Saturday, March 6, 2010
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Saturday, April 5, 2008
Here's a shocked-demeanor article about how some dreadful "mistakes" have been made.
It seems Hedge funds have put billions into Hollywood, only to find that...
- Somehow the accounting may have been managed, in Hollywood's favor.
- Hollywood has projected large returns, that just didn't happen.
- In fact, some of these deals have lost hundreds of millions of dollars.
- A lot of these deals are not win/win! They seem to be designed - gasp - to be win/lose.
- Hollywood keeps the better films for itself.
To which I say, imagine that.
Almost unbelievable, isn't it?
Now you guys, I don't know who you've been playing with, but Hollywood has some rough characters in it. Always has.
They play hardball, they play to win, and they're gonna keep all your marbles.
Gosh, you guys. I'm sorry.
Hollywood, play nice!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
So now, the Hedge fund people and the Movie studio people have found each other, and have raised a new crop of little debentures, but they're growing apart. What shall we talk about? I'll answer my mail.
In answer to all the nice folks who asked if the writers' strike is affecting me - yes. It has made me cranky. Or, rather, all the questions about the writers' strike has made me cranky.
Here's how it works - the writers' strike does not affect movie production schedules. It affects television, unless it goes on for a few more months.
I may have said this before, but for those who don't know, the movie and television businesses are two different things. I work in movies. Why? Because theater is life, film is art, and television is furniture.
Here's a nice article from Variety, which explains the Hollywood / Hedge fund connection, how it provides movie money, and how it's wavering, and also how the writers' strike affects movie production schedules not at all.
If only it could also explain both magnetism and gravitation...
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Last time, as you remember, I wrote of IndieGoGo, a Filmmaker / Financier Hub site that looks promising. I've seen several of these projects over the past few years, configured to hopefully help filmmakers raise their needed funds online.
None so far works better than my ongoing system of Prospects and Investor syndicates. Sorry to mention that, but it's how I'm used to working, and because it works well, it's my benchmark.
Some weeks ago, IndieMaverick from the UK was announced, promising to connect Filmmakers and their projects, with Investors, who are able to invest small (>$25US) amounts in their chosen projects. Funds are only released to the Filmmakers once monies reach a predetermined budget threshhold.
Film profits (if any) are split 70 (Investors) / 30 (Filmmaker).
IndieMaverick receives none of the sales revenue. Filmmakers maintain creative control, and can sell the project to whomever they want.
IndieMaverick can offer the film as online download, after it has completed its theatrical or DVD distribution run. Every investor receives a limited edition DVD of the film.
IndieMaverick makes its money from online advertisements, paid upload charges, and by investing as-yet-unused monies at interest.
A problem I can see, as can anybody who's ever financed a whole feature from money dribs and drabs, is just how long it can take to accumulate $100 - 250k, especially in denominations as small as $25. A looooooooong time.
Another problem is, wherever money accumulates, so do parasites. So...
- Who's keeping track of all those tiny $25 lumps?
- How can revenues be steered and audited safely, so Filmmaker and Investors get proper divvies?
- How is movie-completion guaranteed?
We'll know these bold film financing experiments are taking off, when established name-Actors and Directors sign on, to do even modest projects. Their cachet will help attract Investors, but at >$25, will there ever be enough of them?
I wish them every success, but I'm not changing how I raise money, yet.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The web is a natural place for symbiotic relationships.
Writers and readers, Filmmakers and Financiers.
Predators and prey.
There's certainly overlap in those categories, so who's
who isn't clearly defined, but there's definitely stalking
and bounding, trailing and fleeing, even a spring prom
and courtship quadrille, thrown in for good measure.
The most recent Filmmaker / Financier symbiotic
environ is IndieGoGo.com, running berserkeley in
Berkeley, California. Their slogan is:
"Where Independent Happens."
Hmm. Given the state of the indy film world, and
what else "happens," I hope it gets a better slogan
eventually. The project itself is encouraging though,
and that's because of the people.
Danae Ringelmann co-founded and CFOs this film
funding dating service, hooking up filmmakers to
financiers and cineastes, to support all the filmmaking.
IndieGoGo works fundraising magic for indy filmmakers,
connecting new project money channels.
Danae was a Cowen & Co. securities analyst, focused on
entertainment and video game companies like Disney,
Pixar, Electronic Arts, and Lions Gate. She also worked at
J.P. Morgan's Investment Bank.
She is an MBA candidate at UC Berkeley's Haas School of
Business, and co-chaired the 2007 Global Social Venture
Competition, and still guides the Haas Digital Media &
Entertainment Club there at Cal.
Danae completed the CFA curriculum and graduated the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, as a Morehead Scholar.
That's a lot of scholastic activity. I hope school's out, and
Dana can now guide her film financing ship successfully.
IndieGoGo looks good, actually.
Filmmakers can learn about it here.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
I've been raising money for movies since I was 14 years old,
and now I'm 51.
I figure I can make my movies, the movies I want to make, for
another ten years.
During that time, I also want to teach others the tricks I've
learned over the years, and help them make the films they want
to make, rather than just settle for the films they think they
Hollywood CA USA