I’ve had a few projects submitted to me lately whereby the filmmakers or producers say something to the effect of they are *almost* fully financed and would like my help putting together ‘the last bit’.
When I dig a little deeper I ask questions like – What is the full budget? Which actors are attached? What does your finance plan look like? Is your equity in an escrow account? Details like that….
Usually what I get back is…
>> The actors agents are waiting for an offer before they commit their actor
>> The budget is between X and Y (ie: no real shooting budget has been prepared)
>> Finance plan is comprised of tax credits
>> And finally, the equity is from some company on Slated who approached us and who needs us to have funds in the bank first before they commit… or it’s some elaborate lease back scheme
In other words, nothing is as it seems.
And in reality, there is NO financing in place, just smoke and mirrors.
I don’t even blame the filmmakers for this misunderstanding because half the time, they are simply uninformed.
But ultimately I can’t help a project ‘bring in the rest of the financing’, when there’s nothing solid there to begin with.
What’s better is to invest time and resources up front to build a real package… a solid one built on a strong foundation, not on shaky ground where nothing is real.
The smoke and mirrors might make you feel better in the short term, but long term it just sets you back and wastes time and money in the process.
Believe me – I speak from personal experience on this!! Do yourself a favor and slow down….take the right steps in the right order…build up a strong foundation and package and settle in for the journey.
If there’s one thing I’ve taken away this year about film financing is that it’s a process…and usually a long one, Of course there are exceptions depending on the budget and circumstances, but I find it’s best to manage your expectations up front and work on other projects in the mean time.
If you’re making a micro budget film that you can just get into production without all the fuss of building up a package, then by all means go for it. I did that myself this year on a couple of things while I had bigger things brewing in the background. It’s refreshing and empowering just to move forward on something sometimes…
Can you relate to any of this?
Hopefully it helps put things into perspective for you as we wind down the year and you’re planning your slates for 2017.
And that’s a wrap for today everyone! I hope you have a fabulous day ahead and I’ll speak to you again soon…