Early Day Films

Early Day Films

Turning a fledging film company into an award winning star

Turning a fledging film company into an award winning star

Co-producing a BAFTA winning short was the starting point for Kate Byers and Linn Waite to realise their ambition of running a successful independent production company. With the release of their debut feature film BAIT to the highest critical acclaim and box office success, they explain the financial side of filmmaking and how Richardson Swift has helped their business grow.

Interview with Kate and Linn

What’s been key to your success?

We always look for a good story; time spent in development and pulling together the best creative team is essential. It’s about spotting opportunities; you’ve got to have an eye for talent, what’s current and how to engage relevant relationships.

What kind of films do you make?

Over the years we’ve built a slate of films which have an identifiable mark and scale, whatever their genre. Our recent success has been working with celluloid, shot in black and white, and hand-processed - it has an art-house edge but with canny story development, is finding a wider audience.

Bait Film poster

How does the finance work?

To get a film made, you first need to raise finance from investors. They can invest across a number of films and make use of HMRC tax schemes to mitigate their risk through income tax savings.

What are your investors like?

Our investors are keen to find out more about filmmaking and they become part of the wider team. They have loved visiting the set and being involved. As a small team, we can offer investors an insight into filmmaking that can be lost in the larger investment funds.

What’s your long-term plan?

We want to build Early Day Films to become recognised both to industry and audience, and our aim is to build up a portfolio of film titles and IP assets generating returns.

What are your most recent achievements?

We’re proud to be the only UK production company to have a film selected for the Berlinale Forum 2019 (Berlin International Film Festival). To premiere at a prestigious world class festival has been very significant. Since then we’ve garnered 5* reviews, including Mark Kermode describing BAIT as “One of the defining British films of the decade.”

It’s also been a runaway success, screening in over 15 global festivals and 130 cinemas nationwide, with box office sales of more than £370,000 in its opening six weeks.

What do you like about working with Richardson Swift?

Jon understands film investments and how our business works. He’s brilliant at working on share structures and takes time to explain things in a meaningful way, rather than just

saying ‘leave it with us’.

We aren’t accounting experts, so Richardson Swift have become true enablers in helping us to achieve our ambition. They’ve also been hugely supportive of our projects, as well as sponsoring our latest short film Hard, Cracked the Wind.

N.B. Since this interview, we’re delighted to say that Kate and Linn were awarded a second BAFTA after BAIT director Mark Jenkin won the Outstanding Debut category in 2020.

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As a small team, we can offer investors an insight into filmmaking that can be lost in the larger investment funds.

Kate

Early Day Films

Company highlights

  1. 2009

    Short film September wins BAFTA award

  2. 2009-17

    Developing & financing new features

  3. 2019

    BAIT only UK film selected for Berlinale

  4. Jun '19

    BAIT for Best British Film at Edinburgh Film Festival

  5. Sep '19

    Hard, Cracked The Wind released on festival circuit

  6. Oct '19

    BAIT for Best British Film at Screen Awards 2019

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