Cannes Creative Space: Jonathan Gray and Matthew Rhodes

“I’m afraid to open my mic, because I have three daughters there – you can see they are running and screaming – so I’m telling you, Matt, answer her,” said Jonathan Gray Entertainment, CEO of The Video. Time paints his digital camera on the great foundations and gardens of his home in the medieval hill village of Biot, near Antibus between Nice and Cannes.

Despite that bucolic French Riviera setting, Gray is ready to move himself and his family to Los Angeles, as the French-American producer tends to get closer to valuable Hollywood creatives who feel the need to get closer after launching The Hideway Entertainment in the summer of 2017 with a veteran LA-based producer. Rhodes appointed president.

“When we have a great meeting with Zoom, it’s not like we’re in the same room. We’re not sharing the same experience, “Gray adds.” And with creative people, it’s even more: if they have demand from everywhere, they’ll choose who they work with. If they don’t have a direct relationship with you, Tough. “

Hideway is also moving away from splashing big-budget images like Sony Black among men: International, Starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson and Vin Diesel Fronted Bleeding, Joe and Anthony Rousseau in more true-to-life stories like Apple TV + headlines Cherry, Starring Jack Gillenhall War control And Freedom Ride, An early play in John Lewis’s fight against racism and bigotry.

Hideaway is also ready to produce limited TV series, For those I likeBased on the best-selling book by Martin Gray, the father of Jonathan Gray, the Polish survivor of the Holocaust, he has overcome adversity to build a new life for himself and his family in the United States and France. Gray says: “This is a very deeply sensitive project for me and my family THR.

Talked to Gray and Rhodes THR Despite being transformed into a rapidly changing global market through streaming, they are bullish about the future of the indie film business.

Hideway was launched in 2017. Four years later, where is the company creatively and financially?

Matthew Rhodes: We are creative first, we are story-driven first. As an organization, Jonathan’s goal was to create an organization that supports and protects the creative community. When we first met, he asked me what was the biggest obstacle in this industry like me? I said it was the support and protection of the creative community and often they don’t support it as it should. What this means is that the way we base a story on a writer is the ability to go out and do research. On War control, Michael Russell Gunn, author, had the opportunity to climb a hill with a backpack of military equipment, run some weapons and really dive into the character of John Chapman. For a filmmaker, budgeting gives them time to prepare for what they need. So while we’re giving writers and filmmakers the opportunity to come out and create the best version of the film to give it a great opportunity worldwide, we don’t really focus on relying on budgets. And it has enabled us to further enhance the organization with our creative relationships.

I understand you’re moving away from big budget commercial movies – Black among men: International, Bleeding – And with Cherry, War control, Freedom Ride, Moving towards film based on true story. Why shift?

Rhodes: It’s one [result] Two things. We enjoy entertaining big commercial movies and we will continue to find and fund those movies. But as we found out during our development process, Jonathan and I loved books and true stories. Big likes big, giant, expensive movies Black men And Bleeding There are long development periods. So we’re moving towards prestige commercial films because Jonathan and I love those stories. We’ve been able to find them and work with them and we’re finding our passion really driven in that direction.

Perhaps an example of prestigious commercial projects For those I likeYou are developing a limited TV series based on a book by Martin Gray, the father of Jonathan, a surviving Holocaust survivor in North America and France. The book has already made a 1983 film starring Michael York. Tell us about your TV adaptation.

Jonathan Gray: Of course, this is a very deeply sensitive project for me and my family. It is connected to our story. One of the reasons I came into this industry is It’s when I was younger, probably at the age of 12, I saw the movie for the first time and it’s still popular on French TV because you read my dad’s book at school when you study the Holocaust and World War II. But at the same time I like watching the movie in 12 minutes Terminator. As a kid, you used to watch entertainment. Robert Enrico has no respect [who directed the 1983 film], His movies did well in his time, but it didn’t entertain me as a kid. It didn’t show my dad as a hero that I felt him and still see him today. I knew the new version of his story would be a great thing.

You have grown up in the ears. Did you see the Cannes Film Festival as an inspiration to enter the business?

Gray: When I saw the film festival in my town, I was eager to see more action movies, to get closer to him as a kid, and finally hope to adapt to my dad’s book in the future through my network. So I just started to get closer to the industry, but when I realized it was a bit tougher than I had initially thought. So I moved on to other businesses but it was always on my mind. And I knew it when I turned on Hideway For those I like Will be one of our projects, but I didn’t want to start with that. So after working on developing our slate from day one we feel it today For those I like Ready to develop, and a limited series is the right format to tell the story in the best way.

A film industry is shifting to online players around the world to search for movie content for their customers worldwide – threatening the stereotypical indie film financing model that relies on international territory agreements. Where does that hideaway go?

Gray: It creates more opportunities. We don’t believe the theaters are leaving. We do not believe that one industry will kill another. There are more opportunities to create and create more content as there are different content for different audiences. Some content will work better than others for us, as producers, it gives us more opportunities.

Rhodes: Our business is story-driven and our job is to create and tell stories that people want to see. So, for us, we’re looking at prestigious commercial projects that work with local audiences. And having more distribution opportunities allows us to stay in the movie business – not just the TV business.

Is your budget getting bigger?

Gray: They’re getting bigger for us overall, because we’re doing more projects. We are increasing the quality of our connections with them. We’ve got better writers, and writers have demand and their rates aren’t decreasing. Good director, good cast is the same. Good talent is the core of our industry. That’s why we’re trying to keep this community close to them, because we care about what they do and we’re trying to be their preferred production partner. So over time our projects become more prestigious and more expensive. But the rewards also increase.

Driven by story-and-talent, Hydeway has come close to the European Austrian model. Hollywood, what are the rewards for those who think projects funded by warming up your model?

Rhodes: It’s a mix. Every organization has a mandate, their view on whether financing is more important than creative or more important than creative financing. I have found that, as a creator, there are many challenges for financiers to support creatives. One of the things I really liked about Jonathan and my connection was that we wanted to build a business that supported and protected the creative community.

Gray: A good project, good IP, good content, will always look for money. Money can’t always find a good project. I certainly think quality content is king. Hollywood has never been short of money. Creatives today are of course on the opposite side and can control who they work with. And we want to be their preferred producer partner.

Matt, you made a big ear crash with this Southland Tales. However, it became a cult hit and really put Duane “The Rock” Johnson on the map. What was the ear experience like and are you proven right now?

Rhodes: Southland Tales I had a special movie then and it is going to be special to this day. It’s many years later, emails and letters communicate with the film more than the films I’ve made. The ear-cut was only re-released by Arrow in the UK I love the way this film survives.

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