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Greenpeace film will 'define a decade'
A FILM producer has shared his ambition to make a movie that “defines a decade”.
Michael Cowan’s Spice Factory, based on Regent Hill, Brighton, is producing Riders on the Storm, the dramatic story of how Greenpeace activists changed the world.
The £70 million budget film has been six years in the making, promises an A-list cast and is due to start filming later this year.
Michael said: “I thought it would make a great movie.
“It’s taken six years and 22 drafts until we’ve got a good script.
“I want to make movies I enjoy and that have meaning and Greenpeace is something that’s always been close to my heart.
“I think it will be one of those films that defines the decade.”
Spice and its media arm Stealth was started in 1994 with Jason Piette in the attic above D’Arcys, Michael’s mother’s Market Street restaurant in Brighton.
They have produced some 100 films with budgets ranging from £100 million to virtually zero.
After selling to Epic and later buying back, Spice Factory has made films such as The Merchant of Venice (2004), Beowulf & Grendel (2005) and Iron Sky (2012) – in which Nazis set up a secret base on the dark side of the moon in 1945 to hide out before returning to power in 2018.
It is also sitting on another potential box office hit – Gummy Bear 3D, the children’s animated sensation which has amassed 3.6 billion downloads, with John Travolta signed up to voice an animated character.
Michael said: “Anybody who’s got kids aged one to four will want to take their kids to see this movie.
“I’ve never made an animated film but it’s the kind of thing that could make quite a bit of money.”
The company has produced scores of films costing around £1 million providing a springboard to young, up-and-coming directors.
But Michael said filmmaking has to be commercially successful because funding is in short supply.
“I look at it like a business. If you don’t make money you don’t get paid,” he said.
“If you don’t make things the market wants, why are you making them?
“It’s like anything else – you need good material and good staff. It all has to be costed and then you have to go and ask the banks for finance.”
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