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Oscar nominated film producer sets up new company in Cambridge

Ivan Mactaggart Cambridge Picture Company - Eagle Labs Incubator Cambridge, 28 Chesterton Rd, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell
Ivan Mactaggart Cambridge Picture Company - Eagle Labs Incubator Cambridge, 28 Chesterton Rd, Cambridge . Picture: Keith Heppell

Ivan Mactaggart launches new film and TV company in the city

One of the country’s top film producers has launched a new picture company in Cambridge.

Flying high off the back of Oscar and BAFTA nominations for his animated feature Loving Vincent, producer Ivan Mactaggart has set up a film and television production company with private equity backing.

The Cambridge Picture Company

already boasts a high profile pedigree with several projects co-produced with David Parfitt’s Trademark Films, in which Mactaggart was until recently a partner.

The company co-produced the Trademark feature film Red Joan, starring Judi Dench and Sophie Cookson, which was shot in and around London and Cambridge in late 2017. Other projects on the slate include elevated sci-fi feature Android, hitman drama People Die and found footage cop thriller Cover.

And there is the promise of more groundbreaking stories to come from Mactaggart’s new company, using Cambridge’s innovative spirit to provide the inspiration.

He said: “I am Cambridge-based and have been here for 10 years, but a lot of the industry is based in London.

“However, Cambridge is such a growing and thriving place and is forecast to be the city with the fastest growing economy this year. It is the centre of innovation and scientific excellence.

“It just made sense to me that there should be a film and TV production company here.

“My aim is to actively go out and identify material of specific genres and areas where I think there is market opportunity, and develop things in-house. I want to be involved in projects from the very beginning.

“I will be looking for books that will lend themselves to make the kind of films that can be financed in the marketplace and also things that make me excited.

“It is a tough business and you have to be able to get out of bed in the morning and say ‘it is my one burning desire to make sure this story is told’.

“That is the impetus you need to get through all the obstacles in your way, from getting it from a book and on to the screen.”

But finding the right people may not be as easy as you think. Mr Mactaggart has 28 years of experience in the industry and the boom of Netflix and Amazon Prime has meant plenty of work for actors, which means they are not always available.

Mr Mactaggart added: “There is a real boom in high-end TV at the moment, driven by new broadcasters, and the supply and avilability of talent – particularly for feature films at the moment – is quite restricted.

“A lot of these people are being paid well to create dramas like House of Cards, The Walking Dead and equivalent drama in the UK like The Crown.

“There is a lot of competition for the best talent. It is a case of having the right source material that makes people want to get involved.”

He knows his game inside out, both as a producer and financier. Previously a partner in Trademark Films with producer Parfitt (Shakespeare in Love, The Madness of King George), he has also worked in senior roles for companies including BMS Finance, BBC Films, BBC Worldwide, Baker Street Media Finance, The Works and Signpost Films, backing some of the most successful British films in recent history.

These include Billy Elliott, Bend it Like Beckham, Made in Dagenham, Moon and Shallow Grave.

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