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Investing in movies - anyone experienced in this field?

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Being a long time movie fan, the thought occurred to me - how about investing in new films? There seem to be lots of opportunities around.

 

Obviously the risks are high, but so are the potential returns. Does anyone have any experience of this?

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There are people here (Frizzers) who can tell you about investing in Musicals and Theatre.

 

Maybe Mabon can help on films.

 

I met the CEO of Imagi, a HK-based animaton company. His company is making a new film, Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles.

He would like to own film libraries, which can generate income through the sale of broadcast or reproduction rights

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There are people here (Frizzers) who can tell you about investing in Musicals and Theatre.

 

Maybe Mabon can help on films.

 

I met the CEO of Imagi, a HK-based animaton company. His company is making a new film, Teenaged Mutant Ninja Turtles.

He would like to own film libraries, which can generate income through the sale of broadcast or reproduction rights

 

Speaking as someone who works in the film industry, you'd have to be CRAZY to invest in this industry! That being said, if you are still not put off, i got a script you REALLY REALLY need to see! ;):P:blink:

 

Nah, to be honest, if you are looking at investing in movies, there's several ways to go about it. For a hands-off style investment to get exposure, you could invest in something like Disney, which commisions a huge amount of films, or look into Pixar, which have an unsurpassed record at profit making films (not sure how well 'Cars' did, tho) These days in Hollywood, the accountants are in charge of film production, trying to reduce the risks and make movies more of a reliable investment, which is why we have seen little out of Hollywood in the last few years that isn't a remake, sequel or popular comicbook/novel/graphic novel adaption. How many talking-dog films have you seen come out lately? Innovation, apart from a few notable exceptions, is almost all but dead there..

 

That does leave the field wide open for indies to burst onto the scene with fresh and innovative movies that take the world by storm. Problem is, few get the exposure they deserve. The buyers of indie films at places like Cannes are few and far between these days, but a REALLY good film will always find its market. This is where all the joy investing in films is, to read a script, believe in a project, help them get it off the ground and see it explode onto the world.. you've been part of making it happen! My lecturer in film school talked of crocodile dundee I, cost 3 million to make, made 187 million!! Not a bad return, no? These are known as the 'blue sky' movies. Of course, it may not happen, and the film may tank totally, or never be taken up by distributors and/or released, so thankfully there are government incentives to protect the investors somewhat from their losses, otherwise noone would ever invest in anything outside Hollywood (or Bollywood)!

 

Inevitably, investing in actual film production is all about tax breaks and tax concessions. The rules are different in different countries (which is why films set in london are often shot in Germany, etc), but it generally tends to work like for every £ you invest in a film, the Government matches it with a tax deduction. This is subject to the film in question being 'British' (in the case of the British Government), which is subject to certain criteria, which are forever changing, but usually include the nationality of the Director and key crew, Leading Actors, location, writer etc..

here's where to start in this regard:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/films/index.htm

 

So, as far as i understand it, most local film production will first require private investment, which is backed by incentives and tax relief, and then funding bodies like the film council or national lottery may match the private portion if certain criteria is met and the film is deemed worthy, so that any film made may only have, say 25% actual private investment, the rest being shored up by various govt agencies (and more often than not, various goverments, too). Most likely, the investors will be people with large tax bills, who would rather support local film production (and possibly make some money) than hand the money over to the goverment. I've heard cases where sometimes films have unexpectantly made fortunes, causing panic in the investors, who have to frantically reinvest in more films to relieve their newfound tax burden! :)

 

Of course, in terms of upside, possibly a far better idea is to look into investing in computer games. A bigger industry than the film industry AND music industry combined these days..

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Thanks drminky, that's quite fascinating.

 

I wasn't really thinking in terms of buying Disney (or similar) stock - that doesn't interest me so much, I'd rather stick to stocks in sectors that I at least know a little about.

 

What attracts me is the possibility of investing in a low budget film with large upside. But I guess as you say, they only come along once in a blue moon. But I don't even know where one might come across people wanting to make such a film - where do they hang out? How do they seek investors?

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As a practitioner adviser, Azure Media 1 is currently the only film investment I'm recommending to suitable clients. Its structured as an EIS which means 20% income tax relief and CGT deferral on pregnant gains. Very interesting 'studio' - made 'Ae fond kiss' 2004 with Ken Loach and 'Keeping Mum' 2005 with Kristin Scott-Thomas, Dame Maggie Smith, Rowan Atkinson, and 'Tales of the Riverbank' with Steve Coogan, Stephen Fry and Jim Broadbent out in cinemas this summer. Also make Sharp (TV) with Sean Bean.

 

Capital raising closes end March.

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Thanks drminky, that's quite fascinating.

 

I wasn't really thinking in terms of buying Disney (or similar) stock - that doesn't interest me so much, I'd rather stick to stocks in sectors that I at least know a little about.

 

What attracts me is the possibility of investing in a low budget film with large upside. But I guess as you say, they only come along once in a blue moon. But I don't even know where one might come across people wanting to make such a film - where do they hang out? How do they seek investors?

 

Well, this end of the industry is not really my thing anymore (I'm in post-production/visual effects these days), but I bet if you maybe gave one of these organisations a call they'd be more than happy to point you in the right direction:

 

http://fmu.useful.co.uk/productionguild/FM...x=All&-Find

http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/

http://www.screendaily.com/ScreenDailyHome.aspx

 

In terms of where they hang out, the most approachable place would probably be at film festivals, where you can meet and greet directors/producers and see their work at the same time. I bet they'd have plently of time for anyone with money to invest! :blink:

 

good luck!

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As a practitioner adviser, Azure Media 1 is currently the only film investment I'm recommending to suitable clients. Its structured as an EIS which means 20% income tax relief and CGT deferral on pregnant gains. Very interesting 'studio' - made 'Ae fond kiss' 2004 with Ken Loach and 'Keeping Mum' 2005 with Kristin Scott-Thomas, Dame Maggie Smith, Rowan Atkinson, and 'Tales of the Riverbank' with Steve Coogan, Stephen Fry and Jim Broadbent out in cinemas this summer. Also make Sharp (TV) with Sean Bean.

 

Capital raising closes end March.

 

 

Thanks FP, I'll do some reading about Azure Media.

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Well, this end of the industry is not really my thing anymore (I'm in post-production/visual effects these days), but I bet if you maybe gave one of these organisations a call they'd be more than happy to point you in the right direction:

 

http://fmu.useful.co.uk/productionguild/FM...x=All&-Find

http://www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk/

http://www.screendaily.com/ScreenDailyHome.aspx

 

In terms of where they hang out, the most approachable place would probably be at film festivals, where you can meet and greet directors/producers and see their work at the same time. I bet they'd have plently of time for anyone with money to invest! :blink:

 

good luck!

 

Thanks very much, that looks like a good set of starting points. I'll keep the bb posted on my progress (and on how much money I manage to lose!)

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What attracts me is the possibility of investing in a low budget film with large upside. But I guess as you say, they only come along once in a blue moon. But I don't even know where one might come across people wanting to make such a film - where do they hang out? How do they seek investors?

 

Grunff,

With all due respect, you would have to be a glutton for punishment to actually go seeking Independent Filmmakers and companies to invest in. You will be inundated by every chancer from here to Dundee and back.

 

Most 'Indie' Movies are made on a wing and a prayer or a maxed out credit card. Of course there are companies that are above the micro-mates-Indie lot, who are emerging companies who are establishing a track record.

 

Saying that, the occassional 'breakout' movie comes along such as 'PI' (which launched Darren Aronofsky's) or 'Following' which launched Christopher Nolan, there are always a few each year, these are always interesting, radically different movies or films that have such a great twist on an established genre that they hit home and find an audience.

 

You can find out who the emerging and established indie Film and Television Production Companies in the UK are (Via P.A.C.T) http://www.pact.co.uk/

 

Watching their progress and keeping your awareness as to how they are doing, where they are pre-seling and what territories and investing in them, as and when they float.

 

Obviously it is up to you what you invest your money in (i.e Company's that specialise in Feature Films, or Sitcom etc)

 

The other links that drminky listed are good sources as well, particularly the Screen Daily link as this is debatebly the most importnat Film TV etc business publication in the UK.

 

You can of course, invest in MY MOVIES and I encourage you to do so-I'm always open to investors.

 

I am a few steps up from the wing and a prayer or maxed out credit card level.

 

I am making my first Feature Film as a Director/Producer in 2008 (I have raised the seed capital now I am seeking development and match funding) after having now written 10 Feature Film Scripts and rising (and twenty shorts film scripts, Sitcom Pilots, Soap Opera Scripts, Sketches etc etc---life's a pitch).

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With all due respect, you would have to be a glutton for punishment to actually go seeking Independent Filmmakers and companies to invest in. You will be inundated by every chancer from here to Dundee and back.

 

I appreciate your honesty :)

 

 

Of course there are companies that are above the micro-mates-Indie lot, who are emerging companies who are establishing a track record.

 

I guess that's the kind of thing I was thinking about - more upside than Disney stock, but less risk than totally new talent.

 

 

 

You can find out who the emerging and established indie Film and Television Production Companies in the UK are (Via P.A.C.T) http://www.pact.co.uk/

 

Now that is an interesting site, thank you.

 

 

 

You can of course, invest in MY MOVIES and I encourage you to do so-I'm always open to investors.

 

I am a few steps up from the wing and a prayer or maxed out credit card level.

 

I am making my first Feature Film as a Director/Producer in 2008 (I have raised the seed capital now I am seeking development and match funding) after having now written 10 Feature Film Scripts and rising (and twenty shorts film scripts, Sitcom Pilots, Soap Opera Scripts, Sketches etc etc---life's a pitch).

 

Sounds intriguing. Can you outline the basic economics of making such a film? How much does it cost, how is it usually financed, how do you go about distributing it, how do you minimise the risk of a total flop, that kind of thing?

 

I'm sure most of us here don't know much about this subject. If you'd rather PM me, that's fine too.

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