Shortly before firing me, Ibrahim asked me how much money I thought must have been spent so far on the production of “Medinah”.
Me: “About $8 million?”
Ibrahim looks at me like he has a bad taste in his mouth. He asks me to try again.
Me (innocently): “Well, $12 million, maybe? Maybe $15?”
At this point, Ibrahim gave up. Clearly this conversation had not gone as he had hoped.
I was supposed to say something like the $30 million I knew the investors had given to ATG by this point (I knew because Ibrahim had told me himself months before, but had clearly forgotten). But this was a company that had shot nothing, that when it came to sets had very nearly built nothing, that when it came to converting an ex-sports hangar into a sound stage had changed nothing, that when it came to hiring writers to write the 20 episodes they chose to use unproven names who were probably paid next to nothing.
$30 million to do nothing? Yeah, pull the other one.
So I thought it might be interesting to see how ATP’s use of “Medinah’s” funds might stack up against what should have been done with those funds. This page shall break down how money should have been spent (in view of what ATP had so far achieved when the aforementioned conversation took place) against how much they have actually been given.
But let’s begin with an illustration or two;
Almost a year ago, we were told we would be relocating to Qatar. Bob was asked to buy cardboard boxes to ship Art Dept gear. He went to a shop and found about thirty boxes for about $14.00. Good, right? Except that he was then asked to go back, measure them, photograph them, and to send the information to the Procurement Dept. Several weeks later, the instruction came back from ATG to buy the boxes for a new agreed price of $12.00. We calculated that, by the time you had factored in Bob’s labour, and ATG’s labour, the boxes had in fact cost over $400. Hence a total saving of minus $398!
There are many such stories about ATG’s work practices. From the work table that should have cost about $200.00 but which in fact cost over $50,000.00. (click here to read about this sorry saga!).
Thanks to ATP’s stupidity, a work table that should have cost about $200 eventually cost nearly $50,000!
Indeed, I did a budget around September 2015 that showed that if ATP did not get their act together and shooting did not happen before March 2016, it would have cost the investors over $500,000 in wasted wages.
ATP knew all this, so why didn’t they stop it?
That will become transparently clear over the course of this blog. Meantime, the aforementioned numbers will be added to this page within the next few weeks.