Film producers need to moan less about how bad the state of the industry is and start thinking more about how they can structure thier films as viable business propositions of interest to investors and VC’s. The fact is, most independent feature films do not make money, and this will only change if producers take a new approach.
The money is out there to make movies, the interest is out there to make movies, in fact who doesn’t want to make movies? It’s a dream for many people, both within and outside the film industry, but to secure private equity funding the venture must be profitable.
Investors these days are more risk averse than ever, and any potential investment needs to be as secure as possible. If you as a producer do not believe 110% in the viability and profit potential of your film, then you can’t expect anyone else to. It’s not just about believing this, a film needs to be approached as a business and therefore it must be structured and designed with one goal in mind… to make a reasonable return for all involved, and it must perform.
Every element involved must work towards this goal and any liabilities must be minimized. The story must fall into a genre that has a proven track record of turning profit and filling cinema seats, the script cannot just be a good script, it must be a killer script! There must be real bankable talent attached, the budget must be realistic and there must be distributor interest. If such a package is structured to take advantage of co-production treaties, tax incentives and government rebates, it is possible for the risk to investors to be near zero. Who won’t want to invest in a near zero risk venture?
Lets start getting smart, thinking outside of the box, thinking of audiences outside of South Africa (more on that later) and making movies that satisfy the art and the pocket.