A producer recently inquired as to how much she should allocate to the producer of marketing and distribution (PMD), in her film's budget. Seriously? Another producer title?! While initially dismissive of that concept, I've actually come to terms with the viability and necessity of such a role, given the inability of most independent films to acquire distribution in the United States, which is mostly due to:
Something that bigger-budget producers unknowingly take for granted is the availability of different types of financing. But any ultra low budget producer (under $2m) can tell you with frustrating familiarity that they can fit their financing structure on a postage stamp.
Indie producers are on a relentless quest to find the elusive "final 20%" of their budgets. They've raised the equity, made the presales, maxed the gap, and still they come up 20% short. Even with a whopping 40% cash rebate! So why then are they still stumbling around trying to fill that final 20% of their budgets?! Because producers can't get out of their own way.
There is a smoke-and-mirrors dance producers have to perform to bring all sides to the middle, but when it comes to key talent attachments, if it’s not verifiable, it doesn’t exist.
Regardless of whether your considering an individual, a group of dentists, your at home anesthesiologist, or alternative financing models such as crowd funding, tribe funding, "donations", and pre-selling DVDs, etc., (i.e. any non-accredited investor) then you MUST consider Regulation-D of the Securities Act. The following is taken from the Securities and Exchange Commission's website:
You've all heard of the indiscretion that cost Nicholas Chartier of "The Hurt Locker" his Oscar tickets. This first hand account takes an inside financing look at Nic, "The Hurt Locker", and the risky business of indie film finance.
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 stand