Terry Stone, actor, producer and CEO of Gateway films.
Terry Stone began his acting career in 2003. He is a star of the small screen as well as the big screen. He has appeared in British television drama series such as EastEnders and The Bill.
Terry Stone is probably more notably remembered for playing the role Tony Tucker, in the 2007 film Rise of the Footsoldier.
We spoke to Terry at the Marbella International Film Festival about his new film, Rise of the Footsoldier 3 and about life in the film industry.
Rise of the Footsoldier 3 is the prequel to the first two successful films in the series, which are based around the true story of Carlton Leach, Tony Tucker and Pat Tate, which culminated in the shootings of Tucker and Tate in woodlands in Rettendon, Essex in December 1995.
“People saw the first two Rise of the Footsoldier films and said they wanted to see more of the Essex boys side,” Terry Stone told The Wealth List. “And there were more stories to be told. The original draft for the first film was 300 pages and had to be cut down so it allowed for a prequel to be made.
“Carnaby International said to do the film from Pat Tate’s point of view and, as it stands it’s Pat Tate’s story with Tony Tucker backing him up.”
Rise of the Footsoldier 3 has a different director and a different writer and as Terry affirms, they have stayed true to the story.
“When you make a film like Rise of the Footsoldier 3 you plan it and you want it to be successful. The difficulty when making a film is they take many years to make and when the film comes out the market could have changed, there could be 10 other crime films out and people may not want that, there may be different genres that are popular so it’s very difficult to predict that far in advance.
“When we were making the first Rise of the Footsoldier, it was on a low budget and we were like, we’ve got the bloke from Eastenders and a lot of actors from TV and we were told it wouldn’t work. But it did work and we sold one million DVDs.”
Terry Stone’s career began as a highly successful club promoter in the 1990s. After leaving the music scene he turned his hand to acting, with appearances in Eastenders, The Bill and My Family, as well as a number of films before setting up his own film company, Gateway Films in 2009 and releasing their first film, One Man and His Dog.
“It all happened very quickly. I was with a friend and I said I wanted to do movies and he said why not make a movie and if I put £10,000 down he would put £10,000 down and that’s where we got started.
“Our film, Rollin’ with the Nines was made for £250K. It won lots of awards and featured just about every urban artist.
“That film was a calling card for Rise of the Footsoldier 1. It was like saying if we can do this for £250K imagine what we can do with £1 million.
“When it comes to raising the funds for filming we look for investors. You would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t like film.
“Some people want to support the British film scene, some want the tax benefits of investing in film offers. There are no guarantees on how it’s going to turn out. If it doesn’t work out then you don’t lose much, but if it does work out then you get a lot back from it.
“Investors like to get involved, they like to come to the premiers or have bit parts in the film. With film investment it’s a lot more interactive than a lot of other types of investment. With most things you just write a cheque and get a piece of paper, with film investment they get to meet the actors, have a laugh, go to the red carpet screenings etc.”
Asked about how he thinks Brexit will affect the British film industry, Terry Stone replied: “I don’t think Brexit will affect the film industry. But I do think it’s important that the British Government leaves the tax breaks in place for films, if they take them away it will damage the film industry and it makes no sense to do that, I think that is a more frightening concept than the effects of Brexit.”
For Terry, the luxury item he owns that means the most to him is his 18 carat gold Rolex watch.
“My first job was in Macdonalds, cleaning bins and assembling plastic bins in the rain. I’ve done all these kinds of jobs and that really set me up to appreciate things and to be grateful for all that I have done and achieved.
“When I started making money I thought now I can get a mortgage and a car etc. Then I decided I wanted a gold watch, I had a Gucci watch and so I said to myself that when I get the money I will get myself a gold watch, I went to a jeweller and tried one on and promised myself I would get it. It was like a sign of ‘I’ve made it’ to myself.
“Three or four years after I got the gold watch I decided I wanted to get a gold Rolex and I would sell the other gold watch, but I was only offered half of what I paid for it. I went into a jewellers one day and I saw a second hand Rolex going for the same price as I had been offered for my gold watch so I decided to get it as I would break even.”
After winning the Best Feature Film award for Rise of the Footsoldier 3 at the Marbella Film Festival, Terry returns to the UK to work on a documentary charting his life in the clubbing scene. The documentary is based on Terry’s book King of Clubs, which is available as an e-book on both ITunes and Amazon. And the team are also preparing for the launch of their next feature film.
“We’ve just done a period crime film, Once Upon a Time in London, it’s like halfway between Peaky Blinders and Legend. It’s a big film and I play one of the leads. Normally there’s one lead role but for this film, there is two.”
Once Upon a Time in London is due for release in April 2018.
Interview by Lucy Stokes