MEET THE TEAM
FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR
Craig McMahon, the founder of Elevate Production Finance, has two decades’ experience in theatrical and film production and finance with a well-earned reputation for bringing together financiers and artists to facilitate productions with profitable returns.
His experience and success on both sides of the finance equation gives him a uniquely holistic approach. As of the beginning of 2021 under Craig's vision, Elevate Production Finance has helped fund nine significant films with combined budget values of over AUD$220 million. Craig most recently served as executive producer on George Miller's Three Thousand Years of Longing, among other significant projects. Craig’s other credits include funding 2067 currently available on Netflix, Blacklight (starring Liam Neeson, in production) and the Australian comedy smash, Never Too Late.
He founded Forte Corp in 2016, which oversees the subsidiary companies, Elevate Production Finance and McMahon International. Today, Craig brings together a strong team of entertainment professionals who work across both McMahon International and its sister company, Elevate Production Finance, collaborating with a range of external creatives to bring magic to the stage and screen.
In 2009, Craig established the Serendipity Fund, which provides funding for a quality, sustainable education to children living in Papua New Guinea (PNG) whose lives have been affected by AIDS.
He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Regarded as an industry leader with over 15 years’ experience, London-based Charles Auty’s career includes over a decade at Ingenious Media with five years as managing director of their US$500 million independent film fund.
Charles brings exceptional experience to EPF. He is passionate about closing deals and finding the most creative and expedient ways to do so.
In a CV liberally peppered with Oscar winning and nominated films, Charles has been involved with everything from studio blockbusters such as Avatar, Life of Pi and Planet of the Apes, through to independent Academy Award®-nominated films such as Carol starring Cate Blanchett and Brooklyn featuring Saoirse Ronan.
Described by Variety as a "seasoned dealmaker", Charles is renowned for his pragmatic and flexible approach to closing deals. To date he’s worked on the successful financing of hundreds of independent films with a combined value of in excess of US$3 billion.
Charles’s financing credits also include the recent US success, War With Grandpa, starring Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and Uma Thurman, Terminal starring Margot Robbie, as well as Ben Wheatley’s High Rise with Tom Hiddlestone.
Charles was born and raised in Surrey and studied at the University of Oxford and University of Warwick. His favourite holiday is a week of full-on skiing in the Alps. Charles lives in North London with his wife, daughter and cocker spaniel, Biscuit.
HEAD OF PRODUCTION
Yvonne Collins is one of Australia’s most experienced and highly regarded line producers of film and television. She brings a wealth of practical production knowledge, budgeting prowess and excellent contacts in the film industry to EPF's skill set.
Over the years she has line-produced and production-managed numerous feature films and television drama series including The Silver Brumby starring Russell Crowe, Michael Rymer’s Angel Baby, featuring Jacqueline McKenzie and John Lynch and Andrew Dominik’s Chopper with Eric Bana. In addition, she has produced several documentaries including Paper Dolls which received a Certificate of Merit at the Hugo Television Awards in Chicago 2009 and was a nominee for Best History Production at History Makers in New York 2010.
She was co-producer of both seasons of the critically acclaimed television series The Circuit in 2006 and 2008, and line producer on several seasons of the hit Australian television series, Jack Irish, with Guy Pearce in the lead role.
Yvonne was co-producer/line producer on The King’s Daughter (2014) starring Pierce Brosnan and William Hurt, line producer/unit production manager on Greg McLean’s Jungle (2016) starring Daniel Radcliffe, line producer on the Spierig Brothers Winchester (2017) featuring Helen Mirren, line producer/unit production manager on PJ Hogan’s Mental (2012) starring Toni Collette and Liev Schreiber and unit production manager on Predestination starring Ethan Hawke.
Throughout her career, Yvonne has assessed productions and budgets for Film Victoria, the former Australian Film Commission, the former Film Finance Corporation, taught short courses in producing and production management, as well as having acted as an external consultant assessor to the Federal Government administrators of the Australian Screen Production Incentive.
Yvonne resides in Melbourne, Australia, where she began her career in network television. Having formed firm friendships in the industry, she regards nurturing relationships and offering assistance to local and international productions as being of the highest importance.
HEAD OF LEGAL AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS
Ted Cawrey is an entertainment and finance lawyer with more than 15 years’ experience working on the banking, regulatory, tax and contract law issues principally of screened entertainment.
Ted serves as group counsel for Forte Corp and heads up legal and business affairs for each of the group subsidiary companies, including Elevate Production Finance and McMahon International.
Ted developed his legal skills starting at the leading private practice for entertainment law in London, Olswang (now part of CMS). After more than eight years at Olswang, he was head-hunted to work in (and eventually lead) a team of 18 in-house lawyers at the highly-regarded media and entertainment investment house, Ingenious Capital Management, during which time he worked on more than 100 productions for film and television.
Ted left Ingenious to move to Australia in 2016 and spent four years at the boutique media, tech and entertainment law firm, Blueprint Law, where he re-qualified as an Australian solicitor and set up and ran the firm’s Brisbane office.
Ted has worked on films such as The Dressmaker, Slumdog Millionaire, Storm Boy, Dirt Music, Adrift, Danger Close and Selma.
Ted is passionate about what his clients create, and how they go about ‘making the magic’ - often in challenging, sometimes near-impossible, circumstances. He is admitted to practise the laws of both Australia and England & Wales.
Ted is also a director and company secretary on the board of the Gold Coast Film Festival and an AACTA member.
HEAD OF PRODUCTION INVESTMENT
With more than twenty years’ experience as an award-winning producer, executive producer and,
commissioner across features, documentary and television drama, Shana Levine’s recent credits include Consulting Producer on Anthony Hayes’ Gold, starring Zac Efron; Co-Producer on Tyler Atkins’
Bosch and Rockit (Luke Hemsworth), and Executive Producer on Jeffrey Walker’s The Portable Door (Christoph Walz and Sam Neil). She is currently Head of Production Investment at Elevate Production Finance.
She also produced and executive produced Charlie & Boots (Shane Jacobson, Paul
Hogan), Till Human Voices Wake Us (Guy Pearce, Helena Bonham Carter, Strange Bedfellows,
Salute, and Chasing Asylum by Academy award winner director, Eva Orner.
Shana has most recently been an original films and content strategy consultant for Australian
streaming service, Stan with upcoming projects to be announced. She has also been a production consultant for Screen Queensland.
She is also a former Senior Production Investment Manager and Senior Lawyer at Screen Australia,
where she managed feature film and television drama projects including The Dry, Ride Like A Girl,
Relic, Storm Boy, Picnic at Hanging Rock, Safe Harbour, Romper Stomper, Miss Fisher, Five
Bedrooms, Stateless, Safe Harbour, The Gloaming, Tomorrow when The War Began, The Unlisted,
The Bureau of Magical Things, and Bluey.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
With more than 20 years' experience in asset management, investment, fund-raising, budget control and other streams of financial services across a variety of sectors, David Demasi brings lateral scope and broad outreach to investors to Forte Corp and its subsidiaries, EPF and McMahon International included.
David is the founder of DBD Accountants, an accounting firm based in South Australia with more than 1200 clients, and a Director of Southern Cross Equity Group Pty Ltd, an asset management entity managing approximately $200 million worth of commercial property investments.
For the better part of two decades, he has acted as external CFO for the Flinders Foundation, a public benevolent institution, raising funds for Adelaide's Flinders Medical Centre as well as statewide and nationwide activities. David controlled the budget for the development of the $30 million Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer.
He is also on the finance committee of the Adelaide School of Arts.
David met Elevate Production Finance MD Craig McMahon after investing in a film while EPF was in its fledgling phase. Assisting set up EPF's financials helped David learn about the film industry in rapid time, and he relishes the new challenges of working in this field.
With his strong background in financial control and governance, along with common sense, David also acts from a burning desire to achieve a successful outcome for producers and investors.
He lives in Adelaide, South Australia.