Film and Television Financing Today… a quick inside…

The recent “disruption” in the Entertainment industry caused changes and a significant shift which shook up even some of the most successful producers. Find out how today’s established industry executives, emerging filmmakers and financiers adapt to these changes and stay ahead of the curve.

The recent changes in the Entertainment industry caused a significant shift and shook up even some of the most successful producers. We saw large production companies go belly up, sales agents go bankrupt or combine forces with other international sales agents, and even financiers retreat from the business. But, we also saw some business and producers thriving. Today’s established industry executives, emerging filmmakers and financiers adapt to these changes and stay ahead of the curve. That’s what you do. Because change can be an opportunity.

How does one manage the waves of change? I’d say it starts by looking at the marketplace and digest what is observed. What do you see? You see buyers (international distributors) decrease their licensing pricing, and you see their appetite for pre-sales much reduced. While foreign distributors (buyers) buy less the demand for content generally increases due to the various platforms and the large acquisition budgets the streaming services and premium channels announced. There is a pipeline to be filled,

The question then becomes, with what and for how much? The “how much” would not just refer to the acquisition license that is being paid, but the budget that a project should be produced for. Many producers (and financiers) are somewhat out of touch when it comes to feasibility. The idea here would be to match the budget to what the market can afford (not the other way around). What is the point in producing something that one already knows from looking at sales projection is not going to show any profit? One would reduce the budget so the project has a chance for profit. If one can’t reduce the budget, one changes the project elements (IE cast, director) to increase the value of the project (IE international sales projections).

Once you have established your budget and it is designed in a way that profits can be achieved per your projection, then you would review your finance elements.

You look at your finance sources. What do you have – if you have anything? If you have nothing – how do you go about getting funding attached? And, how do you go about attaching the right funding, and in the right way? Today, it’s all about risk mitigation and profit optimization. That means you have to source non-recoupable finance sources (IE subsidies, branding, crowdsourcing crowdfunding, in-kind services, and so forth).

Of course, you would look into your distribution options. Is your project strong enough to attract a domestic buyer? Foreign buyers? Or is no one buying. If so, if no one is buying anything you would ask yourself why? It usually means your project is not strong enough. 

These are just a few questions a producer, or content provider would consider when putting together a film or television projects.

In our courses and workshops, as well as our one-on-one training, we discuss every step in detail from the inception of the idea to the development phase, the funding options, and finance plan, the distribution approach,  and the actual release, all the way to the collection of revenues and distribution of profits.

It’s a delicate and complex process, but it’s not rocket science. Learn how it all falls into place and join one of our courses or workshops.

Feel free to contact us if you’d like to learn more.