Mike Goodridge – From HFPA to Award-Nominated Producer

Former journalist and HFPA member Mike Goodridge has come a long way from the days when he was attending press conferences and voting for the Golden Globes. After returning to his UK home to edit a film magazine, he eventually joined Protagonist Pictures as CEO. In 2017, he founded Good Chaos, a production and management company with a focus on ambitious films and TV from around the world. He was executive producer on Jasmila Zbanic’s Oscar-nominated Quo Vadis, Aida (2020) and a producer on Ruben Östlund’s Golden Globe and Oscar-nominated film, Triangle of Sadness (2022). Under his new company banner, Goodridge has already produced ten films and worked with directors including Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdssòn, Sudabeh Mortezai and Baltasar Kormákur. Next up is the Finnish film, Sisu, directed by Jelmari Helander and starring Jorma Tomilla as an ex-soldier-turned-miner who is ambushed in the Lapland wilderness by a group of Nazi soldiers who want the gold he found. The film has a wide release across the U.S. on April 28, and Goodridge spoke to us on the phone from Paris, where he was attending meetings about another potential project.


How did you end up becoming a producer?

I was in LA for 12 years and then came back to the UK to run (film business magazine) Screen International, but I think at some point I got a bit bored because there was a kind of nasty journalism coming into the picture and I didn’t want to be in there anymore. I was exploring other things and I got headhunted for a job to run Protagonist, the sales and finance company in London. That was a massive learning curve for me, because I learned everything about how you could assemble all the financial pieces of a film and how you could sell distribution rights. I worked on about 70 films in five years, so it was a huge sea change in my career.

Why did you decide to leave Protagonist and go out on your own?

I loved working with filmmakers and had already got to work on films like The Lobster (2015), Love & Friendship (2016), The Florida Project (2017), American Honey (2016) and Lady MacBeth, so I’d had wonderful experiences. But at the same time, Amazon and Netflix were coming in and changing that business of independent film in such a spectacular way, so eventually I thought that the only real way to control my destiny was to create my own films as a producer. I got a job running the Macau International Film Festival in China, which was fun, and it also allowed me a few months off each year where I could start developing my own movies.

What guides your choices as a producer?

For every one project you get made, five or ten don’t work out so I began attaching myself to other things and started working with other directors and producers I admired. I want to be very collaborative in everything I do, so I got involved with Ruben Östlund on Triangle of Sadness and now I’m involved with Sisu, which is one of my favorites. With Sisu, we were making a non-English film but there’s not much dialogue, obviously, so we thought we had a shot at something we could sell if we had the Nazis speak in English. We’re thrilled (U.S. distributor) Lionsgate is making so much noise with the film there.

Where did the name Good Chaos come from?

I had spent months trying to find a name for the company but all of them were already taken until somebody called me up and said, “How’s it going?” I said, “Oh, you know, chaos as usual,” and he said, “Good chaos or bad chaos?” and I said, “Good chaos” – and that was it!

How do you think your time as a HFPA member and Golden Globe voter helped you as a producer?

Being a member of the HFPA was a huge experience for me and a huge learning opportunity. You are routinely exposed to being around the biggest and the best in the industry, so it was an incredible advantage for me that I’ll never forget. You’re not only exposed to the best directors and the best actors, but you also rub shoulders with the studio heads, and that time meant everything to me.