The business of film
The business of film

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

The business of film

3 What factors shape the finances?

Each film is a distinct proposition, and the particular characteristics of each film will dictate the kind of finance arrangements it enters into. The producer is at the centre of this process and is one of the key influencers, and right by his side, helping with all the negotiation, is his or her lawyer.

Here’s film lawyer Charles Moore with a step-by-step guide to shaping the financial package.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 6 Charles Moore talks about shaping the financial package
Skip transcript: Video 6 Charles Moore talks about shaping the financial package

Transcript: Video 6 Charles Moore talks about shaping the financial package

Every film is different. And the film producer has to decide upfront what that producer's imperatives are in making the film. Does he or she want to simply get the film made as quickly as possible, and therefor maybe compromise in terms of some of the deals they do, just in order to make sure that the film is made? And the producer gets a credit and a fee, and then is able to then maybe step up into a different budget level, or a different type of film for the next film. Is it a producer who wants to make the film in a very, very particular way, with a particular cast, and a particular location?
 Want to extract as much upside as possible or as much ownership as possible? All those things, at the outset, are what we work with the producer to try and establish what they want to do. And, of course, certain films have to be made in a certain way. If a film is set in the Sahara Desert, you know you've got to make the film- you can't make the film in the UK. So location is an important factor.
Similarly, you have to look at your audience and where a film is likely to have a market. So, if there's a film, which is a very UK-specific subject matter or a very sort of UK cultural bias towards the film, then you're not going to be able to get a lot money, upfront anyway, upfront money from international. You have to focus on maximising the UK'ers in terms of your financing opportunities. If it's a big commercial project, where it could be set anywhere, and it's a very sort of international viewpoint on the film, then clearly you've got a lot more ability in terms of going out and finding finance internationally, as well as in the UK.
 You might well appoint a sales agent, who is vital in looking to see if the film has any international market, if there's international opportunities there. And the sales agent will then provide estimates, sales estimates, which is the amount of money they think they could sell the film for in the different markets. And on the back of those sales estimates, you may well be able to attract equity finance, even what they call gap finance. Which is basically somebody coming in to invest in the film on the back of what the sales estimates are, because they have a certain comfort in a good sales agent delivering those kind of sales in the future film markets, et cetera.
End transcript: Video 6 Charles Moore talks about shaping the financial package
Video 6 Charles Moore talks about shaping the financial package
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371