SYDNEY — Appropriately enough, the “Wog Boy” is ready to help others take their acts on the road.
Nick Giannopoulos, who starred, co-wrote and co-produced the Australian B.O. hit “The Wog Boy,” a romantic comedy about a foreign-born guy (or “wog”) and a WASP girl, is targeting foreign buyers in launching an Australian-based film sales banner.
“I got sick of people telling me there’s nowhere to go with their films,” says Giannopoulos, noting there are only two sales agents Down Under — Beyond Films and Ocean Pictures — after Southern Star withdrew from that arena last year to concentrate on TV.
Giannopoulos’ IndeGo Films Intl. will make its market debut at Cannes, hawking a slate of four completed pics and three projects in various stages of production and development.
Giannopoulos has hired distrib vet Peter Taylor, whose resume includes spells at Beyond Films and 20th Century Fox in the U.K., to run the new firm.
It was Taylor who, as campaign manager on “Wog Boy,” helped the Fox release gross A$11.4 million ($6.8 million) last year. Fox also handled the pic in Germany and Greece.
While Giannopoulos, who made his name as a standup comedian, will top the IndeGo banner, Taylor will run day-to-day operations. And Giannopoulos is quick to give Taylor credit for coming up with the concept.
“Peter Taylor approached me, I thought it was a terrific idea, and I’m very pleased with the results so far,” says Giannopoulos, who has been touring Australia in the show “Wog Story.”
While “Wog Boy” didn’t fare as well outside Oz, Giannopoulos says he learned a great deal from the experience. “Films,” he says, “need a very strong identification, whether that’s in cast or concept.”
Taylor says the emphasis at IndeGo is on finding films that are commercial rather than arthouse, although the intention is to handle a wide array of pics.
The firm isn’t putting up minimum guarantees, but rather is helping filmmakers to raise coin — and it’s seeking to have creative input it hopes will boost sales prospects.
“We’re giving advice to producers on scripts and casting to try to help make films more marketable,” Taylor says.
The completed quartet comprises:
- “Enemies Closer,” a Gen X thriller from first-time helmer-scripter Steven Aldridge, who cut his teeth on shorts and by working in the art department of “Mission: Impossible 2.”
- “Low Fat Elephants,” a romantic comedy about a modern-day Cyrano de Bergerac, from writer-helmer Phillip Marzella.
- “Waste,” a comic adventure written and directed by Tony De Pasquale.
- “The Big Night Out,” a Valentine’s Day-set comedy from writer-director Tim Boyle.
In production is 3-D animated pic “The Enchanted Billabong,” with a voiceover cast headed by Olivia Newton-John and her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, with music of Savage Garden, INXS and Jimmy Barnes. David Waddington is directing from Byron Zanack’s script.
Set to go into pre-production in May is “Foolproof,” a crime caper by Boyle, starring rocker Barnes.
Giannopoulos is in the final stages of writing his next pic, an untitled comedy, which IndeGo will handle.