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    16 Replies Latest reply on Jun 20, 2008 9:24 PM by Lighthouse24

    Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!

    admiralbenbow Newbie
      Just secured $4.8Million of the $32Million production budget on a feature film I wrote and currently producing. What's even more awesome is the other 85% of the budget is waiting on me to sign and return documents. However, I need an entertainment lawyer to review and manage all of these documents...Whose retainer is upwards of $20,000...that I personally do not have.

       

      I'm looking to secure a loan for (ABF) my company in the amount of $20,000 to finalize legal fees and move forward in production. Do banks generally lend to business based in entertainment? I need these funds ASAP...I have been working on this process for a little over 2 years and now I'm causing the hold up!!!

      Can anyone advise me on this urgent matter?

      Thanks,
      Darren Benbow
      Admiral Benbow Filmworks
      www.theartofmakingup.com
        • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
          romesh Newbie
          Hi admiralbenbow,

          I am very interested in your dilemma. I might be able to help, however there are some questions I need to ask you first if you don't mind.

          1. How did you secure your $4.8 million for you feature film
          2. Is $20,000 to a entertainment lawyer a standard fee for managing this transaction
          3. Who is providing the remaining 85% of funding for your project
          4. Why do you need a loan of $20,000 to finalise legal fees

          Best wishes,

          Romesh Aluwihare.
            • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
              admiralbenbow Newbie

              Thanks for your reply...To answer your questions...

              1. We secured the 15% through a private investor who approached us after review of the screenplay and ROI and Marketing materials.
              2. $15,000 - $20,000 is the standard rate of any reputable Ent. Lawyer who will manage such a large transaction.
              3. The other 85% is coming through a film financing company in LA.
              4. We need the loan for $20,000 to retain the services of a known Ent. Law Firm, who will be able to help with the completion of financing as well as secure remaining principle talent and production crew, as well as ultimately work out the film's Distribution.

               

              Thanks, Admiral Benbow Filmworks
                • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
                  Bridge Navigator

                  If you secured 15% through an investor, pull $20,000 out for an attorney.

                  What studio (or who) is producing the film? And, have you lined up distribution?

                  I am still confused as to what paper you are looking to have reviewed - the contract for the initial funding or for the remaining $32 MM?

                   


                  Greg

                   

                  (FYI formerly board member for a small film production company out west)
                    • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
                      admiralbenbow Newbie
                      Thanks Greg...

                      Well, that is a meeting we have set up for the end of the week with the initial investor to see if he can front the legal fees as well.

                       

                      My production company is producing the film...Admiral Benbow Filmworks. We are never ones to embrace convention and have produced the film from the ground up without the help of a major production company. We are currently seeking distribution through MTV films. This is another aspect that the well respected Ent. Lawyer has connections to. We have met with him a few times an he has in so many words guaranteed us distribution.

                      The papers that need to be reviewed and revised for the benefit of both parties is for the remaining 85%. The papers include a finders agreement that definately has a few things that need to be revisited.

                       

                      Thanks again for your reply and I hope i have answered your questions.
                      Admiral Benbow Filmworks
                        • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
                          Bridge Navigator
                          O.K. now I am really confused. If you have already secured the initial $4 MM, use part of he proceeds for legal fees.

                          Do not limit your distribution search to one company. If you are not attached to a "studio" it will be harder to find distribution (although much easier than 10 years ago!).

                          Most studios have division specifically to help produce and/or distribute independents. Having co-producing from "been there, done that" people will help.

                          for a $36 MM film, expect distribution to run another $30 MM. For that the distribution company will want a "piece".

                          If you lawyer can "guarantee" distribution and has "connections" there is no reason he should not take on the project on contingency - unless he does not believe in what he is selling you (which is what is sound like to me).

                          I'd start interviewing other attorneys and keep your options open.
                            • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
                              admiralbenbow Newbie
                              Hey Greg,

                              Thanks again for your insight. We are definitely not ruling out co-production, actually seeking it, and we are not limiting ourselves to one distribution opportunity. It is my understanding that the law firm is standing ground on the retainer because of their important connections, not lack there of. Granted they are a larger firm, but that is our very reasoning for wanting them to represent us. This way we have access to all of their connections and their connections will gain access to us as well, including talent.

                              The 15% of the budget that we have secured is caught up in escrow and LOI's...We were under the impression that legal would get involved based off of it but every lawyer we have approached has not. They all feel same as you that if we have access to these types of investors, we should seek the retainer fees from them.

                              • Update...yesterday we went to Bank of America to peruse a business loan using the 15% as collateral and were only given the option of a high interest biz credit card before being turned away.
                              • We have also gotten legal to reduce the retainer to $15,000.

                              Thanks again for your replys, they have helped us to ask the right questions. We have garnered all the interest in this film based off of the screenplay and it's treatment alone. It, once completed will add something new and innovative to the entire independent film industry.

                              Admiral Benbow Filmworks
                            • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
                              caffeinated Scout
                              Hi admiralbenbow,

                              Welcome to the community! Good to see a user representing the film industry. I personally do not have experience in your field to assist, but I am an avid movie-goer. Can you share any details on the film itself? Title, actors, shooting locations etc.?

                              best of luck,
                              caffeinated
                      • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
                        Bridge Navigator
                        I have all this money waiting to be released if only you will send me a small check...

                        Is this a new twist on the Nigerian scam? Kudos for ingenuity.

                        By he way, the audio track on your website is drowned out by the sound and special effects.

                        If you are legitimate, an entertainment attorney should take you on contingency after reviewing your paperwork. Get a LOC based on the $4.8 MM and use it as collateral.

                        $32 MM seems like a high cosr independant film...make it for the $4.8.
                          • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
                            admiralbenbow Newbie
                            LOL...the Nigerian scam...after reading my post i guess it can come across that way, but no this is definately not a scam.

                            At every turn we have been told that we must have a retainer of at least $15,000 to retain the services of a reputable Ent. Lawyer. Our delima is in signing the documents in order to begin recieving the film's production budget, for fear of signing over too much of the film's net profits without making arbritrary revisions to the contracts with a lawyer.

                            In entertainment, especially film it is very difficult to get people to sign on or do any work without some sort of retainer. That's just the space we are in. We have attained major talent and crew through LOI's, however we must have the help of an Ent. Lawyer to move forward.

                            Thanks for the reply and critique of the website : ) Hopefully we will soon be able to post an update with the full launch of the site.

                            Admiral Benbow
                          • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
                            HAARK58 Wayfarer
                            Put the $32 million in the bank for a month and use the interest. As a matter of fact by the time you get the other documents signed, sealed and delivered; you should have accrued enough interest from the $4.8 million. You really have great fundraising skills; very impressive. Also Admiral; maybe you can go to the US Navy and get it from the Pirate's Fund. Just an idea.
                              • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
                                admiralbenbow Newbie
                                Thanks for your reply. We are however very hesitant to move forward with the financing process without the aid of an Ent. Lawyer. Please understand that the full $32Mil is for the production budget alone. Sure, having written and produced the film there is a portion of that budget that will come to us as our salaries for the project. However, the ROI is what is at stake by just signing these agreements without the assistance of a lawyer.

                                Yes, fundraising has been a very difficult task over the last few years, and it is ultimately a blessing to even be having this conversation, but in still being smart, we have to handle these funds with care and take the necessary steps in acquiring them.

                                Thanks, Admiral Benbow Filmworks
                              • Re: Just secured $4Million!for Film Project! Need Urgent Help!!
                                Lighthouse24 Ranger
                                Have you considered a different lawyer/firm? If you can connect with someone who believes in your project, you might be able to exchange services for a percentage -- that's not an unusual arrangement for entertainment lawyers (they often have a passion for "getting involved," though not always with film -- it may be music, or theater, or something else -- you have to find the right person). Good luck with your project!