THE head of a North East private investment firm has made his debut in the movie industry.
But Middleton Enterprises chief executive Jeremy Middleton’s role in Tim Roth’s new film The Liability is strictly behind the scenes.
The movie, which gets its premiere at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle tomorrow, was shot entirely in the region.
It forms part of the region’s growing movie industry, which has been supported by investors in the region, including Middleton Enterprises and Northstar Ventures.
Mr Middleton has been a friend of one of the film’s producers, Richard Johns, of Corona Pictures, for decades, since working together on managing brands at Procter & Gamble in Gosforth.
They had discussed teaming up on a movie for some years and when The Liability was pitched, Mr Middleton didn’t need much persuasion.
“I’ve known and followed Richard’s career over a number of years and I’ve always been interested in film and enjoyed it,” he said.
“When I heard about this one, a gritty genre that is in the style of Get Carter, it just sounded exciting as a concept. It’s important that Richard and his team are trying to make a commercial success and this is a commercially attractive proposition.
“Films are always high risk but he has a good model where the rewards for the talent come out after the rewards for investors, which can allow for a local production.
“It combined personally my interest in film with someone I know and trust with something I think is great for the region in encouraging the creative and commercially successful creative talent in the region and acting as a showcase for the region as well.
“It combines a lot of interests of mine and I thought it would be fun as well.”
The plot tells the story of a young man Adam, played by Jack O’Connell, who only wants to become a hitman, and an older man, Pete, played by Tim Roth, who only wants to retire as one. With shades of Get Carter, it is described as a thriller and a darkly comic portrayal of a son looking for a father.
The Liability was shot entirely in the North East and locations include Dunstanburgh Castle, on the Northumberland coast, the Port of Blyth, Ryhope pumping station, Hartlepool, Darlington, Morpeth, Seaton Carew and Hexham.
“The outside-London launch is here in Newcastle, which is appropriate as that is where it has been shot,” said Mr Middleton, who added that the actual amount invested in the project was commercially sensitive.
“It was part-funded by the North East Creative Content Fund. It is one thing to have the ideas and the talent but you also need the money.
“That fund was helpful in this film as it has been in others.”