Film Financing

Dallas Buyers Club

Cutting through the Greek of a complicated system that shifts slightly with each deal, veteran producer/film financing expert Cassian Elwes (Dallas Buyers Club, Lawless, many more) drops some serious science on how film financing actually works in this video. As a bonus, Sean Covel and Doc Wyatt (Napoleon Dynamite) bolster the points, then explain why equity deals are great for newcomers and define some Yiddish gambling slang. You may have to play it twice because Elwes essentially raps a lot of numbers without a beat, but it’s a hell of a primer for how the front and backend of getting movie money operates.

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Soderbergh

It’s difficult to remember the first time Steven Soderberg talked concretely about retirement, but it was probably back in 2011 when he claimed he’d do two more movies and then call it quits. This was after a harrowing (if not eye-opening) experience making Che in 2007 and before we got four more films from him. The latest, Side Effects, is in theaters February 8th, and he’s taken the occasion to speak openly with Vulture about making good on his threat to retire, the way that the finance system treats filmmakers and other savory topics. Without a doubt, it’s a must-read piece. His reasons for retirement stay virtually intact, but it’s his brilliant analogy of creative input from the financiers that’s most surprising/refreshing: “The worst development in filmmaking—particularly in the last five years—is how badly directors are treated. It’s become absolutely horrible the way the people with the money decide they can fart in the kitchen, to put it bluntly. It’s not just studios—it’s anyone who is ­financing a film. I guess I don’t understand the assumption that the director is presumptively wrong about what  the audience wants or needs when they are the first audience, in a way. And probably got into making movies ­because of being in that audience.” So, yes, go read more. There’s a ton to digest.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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