Cannes 2012: Hamish McAlpine Returns to Producing, Ready for a Riot (Exclusive)
Seasoned veteran Hamish McAlpine, one of the movie industry's most flamboyant characters, is back four years after he personally lost £5 million ($8 million) when his vertically-integrated company Metro Tartan went into administration.
A familiar face on the international scene for more than 20 years, McAlpine took a year out of the business after his beloved company went into administration to recover and take stock, before "operating under the radar for the last two years or so," McAlpine said.
His producer resume boasts Wild Side, starring Christopher Walken and Anne Heche and Michael Haneke's U.S. remake of his own German-language film Funny Games, with Naomi Watts and Tim Roth, a film the movie-maker shot 10 years after the original unspooled in Cannes in 1997.
"For the last two years I've been quietly buying up film rights and I've made a film," McAlpine said. "I didn't want to make any big announcements until I actually had something concrete to show for my efforts." He is moving into financing and producing projects in the venture with parter Carole Siller.
While he is yet to reveal his new London-based venture's name, McAlpine, who has a tapestry of private investors backing his activities and is also raising money using the Enterprise Investment scheme, is putting the final touches to his first film as a co-producer for Riot On Redchurch Street.
The Enterprise Investment scheme is a U.K. government initiative allowing companies to raise up to £5 million ($8 million) privately on which the investors receive 30 percent tax relief, and any gains made on the investment are tax free.
Directed by Trevor Miller, the film details the tale of a clash between the party-goers and fashion types and the muslim community in London's fashionable east end district Shoreditch. It stars Sam Hazeldine, Alysson Paradis, Jesse Birdsall and Les McKeown and is produced by McAlpine, Carole Siller, Paul Woolf and Sean McLusky and aims to be locked down by the end of June.
McAlpine said he plans to raise a slice of the budget for each production he mounts through pre-sales or the fees from sales companies looking to hawk his titles, "on a project-by-project basis." He is also prepping Lost Girl, a film written by Susan Everett to be directed by Rankin. Billed as a contemporary ghost story, the movie is slated to go into production in the Summer of 2013.
McAlpine is old friends with the fashion photographer and distributed The Lives of the Saints in 2006. The returning McAlpine also said he is looking to mount television shows in addition to making movies.
He has sealed a deal with novelist Magdelen Nabb's son Liam Nabb to develop and co-produce films and television based on the author's books. McAlpine said: "I want to turn her work into film or television depending on what is appropriate. We're [with Liam Nabb] developing a tv show based on the book The Monster of Florence, and I think it will be a four-part TV show," McAlpine said.
Based on the real-life case of a Florentine serial killer, Nabb's chilling novel tells the story of Marshal Guarnaccia of the Florence carabinieri¹s investigation into a viscious serial killer who has ritually slaughtered seven courting couples. She died in 2007.
"The British born author took herself off to Florence where she worote 14 books and was once described by George Simenon as "the greatest living thriller writer," McAlpine said. Now that he has concrete plans and projects going, McAlpine will almost certainly be flying above the radar from now on.