Sunday, August 13, 2017

Let's Get Real

Following Whisper's revelation that colourful Sydney artistic duo Charles and Christa Billich are headed for the USA, a Sydney newspaper has called into question the claims about several planned reality TV shows.
(left : Christa & Charles Billich)
Whispers only knows what we have read about the Billich's show which reputedly follows the duo as they attempt to set up a Los Angeles art gallery. Former Sydneysider James Maas who hails from the North Shore is reported to be starring in the series which has the blessing of Hollywood director Adam Shroeder. The fact that James is Shroeder's live-in  partner is co-incidental.

As to former Sydney gumshoe Frank Monte and his partner Sharon Sargeant's The Private Eye & The Madam we know a bit more. Monte has received some flack for originally trying to raise funding on Kickstarter. But it did in fact pay off with an LA film investor ponying up $250,000 to finance a pilot and one episode which are now in the can. We can assure readers the financier is genuine and has confirmed the deal but wishes to remain anonymous at this stage.

We also know a South American TV network ( we checked !) offered to purchase the series from Monte but Monte says the price offered along with restrictions on distribution didn't make the deal viable. Making the pilot is almost the easy part. Selling it is the hard part.
                        (right: Frank Monte & Sharon Sargeant)
Whispers more than anyone knows how difficult it is getting a film project off the ground. Having moved into the Moving Picture Industry five years ago we have worked on two successful documentaries with one currently playing in UK cinemas. Another project we have in the pipeline has been thirty years in the planning.
Hollywood heavies Cassian & Cary Elwes
It's taken that long to get a biopic based on the life of The Who manager Kit Lambert written by Whispers with famous UK rock manager Simon Napier-Bell and former MOJO editor Pat Gilbert to the stage where powerful  US independent producer Cassian Elwes has picked up the project for a new production company he has formed with his brother actor Cary Elwes.
The film has the enthusiastic backing of Pete 
 Townshend and Roger Daltrey. The Who are still huge stars in the US and can pack stadiums giving The Rolling Stones a run for their money.

Elwes is specializing in low budget films, although the expected budget $US18M isn't chickenfeed, in Hollywood terms it's low. Elwes sells the rights to his films to cable TV to cover production costs where they end up following a cinema release. But it's almost like the old studio system with a production line. He has 8 films on the go and where ours is in the pecking order is complicated
by whether a name actor is available seeing they are obligated for years ahead. Every actor that reads our script wants the role including  Colin Farrell but will they be available?
It gets to the point where all you care about is- as long as the cheques roll in. Hopefully one day we'll get to attend the premiere.
 Right: Simon Napier-Bell & his famous discovery George Michael