Q&A: Charles Ferguson, Filmmaker
In 1996, Charles Ferguson sold the startup company he founded to Microsoft for $133 million.
He was 41, had $14 million worth of growing Microsoft stock in his pocket after paying off investors – and was thoroughly exhausted after barely sleeping the…
In 1996, Charles Ferguson sold the startup company he founded to Microsoft for $133 million. He was 41, had $14 million worth of growing Microsoft stock in his pocket after paying off investors - and was thoroughly exhausted after barely sleeping the previous year. Then for the next eight years, he wrestled with the question that relatively young entrepreneurs rarely consider until they hit it big. In 2004, Ferguson told several journalist friends and some contacts in the film industry that he wanted to make a movie about the U.S. occupation. Don't do it, was the unanimous reply. Do something easy for your first film. Make it local. Plus, Ferguson said he was told, there are 10 other filmmakers pursuing this idea. So he waited. A year later, nobody was making this movie, George W. Bush had been re-elected and as Ferguson said, "There still was very little good discussion about the nature of the occupation, the nature of American policy in conducting the occupation in the media. And I thought, '... I'm going to make this movie.' " Having cash in the bank gave him the power to do just that and fulfill his childhood dream of making a movie. He financed the film's entire $2 million budget.