X

Looks like you are a new visitor to this site. Hello!

Welcome to Hope For Film! Come participate in the discussion, and I encourage you to enter your email address in the sidebar and subscribe. It's free! And easy! If you have any suggestions on how to improve this website or suggestions for topics please don't hesitate to write in to any of the blogs.

You can also follow me on Twitter or Facebook.

(If you keep getting this message, you probably have cookies turned off.)

February 16 at 8:18am

The New Model Of Indie Film Finance, v2011.1, Foreign Value

By Ted Hope

Today continues my efforts to try to define the takeaway from the two most recent and robust US acquisition markets of Sundance & Toronto.  I (and hopefully we) will try to extrapolate from them where we are today.  How can we use our most recent experiences to determine the reality of our filmed dreams today?  How can we move to a more realistic model of indie film finance?

Foreign estimates still set the initial value for films, and it is CAST that is the predominate determinator for this value.  Before a film is shot, there are three types of actors that mean something to foreign buyers:

  • 1) stars that have been in big hits in the relevant territories;
  • 2) stars that have been in popular television shows in those territories;
  • 3) stars that can be expected to generate a great deal of publicity everywhere.

Other than stars, there are a few other aspects of a film that create foreign value.  Stars are another entity altogether from cast or actors — and it is really the stars that determine foreign value.

Are there any other factors that help shape what your project is determined to be worth overseas? Fortunately, yes!  The track record of the collaborators have impact on a distributor’s willingness to consider a project.  Experienced directors and producers have more foreign value, provided they have made films that have fairly recently been well received, either commercially or critically.  Similarly, proven cinematographers, designers, editors, composers, and vfx supervisors can mean something.

When the foreign markets were more hungry for US product, it was partially due to their paid and free television’s appetite for it.  Although that has been vastly diminished, if your film will fit well into foreign television programming, you have some security.  It is generally thought that comedies and “urban” (i.e. non-white) content doesn’t travel.  Nonetheless I have had buyers get excited about an office place comedy precisely because they feel like television but aren’t.  Similarly, as new niche channels develop, new audiences aggregate.  I still remain confident that as much as hip-hop transcended music to become a global lifestyle, “urban” programming can get some international  legs once it gets its foot in the door.

Every international territory struggles with the same challenges of expensive marketing.  When a project comes even with the hopes of decreasing some of those costs, buyers perk up. I have seen those results come both from aggregated audience action (i.e. twitter followers, facebook friends, and data lists) and transmedia builds.  Although there is not yet the model that can be used to demonstrate success, let alone predict it, these first efforts still increase the appetite for acquisition among buyers, and thus potentially also the value.

For there to be foreign value, you need to have the potential to sell.  The things that increase that potential also increase a film’s foreign value.  At acquisition markets you see this phenomenon in full play as film’s that appear to be headed to a subsequent (and more major) festival, get snapped up far more readily.

Tomorrow Friday, we will look at why a film might hope to get acquired in the USA and where else can funding come from in the states.

  • Digg
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • Print

64 Comments

leave a comment
  1. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve bookmarked it for later!

  2. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    Great web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

  3. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

  4. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the greatest blogs online. I will highly recommend this blog!

  5. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    Excellent article. I absolutely love this website. Keep writing!

  6. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    After looking at a few of the articles on your blog, I really appreciate your way of blogging. I added it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Take a look at my website too and let me know your opinion.

  7. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is an issue that too few people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I came across this during my search for something regarding this.

  8. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    That is a good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate info… Thanks for sharing this one. A must read article!

  9. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    Can I just say what a relief to find an individual who actually knows what they are talking about online. You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people should look at this and understand this side of your story. It’s surprising you are not more popular because you surely have the gift.

  10. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    Having read this I thought it was very enlightening. I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

  11. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    I blog quite often and I really appreciate your content. The article has really peaked my interest. I will bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once a week. I subscribed to your RSS feed too.

  12. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    I’m very pleased to discover this website. I wanted to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely savored every part of it and I have you book marked to check out new things on your web site.

  13. www / Feb 16 at 8:18am

    Right here is the right web site for everyone who wishes to understand this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that’s been written about for a long time. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. new hip hop remixes
Leave a Comment

This site could not have been built without the help and insight of Michael Morgenstern. My thanks go out to him.

Help save indie film and give this guy a job in web design or film!