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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Reviewing the IIFF Film Financing Townhall

Jeff Steele's review of the IIFF Film Financing Townhall Meeting in Los Angeles on March 31st 2010

Top 10 Most Pirated Movies on BitTorrent

Transformers 3 continues to top the chart for the second consecutive week, while Mr. Popper's Penguins and Screwed both make their debuts.

Why I Do Not Film in Michigan

I have never recommended a producer film in Michigan, even in its heyday. Their film tax credit program has had problems on every level, from its inception.

Film Closings’ Response to Chicago Tribune & Screen

Film Closings was featured this week in a Chicago Tribune article as well as in Screen juxtaposing what others in the state were saying and rallying for when it came to the IL film incentive. This post gives a broader understanding to our view on the credit climate overall. As well as a Pop Quiz.

Oscars & Financing: “A-list” isn’t “Always-List”

What does A-List mean and what effect does it have on getting a film financed? Does winning an Oscar make you an A-List star? Depends on how you define A-List.

Enough with the NDAs

In my experience, when it comes to film finance discussions, non-disclosure agreements create more liability than they prevent. There are just too many similar projects with similar players for NDAs to make sense. Plus, NDAs are the mark of a novice producer.

US House Passes Important Crowdfunding Legislation

The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed its first significant crowdfunding legislation, allowing entrepreneurs to crowdsource up to $2 million per year.

Crowdfunding is 2 for 2

Robert Redford makes a valid point that if people don't feel they can have some modicum of constitutional protection by whistle-blowing or speaking candidly with documentary filmmakers, then our society will lose one of its greatest civil protectorates: passionate, self-righteous, bullheaded filmmakers.

All Lawyers are Not Created Equal

You can find good lawyers at all size firms and you may even know some (or be related to some, I know I am). However, even within the entertainment business not all lawyers are created equal.

UK Film Finance Mag Interview

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.

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