A prominent figure of the beleaguered British film industry. Woolley, a former journalist, and entrepreneur Nik Powell co-founded Palace Pictures in 1981. This successful distribution company brought to England such films as "Diva" (1982) and "Blood Simple" (1984). He then moved into production with Powell and Chris Brown and enjoyed critical and commercial success with features including Neil Jordan's "A Company of Wolves" (1985) and "Mona Lisa" (1986) and Chris Bernard's "A Letter to Brezhnev" (1985). Largely due to the steadily worsening economic environment for British filmmakers, Palace went bankrupt in 1992. With partial funding from corporate giant Polygram, Woolley and Powell went on to form Scala Productions, named after London's Scala cinema, where Woolley had begun his film career as programmer and manager.