Australian prospector goes Hollywood as mining bust bites
By James Regan
SYDNEY, March 31 (Reuters) - Movie making has joined pursuits such as egg farming, the growing of medical marijuana and beauty products as another way for struggling mining companies to weather one of the industry's worst downturns in decades.
Australian prospector Ed Mead believes endless hours spent watching films while stuck in remote areas waiting to strike the mother lode gives him on-the-job-training to be involved in movies.
This coupled with the collapse of the mining industry, as markets drown in a glut of oil, copper and other commodities, led Mead, managing director of Artemis Resources, to Hollywood in search of a blockbuster.
Artemis this week signed a contract with independent production company Go2Sho Inc to help finance "Tango Down", a military action film starring James C. Burns, the lead actor in the high-grossing "Call of Duty Black Ops" 1 and 2 films.
"When times are good, people go to the movies and when times are bad people go to the movies," says Mead. "This couldn't be more different than the cyclical resources industry."
The most successful miner to move to the silver screen is Robert Friedland, who made billions of dollars after discovering some of the world's biggest nickel and copper deposits.
Friedland's Ivanhoe Pictures has established a four-year multi-picture co-financing pact with Fox International Productions to produce local-language films in India, Korea, China, Japan and Taiwan.
"We needed to cast a wide net," said Mead. "Every time you look, the copper, nickel, iron ore or oil and gas prices are going down. People just aren't interested," he said. Continuación...