MANAGING DIRECTOR GODMAN
A production company is as good as its directors. The more talented the
directors, the more successful the production company. The most
brilliant producer is nothing without a good director. However,
directing today can be extremely demanding. Intense preparation and
long, exacting post-production sessions make directors’ involvement in
the day-to-day running of a company a total misuse of their talent. But
a vital contribution directors often make to the continued success of a
company is their ability to spot talent.
Running a company is similar to producing an ad. There is a budget and
the tighter the control of cash-flow, the safer the production and the
safer the company. Busy directors, whether hired, partners or owners,
must like nothing more than to know the company is being run by someone
they trust, respect and like.
In the most successful companies, directors direct and strong producers
run the company. The Paul Weiland Film Company might be the exception
but Paul has Mary Francis by his side, an excellent producer and the
A production company name is not of major importance. Owner names have
succeeded and so have frivolous names. The aim is to create a name that
MANAGING DIRECTOR GORGEOUS
It varies from company to company. I came from Weiland where Paul always
ran the company. He was a great producer, very intuitive about what
would work and what wouldn’t. I ran things day-to-day but the big
decisions were made by him.
It’s very important for directors to have strong management in
play.That’s what Tony and Ridley Scott did. They had Jo Godman there to
ensure everything was in place when they were doing movies. That’s
As a generalisation, it doesn’t matter which way the company is run.
There will be some directors who are not people who could run a company
and others who are. Take Ridley. He’s got quite a business empire now,
not just commercials but a restaurant and an interest in Shepperton
He’s clearly a great businessman. Then there will be directors who
As a company, it’s a huge help to have a star director because they will
attract others, but they don’t need to own it. Take, for example,
Jonathan Glazer at Academy. However, it’s probably true to say that
directors who are starting out are more likely to get input from a
person like Chris Palmer, Frank Budgen or Paul Weiland than directors
who aren’t owners of their company.
It’s not in their interest to help others.
JOINT MANAGING PARTNER, PINK
We are producer-led because we don’t want to provide a lifestyle for an
individual director and we don’t want a company that lives or dies on a
particular director’s personality. We wanted to create a brand for a
business which was Pink. As a producer-led company, we are in it for
longevity. We wanted to create a brand that could evolve with time and
fashions. We have fantastic creative talent with first-class production
back-up. With the exception of one of our directors, all are
We found them on our own and didn’t steal them from others. When a
director joins us, he buys into the Pink philosophy. It’s not a
one-person led company. Everybody works with everybody and we all help
Bash (Robertson, joint managing partner) and I see ourselves as
marketing people who have an overview on people’s careers, not just
line-producers on people’s jobs. We have a game-plan for all our
directors and, in that way, are more like agents.
I spent a long time in ad agencies and was very conscious about brands
and building brands. Production companies have been very bad about doing
that for themselves. We chose the name Pink because it was generic. It
doesn’t mean anything and it’s not dependent on Bash or me.
DIRECTOR THE PAUL WEILAND FILM COMPANY
I am a director-producer, although day to day Mary Francis (managing
director) runs my company. I want to produce other directors’ talents
and take them on. It’s very satisfying. Otherwise you just become
selfish and egotistical. If they do well, I am really, really happy
It’s good for a director to be able to talk to another director without
feeling they are in competition with them. If they want nurturing - some
do and some don’t - then I have a lot of experience to offer. A producer
might not know enough about the ins and outs of editing. Only a director
can talk to another director in that way.
As a director, it’s now not cool to be seen as a businessperson. But
when directors and a producer work hand-in-hand, it can produce a very
great company. You can put your ego to bed for a bit. But that’s
probably why there are not many director-led companies out there. It’s
no good if you couldn’t take someone doing better than you. It’s quite a
bitter pill to swallow. You’ve got to feel confident with your own
ability as a director.
If I had my time again, I wouldn’t put my name on the company. As it’s
grown, I have often wished I had a more anonymous name. It is my company
but it is made up of a lot of people. Calling it Blink or Pink is