Money, fast money, 1980s money. That’s all we knew about Underground Cinema‘s event, ‘MONEY’.
Needless to say, with my background being in finance I was curious. What could the movie be? Oliver Stone’s original Wall Street? Too obvious. Or perhaps only too obvious for the finance-initiated. This movie was our gospel. I could quote Gordon Gecko’s ‘greed is good’ speech word-for-word, and I, once upon a time, agreed with every word that glorious bastard said! Or perhaps it was Brewster’s Millions, Boiler Room, The Wolf Of Wall Street? I won’t lie to you, a part of me was rooting for Trading Places of Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd fame. What I wouldn’t give to trade some pork belly.
We lined up on an (another) icy Melbourne eve near the Rialto on Collins Street. The ladies were permed, shoulder pads were out, and the guys sported their best power suits. I love the crowds that attend Underground Cinema. They’re the type of people I would love to invite over for a dinner party. The type that immerse themselves in an experience and enhance all that’s going on around them. Even better is the diversity: old, young, hipsters, fashionistas — everyone comes together to enjoy and create a unique experience.
We huddled into the lifts and were whisked up to level 14. The induction room. Seated in old-school presentation format, senior brokers revved us into a frenzy and gave us a crash course on the hard sell. I was put in the team that was tasked with selling penny stocks. These are the stocks that sell for one cent and you hope they go to two. We literally sat with our 1980s Apple computers, cold-called extensions (linked to other UGC-goers) and tried to convince people to buy the no-hoper stocks. Incredible! I sold 90k worth of stock (naturally) and loved the interaction. [Note from Theresa: I sold lots of penny stocks, too, and got promoted three times!] Although when I started talking three-stage DCF with a six percent terminal growth rate into perpetuity, I felt like I may have broken the spirit of the actress on the other side…
Post our boiler room session we were whisked upstairs to rock out to live 80s hits and ate and drank just a touch more.
Update: here’s what the experience was like. (Keep an eye out for Theresa’s vox pop at the end!)
The movie itself was across the river at Crown (warm and oh-so-comfy!). Before the lights went out I realised what movie we were going to see. After the experience, did it even really matter…?
Rukmal (Ruki) is The Plus Ones’ Managing Director. He looks after the marketing, technology, and finance areas of TPO and loves nothing more than analysing data and optimising campaigns. Okay, perhaps building a global digital media company is a touch more interesting. While he rarely writes articles these days, preferring to leave it to our incredible staff writers, he can occasionally tap his right brain.