Margery Bone is using her contacts in theatre to develop new talent and feature projects. Wendy Mitchell reports.
Producer Margery Bone knows first-hand how one career can morph into another. She started as an actress in her teens and 20s before moving into producing shorts and features.
And now she is keeping that open mind for collaborations with the theatre world. Since 2005, her Bonafide Films banner has been working with renowned Newcastle-based Live Theatre to develop ideas.
'I wanted to go back to the region and work with talent there,' says Bone, who grew up in the north-east of England but lives in London. 'Live has a great reputation, and we started working together as a way to talk about film and TV ideas with new writers.'
The first feature being developed out of that collaboration is playwright Peter Straughan's original script The Inventor, which Bone describes as 'a sci-fi rom com about time travel'. Straughan, who has also worked on scripts for Billie Eltringham's Mrs Ratcliffe's Revolution and Robert B Weide's How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, is about half way through with The Inventor script.
Bone explains the development process will be somewhat unusual: 'We'll support the writer with workshops and we'll shoot some scenes that can feed back into the writing process.'
Regional agency Northern Film & Media is on board, as is Peter Carlton at Film4, which is contributing to development funding. Anne-Marie Duff and Chris O'Dowd are attached to star.
Bone's first feature was 2002's Shooters, which was directed by her husband Colin Teague, who now directs BBC TV's Doctor Who and Torchwood. Bone went on to work in development at Tomboy Films before setting up Bonafide in 2004.
At home in London, Bone scouts material for Thomas Thomas, the commercials agency run by Philippa and Kevin Thomas - the latter is the Emmy-winning director of ads for Apple and Adidas.
The company has three scripts in development for Kevin Thomas to direct. They are Bridget Hurst's Norway, about a middle-aged divorced man who takes a road trip with his parents (with Elling producers Maipo on board as co-producers); John McNally's US-set thriller Working Day, about a stay-at-home mother and a call-centre worker who investigate a conspiracy; and Bridget O'Connor's adaptation of her play The Lovers, a black comedy about an ageing gigolo who befriends a pickpocket.
'Kevin has a clear direction about what he loves; they all have comic elements and an oddball feel no matter what their genre,' Bone says of the scripts.
Separately, Bone is working on a sado-masochistic romance set in Victorian London, supported by Media and Northern Film & Media. Marc Munden is attached to direct and his wife Lisa Marie Russo will co-produce.