Financing Films

Financing Films

Image courtesy of geralt

I attended an evening workshop on film financing last week. It was given by Roy Martin, founder of The Film Portal. This website helps those attending Cannes to network. 

He's had a varied career including stints in finance. His talk gave a good overview of how major films are financed with a few personal insights thrown in. Here are some highlights:

  • The Domestic market means those films that are viewed in North America. This is 30% of the global market. 
  • Development costs are £100-150k before a film would be given the green light.
  • A film will often not make a book profit
  • Where does the hard money come from:

Studio, distributors, banks, investors
Pre-sales. Need stars.
Split rights
Gap financing. Usually 10-20%.

  • Where does the soft money come from:

Product placement
Service deals e.g. VFX

  • The costings look like this

Tax breaks 20-40%
Gap financing 10-20%
Co-productions 20-50%
Grants 5-10%
Equity 5-100%
In-kind referrals 5-10%

  • There is a waterfall of money post launch. It goes out in a particular order: last in, first out.
  • Print and advertisting is typically £35M
  • As well as a theatrical release, some money is made from educational, prison etc.
  • After costs, money is usually split between investors and producers 50:50
  • Other sources of income: Netflix, crowdfunding, ICO (initial coin offering), investor of the year (a particulary place or group will dive into films as an investment)


There was a bit of networking afterwards.