Entertainment Law

TELEVISION & FILM FINANCING

One of the greatest challenges to realization of any television or feature film project is both raising the necessary capital to produce the project and structuring such financing in a way that provides protections for both producers and investors.

Presenting potential investors with professional business plans and having the corporate and legal structures in place will tell investors that you and your film are a sound investment. Though experienced investors know investment in any entertainment venture is high risk, they still want as many assurances as possible that they will see a return on their investment.

For a fraction of the cost of a larger law firm, we can provide the documents and advice that will give you an enormous advantage over the thousands of other entertainment professionals competing for those same investment dollars. We will also protect you and your investors so that your time, effort and expense will be repaid in the event your project obtains distribution.

If you want to independent finance a feature film or scripted or unscripted television series, we can help.

The firm has extensive experience in financing TV and film projects through both debt and equity financing arrangements.

Equity Financing

Equity financing is an investment in a project (as opposed to a loan) and those providing the financing generally own a portion of the project (usually through an entity created by the parties commonly known as a production limited liability company (LLC) or special purposes vehicle or SPV). Like debt financing, the terms of the investment vary widely depending on a variety of factors including the amount of the investment, the production budget, the experience of the producers, attachments to the project (such as “name” actors, directors or writers), the recoupment strategy and the nature of the project financed (e.g., a documentary versus a horror film).

Producers prefer equity financing since the investment need not be paid back unless the project recoups its budget (and typically other customary costs of distribution such as sales fees, distributor fees, etc.). However, equity financing tends to be more complicated than debt financing and is subject to state and federal securities laws since TV and film financing investments are considered a security under state and federal law and require registration (or exemption under Rules 504, 505 or 506 offerings) with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Failure to register with the SEC, or more commonly, to properly proceed under an exemption from registration can result in civil penalties and even criminal liability.

The firm is experienced in handling all types of equity financing and is able to prepare all necessary documents such as business plans, private placement memorandum, financing agreements and subscription agreements. The firm will also form the investment entity (corporation, limited liability company or partnership) and organize the entity including preparation of the governing documents (i.e., bylaws, operating agreement or partnership agreement).

Debt Financing

Debt financing tends to be less complicated than equity financing but is generally less appealing to TV and film producers as it requires re-payment of the financing regardless of the commercial success of the project. Such arrangements typically involve the producers (either directly or through an entity created specifically and solely for the financing, production and exploitation of the project) borrowing a sum necessary to produce the project from institutional lenders or one or more wealthy individuals. The terms of debt financing vary widely as to the amount of the interest rate, the length of the loan and the security provided to assure repayment. There is less risk for financiers but more pressure on produces as repayment is not conditioned on the financial outcome of the project.

If you are seeking assistance with the financing of a television or film project, contact us at 800-590-6905 or click here.

The initial consultation is always complimentary.

At the conclusion of the initial consultation, all clients are provided a comprehensive assessment of their legal needs, the time involved to provide the proposed services and the projected costs.

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