1 Looking back
What is a completion guarantee? This has been mentioned already in this course – it's sometimes referred to as the completion bond. James Shirras, Managing Director of Film Finances, the first ever company specialising in completion guarantees, explains the origin of the concept.
Founded in 1950 at a time when the banks had grown extremely nervous about lending to film producers, his company has been providing completion guarantee services to financiers ever since. In the process it has amassed an archive of documentary records for several thousand films. This extraordinary archive of production documents relates to some of the most famous British films, particularly from the 1950s and 1960s. There are documents to be found in the archive from films such as The African Queen, Zulu, Cabaret and Dr. No.
Before taking a much closer look at the Dr. No case study, let’s find out why the completion guarantee is so important and what a completion guarantor does – especially when the film production gets out of hand. Here’s James Shirras again.