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TIFF Film Financing 303: International Financing Forum 2010

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

The International Financing Forum was in fine shape in this, its fifth year. Functioning as a competitive feature film co-financing market, the event selected 39 feature film producers with developing English language projects, to network and do business with high-level film industry executives including international sales agents, financiers, distributors, agents, and executive producers. This was the final event hosted by the Ontario Media Development Corporation at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“The important thing about IFF is that it focuses on quality not quantity. If we can bring projects to the attention of sales and financing executives who can make the difference in helping a project go forward and every meeting they have is a valuable use of their time, then that’s the equation that we really focus on” says James Weyman, Manager, Industry Initiatives from OMDC.

This year, before the networking began, the topical “In Conversation…” panel discussion took place on the subject of The Genre Trend: Is Drama Really (un)Dead? Prominent film industry executives on the panel included Eamonn Bowles, President of Magnolia Pictures; Jonathan King, Executive Vice-President of Participant Films; Tanya Seghatchian, Head of Film Fund at the UK Film Council; and Mike Goodridge, Editor of Screen International, moderated.

The main advice given out was:

Be realistic about the market. Many producers overestimate what they think they may make in any given market and paying for prestige is something films and distributors can no longer afford. Magnolia Pictures has found that they are much more likely to make their money through video on demand that theatre and has even gone so far as to release their film, Freakonomics, on VOD at a $10 purchase point a month before it’s theatrical release. In these technological times, Eamonn Bowles feels it’s better to be agnostic about how people see the film as long as they pay to see it.

Do your research. Every executive and company finances a film for a particular reason, an agenda that they cater to, a business model that works for them, so make sure your film is right for the company before you approach them. For instance, Participant Films loves films that change how people view the world. They team with social sector organizations, non-profits and corporations who want to create an open forum for discussion, education and who can, with Participant, offer specific ways for audience members to get involved. Their horror film The Crazies, uses the real government reaction scenario that would be used should the water become contaminated and they were very interested in keeping the science exact.

Does your project have downside protection for your investors in order to mitigate risk? With the global economy in its present state, and the DVD market gasping, investors need more assurance than ever that they will get their money back. Taking care of your investors now, means stability for your future. Having a fantastic script and brilliant creative talent and stars attached may not be enough anymore, and theatrical release can only take you so far. Be sure to broaden your scope to access your increasingly diverse viewership; VOD and IPTV are just two of the new ways audiences can access your film. Licensing agreements are changing and offering distributors more rights may not be the right answer for you, but be prepared when the question comes up. Take into consideration how your pie is divided, and explore more creative ways to finance your film. 

See Film Financing 101 here. And 202 here.

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Uncategorized

TIFF Film Financing 303: International Financing Forum 2010

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

The International Financing Forum was in fine shape in this, its fifth year. Functioning as a competitive feature film co-financing market, the event selected 39 feature film producers with developing English language projects, to network and do business with high-level film industry executives including international sales agents, financiers, distributors, agents, and executive producers. This was the final event hosted by the Ontario Media Development Corporation at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“The important thing about IFF is that it focuses on quality not quantity. If we can bring projects to the attention of sales and financing executives who can make the difference in helping a project go forward and every meeting they have is a valuable use of their time, then that’s the equation that we really focus on” says James Weyman, Manager, Industry Initiatives from OMDC.

This year, before the networking began, the topical “In Conversation…” panel discussion took place on the subject of The Genre Trend: Is Drama Really (un)Dead? Prominent film industry executives on the panel included Eamonn Bowles, President of Magnolia Pictures; Jonathan King, Executive Vice-President of Participant Films; Tanya Seghatchian, Head of Film Fund at the UK Film Council; and Mike Goodridge, Editor of Screen International, moderated.

The main advice given out was:

Be realistic about the market. Many producers overestimate what they think they may make in any given market and paying for prestige is something films and distributors can no longer afford. Magnolia Pictures has found that they are much more likely to make their money through video on demand that theatre and has even gone so far as to release their film, Freakonomics, on VOD at a $10 purchase point a month before it’s theatrical release. In these technological times, Eamonn Bowles feels it’s better to be agnostic about how people see the film as long as they pay to see it.

Do your research. Every executive and company finances a film for a particular reason, an agenda that they cater to, a business model that works for them, so make sure your film is right for the company before you approach them. For instance, Participant Films loves films that change how people view the world. They team with social sector organizations, non-profits and corporations who want to create an open forum for discussion, education and who can, with Participant, offer specific ways for audience members to get involved. Their horror film The Crazies, uses the real government reaction scenario that would be used should the water become contaminated and they were very interested in keeping the science exact.

Does your project have downside protection for your investors in order to mitigate risk? With the global economy in its present state, and the DVD market gasping, investors need more assurance than ever that they will get their money back. Taking care of your investors now, means stability for your future. Having a fantastic script and brilliant creative talent and stars attached may not be enough anymore, and theatrical release can only take you so far. Be sure to broaden your scope to access your increasingly diverse viewership; VOD and IPTV are just two of the new ways audiences can access your film. Licensing agreements are changing and offering distributors more rights may not be the right answer for you, but be prepared when the question comes up. Take into consideration how your pie is divided, and explore more creative ways to finance your film. 

See Film Financing 101 here. And 202 here.

Leave a Reply

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

Uncategorized

TIFF Film Financing 303: International Financing Forum 2010

By TO411 staff writer Daisy Maclean

The International Financing Forum was in fine shape in this, its fifth year. Functioning as a competitive feature film co-financing market, the event selected 39 feature film producers with developing English language projects, to network and do business with high-level film industry executives including international sales agents, financiers, distributors, agents, and executive producers. This was the final event hosted by the Ontario Media Development Corporation at the Toronto International Film Festival.

“The important thing about IFF is that it focuses on quality not quantity. If we can bring projects to the attention of sales and financing executives who can make the difference in helping a project go forward and every meeting they have is a valuable use of their time, then that’s the equation that we really focus on” says James Weyman, Manager, Industry Initiatives from OMDC.

This year, before the networking began, the topical “In Conversation…” panel discussion took place on the subject of The Genre Trend: Is Drama Really (un)Dead? Prominent film industry executives on the panel included Eamonn Bowles, President of Magnolia Pictures; Jonathan King, Executive Vice-President of Participant Films; Tanya Seghatchian, Head of Film Fund at the UK Film Council; and Mike Goodridge, Editor of Screen International, moderated.

The main advice given out was:

Be realistic about the market. Many producers overestimate what they think they may make in any given market and paying for prestige is something films and distributors can no longer afford. Magnolia Pictures has found that they are much more likely to make their money through video on demand that theatre and has even gone so far as to release their film, Freakonomics, on VOD at a $10 purchase point a month before it’s theatrical release. In these technological times, Eamonn Bowles feels it’s better to be agnostic about how people see the film as long as they pay to see it.

Do your research. Every executive and company finances a film for a particular reason, an agenda that they cater to, a business model that works for them, so make sure your film is right for the company before you approach them. For instance, Participant Films loves films that change how people view the world. They team with social sector organizations, non-profits and corporations who want to create an open forum for discussion, education and who can, with Participant, offer specific ways for audience members to get involved. Their horror film The Crazies, uses the real government reaction scenario that would be used should the water become contaminated and they were very interested in keeping the science exact.

Does your project have downside protection for your investors in order to mitigate risk? With the global economy in its present state, and the DVD market gasping, investors need more assurance than ever that they will get their money back. Taking care of your investors now, means stability for your future. Having a fantastic script and brilliant creative talent and stars attached may not be enough anymore, and theatrical release can only take you so far. Be sure to broaden your scope to access your increasingly diverse viewership; VOD and IPTV are just two of the new ways audiences can access your film. Licensing agreements are changing and offering distributors more rights may not be the right answer for you, but be prepared when the question comes up. Take into consideration how your pie is divided, and explore more creative ways to finance your film. 

See Film Financing 101 here. And 202 here.

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

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