Sep 20, 2019
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Front Page, Industry News

TIFF Film Financing 101: OMDC Style

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

“The nature of the enterprise is that it’s a very risky business based on intellectual property that has an intangible value until it becomes a product, and then it has big economic benefits as well as cultural benefits,” says James Weyman about his work with the OMDC.

The Ontario Media and Development Corporation (OMDC), together with the Toronto International Film Festival, began things with a bang this year, hosting three top events targeted toward bringing together global funding from all over the world with Canadian and international producers: Celebrate Ontario, the Producers Lab and the International Financing Forum. Whether you are a veteran or a first-timer, funding a film can be a daunting task and going to a film festival means much more than press conferences and red carpets. This year, the OMDC allowed me in as a special guest so I could give you the skinny on TIFF events for film financing in Ontario.

“The OMDC, as a partner with the Toronto International Film Festival, identified a gap in the festival programming five years ago where our producers were saying, ‘Gee, we’re not sure why you fund the festival to the extent that you do, because unless we have a film at the festival it’s really hard to do business there. They don’t have a place for us to go and do business. They don’t have a way for us to plug into all of the international producers and executives that are coming to the festival.’ It’s very hard to find people,” he says.

“So five years ago we approached TIFF and said, look, we want to create an event within the festival to help producers find each other and help producers find sales executives. It’ll be a selective process focusing on quality of the projects and track record of the producers. Producers who are ready to do international co-financing level of business because it requires fairly sophisticated business knowledge with projects that have international market appeal.”

Weyman came from a background in filmmaking and producing and has been involved in the OMDC for over twenty years. “I was a struggling producer, like producers tend to be, and a position opened up and I thought – it’s a hell of a lot more fun being a buyer than a seller. I enjoy being able to help people. Over the years I been involved in probably around $250 million dollars of film and television production in various capacities and now I manage a $20 million dollar portfolio of funds including the film fund, but we also fund books, music, magazines, interactive digital media and also television.”

“TIFF had really fallen behind on the business side of the festival and I’m glad to see that they really are catching up, in terms of servicing the needs of producers, because it is increasingly difficult to get films financed. We spend a lot of time working with our producers to enhance their business skills and encourage them to look not just at the domestic market but also the international market, because any film of size needs to look outside of Canada for partners.”

The OMDC weekend of events kicked off with a party called “Celebrate Ontario” with special guest Michael McGowan, director of Score: A Hockey Musical. Red carpets lined the entrance, and free wine and food was served on the gorgeous trading floor of the Design Exchange while 500 of the most important people at TIFF got to know each other, and celebrated Ontario’s film industry and filmmakers. It was a fabulous start to a weekend of networking and I was already looking forward to the morning when I would be attending the very first Producer’s Lab at TIFF.

Stay tuned for TIFF Film Financing 202.

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Front Page, Industry News

TIFF Film Financing 101: OMDC Style

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

“The nature of the enterprise is that it’s a very risky business based on intellectual property that has an intangible value until it becomes a product, and then it has big economic benefits as well as cultural benefits,” says James Weyman about his work with the OMDC.

The Ontario Media and Development Corporation (OMDC), together with the Toronto International Film Festival, began things with a bang this year, hosting three top events targeted toward bringing together global funding from all over the world with Canadian and international producers: Celebrate Ontario, the Producers Lab and the International Financing Forum. Whether you are a veteran or a first-timer, funding a film can be a daunting task and going to a film festival means much more than press conferences and red carpets. This year, the OMDC allowed me in as a special guest so I could give you the skinny on TIFF events for film financing in Ontario.

“The OMDC, as a partner with the Toronto International Film Festival, identified a gap in the festival programming five years ago where our producers were saying, ‘Gee, we’re not sure why you fund the festival to the extent that you do, because unless we have a film at the festival it’s really hard to do business there. They don’t have a place for us to go and do business. They don’t have a way for us to plug into all of the international producers and executives that are coming to the festival.’ It’s very hard to find people,” he says.

“So five years ago we approached TIFF and said, look, we want to create an event within the festival to help producers find each other and help producers find sales executives. It’ll be a selective process focusing on quality of the projects and track record of the producers. Producers who are ready to do international co-financing level of business because it requires fairly sophisticated business knowledge with projects that have international market appeal.”

Weyman came from a background in filmmaking and producing and has been involved in the OMDC for over twenty years. “I was a struggling producer, like producers tend to be, and a position opened up and I thought – it’s a hell of a lot more fun being a buyer than a seller. I enjoy being able to help people. Over the years I been involved in probably around $250 million dollars of film and television production in various capacities and now I manage a $20 million dollar portfolio of funds including the film fund, but we also fund books, music, magazines, interactive digital media and also television.”

“TIFF had really fallen behind on the business side of the festival and I’m glad to see that they really are catching up, in terms of servicing the needs of producers, because it is increasingly difficult to get films financed. We spend a lot of time working with our producers to enhance their business skills and encourage them to look not just at the domestic market but also the international market, because any film of size needs to look outside of Canada for partners.”

The OMDC weekend of events kicked off with a party called “Celebrate Ontario” with special guest Michael McGowan, director of Score: A Hockey Musical. Red carpets lined the entrance, and free wine and food was served on the gorgeous trading floor of the Design Exchange while 500 of the most important people at TIFF got to know each other, and celebrated Ontario’s film industry and filmmakers. It was a fabulous start to a weekend of networking and I was already looking forward to the morning when I would be attending the very first Producer’s Lab at TIFF.

Stay tuned for TIFF Film Financing 202.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Front Page, Industry News

TIFF Film Financing 101: OMDC Style

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

“The nature of the enterprise is that it’s a very risky business based on intellectual property that has an intangible value until it becomes a product, and then it has big economic benefits as well as cultural benefits,” says James Weyman about his work with the OMDC.

The Ontario Media and Development Corporation (OMDC), together with the Toronto International Film Festival, began things with a bang this year, hosting three top events targeted toward bringing together global funding from all over the world with Canadian and international producers: Celebrate Ontario, the Producers Lab and the International Financing Forum. Whether you are a veteran or a first-timer, funding a film can be a daunting task and going to a film festival means much more than press conferences and red carpets. This year, the OMDC allowed me in as a special guest so I could give you the skinny on TIFF events for film financing in Ontario.

“The OMDC, as a partner with the Toronto International Film Festival, identified a gap in the festival programming five years ago where our producers were saying, ‘Gee, we’re not sure why you fund the festival to the extent that you do, because unless we have a film at the festival it’s really hard to do business there. They don’t have a place for us to go and do business. They don’t have a way for us to plug into all of the international producers and executives that are coming to the festival.’ It’s very hard to find people,” he says.

“So five years ago we approached TIFF and said, look, we want to create an event within the festival to help producers find each other and help producers find sales executives. It’ll be a selective process focusing on quality of the projects and track record of the producers. Producers who are ready to do international co-financing level of business because it requires fairly sophisticated business knowledge with projects that have international market appeal.”

Weyman came from a background in filmmaking and producing and has been involved in the OMDC for over twenty years. “I was a struggling producer, like producers tend to be, and a position opened up and I thought – it’s a hell of a lot more fun being a buyer than a seller. I enjoy being able to help people. Over the years I been involved in probably around $250 million dollars of film and television production in various capacities and now I manage a $20 million dollar portfolio of funds including the film fund, but we also fund books, music, magazines, interactive digital media and also television.”

“TIFF had really fallen behind on the business side of the festival and I’m glad to see that they really are catching up, in terms of servicing the needs of producers, because it is increasingly difficult to get films financed. We spend a lot of time working with our producers to enhance their business skills and encourage them to look not just at the domestic market but also the international market, because any film of size needs to look outside of Canada for partners.”

The OMDC weekend of events kicked off with a party called “Celebrate Ontario” with special guest Michael McGowan, director of Score: A Hockey Musical. Red carpets lined the entrance, and free wine and food was served on the gorgeous trading floor of the Design Exchange while 500 of the most important people at TIFF got to know each other, and celebrated Ontario’s film industry and filmmakers. It was a fabulous start to a weekend of networking and I was already looking forward to the morning when I would be attending the very first Producer’s Lab at TIFF.

Stay tuned for TIFF Film Financing 202.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

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