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snowbank

Platinum Contributor
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Aug 10, 2007
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Anyone here have experience in this? I was approached by someone who needed a relatively small amount of money to fund a project they're doing, and they seem to think they can do very well with it, but I don't know anything about the business, and right now don't have a lot of time to learn about it(so probably won't be investing in it right now), but curious if anyone here has done this/knows anything about it.
 
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Peter2

Fastane Legend. RIP.
Aug 2, 2007
408
186
Palm Beach, FL
Don't assume you're going to make a cent. Most movies, Hollywood or independent, big budget or small, lose money. For every Titanic there are loads more that perform as well as the actual Titanic. Profit margins for the movie industry are 10% at best. And for independent films, the numbers are even bleaker: No more than a tenth of the 1,000 or so independent movies made each year turn a profit.
 

werbl

New Contributor
May 3, 2008
57
10
Racine, WI
Investing in movies is something I have been interested in as well. About a year ago I heard a commercial on the radio for a company called FlickInvest. Supposedly they allow you to invest a smaller amount of money in any particular movie than is typical. Anyway, I made a mental note of the web address, checked it out online and signed up to receive an information packet. A phone number was mandatory. This put up a red flag, but I listed it anyway.

About a week afterwords I get a phone call from some guy with the company. He said he had a few "further questions" before he could send out the packet. I answered some very basic stuff, and immediately he launched into a hard sell, trying (supposedly) to get money for this indie movie called Thrillseekers. Long story short, I never received the packet, and about once a month I get a voicemail from the company telling me about another can't-miss new project they have in the works. Another thing - aside from their own website, I could find absolutely no information about the company. Sorry I couldn't be of more help Snowbank, but watch out these guys!
 

equityguru

New Contributor
Oct 23, 2008
3
1
58
Not true. You can make a substantial profit investing in films especially if you leverage Federal/State tax incentives to offset your investment where you can theoretically hedge it up to 100% using Section 181, etc

I know one company that structures hybrid film investments but don't know if its hype or hooplah--noci pictures entertainment

Lots of self-made billionaires like Fred Smith and hedge funds like Elliot Associates invest in film because it stimulates economic development and creates jobs.

Any one who says you can lose money in the film business is 100% right--and that applies to the majority of investors who blindly write a check for 100% of a budget and don't leverage their investments with Section 181 or state tax credits>

A lot of larger film funds are tanking because its impossible to make profit on films over 15-20 million. Anything under that and as long as you are not investing
more than 30% of budget, you should see your money back from DVD and foreign
 
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servicefly

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Sep 20, 2008
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It seems to me that product placement could fund an entire Indie film. Everything from set to set could be provided by the Advertiser with funds as well. As long as subtlety is used well, I don't see how this couldn't be possible? Of course you need a constant negotiator for the Advertisers, but nothing worth doing has no difficulties.
 

Z5 FILMS

Contributor
Aug 13, 2007
461
76
The Woodlands, TX
Don't do it if you're expecting a financial return. The returns in investing in indie films come in other forms, not monetary returns.

Think of it as investing in a brand new NASCAR race team with a driver nobody has heard of, and a crew nobody has heard of. This team that has no money plans to race against the likes of Ganassi Racing, Hendrick Motorsports and Roush Racing. All of them well experienced and well funded.

Would you expect to make money if you gave this new race team $100,000 as an investment? No, you would expect that $100K to go up in smoke. You would give it to them because you love NASCAR and want to be a part of the NASCAR racing scene. Same thing with filmmaking. If you have no love for it, don't care about the process and are just looking for a financial return, you're wasting your money. The odds are extremely high that your investment is going to go up in smoke and you will get nothing in return. Anyone that tells you different is telling you a big fat lie.

Tell them you will invest if they put their life savings into the film. I bet they run out the door.
 

Filmfinancier

PARKED
Mar 9, 2009
1
0
73
Investing in film and movie projects can be fun and profitable.

As mentioned by Z5 FILMS one should expect the filmmaker to make a substantial investment, let’s say half of the investment to show that he has a strong and serious commitment to the film project.

As JScott mentions if you don’t have the experience to pick the winners you are going in blind but it can be fun. Especially when you're sitting at the premier and you see your name pop up listed as "Executive Producer"... :tiphat::tiphat::tiphat:

I agree with equityguru in what he has to say here. You can make a substantial profit investing in films especially if you leverage Federal/State tax incentives to offset your investment where you can theoretically hedge it up to 100% using Section 181, etc.

I know one company that structures hybrid film investments but don't know if its hype or hooplah--noci pictures entertainment. Lots of self-made billionaires like Fred Smith and hedge funds like Elliot Associates invest in film because it stimulates economic development and creates jobs.

Any one who says you can lose money in the film business is 100% right--and that applies to the majority of investors who blindly write a check for 100% of a budget and don't leverage their investments with Section 181 or state tax credits>

The sweet spot for Independent film and movie investing is between 10 and 35 million dollars; Anything over 35 million scares the distributors.

In addition to Noci Films there is also Megahit Films Inc., a simple Google search will send you right there. Megahit Films only accepts high net worth investors, but takes movie fun a step further in the glamour of the film and movie making process. Making opportunities for the investors to have their Hollywood dream, what ever it might be, acting, directing, hanging out with there favorite celebrity, and red carpet all the way.

Megahit Films expertise is in picking winning films and movies. The company uses a professional Hollywood selection committee to pick films and movies that have big potential.

Technology is bringing new opportunities in distribution. I suggest you look at new concept in distribution, one such company is moviematrixs.com. There are opportunities in indie megahits in the sweet spot at 10 to 35 million and now there are going to be more opportunities in “long tail distribution.†Which will also allow Megahit Films to hand pick some really low budget productions; Financing from one million up to ten million dollars.

I just read two articles suggesting that 2009 will be the best year ever for investing in films. “Investing in films It makes sense says Norm Waitt Jr.†and the New York Times Scene Stealer “Suddenly, Hollywood Seems a Conservative Investment.â€
Hollywood dreams to all.

Richard William Wallace
 
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MJ DeMarco

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Welcome to the board
 

RJ Amort

New Contributor
Sep 15, 2009
10
5
It's really all about the marketing and the business/distribution plan. A lot of filmmakers make movies that aren't able to be sold, because the filmmaker doesn't plan ahead to hit the target audience. Also, it is important to know how much money it really takes to make a movie, someone who knows how to do everything involved can make a 2 million dollar movie for $50,000..., but if they are just a Director or Writer, then they will need to pay others to do the rest of the stuff, and it gets costly when you need an editor to sit and do a bunch of tedious work, on expensive equipment, for 85 hours. The creative part is the part that gets payed the most attention to..., but it's really about knowing the business of film distribution. A lot of bad movies get sold, because the folks behind it know how to sell it..., and a lot of good movies never see the light of day, because the filmmaker didn't know what to do with their film once they made it.
There is also one other little piece of advise that has been around for decades, but rings true in most every circumstance... Horror Movies Always Make A Profit!!!
I wrote two horror shorts (scripts under 60 minutes) and sold the rights to a small studio for a friendly amount... I've used that money to buy some equipment, and have been working on my first feature film that I plan to shoot and self release, as I have now seen what kind of cash can be made from low budget horror movies. A $50,000 horror film can turn out a $300,000-$500,000 profit in under a year, and this is in terms of first time filmmakers making a film and self releasing it..., if you have a few films under your belt, then you can start looking into selling to video stores, online retailers, etc. (they like to buy films from companies that have more than one film in their library)... you can start looking at selling twice as many, or even more, if you can get it in a solid retailer like Best Buy/Walmart/Target/etc. A competent filmmaker can knock out 2-3 films a year if they are eager and thirsty enough... 90 days from beginning to end, within a few years you could have a nice assortment of films in a production company, and a business worth several million. I've always had a passion for cheesy horror filmmaking (I've been making monster movies since childhood)... and a friend of mine who went to film school, and dropped out to become a tattoo artist, once said that a classmate mentioned that she wanted to make horror films, and some of the students thought this was rediculous and wasn't "real filmmaking"... and the professor spoke up and said "There is a reason there are always a bunch of horror movies on the shelves at Blockbuster, people love them, always have, always will"....
I couldnt say it any better.
But like I said, it's about knowing the business more than anything...
I'd be happy to talk to anyone who has thought about making their own film, or investing in such a project..., might be able to toss ya some pointers. You can hit me up at RJAmort @ yahoo.com (<remove the spaces)
 
Dec 3, 2009
4
0
Films are usually a good tax break if thanks to Section 181. The shooting location will also determine if there are additional incentives from the state or city.

I'm planning a shoot in Oregon and am getting incentives from the Oregon Production Investment Fund. The Oregon Production Investment Fund offers qualifying film or television productions a 20% cash rebate on production-related goods and services paid to Oregon vendors and a 10% cash rebate of wages paid for work done in Oregon including both Oregon and non-Oregon residents. The labor portion of this rebate can be combined with the Greenlight Oregon program for an effective labor rebate of 16.2%. These are cash rebates not tax credits.
 
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Dec 3, 2009
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Product placement isn't as easy as it sounds. The companies I've been in contact with require a PG-13 rating and A-list talent. For a film making a $50M movie, that's fairly easy. For a film with a $2M budget, not so much. Even if you have name actors, they might not qualify as A-listers.
 

Arri435

PARKED
Apr 3, 2010
3
0
Like all investment opportunities, there are a plethora of considerations. With film, I have known investors that have lost all of their investment and others that have seen their investment grow in ways they never thought possible.

First, ask your filmmaker if they have information on the type of tax incentives available (IRS Section 181). Also, make sure that they are complying with SEC regs with respect to private and/or public offerings (most likely this will be a private offering).

Next, look at the experience/past work of the filmmaker(s). Even if this is their first feature film they may still be a good investment if they have the right background. Years of "on-the-set" experience do count. Unfortunately, the lower costs accociated with digital technology has opened the doors to a lot of wannabe types who have no practical experience or knowledge with how a set works. Bad or uninformed set management usually translates into wasted time and money... YOUR MONEY! So, make sure they have a nice work history and that they're not just another 20-something with a script and a dream. By the way... awards do count. If they have a list of credible awards to their name that means their work warrants respect.

Talk in detail about their distribution plan. What kind of demo information do they have on their intended audience? If they're going the festival route, how much of the budget is set aside for submissions, travel, prints & ads, and so on. They need to have solid festival release targets in the works if they plan on going that route. They need to know if at these festivals if booths are available, if they're able to appear as speakers, etc.

They also need to understand how digital distribution works with respect to iTunes and other like outlets. What's the split?!!!

Good festival and digital distro plans can result in that coveted major distribution contract.

I've been at this for years and have had a wonderful career. What makes it difficult though is "filmmakers" (and I use that term loosely) luring people into porly researched, poorly planned projects which result in lost investments and negative experiences. They make it hard on the pros who understand the business of the art and who work every day with the best interest of their investors in mind.

Feel free to contact me with any questions.
 

tx_angel

PARKED
Oct 8, 2010
2
0
New investor

Hello all, I am considering investing in a film for my first time. I know the writer, producer, and actors and they are all great, the director is especially successful. Is anyone experienced enough in film investing that I could send them the business plan so they could tell me if it would be a good decision?

Thanks
 
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Russ H

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tx angel-

Lots of great advice in the posts above. Biz plans won't tell you if the film is a hit or a flop-- not even the biggest studios can figure that one out.

Films are glamorous and showy-- many small investors get involved for the romance of the industry (festivals, premieres, red carpets, awards, etc).

But you probably know-- the overall success rate of most films from a profit standpoint-- is dismal.

If you had a guaranteed audience that would buy it-- and you shot direct to video-- that route has been used w/some success.

But these days, doing a film and successfully selling it? Tough.

Ask yourself this: If I lost all my money-- never got a penny back-- would I still love doing this?

If your answer is yes, then consider proceeding-- and acting like you need to get at least 100% ROI.

If you can't afford to lose it all-- seriously consider other ventures.

Just my 2¢

I've never invested in film, but I designed screening rooms (movie theaters) for 27 years, so I hung out w/ a lot of film folks.

-Russ H.
 

tx_angel

PARKED
Oct 8, 2010
2
0
budget

It is a book to film movie, it has a guaranteed audience from the lgbt community and films similar have been selling out the film festivals. It will go straight to dvd. Of the 500,000 budget I am considering 10,000.
 

Russ H

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It is a book to film movie, it has a guaranteed audience from the lgbt community and films similar have been selling out the film festivals. It will go straight to dvd. Of the 500,000 budget I am considering 10,000.

Provided you have a decent share, this sounds fine-- esp if you won't miss the $10K.

What will you do when they get half way done (or all the way done) and need more money from you?

Best to have the answer for that one NOW-- not when it happens.

(note that I didn't say "if"-- I said "when"). :smxB:

-Russ H.
 
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RJ Amort

New Contributor
Sep 15, 2009
10
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I have a friend who has been trying to sell his films for years based on a "guaranteed lsbt community" train of thought. He has made 5 feature length films, one had a budget of $40,000, the rest were made for about $10,000 (as he then owned the equipment he needed)... and he makes really good films, he is a decent writer, and knows a lot about photography and cameras.... everything he shoots is beautiful (he is also an amazing painter, also gay themed, but he sells those pretty well)... he gets investors and makes good films, but he has never made back even half of what they cost. He has won a few awards, he has had them in festivals, and he got an agent for a year after one festival... but that went nowhere..., he still has a day job, and is still struggling to find money to make his next film.

I make horror movies. I have made two shorts over the last year (for $2,000 total) and sent them out to other filmmakers and producers/investors to try to get attention or money for a movie, just recently I got both picked up by a small company who wants to try and stretch them out into full films (I got $5,000 for the one, and $2500 for the other, and if they go into production I get a considerable amount more). They're a small company that make about 10 films a year for budgets around $750k-$2m, they think they can find funding in the next year or two and maybe make one of them in the next three years. That's crazy to me, but it is normal from all the people I have talked to. The promotions/marketing budget for these films ends up being as much as the budget for the film is.
I have learned a lot about how crazy film distribution has become, it's become a whole new ballgame just in the last 5 years, people who used to be in-the-know are now clueless as to what to do.
Making a profitable film now is more about hedging your bets and making 10 movies as a company and hoping one is a hit enough to make up for the rest. For the most part, unless it's an incredible story, a lgbt themed movie, for a company looking to buy a film, doesn't look like a profit. With self distribution and strategic marketing it could maybe make some money, but the budget is too high, it needs to be shot on digital and made for $50k and then maybe another $20k-$50k to try and get a buzz in the right places.

It used to be that horror movies (and to a lesser degree Action movies) were easy money for investors, and filmmakers, and studios... for everyone. But these days, they have to fight almost as hard as any other type of movies.
When you get something that is aimed toward a smaller demo, it is giving you only a percentage of a percentage, and often times, without putting cash into a marketing firm, or having a good marketing plan in you head, it is really hard to reach that demo..., therefore the film, no matter how good it is, doesn't get seen (or make money).

I agree with the above post..., if you can drop 10 grand in your friend's pocket to help him make a film and not worry about the cash, then do it, support art (and if you want to put some cash into one of my movies that's fine too, lol).
But, if you cant afford to Donate the funds, then it may not be the move for you... and really, tell them to go digital... its just as good, and $500k become $47.5 real quick

:)

Good Luck!!!!
 

Arri435

PARKED
Apr 3, 2010
3
0
Investing in Movies

I don't know a lot of people who are singing the praises of the stock market right now so movie investing is certainly plausible.

Make sure your filmmaker has a great business plan, air-tight PPM and a TRACK RECORD!!!! If this stuff is in place and you can afford to loose your money... go for it. If your filmmaker is buttoned-up... you could do well.

Most people loose their money when they hand it over to someone looking to make the next Titanic or that next breakthrough soul-searching film that will be hailed by critics. The truth is, Hollywood lives and dies by the $5 Million and under film industry. It is these films that keep everyone working in-between the blockbusters. For every blockbuster there are 200 great films you've never heard of that make nice returns.

I once worked with a guy who made awful films. I mean... these things completely sucked. He produced them for anywhere between $250K to $800K. I asked him why he bothered to make this junk and he simply told me that when someone gives him $300,000 to make a movie and it returns $600,000... he's a hero. He didn't care if anyone knew about it or not. Just the investors. That's all he cared about.

While I like to think I make better films, I completely understand and appreciate his philosophy and I follow it with the work I do. I make the films that have the greatest possibility for return. No grand statements, no eye on the Oscar.

I also surround myself with winners. I have two partners. One is another seasoned filmmaker with substantial feature experience and the other is a Sr. VP of Wealth Management for a major bank. We all focus on the art of the business and the business of the art. Just as it should be done.

Mike

Welcome Page
 
May 16, 2011
2
0
58
Hello everyone,

I realize I am coming to this topic rather late, but still thought I would stop by and add my two cents worth (for what two cents are worth these days):

Now I must warn everyone in advance that I am an aspiring filmmaker and also seeking investments for a movie project so with that fair warning -- read on:

When you do research on film investing, the advice coming back sounds pretty bleak. Conventional wisdom holds that movies "generally lose money" and yet people still invest in movies. There are several success stories about independent movies being successful, but actually few people have ever heard of the movie "Clerks" outside dedicated cinephiles and people researching the business. But Clerks was a movie that was make for a few thousand dollars and made over $2 million at the box office. Not that big by Hollywood standards (in fact a disaster to their standards-- even in 1995 when it came out) but a huge profit for it's investors who put up less than $100,000.

The truth about "indie" movies as they are called is that technology has made it possible for a glut of movies to flood the market. Someone once said (maybe it was me-- not sure) that the good thing about digital technology was that now anyone could pick up a camera and make a movie, and the bad thing about digital technology was that now anybody could pick up a camera and make a movie-- and they are.

Most "indie" producers make their movies on digital video, and it looks like crappy video because they cannot afford to buy the higher end digital cameras (like the RED ONE) and even if they did have it, it is a digital VIDEO camera-- people say they can't tell the difference between high end DV and 35mm, but I can (and I know lots others who can tell the difference too) Movie Maker Magazine reported in their 2011 Guide to Making Movies (fall 2010) that 35mm film yields around 8k resolution, whereas the BEST digital camera on the market only yields 4k. And even the smaller Super16mm format yields a picture with better resolution, and latitude than ANY digital camera on the market. The biggest MYTH in movies today is that "film is dead" Most Hollywood movies are STILL shot on film and even HD has not really dented the studios love for film yet (and looking at the quality of picture I can see why!)

To be successful in movies, first the producer has to take what they are doing seriously (that's a given) but how does the investor know who that is?? Well, those who are still shooting on film is a good indicator-- but let's face it, even junk stories have been shot on film, and even the beauty of film cannot save a junky story. So let's look at some qualifiers:

1). The Story is King-- Ask to read a synopsis or treatment of the script. If that seems good to you, go on and read the script. If the story seems good to you, then give it consideration.

2). Meida-- again Film versus Digital Video-- First thing you want is for your movie to LOOK LIKE A MOVIE. Shooting on FILM is the best option here. Yes it IS more expensive, but the quality is that much better to justify the expense.

3). Marketing plan-- Does the producer know their market? What about genre? What kind of movie are you going to finance, are there movies out there that always seem to make money? (answer: Yes-- Horror) Is a good marketing plan in place with the target audience clearly identified??

4). Distribution-- Most will tell you that you should not invest in a movie that has not got distribution set up, and that is for the most part SOUND advice. Famed director Francis Ford Coppola once advised would be movie makers that the movies business was not a good business to be in. he said that they could have a good script, their actors could all love them, but if they did NOT CONTROL DISTRIBUTION-- they were dead. This is so true, because distribution is where the money really is. So, does the producer know the basically FIVE market channels by which movies go on and on to make money?

These are the main questions to take into consideration, and in case you are wondering-- YES, I do want to shoot my movie on film (super16mm format) and I do KNOW my genre (horror) and target audience (what they watch and what they READ-- so I know where to put the advertising dollars) and Yes, I have an idea towards distribution, namely to launch a new distribution company capable of affecting theatrical release in cinemas and theatres across the country (and yes, I even have --what I think at least-- worthy ideas on how to ensure the theatres and cinemas don't rip us off with false reporting)

I have a pretty thick business plan/ proposal that all together is about 60 or 61 pages long. yes, I know it is long, but I was tired of people handing back the standard 20 page plan with the excuse that they just didn't know anything about the movie business. I decided that if anyone ever ACTUALLY READ my next version they would come away knowing something about the movie business!~~haha!

But seriously, it does go into details ansering questions such as WHY they type of story we have chosen to tell (ie Horror movies-- quck answer-- easier to market, do not need name actors to be successful, never go out of style) Why we chose to shoot on film ( a lot of that given above) and more that hopefully will prove to the prospective investor that I know something about the movie business, and maybe a risk worth your consideration. If you want to give it a read and decide for yourself, then let me know

Thanks and God bless!!

J.M. King
 
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KevMoDee

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Apr 13, 2010
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Scottsdale, AZ
I am late to this conversation as well, but I just wanted to share my experience.

I had access to a deal, I don't know if I can mention the name or not, but as far as I know it is now defunct. In any respect a former playboy model (prevalent) and a famous rapper (very prevalent) were supposed to be involved in a pay per view / direct to dvd production that involved strippers.

Language of the deal had a lot of "no guarantees" and "monies invested could be lost if project does not reach certain stages". It would have been awesome to be associated with the celebs that were supposed to be involved, but to this day I have not seen the project see the light of day. Thus, as an investment vehicle I would have been SOL. So if anyone is considering investing in this arena, understand that it is a crapshoot and a vanity play. Nothing more. Don't expect to see that money again.
 
May 16, 2011
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58
Hello KevMoDee,

With all respect, I simply must disagree with you on a few points. From what you described here, it sounds like the production simply never took off. This happens even with major productions with major players (in all categories artistic and financial) Of course you could have been dealing with unscrupulous types who might have taken your money, but in a real investment situation the investors monies would be kept in an escrow account until the whole budget is raised and even then the investors would still be in charge (or should be) as they should appoint one of their own to oversee the financial aspects of the production (with the credit "Executive Producer")

Also investing in movies is neither a "crapshoot" nor a "vanity play" In fact, I have researched this and in terms of potential return on investment compared to actual investment-- movies are better than just about anything out there. Can you lose money investing in a movie sure! But looking at other investments we see the same thing is true as well. There's no need to elabourate too much on the real-estate market, we are all aware of how that went. But what about say, oil? People are always investing thousands in oil speculation and turning up dry holes. Answer? "These securities involve a high degree of risk" Simple. Even so scam artists pervade this industry as well. Just recently in my own State three men were sentenced for running a big oil investment scam-- and it happens a lot.

Simple fact is-- nothing is 100% safe. Consider the fact that the word "venture" as in "venture capital" is a root cousin to the word adventure There is always some degree of risk, and that's why we call it adventure buddy.
 

KevMoDee

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Apr 13, 2010
43
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Scottsdale, AZ
I still have the contract and materials, Kin. While this realm of investing isn't what I typically deal with, the language of the deal made it sound like if funding could not be achieved or if additional rounds of funding could not be achieved, investors may be SOL.

Did a quick google search on the project, found their trademark filings, created on March 16, 2005, abandoned on Sept 7, 2009. So, 1 unit would have cost me $100K, and that money would have been hanging out in the ether for 4.5 years, and after the abandonment I have to hope that all the money wasn't squandered trying to get this project off the ground and hope that I get some portion of that investment back at some point in the future.

With all due respect, 100 percent of the projects that I have had access to have failed and I'm fortunate to have sidestepped that investment and not have to worry about trying to recover funds that have not only been not performing for 4.5 years, but may also no longer exist.
 
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Arri435

PARKED
Apr 3, 2010
3
0
Kev,

Anyone who knows how to structure an entertainment deal will know how to protect your money. Funds should always be held in escrow until full capital is raised and returned to the investor in full if it is not. The only time this is not the case is if the investor is providing development funds.

That being said, film investment is still a great way to earn a better than average ROI. For instance, my latest project is a genre-specific film with stars attached and a solid short-term self distribution plan in place with interest from international distributors already in the works. Critical elements to turn a potentially high-risk investment into a medium-risk one. If you would like to know more just reply to this thread. Otherwise, best of luck to you on your future endeavors.
 

rjhaas

PARKED
Sep 21, 2011
2
0
Add me to the list wannabe filmmakers. I have a great story and a decent script... now, do I try and sell it to a studio and thus lose all creative control? Or sell it to an indie production outfit and lose 75% of creative control? Or do I try and make it myself....

I realize that making films can be a crapshoot, but you can optimize your chances of success. I agree with MJ: you can learn alot from reading books and taking classes. I have done both over the past many years and have gotten to the point of conscious incompetence (I know that I don't know). But I can speak the language, and understand the issues.

Taking another page from MJ's Fastlane book.... I think real progress is made by thinking out of the box, and doing your best to not let the "accepted practices" derail what you want to do. The truth of the matter is that the world of film is changing at every conceivable level. Creating the film, editing, distribution... it's all changing as I type this. All the screens at my local cineplex are digital. Fewer and fewer movies will be printed on celluoid film. More and more movies will be available for viewing via the many Internet options.

And there's nothing stopping a completely independent producer from taking advantage of the many tax credits & rebates that are available. Much of my movie will be filmed in Canada, and I can get quite a bit back in the way of rebates.

So... I hope to hear more discussion about how to make independent filmmaking a viable option on the Fastlane!

Ray
 

AaronDubya

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Jan 9, 2012
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I've had an interest in filmmaking for atleast a decade and I even own some equipment, but I wouldn't take a cent from investor NOR would I ever try to sell it to someone else and just get 2%-10% royalties, I'd rather self-finance and self-distribute my own films like some of the b-movie/drive-in greats of yeasteryear

Some examples:

H.B. "toby" Halicki made the origional "Gone in 60 Seconds" and exhibited the around the country himself, eventually netting over $40 million when it was all said and done.

William Castle's net worth is unknown but is said to have left his family a hefty nestegg after he died.

the highly reviled Al Adamson is said to have made over $36 million off his library of 12 indy horror films. (according to E! True Hollywood story)

Russ Meyer was in the same boat as Castle and Adamson (financially speaking).

A recent example, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra was made for around $10,000 and made over $3 million in dvd sale worldwide.



Films can be profitable if you make something that a certain niche audience would want to see, and market it effectively, low budget films can turn a decent profit.
 
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WildFlower

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Aug 21, 2009
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Bumping in here because there is great advice about film financing. I'm on a film project right now that got it's first money in 500k(non-equity) and looking to wrap it up with an additional 700k (equity) to begin filming. It's an 80s film that coverage came back the strongest out of all the scripts sent out and stating it will be known as the best kid adventure film since the Goonies.
 
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WildFlower

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Not true. You can make a substantial profit investing in films especially if you leverage Federal/State tax incentives to offset your investment where you can theoretically hedge it up to 100% using Section 181, etc

So looked into this Section 181 - WOW. Anyone know someone with passive income like rentals that they would like to invest in a film with 100% deduction (passed through via K-1) and pay no tax on their passive income! Also after movie is sold or generating income it transformed that ordinary income into long term capital gains income taxed at 15%. Anyway.. read this article. Very interesting!

How To Talk to Your Investors about IRC Section 181 | Filmmaker Magazine
 

PCM1984

New Contributor
Mar 3, 2021
17
4
So looked into this Section 181 - WOW. Anyone know someone with passive income like rentals that they would like to invest in a film with 100% deduction (passed through via K-1) and pay no tax on their passive income! Also after movie is sold or generating income it transformed that ordinary income into long term capital gains income taxed at 15%. Anyway.. read this article. Very interesting!

How To Talk to Your Investors about IRC Section 181 | Filmmaker Magazine
 
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PCM1984

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Mar 3, 2021
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Anyone here have experience in this? I was approached by someone who needed a relatively small amount of money to fund a project they're doing, and they seem to think they can do very well with it, but I don't know anything about the business, and right now don't have a lot of time to learn about it(so probably won't be investing in it right now), but curious if anyone here has done this/knows anything about it.
I'm seeking investors for my film project, it's a horror film with a budget of $200,000 and I'm offering an ROI of 100% plus 90% interest plus the executive producer credit, plus I'm offering the investor(s) to be on set for the duration of filming. I plan to cast recognizable actors and I have a pretty solid distribution plan that I plan to carry out on day one of film production. I have an investment prospectus that I'd be glad to send over, plus the screenplay, film poster and mini-teaser for the project, if anyone's interested.
 

thechosen1

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Here is one of my favorite childhood movies that is a perfect example of why “investing” in film production can become a fiery turd of failure (even if the movie is fantastic):

They spent DECADES making this one movie, and when it was finished, it mega flopped at the box office.

I love the movie and the animation, but that’s not what makes $.
 

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