The business of film
The business of film

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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.

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CHARLES MOORE
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
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