It was announced in 1999 that the three friends, Robert Carlyle, Antonia Bird and Mark Cousin were starting their own development company 4Way Pictures. It was also told that the Raindog Theatre Company, a theatre group which Robert Carlyle started together with some friends in 1991 was being rolled into 4Way Pictures which officially happened in 2002. Author Irving Welsh also joined as a partner in the company some time later.
The group obtained a first-refusal deal with BBC Films and boasts over 12 projects in development.
One of the first projects was supposed to be a semi-documentary about AIDS activist Rebekka Armstrong, a former Playboy Playmate who contracted HIV at 16. In which Bird’s first venture into screenwriting would happen. This documentary was never released and there is little information to find about it.
In 2000, Bird returned to television to direct Care (2000), a BBC film uncovering child abuse in British foster homes.
4Way Pictures has since the start been involved with several films and different productions since the start, one of them being director Antonia Bird’s credible examination of the men behind the 9/11 attacks The Hamburg Cell (2004).
Robert said this about the film, “I was really proud to be associated with that film.”
Other people involved in the company has been Robert’s friend, the musician Damon Albarn as well as Paul Weller.
Read 4 Way Pictures official company description.