger generation certainly just doesn't, there's no value to it, having the box. I mean, I used to have racks of boxsets and physical alphabetical order, every movie
Alex Ferrari 26:19
was I had my I had my color coordinated by Studio. Wow. And they were all VHS and they were all VHS. So I was DVD I was getting into I had DVD too. I'm not that much older than you. But yeah.
Wayne Godfrey 26:38
Okay, so I was reading but I mean, and there was like, you know, so much joy of picking up the DVD looking, you know, watching the boxes, the special features, and then seeing them on the wall or seeing them at the racks. And I did it with CDs as well, I had, I mean, it was like my thing, I was almost a bit obsessive, I loved it. Now, I mean, if I have any, I'm in luck, I'm like, I can't have anything physical, you know, I can't have paper. And then like anything, everything's gonna go. So you know, it's a such a different mindset. So, and to me the idea of renting or purchasing something where it feels like it could be or should be available on on one of the many subscription platforms or Avon, I think is harder. But I think nice content and weather's nice ordinances, there is going to be a world for for, you know, clever, targeted marketing to be able to drive transactional revenues. Pricing is also really key thing, you know, we look at transactional, it's actually, I think, probably overpriced, and maybe with the reduction of rental and purchase as a price point that can also maintain the lifespan of a transaction opportunity. But discovery is the key Alex? I mean, how do you find this stuff? As we said, everything is available. Everything every movie ever made, ever is available. So how do you how do you stand out in that crowd? and marketing discovery influences? You know, being able to, you know, market or identify your audience and communicate with them. That's going to be critical.
Alex Ferrari 28:17
Yeah. And as filmmakers, I think I've been while you've been reading my book, it's about finding that niche, that niche audience creating product for that niche, creating ancillary revenue streams from that movie, all these other things that you can do. I think that is the future for indie indie filmmakers.
Wayne Godfrey 28:33
It made me feel like I'm an a musician, when you were talking like that. And when you talk about in the book, it made me feel like how does an indie artist build a career as a musician in this world? I don't think it's too different to an indie filmmaker. You need to build that fan base that can that that audience that can travel with you and grow with you. And just like a great indie artists can have a fantastic life and career, putting some music out going gigging selling some doing some live appearances and have a lovely and oh, you know, a pretty good life as long as they build the you know, enough momentum. And indie filmmaker can do exactly the same thing.
Alex Ferrari 29:13
Yeah, exactly. And I look at the look at the brands that we follow. I mean, Edgar Wright, or Scorsese, or Spielberg. Now mind you, most of those names I just mentioned, were built in a different times. And they were they were basically marketed for free by the studios. So they were able to build their brands off the back of the studios. But there's a lot of independent filmmakers coming up now, who in again, you don't need millions. You just need a core group that love what you do, and you make products that for a certain price, sell it to them, the act, give them access to those films. And you could do it again and again. I've had people like that on my show who've done like 20 movies and the range of from $5,000 movies to 150 The $1,000 movies even sometimes up to half a million dollars, and they have the same audience following them. And they just and they just keep going, and they've built their careers like that. That is the future. But that is, but that's work. And a lot of independent filmmakers want to live in the dream world where Spielberg and Scorsese came up in. And that's not the real world anymore, man. It's not.
Wayne Godfrey 30:22
Yeah, you say that. But then, you know, you can go make a really good indie film and end up with a, you know, a Marvel movie. So yes, you and you can get pumped out of this little indie pond and put into the sea. It's very, it's, but that's but that's the lottery ticket.
Alex Ferrari 30:40
That's the lottery ticket. That isn't it's, it's not. It's you talking about one in 1,000,001 in 2 million filmmakers get that opportunity. And I've had other like I've had, I always talk about the 90s. And the the basically independent film, as we know it today started in the 90s. There was independent films in the 60s 70s 80s, of course, but 90s is what we as, as a society really under kind of grasp independent filmmakers started with the Sundance movement. So with the richer link letters, and the Robert Rodriguez and the Kevin Smith and all those kinds of guys, and I've had the pleasure of speaking to some of these guys, and I talked to them now. And I go, so slacker, would it. Would it pop today? You know, wood brothers, MC wood brothers, MC Boleyn pop today. And I when I talked to ed ed was like, Yeah, probably not. It was the right place. right time, right movie. 100%.
Wayne Godfrey 31:31
And, you know, you know, I think that's a fast that is a such, that's the luck, right?
Alex Ferrari 31:40
But replaced by Samurai product at
Wayne Godfrey 31:42
all walks of life, in any business in any environment. You know, in any industry, it's about right time, right place, right opportunity, right person, right hustle. You know, I mean, my first job getting back to it, you know, like, I was late one day, something happened because I was staying late in the office, I if I if I worked for this chap called Nick quested, a fantastic filmmaker in New York. And I was in New York, and I'm in New York before and know anyone, so I'm in the office late on my own. And then the phone rings, they got a music video, no one's around. I'm helping write this thing. It it pops. Is that luck? Is that hustle? Is that the right timing? Is that because I didn't know anyone in the city? So I love being in this unit, like, what are all the variables that had to happen for that to happen. And you go back and think in all aspects of anything that was positive. Ultimately goes back to that story is the star, star with a great story, you got everything done for you. It's never easy. every movie doesn't matter what the budget is, how lucky you are to get the right actor, director. It's hard. There are problems on everyone. And you just got to navigate your way through and conduct all the different components. I mean, this is what I see myself as, as a producer conductor, you'll see all the various moving pieces in this orchestra over film, to try and be hopefully playing the same song in harmony.
Alex Ferrari 33:13
Yeah, and it's, it's not easy at all. Now being a producer, and you're being a producer at the indie level is has its own set of issues and challenges. You know, when you're working on a $50,000 movie, which a lot of people are like, how can you make a movie for 50,000 bucks. I'm like, I made a movie for five grand and sold it to Hulu. So it's possible. But
Wayne Godfrey 33:35
I mean, that's amazing. I couldn't I didn't I wouldn't know how to do that.
Alex Ferrari 33:41
Right? It's a different. It's a different skill set. No question. Now you throw me in a $200 million project, I'd be like, I probably need some help here. Guys. This is not the world. You know, this is a whole other conversation. But I also could mean a lot more problems. No. And also, that's just a different mentality a different way. It's different kind of organization, the politics involved out of work with people. It's a whole other conversation. But you know, depending on which what kind of projects you're working on, creates different budget levels create different kinds of challenges. So you were talking about being an orchestra you've worked with some pretty remarkable filmmakers over over your career. Like, like Martin Scorsese, Rob Ryan or Werner Hertzog Taylor Hackford. How do you conduct Scorsese or Hertzog like how do you I'm not saying you're like telling them what to do or anything, but how do you kind of work within that kind of that kind of, I mean, these guys, when they walk in a room, their entire catalogue walks in the room with them.
Wayne Godfrey 34:46
And you know, I mean, you mentioned some of the greatest filmmakers that you know, have ever existed and you don't you don't you know, filmmaking is a collaboration and is when you're working with increasing talent. You know, I'm I'm never the one put my hand up and say this is how you do it. Especially when I have no clue. I'm not a director, I don't have that skill set. I tried made a couple of short films, they weren't very good. And I realized quickly that that wasn't my skill set. I love the concept of storytelling. I love the ideas and the generation, I love throwing ideas in the pot, but you're not going to tell specialists and experts what they do in the same way. I wouldn't tell a doctor, what's wrong with me? Because he's the expert.
Alex Ferrari 35:37
But I went to I went to Web MD, what are you talking about once a while? md.com? I looked it up. Doc, I need this. You thought?
Wayne Godfrey 35:45
So no, I and in my role as a producer, I'm typically coming in as a finance here. So my role was really specific. I helped get these films made, I hope put them together. But I'm not that guy on the on the on the line production over the over the shoulder of the director giving him a nod like, you know, what about that angle? Like? Firstly, no one does that with some of the tablet talking about, but it's just not who I am. I am the deal guy. I'm the guy that helps figure out how to put this together. How do you how do you fit this square peg in the round hole with the amount of available resources we have all the challenges we have. And, you know, getting it in getting in in that hole and getting that hopefully nice and cohesive, flowing relationship between all the parties. So, you know, the relationship I had with some of these directors is honestly in some cases, very hands off, very polite, and wishing them very well. And in some of the ones that it has been a bit more intimate, it does depend very much on the relationship and the challenges and the compromises needing to be made by production. Because the relationship, I believe, between producer and director is that collaborative. You know, you have to share a shared vision. But sometimes you have different forces, the producer is dealing with strains of capital, money, investors, shareholders, distributors, you know, that kind of thing. And the director is pushing for his vision, that creative, that creative, and sometimes even where the best one in the world, they're not always aligned. To say the least, they're not always aligned. So it's about how do you navigate that workplace? How do you navigate that political, you know, it's you goes, personalities, and also knowing when to shut up, like isn't the time the place, and I'm not the guy to say anything here because it's not going to make anything better. And try and fix problems. And you know, producing this problem solving, producing is finding the problem and identifying it hopefully early and solving it before it's even a problem for someone else.
Alex Ferrari 38:03
That's a great, great definition of what a producer because it's producing is such as, like, kind of nebulous thing, like, because anyone can call themselves a producer, you don't have to go to seven years of school to have, you know, PGA at the end of your, at the end of your name as a producer, something like that to like your producer, anybody and trust me, I live in LA. So everybody's a producer here and everybody walks up and they give you a business card and like, Hey, I'm a producer, I have various projects and multiple stages of development. Of course you do, and all this kind of stuff. And you know, you know, I'm sure and I'm sure they're all fantastic. And it goes yeah, we've been talking to we've been talking to Marty about this thing. I'm like, I'm sure you have what have you done before? What have you done before? What have you done before I've done to shorts, I'm like, that seems like a solid business plan. But
Wayne Godfrey 38:54
that's just a bit of a problem solving problem solving. And you know, part of the first problem is, you know, how do I get this in the hands of someone that could actually pay for it, be in it, direct it you know, that's the first problem right point number one is so how do you
Alex Ferrari 39:07
how do you develop a project from scratch how do you how do you approach that problem? And as I mean some movies I think your look your producer on and then some of your executive producers on some more financier some more
Wayne Godfrey 39:19
executive which is when I'm more involved as I say in the financial arrangements and structuring and hopefully deal gathering side but I have you know done a number of producing from scratch like the foreigner my Yeah, Jackie Chan on Campbell was a book that I option called the Chinaman by Steven letter, which I was given by my late father to read when I was a young boy who didn't read another thing that you know, great life lesson, read a lot. Read a lot, read everything. Understand what people are making and why they're getting made. I mean, it's all there for you. You know, anyone who says to Me, I don't under Dan, I got this stuff. It's not no one's liking it. And they don't read or look at why the things that are getting made are getting made and what were the things that made that happen. But so yes, I have developed a number of things from scratch.
Alex Ferrari 40:12
The foreigner is remind me the foreigner is the one with who else was in it besides Jackie? champions Bros. That's what I thought I loved that film. Loved it. I love that film. Yeah, Jackie was for me. Jackie was amazing. Amazing in that film.
Wayne Godfrey 40:26
What is it? Like to print David Marconi, directed by Martin Campbell who made to Bond movies?
Alex Ferrari 40:33
So how so Jackie? So Jackie is a legend, man. Like he's like, I'm legend. Like, he's so legendary. How was it working with Jackie on set? Like, because you were a producer on that. So you, you were on set with Peter gay, whatever, that whatever that thing. Yeah, exactly. So how how was it working with I mean, a genius. Genius.
Wayne Godfrey 40:55
He is he is he is the hardest working and just most unbelievable. talent and Marty Campbell.
Alex Ferrari 41:01
Wayne Godfrey 41:03
Unbelievable director. But he he you know, he puts actors through their paces, he you know, again, again, again, again, and he knows what he wants and how he wants it. And he doesn't stop until he gets it. And working with you know, people like Jackie and peers. It's just amazing to be around such incredible talent. And these guys have made movies for so many years. They when you look at action, and the way that Jackie, you know, architects or fight seem and creates that with the stone crew and with the director with the idea of the vision of the movie and how the action into interrelates It's incredible to see as it is, is still inspiring. Energy is inspiring, you know, he keeps you going you look at when a 65 year old, you know, incredible talent is got the energy in his app and his clothing like that, you know, it makes it lifts everyone around you.
Alex Ferrari 41:57
Is he still doing a stunt?
Wayne Godfrey 41:59
He is doing? He is the man? And notice, do you know that you correct? You know, you're designing the sequences and the fight as well, which is just so much work. And the meticulous attention to detail that goes into everything you see. is exceptional. It blew my mind. It absolutely blew my mind.
Alex Ferrari 42:27
Wow, that was
Wayne Godfrey 42:29
amazing people. And the whole crew that go with him, you know?
Alex Ferrari 42:33
Oh, no. Yeah, I heard I've heard Yeah, his his legendary, his team. Amazing. Yeah, it's remarkable. Now one thing I wanted to ask you as a financier because this is the biggest dilemma filmmakers have when they're packaging a project. It's the chicken and egg dilemma. Oh, I got I need cast before I can get money, but I need money to get cast. How do you do it?
Wayne Godfrey 42:58
Yeah, I mean, it's fake it till you make it. It's really hard. It's super hard. You know, even when you've made a bunch of movies, the differences when you say you can fund or you can pay someone something, you know, there's a little more believability in it, make? Sure. So if I'm calling an agent or an actor and saying this, we'd like to make an offer, and you know, this is what we can pay, you know, I'm only doing that knowing that I can deliver that. And, you know, obviously when you're starting, you may use the reconnect, you know that if you able to land x actor, the finances will come rolling. It's really hard. I mean, increasingly, it's, I guess it's getting even harder because the competition with film and TV as well now, and yeah, it's, I wish I had an answer for you. The only thing I can say is the great stories rise to the top actors gravitate toward great roles, great parts and great stories. And so you, in my view, you have to if you can't afford the number, you have to position the project as a must do project. It's not about the money. Now, that won't be music to the agencies, but for the actor who may be getting, you know, a dozen opportunities a month or more. They want to do things that are going to move their, you know, their career forward or move their their value
Alex Ferrari 44:32
their values, and
Wayne Godfrey 44:34
even just their the their interests. And so, think about who you're going after. And why this part this role this movie means will mean something to them because you can't just dangle the check. That's gonna make them pay attention. It's got to be centered around the part and the role. And, and and i think dressing up offers with really personalized letters and visions. From the director, because ultimately the director vision is key when approaching talent. And so, you know, really be creative about how you position your movie and the opportunity to the actor. Do a video of the director talking to the actor like he's in the room, pitching the roll? Is he more likely to watch a three minute video? or read your email and script? Maybe he might just read the thing. He might watch the three minute video? I don't know, maybe not. But it might stand out over the email, it might stand out over the whole script. So get them into the story. Get them looking at the part and take it Yeah, the money is good. We got the money. It's coming. We got it.
Alex Ferrari 45:45
Now there's so many I run this I ran into this so much in my career, and I was this early on my career, you probably were a little bit as well is the delusional factor, where you are like, like that guy. I was just making fun of like, I was like, Oh, yeah, I got this card. I'm a producer. And I mean, I'm talking to Marty. And like, there's this delusional factor. And there's a lot of this goes on, and some of it is very conscious. Like, I'm just trying to boast myself up, fake it till you make it kind of scenarios. And then there's people who really truly are delusional, like completely delusional about like, I'm gonna put I've had conversations. Yeah, we're pitching this to Tom Cruise. I'm like, Are you are you are you crazy? Like, I'm like, I like but that but that's the delusion that Oh, he's This is the part for him. It's going to be the thing. I'm like, Guys, look at the track record.
Wayne Godfrey 46:35
I say that. But when I started, I was 25 years old. And I approached Jackie Chan to be in a movie that had no money, really, it had nothing. And but I knew, you know, I had a 65 year old Asian lead, that there was only really four or five actors in the world that could play this part. And he was number one. He was number one. And so you knock on the door, and you try. And actually, I should tell you the first time it was a no, it took time, and tenacity and hustle and staying with it. And also talking to Donnie Yen, and Andy Lau and Chow Yun Fat, and going through the process to eventually have all the right things in place and then end up closing the deal.
Alex Ferrari 47:20
How many years did that take? How many years does that take?
Wayne Godfrey 47:25
From first trying to attack because it took a few years to write and adapt the book to the script. Because I was again, I had no money. I had an amazing writer and David mccone, who wrote me the state Mission Possible to, you know, a fantastic array of movies, anyone had been paid, which is not unreasonable. But I had to kind of piecemeal it together. So that took a couple of years. But by the time we finally started the journey of packaging,
Alex Ferrari 47:52
I think it took about three years to from the from the moment you started to the moment you attach Jackie,
Wayne Godfrey 47:59
from the moment I had a script I could go out with
Alex Ferrari 48:02
write it then how long did it take you before from beginning of the project to the very end when you're shooting? Seven years? Seven years? Okay. So I don't consider that delusional. I, you're you're going for it at that point. And then you actually are creating things that make that happen, as opposed to, here's a script, Tom Cruise, you should understand that I'm a genius, and you need to work with me. That's the delusion, and I'm sure you've run into these guys.
Wayne Godfrey 48:31
No, I mean, I'm probably one of these guys. Right? Because it works. Right? But no, you're right. And I think that you remember earlier we were talking about what is the right, you know, framework for this movie, it's the same as distribution is the same as talent, it's the same as the amount of money you're raising, don't raise a million dollar movie and try and get Tom Hardy. I mean, it's never gonna work. You know, it's not the right fit, go and get the best person in that kind of category of budget and everything. Because just having a major star on a movie has its costs that come with it, let alone the fee for them, there is a certain amount of costs that come with just having major time along with the movie. Yep. And that's just because you've got a little bit of money isn't always enough. So I think it is always about positioning yourself with the right approach. That doesn't mean you shouldn't aim high. That doesn't mean you shouldn't have aspirations to go for the best correct and that doesn't mean you shouldn't try and hustle but there is a there is a if you're trying to make you know, as you say hit set, the biggest and the best, you know, a you got to be prepared to wait a long time, a long time, because you got to be patient. When you're dealing with people that are the best in an industry in any industry that busy thank good at what they do. They're going to be busy, you are not a priority. So if you're happy to wait then great, but there's pressure with waiting and you know, it's eats eats you. So you're not going to be doing other things, juggling a lot of balls. or manage your expectations. Be real, be practical and get it in my view me. Isn't it worth just getting this made and making another one and another one and maybe in three or four movies? Because you've gone from 2 million to 5 million to 9 million to 50 million. Now you're doing the 40 million film with Tom Cruise?
Alex Ferrari 50:26
Well, Tom, Tom's not doing 40 million, but but you're in his high, he might he might again, he might come in and say hi, yes, it depends on who the director is. And you never know. I know. Of course, of course. No, of course, of course. Now, do you do? Would you recommend reaching out to actors directly through their through their production companies and seeing if that's an angle of like, bringing them into the financial bringing them into a as a producer? Because that might be more appetizing, as opposed to just going directly through agents?
Wayne Godfrey 51:04
Absolutely, I will be trying every angle possible to try and position myself as a project that should be on the radar of the target actor, whether it be through their production entity, through their agent through their management through the guy, that's the valet the best restaurant they go to. If there is a route in, you got to try and navigate. That's the hustle. Right, Alex? It's about getting in the door. Okay. I've got I was involved in a film called war with Grandpa. Yeah, and fantastic story. And the producer of that film, had the best hustle story of how he got the script to dinero. And he just was relentless. And wouldn't accept no. And then he would, you know, leave them everywhere and hand them to everyone around him. And ultimately, eventually, they never read it. needed, you know, basically engaged in the project, although there was a lot of work that had to be done before he attached, but it got through a process and bump is in the film is number one choice was easy. No. Did he house it? Yes, it was commendable. And I find that those stories are inspiring. They they make me feel like great about life. Because you're like, yes, there is a way you don't have to always have, you know, buckets of cash and, you know, be perfect you can do it isn't easy. But yes, of course, if you feel but but but going smart, look at what the slate is look at what they gravitate towards. Don't go and send j generals production company, something that he would never gravitate towards. And they've never made the never associated with, do your homework research, understand what the businesses and people are all doing and making. And it's not always easy. But there is so much information available on the web. And there's so much access to information now that the more prepared you can be to go in to engage with anyone director, producer, financier, do your homework.
Alex Ferrari 53:10
Now, we you mentioned something a little bit ago, which I really doesn't get talked about as much. But if you're lucky enough to get one of these guys or gals who come on to your show up a name talent, you're like, great, I raised a million dollars, and I'm paying x star to show up for five days for a million dollars. And you're like solid, but then you forget that with that they're not going to sit in a chair and drink, you know, Kool Aid. Like you got to get them a trailer, there's gonna probably be an entourage there's gonna probably be so there's cost involved. And I've seen other producers that like we weren't ready for this and kill it killed our budget, because, you know, Nick Cage showed up not saying this Nick Cage, but Nick Cage showed up someone like Nick Cage showed up, he's like, I need what's my trailer? What is that? I can't go in that, like, all these things that you're not aware of?
Wayne Godfrey 54:04
You're absolutely right. I know, everyone is different, of course, you know, fair to generalize. But, but there is an associated an expected level of professional professionalism and support, you know, you don't change in the back of a room where there's a little curtain, if you are, you know, in the middle of nowhere, you need a private place with a you know, with a place for them to, you know, have no do what they do to do get in the zone prep. And yeah, 100% The, the, you know, the, the, the support and the budget team requirements that go with any major talent is often under thought of in independent film production. And, and, and it's a it's a shame because, you know, in some respects it's like, well, it seems like a ways, but it's not you, you can't look at it like that. It's about professionalism and trust me, they will feel better, they will come on set, you know, free, ready to work ready to, you know, do what you want them to do in the best in the best shape. And the challenge comes I find not always about, you know, packaging for the major star that's coming. But then how that, you know, that affects the rest of the of the cast and the rest of the crew who may you know what I mean? Like because then you're like, Okay, well, we throw all the bells and whistles out for so and so. And then the rest of you you're in, you know, you're in the big the bus, we've got a bus for you, all of you can sit in the bus. It's great. It's warm,
Alex Ferrari 55:43
it's not air conditioned. It's not air conditioned. It's not. But this fans, we got fans. You got you got brown bag lunches, while he's eating. I think
Wayne Godfrey 55:54
it's about thinking about the overall and the other things that we just have a conversation. Again, communication is key. The biggest mistake to make is just assume it will be okay. It's okay to say listen, we don't have the budget for this. We would we're going to make you as comfortable as possible. This is our proposal, this is how we're going to do it. Is that going to be okay? We can give a bit here. But we can't do that. To communicate, communicate beginning. As soon as you just assume Well, we'll turn up and we'll we'll be alright.
Alex Ferrari 56:26
I'll deal figure it out. Yeah, we'll figure it out. Yeah,
Wayne Godfrey 56:28
that's where the problems happen. That's when you get people with their backup, and you're off to a bad start.
Alex Ferrari 56:35
Right? And, yeah, that's a thing that a lot of people don't talk about, either. It's just the politics of all of this. This is psychology. This is human behavior. you're you're you're being almost a politician, on how to negotiate egos, and, and agendas. And you know, maybe they had a bad night the night before, and how you have to deal with that. Like, I always ask my hairdressers, and my hair, my hair, my hair and makeup department like how they're doing it, because they're the first ones to hear what happened. They're the first ones to hear what happened the night before, like, Oh, I had a fight with my girlfriend or my boyfriend cheated on me like, okay, you want to know these things? Before they step on set. So I always ask my hair and makeup department, that kind of stuff. But that is. So how do you you know, you
Wayne Godfrey 57:22
can get a driver as well? Yeah. Always great. To be talking to you on the way in this morning, you know, did you have a coffee,
Alex Ferrari 57:32
and this, but this is this is the weird and it's just an insane world that we live in a movie in the movie business where our entire, you know, hundreds of 1000s of dollars that millions of dollars on the day are writing on did they have their coffee, sometimes
Wayne Godfrey 57:50
you'll you're throwing together a you know, a collective or personalities and experiences in one go and hoping it all gels together to make this magic sometimes comes together. And it's beautiful. And everyone's like, You're my best friends, I will love you for my wedding. And others, you're like, I never want to hear from you. Again. I don't care how good the job is, I'm not interested. You're a nightmare. And so it's it's a complete concoction. And you know, even when you do the you know, every film is different. And that's also awesome as well. That's one of the most magical things about what we do and how and the world we're in is that you meet amazing people. And you you work with amazing people who are brilliant what they do, and but some clicks and sometimes it doesn't, and the personalities arriving and the where all the eyes are focusing and all the attention and focusing can gel together beautifully. And they can be really not. and managing those situations is also really important job of the director and potentially the producers as well to really hope for the best result because it's one thing coming and doing the job weaving the lines turning up, you know, putting in a good day's work, but is another thing coming in like shining in that day. And as a filmmaker and as a producer, as an owner of a business and an asset you want everyone to shine. So how do you create a working environment to nurture that and support that and encourage it
Alex Ferrari 59:30
and that's what I love that you keep saying business and asset because it's something I've been yelling from the top of the mountains for a long time and filmmakers a lot of times get caught up with the magic of its art its story. And we are in this this crossroads between business it's show in business and and as a producer friend of mine says and as a producer friend of mine says the word business has twice as many letters as the word show and there's a reason because it is this art form mixed with this This, and a lot of the artists just want to focus on the art and the business want to focus on the business. And we have to find this happy, balanced, happy medium. But you have to, as a filmmaker, keep thinking, this is a business first, we're creating an art form within the realm of a business of an asset that is going to be sold in the marketplace. And you have to think that way. And all the greats, all those directors I just mentioned from Hertzog and Scorsese, and they all understand that they're amazing artists, but they understand the business of it.
Wayne Godfrey 1:00:32
They do. And you know why, because you respect the fact as a business, and you keep getting the work, you keep getting the opportunity to make more. It's not a hobby, it can be a hobby, it can be expensive, wonderful.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:48
parents say yeah, but
Wayne Godfrey 1:00:49
then don't, don't treat it like a hobby, then make films for fun, and enjoy the process. And don't worry about the monetization. That's all upside of it happens. But that's nothing but the majority of us in this industry, live by what we make. We support our families by how we how well we do with our work. And therefore, in the same respect you'd have for a teacher turning up to teach your kids or doctor going to look at you know, your thing or mechanic fixing your car. We are making movies, we're making assets that hopefully will entertain wide audiences. And that's great, but the aim of the aim for me anyway is to make something for less than you get for when you sell it.
Alex Ferrari 1:01:35
That's got to be the that's that's business that's that's just business. I had a I had a contract I had, I had a conversation with a filmmaker at AFM and they ran up to me and they're like Alex, Alex, I had a I got a deal. I got an mg. I'm like, great. What was your mg? Like, we got $35,000 mg. I'm like, fantastic. What was your budgets? Like it was $250,000. I'm like, okay, okay. Okay, so what, right, right, you're on the way what rights? Did you sell all of them? Okay, how long? Nine years. And they were ecstatic about it. Like we we sold it we got I'm like, that's not what business in the world. Does that make sense? Like, that's a complete, that's it. You're gonna that's a weekend. That's a
Wayne Godfrey 1:02:20
hobby. And that's the hobby camp. And you know, this, there's god, it's hard in his heart. And, you know, what we're in is we're in a we're in, in, in a brutal industry, it costs a lot the barrier to entry. Although technology and costs of production are down the barrier to entry is high, the competition is vast. And whilst there arguably has never been a better time to make a movie and get it exploited and distributed, because of the likes of Avon, because of the direct distribution channels to an audience, which is amazing and a wonderful opportunity. It's, it's, it's super difficult. It's super hard, and, you know, focus on story, building the best version of whatever that story is, then find the right director and talent that will enhance that project. That doesn't mean it has to be the megastar it needs to be the right level, and then financing it appropriately to what that package looks like.
Alex Ferrari 1:03:23
Now, you did a movie called 47 meters down, which I remember when it came out, and it exploded. It was like a huge box office hit. And it you know, arguably, I'm a fan of Mandy Moore. I watched this is us. I love Mandy but she's not a huge box office star. She's not you know, she's not, you know, bringing in tons of cash. But yet this movie exploded. And it was like a $5 million budget or something like that. If I read correctly, that tell me the story behind that. Tell me the story behind that. That must have been amazing.
Wayne Godfrey 1:03:55
So Mark lane and James Harris came to me with the project, they had already shot a promo with your hand as the director that was a you know, a minute and a half visual effects promo of a shock, basically Sure. And he was brilliant. He was brilliant. And I guess this promo cost them 40 Grand 35 Grand 40 grand and they had got this amazing visual effects house in the UK and but in Bournemouth that were new and hungry, and they put this together, and they went to Cannes or Berlin, and they pre sold the movie by about two and a half million straightaway. And then off of a shark engine, the Wise he would have a promo and a script and a director. That's it, no talent at this stage. And so they were looking to find a way to finance the film. And you know, as was the kind of focus of me, you know what I was doing back then lending against these presale distribution contracts. A UK tax credit and then putting up some, if you like gap or equity against the rest of the world felt like a smart play given the amazing work the price and altitude with the film sales agent. They were they did a terrific job, terrific job off this promo. And so we we, we made a deal. We worked with them to finance the movie and produce the film. And they executed a terrific movie. And I would say that at the time, you know, Bob Weinstein would no feedback his nose and everyone was looking good about a big theatrical release. And then we got to finish in the movie. And I remember we were in Cannes, we screened it for them privately as we did to some of the buyers and they turned around and said, No, we're not going to release it. It's gonna go straight to DVD. And we were bummed we thought we had a great movie. We obviously were, you know, not not relying but really hopeful that theatrical release would really give us the, the the upside we all were counting on. And so we managed to negotiate a deal where we can buy back the rights from North America. And by the way, they were phenomenal at the time, Bob. The notes he gave the they invested more money to do reshoots, we made a great move, but they just decided he wasn't going to get a release. So we managed to have a window of time to rebuy the movie, by repaying their investment and their mg. And a level uplift where a significant uplift, but the condition was we couldn't sell to any of their competitors. That's a really I mean, so no studio, know what they converted, no lines, gay, none of that. So we ended up having to have a very narrow pool of almost independent distributors, smaller distributors. And we did a screening. And amazingly, we managed to get the attention of Byron Allen. And he and his team, they're just jumped on it. They loved it, they saw the potential of this film. And in in, but the Weinstein decided that they were always going to release the movie on a certain date, and we had till that data to buy it back. And the thing was dragging, we got to release day. And the DVD dropped. It was in target, it was in Walmart, it was everywhere. On the day, we dropped the movie, we bought the movie back. barn when with a check down the beats and gave a check, got the deal done. We record the movie five hours later off the shelves, and then re built the whole movie up a year later to do the theatrical release. It was one of the most crazy experiences I've ever been involved with the stress and the excitement. And then Byron and his team did an unbelievable job. They put up a stupid amount of PNA money for a tiny little movie. They went everywhere and went nuts. And, you know, we also had the benefit in that year that this is us dropped. Mandy Moore suddenly, who was always a great actress, but became a star overnight, like within the year while we were messing around with all this stuff. And that helped us a lot and Clare Hall as well. I mean, we just had an amazing, amazing achievement and your hand is did a phenomenal job went on to make a sequel. It was just one of those amazing stories. But it came together really by the the smart approach that the filmmakers took to make a 35 3040 grand promo of a minute or half of a shop that looked amazing that just basically pitched this story and managed to pre sell the movie off the back of it with no talent. That's the same thing resells. And and actually, it's an amazing opportunity that if you have no the right kind of genre and the right kind of movie, it can be a fantastic strategy to raise 5 million, 7 million for a movie off the back of a killer promo killer trailer. And actually so that small seed investment to really create sizzle to then go in to go and sell it in the market can be a fantastic solution. amazing story.
Alex Ferrari 1:09:41
That's an array that's like that's a little like a lottery ticket.
Wayne Godfrey 1:09:46
When we have the cool people that legitimately bought the DVD in target and tell them they had to send it back to us. How did really because we were we record every DVD because it was and it wasn't called 47 meters down. It was called in into the deep fake called it. And so we had to recall every DVD we were getting piracy things going everywhere. We had to recall all that we had a year of with all of this stuff. It was it was amazing. But you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:10:17
to read a story, what are the many that does not happen? There's nothing like that happened.
Wayne Godfrey 1:10:24
Someone sent me I don't even know if we've got one here. I don't know where I've got it. But let you go into time. You could have bought it off the shelf legitimately in the morning by the afternoon it was gone. See, the cinema
Alex Ferrari 1:10:39
was fun. That's amazing. Now I want to ask you if I want to ask you a few questions. I asked all my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today? Don't do it. Go. Just go. Be an accountant. Go bake a cookie.
Wayne Godfrey 1:10:57
I'm just drummed on there's a lot today. But stories are start focus on story, build the best version of whatever it is spend the time in square, spend the time and really, really believing in what you're making. And make sure that when you do get the opportunity and you do get in front of that actor, don't blow up. Research, be prepared.
Alex Ferrari 1:11:23
Okay, and what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?
Wayne Godfrey 1:11:31
I would say that happiness is not the destination, but the journey. Amen. And I think I struggled for many years in the destination and trying to get that happiness and that hit and that Jalen, but actually you look back over your shoulder. And we talked a bit about some of the experiences today. But that's the joy. The journey is the joy. So enjoy the ride, enjoy the journey, enjoy the nose, enjoy the yeses. And and you know, the success comes from the journey and not arriving at the destination.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:14
And three of your favorite films of all time. Oh, this is your podcast and not much to say. The station agent? Yeah. Great movie, great movie. I would say. I mean,
Wayne Godfrey 1:12:38
I love some of the rock. I would say one of my favorite all time action movies.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:43
Can we can we stop there for a second? I I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Whether you like Michael Bay or not. Michael Bay changed the way action films are made just like just like Tony Scott did when Tony Scott showed up before Tony Scott. And there's after Tony Scott before Michael Bay and after Michael Bay before the matrix, and after the matrix, there are certain movies that change the way they do it. The raw he touches he touches it and bad boys. But the rock is the film that and you know, my favorite definitive action movie of my youth. Oh, you know, a me love action movies the way and it's I love them. And it's a solid story. And it's amazing action and lies. Sean Connery and if you want a little bit more cheese, you can go watch Armageddon, which I also enjoy, but at a different level. Alright.
Wayne Godfrey 1:13:43
Most recently, I think you know, I loved parasite as well. Yeah. Recent, recent recent years. But yeah, I mean, I love movies. I love all films. I mean, I like bad movies. I like good movies. I just love that acts, the escapism of our craft.
Alex Ferrari 1:14:01
Did you Did you see the room? You've seen the room? Right? Oh, of course. The room is is a genius film. And everyone listening to the podcast knows I'm just a fanatic of the room, and of Tommy Wiseau and everything that that movie has done. But But did you see it by yourself? Or did you see it with other people? Because I don't. I'm probably other people. Yeah, because that's a movie you can't watch by yourself. You need to watch it with a group especially if you're a filmmaker with a group of filmmakers. I saw it with a group of filmmakers at Sundance one night in a loft while we were shooting my movie there. And no one really no one on the crew had seen it except for me. I'm like, oh, we're getting it tonight. And we're all watching it and everyone's just sitting there going. Is he using the same stock footage shot twice? Why? Why is he humping her stomach? What's going on? Like it's there's so much going on in that movie. It is so brilliantly bad. What are you? What are your Top three. Is that one of them? No. Well, I mean, it's the it's the best worst. It's the best worst movie I've ever seen. I just you just enjoy that. There's, I always tell people this, I'm like, there's bad and then there's bad that transcends good. So it gets so bad, that it is good. And, and you can't, you can't go after that. It happens naturally. You can't make a bad movie and hope that people will love it because the intention is wrong. The reason why the room is beloved by millions around the world is because Tommy was always trying to make the greatest film of all the time. That is why it is so brilliant. But when you try to make a cult film or a bad movie, people understand and if you didn't ever get to do it, but because there was such sincerity in the making of it, and it's like I get don't get me always seeing his lines and seeing swatting it's so for me, I always I always My favorites are I always say shot. The three that I could just throw off the top. Today Shawshank fightclub and the matrix, I mean, it just they work and and of course the Godfather and of course Raiders of the Lost Ark and of course jaws. Yeah. And of course, you know, taxi driver, and of course all these other amazing films. But those are the three that like their remote control, throw or waste. Like if you're watching something like oh, my God, I have to just I just have to watch it. You know
Wayne Godfrey 1:16:31
what? I love those movies where you no matter where you land in them, you really pick up pick them up by that?
Alex Ferrari 1:16:39
Yeah, and fight club and I'm I timeless, timeless and of course everything Kubrick and what was anything Kubrick made? Just I'm a huge ridiculous Kubrick fan. One day I'll make the pilgrimage to to England, to the archives there at the school and we'll take you to a football game. You know, we can you know, I can't wait now can you tell people where they can find out more about purely capital.
Wayne Godfrey 1:17:08
Amazingly, purely doc capital, it's just all in the title. So finest on purely and all your social medias. But by all means, check us out purely capital. And if you have any long dated contracts or revenues, we will happily let you get them sooner. And anyone got a you know any ideas about how to improve
Alex Ferrari 1:17:32
the lack of transparency around our industry. We're also excited to hear about those sorts of ideas. So we can try and help build products that will give you those tools when it has been an absolute pleasure talking to you, man. And thank you so much for coming on the show. And I hope this episode helps a few people. we've thrown out a lot of information and a lot of information I'm sure you would have liked to have known 20 years ago and I definitely would like to know 20 years ago.
Wayne Godfrey 1:18:02
You know what the best thing you know to look at today is that we are in an established industry that is still finding his feet and changing today. And that's what's amazing, you know, and tomorrow will be different. So just just just keep hustling, right.
Alex Ferrari 1:18:17
Amen brother. Thank you. Bye
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