For the indie film producer, the cost of hardware, the skills required of operators, and the extra shooting time it takes are all barriers to using 3-D. Panasonic’s AG-3DA1 solves these problems. For about $30,000, you get the fully HD 3D camera, a monitor, and two pairs of stylish glasses.8 Comments
There’s good news and bad news about technology for independent filmmakers. It’s cheaper and easier to make a film: anyone can make a movie with a low-price camera and a laptop. But the bad news is, independent films are competing for distribution and exhibition screens with big budget studio movies – and those movies are benefiting from some pretty nifty technology, too. Is there still room at the multiplex for the personal storytelling and character-driven drama of indie film?39 Comments
Recently, I was interviewed by Kingsley Marshall, contributor to Big Screen, Film International, Little White Lies, and Shook, for a story on film finance.
Do you find this Q&A interesting? What additional information would you like to know about?
Here is the Q&A from this article not yet out:
Kingsley Marshall: How hard is it to find movie financing in 2010?
JEFF STEELE: It’s very, very tough out there for single-picture, indie films. There are about six entertainment banks left that are actively lending, down from 12 in 2008, and only a handful of gap funds, down from a zillion in 2008. Wall Street equity, like hedge funds, has pretty much abandoned the single-picture finance business as well, but is still present in slate financing structures. And yet, films are still getting made.
Kingsley Marshall: How much is the credit crunch to blame?
JEFF STEELE: The credit crunch definitely played a key part in the production freeze in 2009, where the streets of Cannes and Toronto were paved with dead deals. 2010’s glut has to do more with (1) the plethora of bad film deals that were made during the go-go years of 2005-2008 that have barely recouped this budgets, (2) high net worth individuals not having the disposable income they once had (or thought they had), and (3) the lack of U.S. distributors (and P&A) available to the indie market. The credit crunch is definitely having a direct impact on the ability of foreign buyers and distributors to finance pre-sales and pre-sales deposits, which are critical elements in indie film financing.11 Comments
I recently heard a report on NPR’s “Marketplace” about amateur videographers making a killing on YouTube, most famously the father behind “David After Dentist,” and Nebraska teenager Lucas Cruikshank, the creator and star of “Hey, It’s Fred.”
“David After the Dentist” seen by about 60 million people, has resulted in direct sales of merchandise, along with licensing of David’s catch-phrase, “Is This Real Life?”25 Comments
Just to set the record straight from previous comments about one of the main reasons entertainment banks ignore film budgets under 10m.
The traditional finance model (via senior banks and mezz lenders) does not willingly service films with budgets under $10m because there are numerous hard costs that (as a percentage of budget) cannot be reasonably sustained by low budgets.7 Comments
Crowd-funding has a future, but that future will not look anything like the present. The current online crowd-funding models will soon be extinct, but it’s not too late for any of them to do a quick re-vamp of their business models to make them work. Here are my predictions as to the future of the crowd/tribe financing institutions as they currently stand39 Comments