Paying for the Tinsel: The Unromantic Task of Financing Independent Movies

Hollywood is full of Cinderalla stories — plucky independent movies like Rocky and My Big Fat Greek Wedding that defy the odds and become blockbusters. Adrian Ward, senior vice president at Pacific Mercantile Bank, has been financing independent movies for 25 years without reading a script. He shares the true story behind the financing of independent film productions.

Film Financing… It’s Not About Box Office Performance

In a Q&A with ABF Journal publisher Jerry Parrotto, Joe Woolf, executive vice president, media and entertainment finance, OneWest Bank, talks about the key risks with film production loans, which usually involve a detailed cash-flow budget, timeline to produce the film and a collateral pool known as “pre-sales” to support the financing. Lenders will typically mitigate risk via the engagement of a third party that monitors production and cash-flows to ensure the project is completed on time and on budget.