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Brush With Extinction » Blog Archive » Who Wants to be a Movie Mogul?


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/27/d198045995/htdocs/brushwithext/wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 14

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/27/d198045995/htdocs/brushwithext/wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/27/d198045995/htdocs/brushwithext/wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/27/d198045995/htdocs/brushwithext/wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 27

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/27/d198045995/htdocs/brushwithext/wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 28

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/27/d198045995/htdocs/brushwithext/wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 14

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/27/d198045995/htdocs/brushwithext/wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 23

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/27/d198045995/htdocs/brushwithext/wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 25

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/27/d198045995/htdocs/brushwithext/wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 27

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/27/d198045995/htdocs/brushwithext/wordpress/wp-includes/functions.php on line 28

Who Wants to be a Movie Mogul?


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While I was researching creative funding avenues for documentaries, I came across an interesting idea that unfortunately appears to have failed on its first outing: selling shares in a movie.  In 2003, Los Angeles underwriter Civilian Capital formed Billy Dead Inc. in order to have an initial public offering of stock to finance the making of the film Billy Dead.  The film, due to star Ethan Hawke and be directed by Keith Gordon (The Singing Detective) was based on the book of the same name by Lisa Reardon.  The novel, described by Amazon as “a gut-wrenching trip into the past of an American family that’s about as unappetizing as you will find” seems the unlikely candidate for the kind of mass appeal that an IPO would demand, but perhaps Civilian Capital were banking on the investors being more interested in their chance to participate in the glamour of Hollywood.

film-reel.jpg

The plan was to sell 900,000 preferred shares for $8.75 apiece, raising $7.9 million.  After Civilian Capital’s 7 percent cut and other startup costs and overhead, $6.2 million would remain to make the film.  Once Billy Dead was filmed, the shareholders would be able to participate on revenue, after taxes, from the sale of rights to distribute the film to theaters, television, and DVD markets.  Assuming that the film got great reviews and earned $20 million in total revenue, this would leave $6 million in gross profits to be divided up after the $8 million in production costs are deducted and the distributor takes their 30 percent.  This would leave $1.95 million after taxes, with the shareholders getting half, equal to approximately $2.15 a share, a fairly respectable return of 25 percent over a couple of years.  The problem is that making money with movies is never a sure thing, with the rule of thumb in Hollywood being that 75 percent of all studio movies lose money.  The results of the IPO were certainly underwhelming, with Civilian Capital raising only $125,000 from 50 investors, far short of their initial goals.  The company ended up amending their filings with the SEC and returning investors’ money.  The lack of any mention of the film on the Internet Movie Database since that time seems to show that the film has sunk into oblivion.

As long as there are filmmakers that will do anything and everything to get their vision on the screen, there will be creative and unique ways to raise the money to make it happen.

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