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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. [...]
by Andrew Einspruch
Filmmaker Andrew Einspruch attended Screen Forever 2013, the conference of Screen Producers Australia, this past year and wrote a series of articles for the event, which he’s kindly allowing us to reprint here. These articles originally appeared in Screen Hub, the daily online newspaper for Australian film and television professionals.
A session at Screen Forever looked at some of the ins and outs of financing a feature film with some amount of money from the USA. Andrew Einspruch reports that success factors range from making sure the Aussie elements of the project work to developing credibility as a producer.
One of the key differences between making a film with a USA-based company versus, say, a Canadian, British or French firm, is there is no official co-production treaty. In fact, co-pro treaties are in place specifically to counter the might of Hollywood.
Even so, plenty of Australian productions have a USA component, and the lack of official co-pros simply means the deals have to stack up on some other basis. These elements were explored in a session called “Working with the USA: the Eagle and the Kangaroo”, moderated by lawyer Craig Emanuel of Loeb & Loeb, and which brought together producer Tony Ginane of FG film Productions, sales agent Clay Epstein of Arclight Films, distributor and EP Greg Coote of Larrikin and China Lion, and Tracey Vieira, representing Ausfilm.
The bad news is that the USA remains difficult terrain. It is still very hard to pre-sell North American rights, and the trend with studios (as reported previously) is they are making fewer, more expensive, mostly tentpole films. This, in turn, puts pressure on North American distribution, and forces projects to get financed without it. [...]
by Kirsty Stark (Producer), Ella Macintyre (PMD) and Victoria Cocks (Writer/Director)
Part 3. Financing: Generating Certainty Online
Once we had proven Wastelander Panda was a viable concept and had an audience (through the success of the Prologue), we needed to find a way to finance future stages of the project. Still aiming to eventually take it to television, we looked at what we had done so far, and assessed the likelihood of getting funding, keeping in mind that we were first-time filmmakers. Speaking to experienced producers from the local industry, as well as looking at the questions being raised online from viewers, we realized that we still had a lot to prove before we would be able to attract any kind of significant finance: [...]
by Andrew Einspruch
Filmmaker Andrew Einspruch recently attended the Australian International Documentary Conference and wrote a series of articles for the event, which he’s graciously allowed us to reprint here. These articles originally appeared in Screen Hub, the daily online newspaper for Australian film and television professionals.
Cathy Henkel is a producer, director, academic and researcher. She brings all of those skills to bear on her documentary projects, and recently has been looking into what it takes to navigate an independent path as a filmmaker. In a session called Riding the Freedom Streams at this year`s Australian International Documentary Conference (AIDC), she invited documentary makers to brave the waters of a freer path.
Starting off with her nautical theme, Henkel said that you have to decide what kind of vessel you want your business to be.
One option is to wade into the main stream, the province of vessels she called the Good Ship Enterprise. The AIDC is primarily devoted to established and wannabe Enterprise ships. These businesses get their money from three main sources: broadcast pre-sales and distribution advances, government (grants or investments), and the Producer Offset. They are larger businesses with larger staff and larger overheads, and they have worked out how to get deals with the broadcasters and distributors, whose pre-sales and advances are needed to trigger government money. [...]
We have two approaches:
Written by Michael R. Barnard
The Internet enlarged the playing field for securities offerings, whether valid or not, and for potential investors, whether knowledgeable or not.
How do you legally and ethically access that hoarded cash and encourage its investment in your well-developed movie project so you can hire people and make your movie? [...]
Written by Michael R. Barnard
FILMMAKERS, IT’S 2013. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR JOBS ACT IS?
Part 2 of 3 parts.
For the definition of “Accredited Investors,” see http://www.sec.gov/info/smallbus/secg/accredited-investor-net-worth-standard-secg.htm
In simple terms – explanations that are more complex require attorneys – the process to raise money for your movie by legally offering securities is referred to generally as a “Private Placement Memorandum,” which usually costs about $15,000 or more in time and fees.
When you have your expensive PPM, what can you do with it? [...]