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Transatlantic Film Financing
Cherry-picking the best parts of the European funding model combined with US packaging sensibilities PLUS the workaround for Americans.
Thanks for all the kind notes about my latest film release! It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend and the distributor is already sending us initial numbers that look promising. TLDR; Publicity has been the best investment in marketing and driving traffic for sales so far!
Today I want to continue on the thread we started about How Financing Comes Together and elaborate a bit on the conventional structured finance model we discussed previously (pre-sales + tax + gap + equity).
The Transatlantic Financing Model
OK back to the Film Financing conundrum….. the one that most of us Americans face head-on.
For starters, here in the US we don’t have the government support that places like Canada, UK, or Europe has, which means we have to rely more heavily on equity as part of our financing puzzle.
Let’s cut to the chase - equity can be extremely difficult to come by. I mean, unless you come from extreme wealth, or are connected to extreme wealth, and can tap those connections easily, it’s just not available for most of us.
It doesn’t mean that Canadian or European producers don’t have find equity as part of their financing plans, but because there’s government soft-money and other schemes that can fulfill in large chunks of the budget, the equity they have to raise is much less daunting, and sometimes yes, they can do it with none at all.
I was listening to a panel from Cannes last year when one of the producers coined the term transatlantic financing model and it really unlocked something I’ve been practicing for a while but didn’t have a term for.
What it essentially means is cherry-picking the best parts of the European funding model (government subsidies, soft money schemes, etc.) and combining that with US sensibilities (strong talent packaging, navigating the US agencies and distribution) and leaning into a co-production structure whereby you divide and conquer and pull together the best of both worlds.
Obviously I’m simplifying this a bit as it’s not as easy as it sounds, BUT it is a whole lot less daunting than starting down at a blank page financing plan that requires 80%-100% equity and no where to start looking.
Another caveat is that to tap into European, Canadian, or UK soft money schemes the project has to be somewhat international in scope in the first place (and should be rooted in one of those territories), so not every project qualifies for a transatlantic financing model but in terms of how I’m building out my own slate of projects, they all have international qualities included in their DNA by choice (and frankly, necessity).
So what are your questions about the transatlantic financing model? Leave them in the comments section below and let’s start a discussion.
Or if you have a film or series project you want to be considered for my international co-production submissions service, go here and see if it’s a fit for you.
On that note, I’ll wrap things up for today. I hope you have a fabulous day ahead and I’ll speak to you again soon….
To your success,