– . – Stephen Follows (Producing)
Stephen Follows (Producing)
What kind of projects attract you?
Powerful and emotional stories well told. It seems really simple to say but it’s amazing how few scripts do any of these things! A great story needs to grab you from the moment you first hear the premise right until the end. When you hear the pitch of a truly great story you need to know what happens.
You can produce the film of your dreams. What and who would that entail?
An intelligent British action movie. Part Die Hard, part The Transporter and part Shaun of The Dead. It’s so easy to make a sub-par B-movie but to produce a genuine action classic along the lines of Die Hard is a tall order. And doing so whilst keeping it culturally British makes it all the harder!
What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a producer?
‘It’s all about the team’. You’re only as strong as the team of people you can bring together. Everyone needs to look around the set and feel lucky to be working with people of such talent. Then people work hard not from duty but not wanting the let the team down. I always used to wonder how you break into other people’s professional circles. Now I realise you don’t break into someone’s circle; you make your own.
Most significant moment in your career so far?
The most significant moments have all been negative experiences that I’ve learnt from. In one case I was working with a writer a number of years ago who wrote what I thought was a brilliant short film. We didn’t get funding and I lost touch with him. He’s now doing very well (Sundance, industry recognition, etc). I knew he was talented but didn’t put enough energy into working with him. I’ve also had to deal with some pretty unscrupulous people and it wasn’t until I stood up for myself and refused to back down that things got resolved. That taught me to protect myself from the nasty elements of our business.
I’ll die happy when…
I’m doing well enough to take weekends off!