Let me assure you - it's got everything to do with the state of filmmaking worldwide and no one is talking about it.
Raise the money you need to execute your movie. If you can make it for less, great. But it's irresponsible to your investors to raise (and spend) more money than can be recouped. Not pricing your film's budget can give the impression that you and your team just stumbled out of a smoke filled van.
Heading up the new division are Bank Leumi veterans Melanie Kinsky, Mandie Rush, and Wendy Moore. Melanie will head-up the Film & Media Finance division, with support from Rush and Moore.
I have this theory that film financing follows real estate: as goes real estate, so goes film. This is nothing I can quantify with statistics; it's a gut feeling, solidified over time, observational, not empirical. And, hear me out, what's got me thinking we may be seeing more film investing is an increase in the sale of U.S. Treasury bonds.
Recently, I was interviewed by Kingsley Marshall, contributor to Big Screen, Film International, Little White Lies, and Shook, for a story on film finance.Do you find this Q&A interesting? What additional information would you like to know about?Here is the Q&A from this article not yet out:Kingsley Marshall: How hard is it to find movie financing in 2010?JEFF STEELE: It's very, very tough out there for single-picture, indie films. There are about six entertainment banks left that are actively lending, down from 12 in 2008, and only a handful of gap funds, down from a zillion in 2008. Wall Street equity, like hedge funds, has pretty much abandoned the single-picture finance business as well, but is still present in slate financing structures. And yet, films are still getting made.Kingsley Marshall: How much is the credit crunch to blame?JEFF STEELE: The credit crunch definitely played a key part in the production freeze in 2009, where the streets of Cannes and Toronto were paved with dead deals. 2010's glut has to do more with (1) the plethora of bad film deals that were made during the go-go years of 2005-2008 that have barely recouped this budgets, (2) high net worth individuals not having the disposable income they once had (or thought they had), and (3) the lack of U.S. distributors (and P&A) available to the indie market. The credit crunch is definitely having a direct impact on the ability of foreign buyers and distributors to finance pre-sales and pre-sales deposits, which are critical elements in indie film financing.