Knowing him knowing them“Well, everybody in Mandrake Falls is pixilated - except the people I may introduce you to.”
When asked to ‘fix it’ for one of the co-producers of a major American movie to play a set of tennis at the centre court of Wimbledon, Andrew felt as if he’d been thrust into the rather cheesy storyline of one of their own productions. But achieving this lifetime ambition turned out to be a make or break condition of landing the 25 million dollar project for the UK. It took three months of persuasion with the All England Club but it was arranged.On another occasion, it took all of Andrew’s diplomacy to neutralise a titanic clash of culture between the curator of the hot house at Kew Gardens and an irrascible production executive from the movie Judge Dredd. The latter had clearly always achieved anything he wanted by, well, insisting. The former had a different agenda and was unmoved by American movie moguls. Again, it took time, but it was done. If you watch the end of the movie, when the movie’s stars walk hand in hand through the lush tropical garden, that’s the hot house at Kew Gardens despite the worst efforts of the hot heads of Hollywood.It’s just a fact of industry life, claims Andrew, that you have to deal with difficult people in difficult situations to get what you want, however challenging it may at first appear. You get to know a lot of people and you learn from every experience.Andrew’s stories are endless. He speaks glowingly about working in Cannes with Sir Michael Powell (The Red Shoes, A Matter Of Life and Death, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp), Sir David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia, The Bridge on The River Kwai, Doctor Zhivago) and his thrill at co-hosting an event with Clint Eastwood (at the time of his Oscar winning Unforgiven triumph). Whilst name dropping is an unavoidable bi-product of working at the heart of the industry, the real network is made up of people and businesses who few will know and fewer still will ever find by accident.Putting new practitioners and content creators together with people who might be able to ‘make it happen’ is key to increasing the chances of success. In a business where the odds are always against you, finding help to get you back to a level playing field is just good business sense. In the new digital era, the options for both content development and distribution have multiplied beyond imagination. And none of this is standing still. Navigating through this increasingly complex network requires a good guide alongside you, if you’re to avoid losing your way.
Sir Michael Powell
The Princess Royal, Sir Sydney Samuleson and Sir David Lean