Alex Walton and Ken Kao launched Bloom, a sales and production shingle, at Cannes last year, with “The Sea of Trees,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe and Naomi Watts. This year, the film is unspooling in the Cannes competition on Friday. Walton talks about his experiences over the years.
What’s it like to get your film into competition?
Really cool. I’m lucky that I’ve been at companies with films that have been in competition. Not that this means success, but it means it’s a film that’s been recognized. It’s flattering and a real movie, and other people in the industry observing it as such, and a real risk. None of it is lost on us.
Bloom is very busy; how does Cannes look?
It’s always an anxious time. You’re making sure that things are ready for a false timeline, a market timeline instead of a production timeline. You’re always in flux.
So expect the unexpected.
You always expect surprises. The digital revolution has speeded things up. When I first began in 1998, we were packing envelopes and sending out screenplays for AFM three months ahead of time. Everything was programmed three months beforehand. Now I have announced projects at Cannes and sold them at the same Cannes.
Cannes is frantic, but what is the best thing about it?
The view, the smell and the rose.
I can’t criticize the process of what we do.
What has influenced you to get into the film business?
I saw “Sexy Beast” and wondered how could I work in the film business. The Tarantino films. I was at university and seeing those types of indie films — that whole wave of rebellious and energetic cinema — was influential on me.
You made your dreams come true?
I’ve been lucky to work with companies that have been behind great films.