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January february2013 newsletter

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January february2013 newsletter

  1. 1. ☞ 1 ☜ © Copyright Business Strategies February 2013 (http://www.moviemoney.com) No reproductions without permission. TFE THE FILM ENTREPRENEUR: A Newsletter for Independent Filmmakers and Investors LOUISE LEVISON, EDITOR AND PUBLISHER VOL 20 NO. 1 JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2013 SUNDANCE 2013: SALES GOOD, BUYERS BUSY Buyer activity at the 29th edition of the Sundance Film Festival indicates that the indie film market is staying strong. Attendees were more interested in seeing films than going to late night parties. They were there to buy, acquiring 45 films – the second highest number in this century. While 2011 saw 51 films sold with buyers starting to refill inventories, the total fell to 39 films in 2012, with the next highest being 30 in 2009. Nor has that old canard of “too many independent movies being made” seemed to dampen anyone’s desire to create more. The success of a film like Beasts of the Southern Wild has more impact on filmmakers than anything from the naysayers. There were 12,146 submissions (429 more than 2012) for the 2013 festival, including 3,033 feature–length films and 8,102 short films. Of the feature film submissions, 2,070 were from the U.S. and 1,974 were international. 103 feature films at the Festival were world premieres. Those numbers show how slim the chances are of being accepted to the festival. Having gone to the festival since 1988, I fight against the idea that you have to know someone to be accepted. Considering the number of slots for features, it can be that the odds are high. For short films, the odds are astronomical. In speaking to the difficulty of making these decisions, Sundance Director John Cooper, who has worked as a programmer there for 23 years, told Variety, “There’s as much pressure, if not more. We reject films that would have been shown 20 years ago.” Having attended the festival since 1988 myself, I also should note that the viewpoint of the programmers tends to change from year to year. Whether or not there is a planned genre theme, many films will tend to fit into a few categories. New this year was the number of comedies. Fourteen comedies and comedic dramas played in three of the festival’s most prominent sections ― U.S. Dramatic, Premieres and Park City at Midnight. Compare that number to the five comedic movies in those divisions in 2010. Really exciting to me is that eight of the sixteen competition films were directed by women. Director of Programming Trevor Groth said that they did not plan it. The 50/50 split was not noticed until after all the films had been accepted.
  2. 2. ☞ 2 ☜ © Copyright Business Strategies February 2013 (http://www.moviemoney.com) No reproductions without permission. SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL SALES – 2013 FILMS ACQUIRED DECEMBER. 6TH TO JANUARY 16TH FILM DISTRIBUTOR TERRITORY Estimated Purchase Price (Dollars) After Tiller Ro*Co Films International n/a American Promise Ro*Co Films International n/a Future, The Visit Films International n/a Halley Visit Films International n/a Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete, The Aldamisa International International n/a It Felt Like Love Visit Films International n/a jOBS* Open Road –service deal Five Star 10M* Metro Manila Haut et Court France n/a Peach Fuzz Blumhouse Productions World n/a, partner on film Sound City Gravitas Ventures International VOD Teacher, A Visit Films International n/a *Open Road, which is owned by theater chains AMC and Regal, is joining with the producer Five Star Feature Films to release the movie in April. Five Star will pick up the costs of marketing, estimated to be around $10 million. FILMS ACQUIRED JANUARY 17th to JANUARY 26th FILM DISTRIBUTOR TERRITORY Estimated Purchase Price (Dollars) 99% -The Occupy Wall St. Collaborative Film Participant (theatrical & Participant’s TV network) U.S. n/a Ain’t Them Bodies Saints IFC Films U.S. 1M+ Austenland Sony Pictures Classics & Sony Pictures Acquisitions Worldwide World 4M+ Before Midnight Sony Pictures Classics North America, UK n/a Blackfish Magnolia & CNN Films U.S. 1M+ Computer Chess AMC/Sundance Channel Linear and on-demand n/a Concession Radius-TWC Content North America International n/a Cutie and the Boxer Radius-TWC North America, France King Records n/a Japan Dirty Wars Sundance Selects North America n/a Fruitvale The Weinstein Company North America, English- speaking territories 4M 25M P&A
  3. 3. ☞ 3 ☜ © Copyright Business Strategies February 2013 (http://www.moviemoney.com) No reproductions without permission. Halley AMC/Sundance Channel Linear and on-demand n/a History of the Eagles: Part 1 Showtime U.S. cable n/a It Felt Like Love AMC/Sundance Channel Linear and on-demand n/a I Used to Be Darker Monterey Media AMC/Sundance Channel Theatrical, home video Linear and on-demand n/a Inequality for All Radius-TWC North America, UK, South Africa, Australia 0.75M Kill Your Darlings Sony Pictures Classics U.S., Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, African TV, Eastern Europe <2M Look of Love, The IFC North America n/a Lovelace Radius-TWC North America n/a Machine that Makes Everything Disappear, The Icarus Films North America n/a Milkshake Phase 4 U.S. n/a Morning Anchor Bay North America n/a Mother of George Oscilloscope North America Newlyweeds Phase 4 North America n/a Prince Avalanche Magnolia North America n/a Pussy Riot-A Punk Prayer HBO Documentary Films U.S. cable 1M+ Rambler, The Anchor Bay North America n/a Spectacular Now, The A24 North American n/a Summit, The IFC Selects North America 1M+ S-VHS Magnolia U.S. 1M+ This Is Martin Bonner AMC/Sundance Channel Linear and on-demand n/a Toy's House CBS Films QED Domestic International n/a n/a Twenty Feet from Stardom Radius-TWC Elle Driver North America Rest of the World 1M+ n/a Two Mothers Exclusive Releasing U.S., UK, CIS n/a Way, Way Back, The Fox Searchlight World 9.75M We Are What We Are eOne U.S. 1M+ Who Is Dayani Cristal? Mundial U.S. n/a Notes: Halley and The Look of Love are each counted once. Linear services are services that present programs at specific times as part of a program schedule, such as a conventional over-the-air television service. Non-linear services are services for which the consumer selects the viewing time, such as video-on-demand CIS is the Commonwealth of Independent States, which is a loose association of former Soviet Republics formed during the breakup of the Soviet Union.
  4. 4. ☞ 4 ☜ © Copyright Business Strategies February 2013 (http://www.moviemoney.com) No reproductions without permission. AND THE SUNDANCE PRIZE GOES TO . . . AWARDS/PRIZES FILM FILMMAKER U.S. Grand Jury Dramatic Fruitvale Ryan Coogler U.S. Grand Jury Documentary Blood Brother Steve Hoover U.S. Dramatic Special Jury for Acting The Spectacular Now Miles Teller Shailene Woodley Waldo Salt Screenwriting In A World Lake Bell U.S. Dramatic Directing Afternoon Delight Jill Soloway U.S. Documentary Directing Cutie and the Boxer Zachary Heinzerling U. S. Dramatic Cinematography Ain’t Them Bodies Saints Mother of George Bradford Young (both) U.S. Documentary Cinematography Dirty Wars Richard Rowley U.S. Special Jury Sound Design Upstream Color Shane Carruth Johnny Marshall U.S. Documentary Editing Gideon’s Army Dawn Porter U.S. Documentary Award/Special Achievement in Filmmaking Inequality for All American Promise Jacob Kornbluth Joe Brewster, Michèle Stephenson Audience U.S. Dramatic Fruitvale Ryan Coogler Audience U.S. Documentary Blood Brother Steve Hoover
  5. 5. ☞ 5 ☜ © Copyright Business Strategies February 2013 (http://www.moviemoney.com) No reproductions without permission. Audience Best of NEXT This Is Martin Bonner Chad Hartigan Audience World Dramatic Metro Manila Sean Ellis Audience World Documentary The Square Jehane Noujaim World Jury Dramatic Jiseul Muel O World Jury Documentary A River Changes Course Kalyanee Mam World Directing Dramatic Crystal Fairy Sebastián Silva World Directing Documentary The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear Tinatin Gurchiani World Screenwriting Dramatic Wajma (An Afghan Love Story) Barmak Akram World Cinematography Dramatic Lasting Jacek Borcuch World Cinematography Documentary Who Is Dayani Crystal? Marc Silver World Dramatic Special Jury Circles Srdan Golubovic World Documentary Special Jury for Punk Spirit Pussy Riot – A Punk Prayer Mike Lerner Maxim Pozdorovkin World Documentary Editing The Summit Nick Ryan Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Computer Chess Andrew Bujalski Sundance Institute/NHK Spectacled Tiger Kentaro Hagiwara Audience Shorts (YouTube) Catnip: Egress to Oblivion? Jason Willis Short Film Grand Jury Prize The Whistle Grzegorz Zariczny
  6. 6. ☞ 6 ☜ © Copyright Business Strategies February 2013 (http://www.moviemoney.com) No reproductions without permission. Short Film Jury U.S. Fiction Whiplash Damien Chazelle Short Film Jury International Fiction The Date Jenni Toivoniemi Short Film Jury Non-Fiction Skinningrove Michael Almereyda Short Film Jury Animation Irish Folk Furniture Tony Donoghue Short Film Special Jury for Acting Palimpest Joel Naglein Short Film Special Jury Until the Quiet Comes Kahlil Joseph ◙ COMINGS AND GOINGS Visual effects studio Rhythm & Hues filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on February 11, 2013. The BAFTA and Annie Award-winning VES company is the lead on Fox's Life of Pi, the film that won the Visual Effects Oscar for R+H’s work just hours after disgruntled unpaid former employees staged a protest outside the Dolby Theatre, where the Oscars were held. In the meantime, all of R+H’s offices were remaining open and they have obtained commitments for financing to complete projects in house, according a press statement from President of the Film Division Lee Berger. “Following the filing, R+H will be seeking to secure financing for future growth. I believe that we are going to come out of this situation stronger, more efficient, and as prolific as we are now.” On Feb. 15th Universal and Fox obtained permission from the bank to make $17 million in loans to the beleaguered VFX house to complete work on the studios’ R.I.P.D. and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, respectively. In addition, Legendary was able to pay $4.9 million to have Seventh Son finished. Participant Media has formed the Participant PanAmerica film fund and expects to develop and co-finance 10-12 Spanish-language films a year with Mexico’s Canana, Chile’s Fabula and Colombia’s Dynamo. The five-year agreement follows Participant Media‘s recent co-financing of Canana’s Chavez and Fabula’s No, an Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language film. Participant CEO Jim Berk said the deal will enable the company to expand its reach into the fast growing Spanish-speaking market and give it access to a talent pool of “fresh and highly creative filmmakers who are looking to explore important contemporary issues in exciting ways.” The initiative will be led by Jonathan King, EVP of narrative production for Participant. Canana was founded in 2005 by Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal and Pablo Cruz. Producers Nick Taussig and Paul Van Carter are leaving Revolver Entertainment to set up their own finance and production outfit, Salon Pictures. The new London-based company is backed
  7. 7. ☞ 7 ☜ © Copyright Business Strategies February 2013 (http://www.moviemoney.com) No reproductions without permission. by private equity. The aim is to work on films budgeted at $1 million to $10 million that have international reach. They plan to work with some EIS funding for productions, as well as accessing public funding and tax rebates in the UK or abroad. The initial slate of projects includes five films. First up is an untitled cop thriller set in Los Angeles, to be directed by James Nunn and likely to shoot by the end of 2013, according to Taussig. The other projects will be readied for shoots in 2014 and beyond. Indomina Releasing has closed its North American operations. The move comes three years after parent company The Indomina Group established the branch to acquire and distribute genre fare for his new company. Still in its library is Sundance 2012 pickup Filly Brown for which the company has been seeking a third-party to release. The Indomina Group told deadline.com that it was still planning on sending a team to Berlin and plans to focus on producing original content out of its Dominican Republic facilities, shifting to feature films with more commercial studio appeal. ◙ SUNDANCE FINANCING PANEL ADDS PITCH FEST The popular Sundance Film Festival panel “Financing Your Film: Avoiding Pitfalls from Development to Distribution” was extended this year to include a pitch competition. The panelists, including your editor, held a seminar in the morning; then in the afternoon, we reconvened to hear pitches from various filmmakers. The winning pitch received $1,500 graciously offered by Crowe Horwath, and a second winner received $500. The day was such a success that the panel and pitch session are coming to the Showbiz Store and Café in Los Angeles on March 29-30. “Financing Your Film: Avoiding Pitfalls from Development to Distribution” will take place on Friday, March 29th from 2 -5 PM. The panelists will include Louise Levison, President of Business Strategies; Hal “Corky” Kessler, Entertainment Attorney, DL&E ; Todd Hein, Senior Manager Federal Tax Unit, Crowe Horwath; Ronnie Yeskel, Casting Director; Gil Aglaure, Executive Producer & President of Koan Distribution; David McDonald, Phaz2; John Corser, Producer; and Moderator: Marshall Bear . The Pitch Fest takes place on Saturday, March 30th from 10 AM to 4 PM for a maximum of 75 participants. The judges will be Louise Levison, Hal “Corky” Kessler, Tamara Aglaure of Koan Distribution, Ronnie Yeskel, David McDonald, John Corser, Bill Duke, Director/Actor and Tony Eldridge, Producer. There will be three prizes: $1,500 for Best Pitch plus donations of services by members of the panel, $750 for 2nd Best Pitch and $500 for 3rd Best Pitch. For information on content for both days, prices and directions go to: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5453760344/ ◙
  8. 8. ☞ 8 ☜ © Copyright Business Strategies February 2013 (http://www.moviemoney.com) No reproductions without permission. NUMBERS! NUMBERS! NUMBERS! LOW-BUDGET INDEPENDENT FILMS ($8.5M and under) FILM DISTRIBUTOR REVENUE COST thous. $ thous. $ 2016 Obama’s America Rocky Mountain Pictures 9,347 2,500 Beasts of the Southern Wild* Fox Searchlight 12,572 1,500 Bernie Millennium 9,206 6,000 Celeste and Jesse Forever Sony Pictures Classics 3,095 850 Dark Skies* Dimension 8,189 3,500 End of Watch Open Road 41,003 7,500 Haunted House, A* Open Road 39,864 2,500 Hit and Run Open Road 13,749 1,300 Holy Motors Indomina Releasing 511 5,400 Insidious FilmDistrict 54,009 1,500 Magic Mike Warner Bros. 113,197 7,000 Middle of Nowhere (2012) AFFRM 123 200 October Baby IDP/Samuel Goldwyn 5,357 800 Other Son, The Cohen Media Group 1,250 3,900 Royal Affair, A* * Magnolia Pictures 1,331 7,200 Samsara Oscilloscope Pictures res 2,654 4,000 Sessions, The* Fox Searchlight 5,972 72 1,000 Sinister Lionsgate/Summit 48,087 5,000 Sleepwalk With Me IFC Films 2,266 1,200 Undefeated The Weinstein Co. 561 1,000 Words, The CBS Films 11,495 6,000 You Sister’s Sister IFC Films 1,597 125 *Still in North American distribution as of February 24, 2013. Revenues are from Variety, Box Office and boxofficemojo.com. Negative costs (production prior to prints and ads) are approximate, based either on conversations with filmmaker, production company or industry estimates.
  9. 9. ☞ 9 ☜ © Copyright Business Strategies February 2013 (http://www.moviemoney.com) No reproductions without permission. MORE NUMBERS! NUMBERS! NUMBERS! HIGH-BUDGET INDEPENDENT FILMS (Over $8.5M ) FILM DISTRIBUTOR REV. COST thous. $ $ thous. $Amour* Sony Pictures Classics 5,147 9,900 Anna Karenina (2012)* Focus Features 12,803 49,700 Beautiful Creatures* Warner Brothers 16,570 50,000 Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Fox Searchlight 45,827 10,000 Broken City* 20th Century Fox 19,583 35,000 Django Unchained* The Weinstein Co. 158,783 83,000 Escape From Planet Earth* The Weinstein Co. 34,813 40,000 Killing Them Softly The Weinstein Co. 15,003 15,000 Last Stand, The* Lionsgate 12,027 30,000 Lawless The Weinstein Co 137,399 26,000 Lincoln* The Walt Disney Co, 178,604 65,000 Looper Sony/TriStar 66,486 30,000 Master, The The Weinstein Co. 16,259 30,000 ParaNorman Focus Features 56,001 83,000 Parker* FilmDistrict 17,365 30,000 Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Lionsgate/Summit 17,743 12,000 Pitch Perfect Universal 65,001 17,000 Red Dawn (2012)* FilmDistrict 44,794 65,000 Rise of the Guardians* Paramount ks 102,017 145,000 Safe Haven* Relativity Media 47,916 28,000 Side Effects (2013)* Open Road 25,100 30,000 Silver Linings Playbook* The Weinstein Co. 107,176 21,000 Taken 2 Fox Searchlight 139,039 45,000 Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3D* Lionsgate 34,334 20,000 Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2* Summit 292,123 120,000 Warm Bodies* Lionsgate/Summit 58,243 30,000 Zero Dark Thirty* Sony/Columbia 91,539 45,000 Note: Same references as low-budget table.
  10. 10. ☞ 10 ☜ © Copyright Business Strategies February 2013 (http://www.moviemoney.com) No reproductions without permission. LARGE FORMAT FILMS FILM DISTRIBUTION REV. COST thous. $ thous. $ Air Racers 3D 3D Entertainment 1,310 5,000 Aliens of the Deep BV LSF 8,969 5,000 Apollo 13: The Imax Experience IMAX 1,737 n/a Bugs! SK Films, Inc. 18,114 9,000 Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man Sony Pictures Classics 15,628 9,000 Deep Sea 3D* Warner Bros. 45,432 1,000 Galapagos: The Enchanted Voyage IMAX 18,096 7,000 Ghosts of the Abyss Buena Vista 17,041 13,000 Haunted Castle nWave 13,652 n/a Hubble 3D* Warner Bros. 36,532 n/a Magnificent Desolation IMAX 34,109 3,000 NASCAR 3D Warner Bros./IMAX 21,337 10,000 Ocean Wonderland 3D 3D Entertainment 11,035 3,000 Roar: Lions of the Kalahari Destination Cinema 2,166 n/a/w Roving Mars Buena Vista 10,408 1,000 Sea Monsters 3D: A Prehistoric Adven. National Geographic 23,746 n/a Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World 3D Entertainment 6,097 n/a Space Station 3D* IMAX 87,249 1,000 Thrill Ride Sony Classics 18,795 9,000 To the Arctic 3D* Warner Bros. 11,388 n/a T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous IMAX 53,323 14,500 U2 3D National Geographic 10,362 13,000 Under the Sea 3D* Warner Bros. 32,576 n/a Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest National Geographic 898 n/a Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill Shadow 3,058 n/a Wild Safari 3D nWave 16,621 4,500 Young Black Stallion Buena Vista 6,751 n/a Note: Same references as low-budget table. ◙
  11. 11. ☞ 11 ☜ © Copyright Business Strategies February 2013 (http://www.moviemoney.com) No reproductions without permission. Need Money for a Movie? Don’t Go in Empty-Handed. Have a Business Plan. The benefit of using a reliable business plan to raise financing for a film is that it allows the investors and the filmmaker to gauge the potential success of a film. A polished business plan with projections based on the worldwide results of other films and with clear explanations about the industry, markets and production personnel attached to the film is far more effective than an incomplete document that leaves prospective investors wanting more information. Contact Louise Levison at louisel@earthlink.net to find out how you can put her more than 20 years of experience as a Film Business Consultant to work creating a business plan for your film. Louise Levison, President of Business Strategies, specializes in creating business plans for film and consulting on other aspects of independent filmmaking and distribution. Levison is the author of Filmmakers & Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Seventh Edition, Focal Press ). The sixth edition of this book is available in a Chinese edition published by Hindabook (www.hindabook.com) in Beijing, China. She also is publisher/editor of the web publication you’re reading now, The Film Entrepreneur: A Newsletter for the Independent Filmmaker and Investors. Levison’s clients have raised money for low-budget films such as The Blair Witch Project, the most profitable independent film in history, and for companies raising as much as $300 million. Among other clients’ projects are The Prophet (an animated film based on Kahlil Gibran’s book), Unlimited (Nathan Frankowski), Redemption (Clayton Miller), Moving Midway, Redemption Road, Haunted (2012), High School Sweethearts, The First of May, The Open Road, Aluna, Yak: The Giant King, Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman, My Father and the Man in Black and Michael Winslow Live. Among her corporate clients are Danny Glover’s Louverture Films (2008 nominee for Best Documentary Academy Award Trouble the Water) and his Louverture Film Fund I, The Pamplin Film Company (Hoover), Hurricane Film Partners, LLC and Tokuma International Ltd (Shall We Dance, Princess Mononoke). Among other entertainment companies is The Lifton Institute of Media Arts and Sciences (Los Angeles). Levison is an affiliate of the Berlin-based consulting company Peacefulfish (peacefulfish.com) and writes an industry blog for Baseline Intelligence (www.baselineintel.com). Levison is an Instructor in the Extension Program at UCLA. She also has been a Visiting Professor at the Taipei (Taiwan) National University of the Arts, Chapman University (Orange County, CA) and the University of Montana (Missoula). She has presented seminars and/or been on panels at festivals and markets around the world. (Additional information is available at http//www.moviemoney.com). THE FILM ENTREPRENEUR is published by Business Strategies Louise Levison, Editor Faryl Saliman Reingold, Assistant Editor Office: 4454 Ventura Cyn. Ave. Suite 305 Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 Phone (818) 990-7774; E-mail: louisel@earthlink.net ; http://www.moviemoney.com Have your scripts professionally read and analyzed by TFE’s Assistant Editor Faryl Saliman Reingold. For more information, e-mail her at swanlandprods@yahoo.com.

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