Financing production with US pre-sales is becoming more and more rare, if not non-existent. As US indie distribution faces a crisis, filmmakers must look to other sources of investment. International pre-sales are a good start.
11 October, 2009 | By Jeremy Kay
Independent international film-makers who come to the US in search of financing are making “a wasted trip”, the Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas said over the weekend.
Speaking at the launch of the FIND Filmmaker Forum in Los Angeles, Thomas told an audience that the stricken economy and the demise of numerous US distributors had left the US independent sector “screwed up”, although he fully expected the market to bounce back.
In a wide-ranging on-stage conversation with Los Angeles Film Festival director Rebecca Yeldham, Thomas mused on the possibility of setting up his own US distribution network and expressed enthusiasm for the digital revolution.
Thomas, the 1988 best picture Academy Award winner for The Last Emperor, also revealed that his recent Toronto opener Creation had already been illegally downloaded “40,000 times” from the internet.
“It’s an incredible thievery, an incredible banditry,” Thomas said, adding that the online piracy had taken place on something like 20 websites. Newmarket plans to release Creation in US theatres in December and HanWay Films holds international rights.