Movie makers get insider tips on blockbuster budgets

Movie makers get insider tips on blockbuster budgets

23th September 2013


FILM students have been put in the picture with a master class in making movies.

Creative accountant Mike Kelly, who has provided financial and business advice for multi million dollar box office blockbusters including the Harry Potter films, delivered a workshop to the BA (Hons) creative film and moving image students at Cleveland College of Art and Design.

Originally from Middlesbrough, Mike, 55, a former vice president of finance and production at Warner Brothers, now runs his own London-based charted accountancy firm Northern Alliance, providing financial management services to entertainment and creative industries all over the world.

He began his career at Price Waterhouse Cooper in the North-East, before working throughout Europe, Japan and the USA for the international logistics firm TNT and was group accountant at Thames Television PLC before moving into the film industry.

“Despite not setting out to work in the movies, it has been my very good fortune to be involved with film and television for almost 25 years,” said Mike.

“I have seen the industry from a number of angles and this is a great opportunity to pass on the knowledge and experiene I have gained to the students here at CCAD.”

As well as being a regular visitor to the college to speak to students Mike, who helped to establish the UK Film Council, is also a member of CCADs industrial liaison panel and was a critical influence in the validation for the top up of their moving image course to BA (Hons), which will offer increased opportunities for students.

Programme leader Di Fletcher said: “Our degree course is vocationally based and we try to keep it as real and up to date as possible.

“Having someone with Mike’s expertise come in to keep both our students and ourselves informed of the bigger picture of what’s happening out there in the industry is absolutely invaluable.”

Many of the course’s former graduates have already gone on to significant roles within the TV and film industry.

These include Nick Rowntree and Scott Mann, who wrote and produced The Tournament, a $8m Hollywood movie starring Ving Rhames (Pulp Fiction) Robert Carlyle (Trainspotting) and Kelly Hu (X Men 2), released around the world by the prestigious Weinstein Company; Mark Clayton a lighting gaffer on the Oscar nominated film Girl with a Pearl Earring and the TV series Spooks and Hustle; Steve Tizzard who worked on the CGI effects for Harry Potter and Gary Moore who is currently in talks with actor/director/producer Noel Clarke (Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Kidulthood, Dr Who, Star Trek Into Darksness) for his latest film.

Second year student Beth Wood, 19, of Redcar, added: “Mike’s talk was very insightful and gave us the real ins and outs of the film industry which should give us a good head start when we graduate.”

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