Making the Deals and Making it Pay
Moderator: Robin Lyons.
In a session that reinforced a sobering and very important point – that the days of receiving 100% of funding from one broadcaster are long gone – the panel helpfully swooped to the rescue with explorations of numerous other potential sources of finance for producers.
Primary UK Broadcasters are the most obvious sources of funding, but funding can also be found via the co-production route, pre-sales, crowd funding campaigns and even charities! So all is not lost! There is money out there! We just have to look in “unusual” places. No, not down the back of the sofa…
The panel took us succinctly and helpfully through a basic idea of how the fund-raising process works for a producer. Basically, they own everything to do with their project at the start, and the raising of funds is a gradual trade off of what you own.
In a nutshell: You have to have something you’re prepared to part with.
The Q and A portion of the session was at first dominated by Adam Selly, who was bombarded with questions after talking the audience through his new distribution business model. Adam offered an alternative which allows producers to retain more control of their project, but does’t provide an upfront contribution to the budget. He acts like a broker to help seek out further funding, while also taking on the distributor role – keeping the process of sales closer to the producer than in the traditional distributor model. He admitted it is a longer route to your project being made, but you should own more of it in the end.
All the speakers stressed there are many different forms of deal making and many nuances in the process – each deal is individual – and once again the message came through loud and clear, that there is more flexibility required than ever, and more creativity needed in putting together the partners to fund a project.