When your first film costs just $4 million and grosses over $100 million worldwide, nabbing three Oscar nominations in the process, you must be doing something right.
Jon Finn and Natascha Wharton, who run Working Title’s low-budget arm WT2, got off to a flying start with “Billy Elliot,” which they co-produced with Tiger Aspect Pictures.
The question is, can they do it again?
Finn, 34, and Wharton, 35, are both longtime Working Title staffers — he a production exec, she in development — who have been given the task of reconnecting the British production powerhouse with its low-budget roots.
They certainly aren’t hanging about. Their second film, teen horror pic “Long Time Dead,” is almost complete, and their third, “My Little Eye,” a digital video chiller about reality TV, has just finished shooting in Nova Scotia.
Production has just started on the comedy “Ali G Is in Da House,” a TV spinoff based on Sacha Baron Cohen’s white homeboy character, who is a cult hero among young Brits.
Then, later this year, Finn and Wharton are hoping to get the greenlight from Working Title for “Lonely Planet,” a thriller about backpackers in Australia, and “Victor Delargo Meets the King,” a buddy comedy about two London boys in New York.
The WT2 motto is “heart, humor and horror.” The budgets may be low, the talent may be new, but that doesn’t mean arthouse. “WT2 absolutely reflects Working Title’s philosophy, which is about making films for audiences, and having a balanced slate,” says Wharton.