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Financing an independent film is no joke. For those of you who have gone through this process, you know just how grueling it is — taking meetings and phone calls with potential investors, entering your script into conferences and competitions — it gets overwhelming.
We’ve seen and experienced this firsthand with the films we’ve put together, and with clients as well. The process for our films and our colleague’s films begin with a process of cutting, compromise, and parring the script down to the very essence of the story.
While attending this fall’s film festival circuit and working with writers across the globe in mentorship programs, we saw a lot of great stories get wrapped up $50m-$100m bows.
Coming from film finance and production backgrounds, we were able to help these writers par their screenplays down to reasonable budgets while keeping the essence of their story in tact, and conveying one simple truth — the essence of every story costs nothing. [...]
History of the film business & financial industries
The film business and financial industry have forever gone hand in hand — even though wide spread public knowledge long viewed a separation between the two structures for many years. Regardless of how far the business of Hollywood, the independent sectors and the newly emerging platform may seem, even in the earliest days of Studio production – financing still came from Wall Street. [...]
By Paul Osborne
There’s been a recent battle-cry within the independent film community – lead by folks like Ted Hope and Jon Reiss – urging us filmmakers to publish the revenue generated by our movies, specifically in regard to new forms of distribution. Unlike the weekly box office reports of studio films, the actual figures for indies, particularly those using newer release methods such as Video-On-Demand, are hard to come by. Without them, and subsequently without any way of determining the success or failure of specific releases, it makes perfecting and improving new avenues of distribution quite difficult. How do you know what’s working, and what’s not, if you don’t see the results? [...]
By Charles Peirce
Casting is one of the obvious essentials of any film, and like all aspects of the process worth examining: the assumptions that define it and the possibilities of how it might be used to best advantage. Casting’s key place comes in financing, where attaching the right star allows raising money based on their monetary value to specific regions or demographics. Enough attached stars offer the promise of pre-sales in distribution, and enough pre-sales can then determine a base budget. This would seem to follow the simple logic of a star’s popularity guaranteeing viewers, a shortcut in the task of finding an audience. [...]
By Charles Peirce
There’s a certain watercooler betting-pool mentality that accompanies the box office results of movies, as though their success were completely encapsulated in a single opening weekend’s results. This despite the fact that everybody knows Hollywood accounting is particularly slippery, that budgets never reveal the accompanying marketing costs of films, that foreign market revenue is increasingly important to the success of many films, and that ancillarly sales can be a primary rather than secondary revenue stream. Nonetheless, we seem to equate box office numbers with whether a film worked, whether it’s worth anyone’s time, and whether it’s going to ruin somebody’s career or save it. [...]