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Power of the Dog: the production house’s hopes for the Oscars

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Sherman jointly runs See-Saw Films as a company in two countries. His office is in Paddington, Sydney, and Co-Managing Director Iain Canning is in London.

“The time zone is the bane of my life and definitely the bane of a lot of people in UK life,” he says. “But we are really trying to use the competitive advantage that we have, that we are based in two countries – not one with a satellite – bringing together the creative talent, the talent for storytelling, the financial resources, the landscapes. and production talent from Australia and New Zealand with England and Europe.

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Since The King’s Speech, the company has become a mini studio, with 14 films released (including Shame, Tracks, Lion, How to talk to girls at parties, Mary Magdalene, Widows and Ammonite) and four others on the way (The power of the dog, War drama by Colin Firth Operation Minced Meat, detective thriller by Joel Edgerton The foreigner and The son, Florian Zeller’s sequel to his Oscar-winning film The father).

As recently as last week, Amazon paid $ 30 million ($ 39.8 million) for another movie: Garth Davis’ sci-fi thriller An enemy, which will tour in Australia early next year starring Saoirse Ronan and Paul Mescal.

While See-Saw started out as a film producer, its production shows how much the entertainment industry has changed as competing streaming services and cable channels increase their schedules.

Since he did two seasons of Top of the lake with Campion, See-Saw shot television series for Apple TV (Gary Oldman and Kristin Scott Thomas in the spy thriller Slow horses then Claire Danes and Tom Hiddleston in the period drama The Essex Snake) and Netflix (action comedy The new legends of the monkey and youth series Falling for something).

Producers Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Gareth Unwin with their Oscars for the King’s Speech. Credit:Photo: Reuters

Other series have been for the international cable channels AMC (Indigenous vampire drama Fire bite), Foxtel / Showtime / Sky (drama The end) and Sundance TV (State of the Union). And three others for the BBC (period drama Banned, comic drama Love Nina and Colin Farrell in the whaling drama Northern water).

While The power of the dog Premiered at the Venice Film Festival and screened at the Sydney Film Festival this week, it was made for award-hungry Netflix.

Three years ago, Campion told Sherman at a Bondi cafe that she wanted to adapt Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel. The power of the dog. He and Canning immediately read it.

“Before even reading it, Iain and I knew we wanted to work with Jane on the movie because it sounded good but, more importantly, we stood behind Jane on whatever she wanted to do,” he says.

“We were extremely relieved to read the book to realize that it has the potential to be a bubble. It just has a fantastic story with a compelling cast of characters, and it combines epic visual storytelling with complex character psychodrama, a brilliant ending, and an ability to cast incredible actors.

Sunny pawar in lion.

Sunny pawar in lion.Credit:Mark Rogers / © Long Way Home Productions 2015

They developed the screenplay, cast Cumberbatch and Elisabeth Moss – later replaced by Kirsten Dunst due to a conflict with the filming The Handmaid’s Tale – and created a Cannes bidding war two years ago that Netflix won. Paul Dano was set to play the other brother ahead of a schedule clash with The batman meant he had been replaced by Plemons.

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Campion shot the film in New Zealand because of how it could pass for Montana in 1925. It hits theaters Thursday and hits Netflix on December 1st.

Sherman, who also co-hosts the social issues podcast Principle of charity, says the company is looking to take more advantage of the “rising tide of content” for streaming services, making both movies and series.

“Television is not what it used to be,” he says. “There is a world – and it’s only just beginning in Australia now, really – to support bolder, more distinctive voices at higher budget levels… There are fantastic opportunities to keep the quality really high but expand the number. programs for our broadcast partners and audiences. “

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