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The UK Film Finance Handbook: How to Fund Your Film [Paperback]

Adam P. Davies , Nic Wistreich
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Film Finance Handbook 2007/2008: How to Fund Your Film Film Finance Handbook 2007/2008: How to Fund Your Film 5.0 out of 5 stars (3)
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Book Description

13 May 2005
The reader - from beginner making their first short film, through to experienced producer packagin an international multi-million pound co-production - is guided through the entire process of raising finance, in a book packed with interviews, case studies, expert tips and details of more than 200 funds.

The UK Film Funding Guide 2003/04 was originally published by Shooting People and went on to sell almost 4,000 copies amongst the UK’s guerilla filmmaking scene. This second edition - the UK Film Finance Handbook 2005/06 - from the same authors, is published by Netribution and has been fully revised, updated and expanded.

• All forms of production finance fully explained - including the new UK 20% tax credit
• International and co-production incentives for over 20 countries
• 101 tips and tricks from low-budget filmmakers for more affordable films
• Directory comprising over 400 film contacts across all sectors
• Top level interviews including UK Film Council execs, the head of BBC Films and Nik Powell, co-founder of Virgin and one of the UK’s most seasoned producers.

Product details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Netribution Ltd (13 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955014301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955014307
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 866,548 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Adam Davies has advised exclusively in the entertainment sector since qualifying as a solicitor 10 years ago. Since 1999, he has also run a film financing consultancy, Investrum, whilst continuing to provide legal services to various film companies. He has represented businesses in all areas of the film industry, including private equity, sales agents, distributors, sale & leaseback providers, production fund partnerships, co-producers, production companies and talent agencies. He has run the legal & business affairs departments of publicly listed film companies, and has advised on more than 150 features including House of Sand and Fog, Open Range, Timeline, Stoned (The Brian Jones Project), Return to Sender, Irresistible, The Cooler, Heartbreakers, Lantana, Baise-Moi, The Man Who Sued God, Slap Her She’s French, Sexy Beast, Gods & Monsters, Secret Society, Fanny & Elvis, The War Zone, Nil By Mouth, and Human Traffic.

Nic Wistreich is co-author of the first edition of this book, Get Your Film Funded, for Shooting People Press, author of Digital Asset Management for Informa and International Film & TV Rights for MTI. He co-founded UK film industry website Netribution and was former UK head of and Development Director of filmmaker community, Shooting People. He has taught film finance at the New York Film Academy in London, and made a number of documentaries, no-budget shorts and ‘vingles’ (visual singles).

James MacGregor was Northern Editor for Netribution and has written extensively on the UK independent film scene for publications including New Producer magazine and Scottish Screen and more recently has developed the Wideshot magazine for Shooting People.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Commerce and creativity. Film and finance. The pairs have often made ugly bedfellows.
On one side lies a creative person or team with a story, a vision, an image, that they wish to bring to life for audiences to enjoy. On the other side is a multi billion dollar business, filled to the brim with financiers, executives and experts seeking their cut as expert gamblers on the illusive nature of art and success.
At every step of the way, the producer or filmmaker dances a duet between the integrity of the project, and the profit motive of those financing, selling, distributing and promoting it – and of course his or her own needs to see a return and make some form of a sustainable living.
There are no wrong or right paths. As William Goldman famously said decades ago about Hollywood, ‘nobody knows anything’. Jonathan Caouette used iMovie to cut his first feature Tarnation for $216, propelling him to Cannes in 2004 with a wide international release in 2005. New York couple Chris Kentis and Laura Lau (interviewed in Chapter 2) used $120,000 of savings to shoot Open Water in their weekends, which went on to open on 2,700 screens in the US grossing $31m there alone. Chris Nolan shot Following for a reported £5,000 and after the UK industry passed on his follow-up Memento, he went to Hollywood, returning two features later to shoot Batman Begins at Pinewood for Warner Bros. First time writer John Hodge met first time producer Andrew Macdonald and joined with first time feature director (but seasoned TV director) Danny Boyle to get FilmFour to back Shallow Grave to the tune of £1m, launching the careers of all involved. Interviewed in this chapter are first time writer-directors Nicole Kassell (The Woodsman) and Patty Jenkins (Monster), who both got films with difficult subject matters fully financed independently and a big name cast attached, and subsequent critical and commercial success.
But then, of course, for every Following or Open Water, festivals such as Sundance receive thousands of micro-budget features that they reject. And the knowledge, expertise (and bank accounts) of distributors, financiers, public film funds and sales agents can be incredibly valuable in producing a film that will have an audience when complete.
Before deciding the right financing approach for your project, one exercise that can be useful is asking yourself what exactly you want to achieve from the whole process. Getting your film financed and released, no doubt. But at what cost? Are you looking to build a business that can support you and those you work with over a number of years? Are you wanting to enjoy the filmmaking process as much as possible without being tied down with bureaucracy, market demands or delivery requirements? Are you looking for complete control over your work, or the security of having fully financed employment?
Ultimately, it is about finding the finance and business model that most suits your project, your intended audience, and the way you want to live and work. This chapter, and indeed this book, does not try to present one foolproof route to do this, for there are perhaps as many ways to get a film made as there are filmmakers to make them. But by combining the advice of those who have already navigated the industry with the practical facts regarding the nature of the business and law as it currently stands, as well as detailing the opportunities available to you, we hope to provide an armoury of tools to protect your vision and help bring your project to light.
This chapter begins by giving a background to the UK and international film industry and the basic elements of funding and budgets. We then look at certain business issues underlying raising finance - writing a business plan, talking with investors, negotiating. Finally we present a collection of advice, tips and interviews with those who’ve been there already.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sourcing UK Film Finance - For All Budget Levels 22 Jun 2005
By A Customer
If directing films, rather than weighing balance sheets are your thing, this may not at first seem like an ideal title for perusing, but you would be wrong to overlook it. The authors Adam Davies and Nic Wistreich have between them advised 200 films on finance, at all budget levels from Non-Existent to "How Much? - You Have GOT To Be Kidding." Nic was, with Tom Fogg, a founder of [...] the first and most successful UK indie film website, written by indie filmmakers for indie filmmakers. Later he was Development Director of Shooting People, introducing the filmmaker case study resource Wideshot [...] Adam is the lawyer behind film finance consortium Investrum [...]
They are in the know, these two, on film finance.
This is neither a stuffy book, nor a dry one either. The chubby porky-pig money box grinning at you from the cover confirms that, though inevitably, detailed texts on complicated financial issues will never melt in the mouth like chocolate, this one promises to raise a few smiles. There's the sort of ironic humour displayed that all filmmakers understand because they will have experienced much of it themselves.
The handbook for its second, substantially updated and revised, edition (the previous one was a joint publication between Netribution and Shooting People) has been put together in four sections. There's a main text of five chapters relating to all aspects of film finance, each chapter supported by case studies and interviews with high-level experienced producers, directors, financiers and exec producers. The second section is devoted to funding organisations in the UK, with a full breakdown of their funding criteria and how much funding they are able to provide.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such a good read! 13 Jun 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rather updated, absolute pleasure to read and actually quite thorough... A google search will easily update you on the addresses and numbers to reach institutions and companies mentioned, and google is also your friend to find out the most up to date legislations when it comes to film budgeting and tax rebates. It doesn't take anything away from the methodology the book offers which, I think, is simple and efficient.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Film finance's definitive guide 18 Mar 2007
Unlike many guidance books, Adam P Davies, a highly respected film lawyer, has actually personally closed the financiang on some 150 films. There are few peope in the world of film finance as well equipped as he is to co-write such a guide. Comprehensive, spanning many countries, meticulously researched and very well written, this is a completely indispensible guide for all people in the field of film finance, from layman to the most experienced of producers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars BEST ALL IN ONE FILM FINANCE BOOK 8 Mar 2007
After reading The UK Film Finance Handbook I've gathered all the ammunition I'll need to successfully fund and distribute my film. It covered all my questions and gave me better advice than some high priced London lawyers have!

I would recommend this book for people who are just starting out in setting about making a film as well as for the veterans of the industry.
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