Defining the Next Generation Studio: Who are the New Power Players?


(Note: This is part 3 in a series of 7 on key industry topics trending from the 2016 Film Finance Forum East held in NYC in April 2016)

 

Amazon. Netflix. Amazon. Netflix. Ama… okay they weren’t the whole conversation.

Line are being blurred like never before between film and TV (i.e. Game of Thrones). There are your obvious culprits (see above), but there are even new avenues being created that are continuing this trend – the Sean Parker backed “The Screening Room” being one of them.

Gabriel Hammond, CEO, Broad Green Pictures asked a very interesting question: “Who’s the Billy Beane of film and TV?” As you may remember, Billy Beane is famous for Moneyball, his approach to the market inefficiencies in major league baseball that allowed him to keep the Oakland Athletics as yearly contenders despite a limited budget.

Gabriel’s point was made stronger by the growth of all “in-house” producing, financing and distributing that is going on. Once companies are really good at one thing, such as IM Global and foreign sales, they’re branching into other aspects of production and distribution in order to monetize all levels under one roof. A distinguished panel made up of Hammond, Eileen Burke, Founder and Managing Principal West End Capital and Advisory, Chris Bosco, COO IM Global, Lindsay Connor, Co-Chair Entertainment and Media Practice for Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP agreed that the industry is working to refocus on what is truly important at all levels of producing, distributing, etc. and not just what’s always been.

Whoever figures that out the best? That is your next generation studio.

TV & Film Advertising Also Ripe for Change

Advertising of film and TV is an area also ripe for Moneyball thinking. Too many major studios are still doing everything the same way they used to. Social media needs to be a part of your strategy, but the demographics of each platform are constantly changing: Facebooks’ demographic isn’t millennials anymore… its baby boomers; while Snapchat is home of the Millennials and Generation Z. And any attempt to advertise into the Chinese marketplace is hugely dependent on social media.

Other Key Takeaways

• Content is Critical: This is a common theme throughout the industry and echoed in the event. There are so many distribution routes that content is still king.
• Spanish language TV is an emerging market, if slowly.
• Presales and tax credits mitigate risks for investors. Again, you’ve heard this before but tax credits are a guaranteed return of a portion of your budget… if you navigate them correctly (don’t worry, we can help).
• International money is coming into the U.S. but, they’re looking for some control so they’re staying away from the big studios. That second or third level production studio has a lot of opportunity with international financing.

WANT TO KNOW MORE?

Want more information about how Tax Credits can help you mitigate risk and fund your project? Give us a call at 781-380-3520 or shoot us an email and we’d be happy to talk.

PART I: TV + Film Finance Forum East Recap
PART II: Getting your Film Funded: Pro-Investor Models in a Changed Economy