I went down to breakfast today and bumped into Dominic Smithers, Ray, Terry and Andy. They told me that Simon and Chris had been in the lobby last night and Simon said that Talal had called him and told him we are definitely relocating to Doha. And that we are doing so ASAP.
I had a long chat with Andy who wondered, like me, if ATP might insist we sign the contract before leaving. So I texted Chris and asked him to send me his BBC contracts (which he had previously offered to do) and his revised ATP contract (if he has it). Chris texted me saying he’d sort that out. He then called saying I should suggest to everyone that they make a list of their ‘demands’ tomorrow. Things like higher per diems. Five day weeks during prep. Proper transport around Qatar. Paid holidays and flights. Basically, all the stuff any normal production company would have already given us.
So tomorrow we will be listing our collective requirements, possibly revising the contract accordingly, and – well, that’s it.
Of course, Qatar costs a LOT more than Jordan. If the Studio really wants it shot there, they need to spend a LOT more money. But there’s the slightly sticky problem of that contract ATP signed where they promised to deliver for about $40 million regardless of where they shoot. So we may be back here in a month when they realise there is no way they can shoot it there for the budget they have.
Unless of course, they realise that giving more money to ATG is just throwing money down the toilet.