Biography Part II ~ Filmmaking, Business and Politics
This blog is a continuation of my biography. Please click here for my Early Years.
In 1973 Geoffrey Wells and his friend drove to Mozambique, and while there took a river tour to see the hippos on the Limpopo River. This was the year before Salazar’s totalitarian regime fell in Portugal.
The Carnation Revolution that followed became the genesis of his novel, A FADO FOR THE RIVER.
In 1980 Geoffrey immigrated to the U.S., settling in Los Angeles; gaining experience in the crafts of film making–working on commercials as a set carpenter and on features as set decorator, production assistant, and location scout. He helped out on student films (as assistant editor) prior to being accepted in the producing program at the American Film Institute. In order to do this, he worked the graveyard shift as a room service waiter at a Beverly Hills boutique hotel catering to rock stars and celebrities. He glimpsed the after-hours hotel life of The Rolling Stones, The Cars, Styx, Miles Davis and Richard Burton (a year before his death), among others.
In 1984 he graduated in Producing from the American Film Institute. While working for film distribution companies, he developed and optioned properties for feature films, and worked as assistant to the director Robert Ellis Miller, where his primary responsibility was reading and critiquing film script submissions from agents. This was also his education in the interdependent nature of Hollywood productions; concluding that controlling and owning Content was the only way to ensure success. By writing short stories he began to learn the craft of writing.
In 2001, Geoffrey wrote and produced a short animated film The Shadow of Doubt with his wife, Cynthia Wells (animator and director).
The entire film was produced on PCs as an extended CGI effect. It won six awards, and screened at 26 film festivals, worldwide. This was followed in 2004 with the first writing on A FADO FOR THE RIVER.
The novel was first released as an ebook in April 2011.
Geoffrey’s professional life started in advertising. He rose to Art Director on the key accounts of Coca-Cola and L’Oreal at McCann-Erickson in Johannesburg (South Africa), producing print, outdoor and television commercials for the southern African market. The film making process that went into making commercials fascinated him; especially editing and post-production.
After immigrating to the US in 1980, he returned to his advertising roots as Director of Marketing and PR for an independent film distribution company. It was during this period that he first began using the emerging business software tools of spreadsheets and databases.
Pursuing his interest in software development, he joined the Walt Disney Company’s Buena Vista Television, in the Research Department. He was promoted to Director of Information Technology (IT). He headed up development of software for television which included a syndication system, managing revenue and licensing of TV shows such as Home Improvement, The Golden Girls and others. He spent the next eleven years at Walt Disney Pictures and Television; managing software development of syndication, pay (cable) television, a film rights system, and satellite scheduling systems. He then spent the next six years at Disney’s ABC Television as Vice President of Information Technology, managing IT at the ABC owned television stations, before moving to Fox Television Stations in a similar role as Chief Information Officer and VP of IT.
Geoffrey Wells resigned from corporate life in 2012. He and his wife moved to Southold, NY. In their first year Geoffrey entered politics, running for town Trustee.
Mr. Sanders edged Democrat Geoffrey Wells, 60, by just 578 votes. It was the slimmest margin of defeat for a losing candidate in a Trustee race since 2001, when Republican candidate Henry Smith was defeated by just 294 votes for a third open seat. ~ Suffolk Times, 11/21/2013.
Following the election in November 2013, Geoffrey focused on THE FACES IN THE RAIN, completing the first draft in June 2014.