Saskatchewan

Lloydminster's connection to Denzel Washington, Viola Davis film Fences

Wells Asset Management, based out of Lloydminster, helped finance the adaptation of August Wilson's play, Fences, to the big screen.

Executive producer calls movie industry 'a great challenge'

Dale Wells, CEO of Wells Asset Management, has helped finance the Denzel Washington-directed film Fences. (David Lee/Paramount Pictures/Associated Press)

Making a movie isn't as glamourous as people think it is, says Dale Wells.

Wells is CEO of Wells Asset Management, based out of Lloydminster. His company has helped finance the adaptation of August Wilson's play, Fences, to the big screen. The film is directed by and stars actor Denzel Washington and Academy Award-nominated actress Viola Davis.

The film has received critical praise and has been a box office success.

"We never dreamed it would be this big when we started," Wells said. 

"Our chests are pumped up pretty big right now."

Wells is the executive producer, which he says means he's "the money", for lack of a better word. Wells manages investment portfolios, one of which involves entertainment.

Wells said while he has been on the red carpet on New York and has been in the company of movie stars, he still has a job to do.

Part of his job, working in partnership with Aaron Gilbert of Bron Studios, is taking investors' money and putting it into what he calls "low-risk" investments, which should yield good, consistent returns. 

So, he hasn't had a chance to sit down and have a face-to-face meeting with the stars, though he has met with them. 

Wells has been involved with the money side of movies for approximately six years. 

"We weren't always successful from the beginning, as you can imagine," Wells said.

He called the movie industry unique, and said actually making money from films is "a great challenge".

"You don't just walk in, put money up for a movie and go make [a profit]," he said.

That is why he was uniquely drawn to Fences. Wells said Washington and the cast had agreed to "put off" their own income until Wells and company had made some money back.

"It was a no-brainer," he said from a business perspective.

"As long as I do my job and we make [investors] a good rate of return consistently, everybody's in favour of this."

With files from the Afternoon Edition

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