Letty Aronson, Gareth Wiley and Lucy Darwin
What do an Irish bank, a British public broadcaster and a Russian telecom corporation have in common? They were all principal financiers of Woody Allen’s $15 million London-based film “Match Point.”With the producers running out of time to put the financing together, the Bank of Ireland, the BBC and Thema Prods., which is 75% owned by the Russian conglomerate Sistema, came to the rescue. It was a fortuitous marriage, since Allen is averse to working in the American studio system, and the overseas investors were more comfortable with the concept of simply being bankers and not taking any creative control of the project. “You’re really asking people to invest in Woody,” says “Match Point” producer (and Allen’s sister) Aronson. “When we scheduled the film and when we put the budget together, Letty and (co-producer) Helen Robin as well as our co-producer in London, Nicky Kentish Barnes, were working with Woody, who was working on the assumption that there would be a lot more requirements for breaks,” says Wiley. “And so the scheduling meant that there was actually a lot of time available. So when the crew realized what was required of them, they were happy to work through lunch breaks, which meant that days ended up closing fairly early.” The ease of access to most locations and the cooperative weather also saved time and money, as they were able to do three locations in a day without any problem. “They kept telling us how the traffic in London is so terrible, but when you’ve been used to working in Manhattan where the traffic is truly terrible, it was a piece of cake,” says Aronson.