Also called crowd-funding, syndication of a movie project entails a gargantuan effort since the promoter would be dealing with a lot of people. The so-called small capitalism, crowd-funding involves small time investors.
For an indie film with a one million-peso budget broken down in shares worth 5,000 pesos, a syndicator needs a big number of investors. And what happens if the target budget was not achieved? The investment shall be returned, of course.
In the US, budget syndication, not only of indie films but also of mainstream movies, had been going on for a time. As one newspaper columnist said, the practice of syndication is a big help in propping up the sagging morale of the movie industry.
One website – www.slated.com – specializes in syndication, although selective, which they call film deal. The website welcomes members who may be investors, filmmakers or talent managers for potential casting.
For membership of investors, however, there are requirements such as accreditation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Also, the applicant investor should have a net worth of at least $1M or an annual income of not less than $200,000.
For movie industry players, the application requires an applicant’s profile consisting of basic personal information and experience in the movie industry. Another must is that you have to know 2 members otherwise you will be in the waitlist.
Slated.com has its own sales agents, packaging companies, festival scouts and post production houses not to mention some talents as members. Obviously, it aims to be a one-stop shop for producing movies.
As stated in their blurb, “the only way to make a return investing in a film production is if it gets distributed. Slated aggregates the world’s leading filmmaking teams and the industry professionals to bring you the most viable investment opportunities.”
For the movie industry professional, Slated has this to say, “information is everything and so is access to the best material. You may be relying on word-of-mouth, established relationships, tracking boards or that serendipitous encounter at a film festival.”
One of the most successful syndicated projects of Slated.com is Lord Of the Rings which was financially arranged by Richard Reiner. Directed by Peter Jackson with Elijah Wood in the lead, the film series shown in 2001 to 2003 grossed almost $3 billion.
Another blockbuster project of Richard Reiner is The Matrix which starred Keanu Reeves way back in 1999. The sci-fi action thriller which was directed by the Wachowski Brothers had a budget of $363M and fortunately grossed $1.6B.
Hugo is another sci-fi movie which earned $185M in worldwide releases in 2011. Starring Asa Butterfield and Ben Kingsley, Hugo is the story of a Parisian boy and his robot. David Crockett was executive producer for Slated.com.
Other projects of David Crockett are The Town in 2010, Seven Pounds in 2008, Gone Baby Gone and The Great Debaters both in 2007. In spite of having Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker in the cast, The Great Debaters earned only $30M.
Seven Pounds starring Wil Smith grossed $168M while The Town featuring Ben Affleck earned $154M. Gone Baby Gone was Ben Affleck’s first directorial job of a full length movie. It starred his brother Casey in an abduction story. It earned $34M.
Photo from google pics
Paul Brett of Slated.com has his share of a blockbuster. Released in 2010, The King’s Speech, which starred Colin Firth as King George VI, grossed $414M in the worldwide release. It is claimed to be the most successful British indie film so far.
Slated.com has their small projects too. Paul Brett’s Fast Girls, released in 2012, had a budget of only $50,000 but earned a revenue of $1.1M. Directed by Regan Hall, Fast Girls had Leonora Crichlow and Lily James in the lead roles.
Another low-budget project by Paul Brett is Song For Marion in 2012. A British-German comedy, it starred Terrence Stamp, Gemma Arterton and Vanessa Redgrave. It grossed a return of $7M.
A film project in Slated.com is actually a package that is ripe for picking by the investors because it already has the major players led by the director, producer, writer and principal cast. For a feature film, the range of budget starts from $500,000.
Slated.com, having a membership of more than 4,000 and counting, is not the same as crowdfunding since it matches the supply and demand among their members only. It is like a networking in itself.
Slated.com was founded by Stephan Paternot and Duncan Cork. An American entrepreneur, Paternot is also a film producer while Cork is a creative consultant from South Africa.
The main purpose of Slated.com is to streamline the financial process of a movie project. And to change the inner workings of the industry? That’s the ultimate vision of Slated.com.
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