With Marco Prestini, the decision was pretty straightforward but Ben Liam Jones felt "quite different to what I think Riff Raff is perceived as and, for me, that was quite good. I think sometimes Riff Raff can be looked at as too-cool-for-school you know, it's trying to do too much out and out wacky, creative stuff. And I never wanted to do that, I've just invested my time in people who I think have just got talent."
BRTHR's film for FIFA 19 was a co-production between Riff Raff and Passion Pictures.
Warming to his theme, Matthew Fone becomes quite animated as he describes how filmmakers with Jones's skills are sometimes underestimated by an industry that sometimes fetes edginess at the expense of a naturalistic approach: "I realise how hard that is to do... people don't realise how hard it is to get performances like that. It's a fucking talent, because there's a number of people who think they can do it and they can't."
He describes reading a recent treatment written by Ben: "it's not so much, this is how I'm gonna do your 30" script scene-by-scene-by-scene. It's a sort of analysis of how you go about the craft of doing that job, and that's basically what we do in this company."
Megaforce's Nike ad demonstrated the full gamut of Riff Raff's skills.
Matthew Fone has never based the decision-making for Riff Raff on money and one way he's protect his ability to maintain this is by keeping a small roster and keeping overheads to a minimum. None of the offices he's inhabited have been showy, including the modest Roger Street space where we spoke. It's a lesson everyone needs to learn, including the big beasts of the production world.
He describes how compromises start when you have to meet the costs of unnecessary overheads before proudly asserting that Riff Raff has never been about "pounds, shillings and pence".
A US ad for Uniqlo by third new signing Marco Prestini.
The integrity of the work is everything to Matthew Fone and it's already made a mark on Ben Liam Jones, who quietly admits his astonishment at scripts with generous budgets that his new boss is willing to turn down because he doesn't think they'll enhance the company's canon.
It's a creed dear to Fone's heart: "We ask ourselves: is it a good script or not? Should we be doing it? Do we wanna do it? And because the overheads are low, we don't have to take those jobs that other companies might... we wanna do stuff that we believe in, stuff that furthers the career of our directors."
You can speak to Matthew Fone about the talented directors of Riff Raff by calling him on 07971 224679 or via email using firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is at https://www.riffrafffilms.tv and their David Reviews Profile is http://www.davidreviews.tv/Profiles/riffrafffilms/.