The global success of Eddie Sternberg’s debut feature I Used To Be Famous, which was one of Netflix’s most-watched films when it was released last September, has afforded its first-time producer Collie McCarthy the opportunity to expand his slate and build up his production company, Forty Foot Pictures.
“Expand in terms of being a more attractive company to both financiers and talent, being able to hire a development exec and take on new writers,” reflects the Dublin-born producer. “But, more importantly, I’ve been developing a handful of projects for the last 3-5 years and I Used To Be Famous getting off the ground has seen the other projects get more attention from potential partners, and that, in turn, fires up the filmmakers behind them. A rising tide lifts all boats, I guess.”
Projects in development include Sternberg’s second feature, a music infused drama/thriller with Netflix; a Cold War adventure series based on true events from Sam Johnson developed with the BFI; Steve Kenny’s debut feature, a contained drama/thriller in development with Screen Ireland; and sports-based mockumentary Fran The Man, with Irish writer Richie Conroy and Screen Ireland which is currently completing finance and casting.
McCarthy studied law and history in Galway and worked in event management before starting as a runner in London, eventually joining UK outfit Shoebox Films as a junior production exec. “It gave me a really good view of the nuts and bolts of the development process, how to work with writers and package projects from the ground up.”
Now McCarthy divides his time between the London and Dublin offices of his production company Forty Foot Pictures that was originally established to produce shorts including Time Traveller and Earthy Encounters, which both screened at Tribeca. “I’m trying to build lasting relationships with writers and directors and see the company grow in line with their careers, so I put a lot of time into the incubation of their ideas and the script development process.
“Everything we’re trying to do has the ambition to be entertaining — stories that offer an escape to audiences. Sometimes commercial can be considered a dirty word, but I think it just means there’s a bigger audience.”
Contact: Collie McCarthy, Forty Foot Pictures