The following banks and finance companies are active in making loans on a per-project basis for independent films.Banque Paribas 2029 Century Park East Suite 3900 Los Angeles, CA 90067 (310) 551-7314 Fax: (310) 556-8759 Contacts: Michael Mendelsohn, group portfolio manager and consultant; Douglas Hansen, VP; Rene Turin, entertainment coordinator. Type of business: Entertainment banking. Type of finance: Banque Paribas offers project-by-project gap financing, co-production services, advisory services, rights and library acquisition services. Advice: Banque Paribas has a specific set of film financing criteria for prospective filmmakers to follow. In order for the bank to review a project for potential financing, the following items must be submitted by an agent or entertainment attorney: Two copies of a script or synopsis; a budget; cast list with letters of intent; biographies on producer and director, with letters of intent; chain of title; completion bond; and distribution contracts (if no contracts are in place, pre-sales estimates from a reputable foreign sales agent are required). The minimum financing amount is $1.5 million and the maximum is $30 million. It takes Paribas approximately two-three weeks to review a project. Banque Paribas does not accept unsolicited projects. Recent projects: “Air Force One”; cast: Harrison Ford. “One Tough Cop”; cast: Stephen Baldwin. “Basil”; cast: Christian Slater. “Liar”; cast: Tim Roth. “Polish Wedding”; cast: Gabriel Byrne. Chase Securities Inc. 1800 Century Park East Suite 400 Los Angeles, CA 90067 (310) 788-5600 Fax: (310) 788-5628 Contacts: John W. Miller, managing director; Kenneth R. Wilson, VP; V. David Shaheen, associate. Type of business: Entertainment banking. Type of finance: Chase is a leading arranger and syndicator of large revolving credit lines for motion picture projects. Advice: “Fax proposals to the attention of myself and David Shaheen,” says VP Kenneth Wilson. “Proposals should include a copy of the film budget, cash flows, a synopsis of the story, bios of the producer and director, and an indication of cast. For corporate revolvers, a projected business plan should also be included.” Recent projects: Chase does finance individual pics, but is best known for arranging revolving lines of finance to help companies pay for a series of films. Recent such arrangements include a $1 billion credit facility with DreamWorks; a $125 million credit facility with Phoenix Pictures; a $155 million credit facility with All American; and a $75 million credit facility with Trimark. City National Bank (Entertainment Division) 400 N. Roxbury Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (310) 888-6200 Fax: (310) 888-6159 Contacts: Martha Henderson, executive VP/manager; Mary Yoel, senior VP/assistant manager. Type of business: Full-service entertainment banking, including streamlined production accounts, escrow accounts and production-related financial services. Type of finance: Film project financing, including gap and international accounts receivable. Recent projects: “The Brave” “The Flood” “Players Club” “Sliding Doors” “The Thin Red Line” Comerica Bank California (Entertainment Industries Group) 10900 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90024 (310) 824-5700 Fax: (310) 208-0127 Contact: Steven J. Leibovitz, first VP/manager. Type of business: Entertainment banking, particularly corporate finance and production lending. Type of finance: Project lending, gap financing, corporate lines and term loans. Advice: “Comerica is a member of the American Film Marketing Assn. and the AFI Banking Group,” says VP/manager Steven Leibovitz. “Local filmmakers may contact us directly, or at various trade events, such as Cannes, NATPE, Sundance and AFM.” Leibovitz adds that Comerica’s minimum list of requirements to consider a submission is as follows: Resume of producer and director, including projects produced; chain of title information/documentation; breakdown of current project budget and other information regarding actual costs; weekly cash disbursement schedule; copies of signed distribution or pre-sale contracts or license agreements for minimum guaranteed advances; estimates or projected sales from a reputable sales organization; and a completion bond (guaranty) or letter of intent from quality rated, reputable and financially viable bonding company. You can e-mail Leibovitz with questions at email@example.com. Recent projects: Leibovitz says Comerica is currently involved in several film projects, but declined to name specific titles. Film Finances 9000 Sunset Blvd. Suite 1400 Los Angeles, CA 90069 (310) 275-7323 Fax: (310) 275-1706 Contacts: Richard Soames, president; Kurt Woolner, Steve Ransohoff, exec VPs; Marion Spiegelman, senior VP. Type of business: Insurance completion bond services for both film and finance companies. Type of finance: Completion guaranties. Recent projects: “Shine” “Secrets and Lies” “Trainspotting” “Scream” “Traveler” Films (Guernsey) Ltd. 2 Savile Row London, W1X 1AF, U.K. 011-44-171-434-0340 Fax: 011-44-171-434-0442 Contact: Adrian Scrope, director; Gillian Duffield; Vince Holden. In North America: American Film Services 811 N. Norman Place Los Angeles, CA 90049 (310) 472-5858 Fax: (310) 472-0028 Contact: Jorge Gallegos, president. Type of business: Entertainment banking and financial services for the international film and TV industries. Films (Guernsey) Ltd. is a joint venture with Berliner Bank of Germany and Banque Internationale a Luxembourg. The company structures film and TV loans on behalf of those two banks. American Film Services is the venture’s U.S. representative. The company is not a broker and does not charge a fee, as it is compensated solely by the two shareholder banks. Type of finance: Films (Guernsey) Ltd. offers comprehensive financial services to filmmakers, including production financing, acquisition and distribution funding, secured loans with no minimum or maximum, advisory services, collection services and trust and escrow accounts. Advice: “We are happy to advise producers on the best way to finance their projects as soon as the creative package has been put together,” says director Adrian Scrope. Recent projects: “An American Werewolf in Paris” “The Relic” “Tarzan and Jane” “Land Girls” “The New Adventures of Flipper” (TV series) Guinness Mahon 32 Mary at Hill London, EC3P 3AJ, U.K. 011-44-171-623-9333 Fax: 011-44-171-982-9248 Contact: Premila Hoon, director. Type of business: Banking finance. Type of finance: Structured finance, including foreign pre-sale discounting. Corporate ties: Owned by the Bank of Yokohama. Advice: Submit a brief outline of the project and the proposed financing structure, including details of distributors and investors attached to the project. Recent projects: “The Truce” “American Buffalo” “Richard III” “Wilde” “Surviving Picasso” Imperial Bank 9777 Wilshire Blvd. 7th Floor Beverly Hills, CA 90212 (310) 281-2400 Fax: (310) 281-2476 Contacts: Morgan Rector, president; Jeff Colvin, senior VP/team leader; Jared Underwood, senior VP. Type of business: Entertainment finance. Type of finance: Corporate lines of credit and single-picture finance. Advice: “You need a completion bond, confirmed cast and distribution attached,” explains Tina Willard, assistant VP. Recent projects: “This Is My Father” “The Scalper” “The Black” “Regeneration” “Little City” Lewis Horwitz Organization 1840 Century Park East Los Angeles, CA 90067 (310) 275-7171 Fax: (310) 275-8055 Contacts: Lewis Horwitz, president; Arthur Stribley, executive VP. Type of business: Entertainment banking. Type of finance: The company has long been an active lender to indies, and offers specific project financing and/or gap financing to qualified filmmakers. Advice: “We need a script, budget and cash-flow projection, together with the sales agent handling the international sales and copies of the existing pre-sales contracts,” says prexy Lewis Horwitz. “We lend on a combination of sold and unsold (Gap) rights, and a completion bond is required.” Recent projects: “Knockoff”; cast: Jean-Claude Van Damme. “Conan the Adventurer”; TV series. “Afterglow”; cast: Nick Nolte and Julie Christie. “Savior”; cast: Dennis Quaid. “The Only Thrill”; cast: Diane Keaton, Sam Sheppard. Mercantile National Bank 1840 Century Park East Los Angeles, CA 90067 (310) 282-6708 Fax: (310) 203-0894 Contacts: Melanie Krinsky, senior VP/manager; Mandie Rush, first VP. Type of business: Mercantile’s entertainment division provides a wide range of film and TV financing services. Type of finance: Mercantile specializes in low-end, negative pick-up transactions. Projects must have a firm distribution agreement or letter of credit in place. Recent projects: “Zack & Reba”; director, Nicole Bettauer; cast: Sean Patrick Flannery, Brittany Murphy, Debbie Reynolds. Natwest Markets/Coutts & Co. 350 S. Grand Ave. 39th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90024 (213) 624-8555 Fax: (213) 346-9021 In Europe: Coutts & Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of National Westminster Bank 440 Strong London, WC2 R0Q, UK 011-44-171-753-1658 Fax: 011-44-171-753-1069 Contacts: Hal Sadoff, senior VP (U.S.); Rodney Paye, partner (Europe). Type of business: Entertainment banking on a global basis. Type of finance: Most types of film financing. Recent projects: Company officials declined to name specific projects, but say that Natwest/Coutts provides credit facilities for a number of major entertainment companies, including Mandalay, Overseas Filmgroup, J&M Entertainment and Cinetel. Newmarket Capital Group 202 N. Canon Drive Beverly Hills, CA 90210 (310) 858-7472 Fax: (310) 858-7473 Contacts: William Tyrer, Chris Ball, co-founders. Type of business: Set up in 1994 by former Daiwa Bank execs William Tyrer and Chris Ball, Newmarket is essentially a finance company that makes investments and loans for independent film projects via a combination of its own capital and credit lines. Newmarket has closed in excess of 40 transactions since its inception. The company will provide financing to sales companies and producers for projects without any pre-sales being in place, as well as fully collateralized projects. Applicants should be aware that pricing is proportionate to the risk taken by Newmarket. Newmarket will work in partnership with producers providing assistance with pay-or-play commitments and pre-production funding. Type of finance: Per-project funding for 15-20 indie film productions per year, with financing ranging from full collateralized loans to 100% investments. “At Newmarket, we have a pragmatic and flexible approach to meeting the needs of independent sales companies and producers,” says co-founder Chris Ball. “We can expedite closing and be fluid in our response to changing situations.” Individual financing has ranged from as little as $700,000 to more than $70 million. Advice: “It’s best to approach Newmarket as early in the process as possible, when you have a well-developed screenplay,” says co-founder William Tyrer. “Newmarket has the ability to fully finance projects in competition with distributors such as Miramax and October. Newmarket’s competitive edge is that it offers producers more creative independence than that which is typically available from distributors.” Recent projects: “Velvet Goldmine” “Bound” “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” “187” “The Flood” Silicon Valley Bank 9150 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 201 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 (310) 786-8640 Fax: (310) 786-8657 Contacts: Irene Speiser, senior VP/manager; Paul Wyckoff, VP. Type of business: Entertainment banking, including production loans and corporate lines. Type of finance: Traditional production lending, gap financing, lines of credit, term loans, new media, export-import bank enhancement. Advice: You may call directly Irene Speiser at (310) 786-8646 or Paul Wyckoff at (310) 786-8648 for information on Silicon Valley’s requirements. Recent projects: “Chairman of the Board” “Eve’s Bayou” Stone Canyon Investments 1800 Avenue of the Stars Suite 450 Los Angeles, CA 90067 (310) 553-7920 Fax: (310) 553-7922 Contacts: Ibrahim A. Moussa, CEO; Alessandra Sandron, business affairs; Jana Brainard, acquisitions VP; Jennifer Gruskoff, acquisitions manager; Ovido Assonitis, non-exclusive business consultant. Type of business: Stone Canyon is a theatrical film broker for projects distributed in Europe, and also a film financier. Type of finance: As a film broker, Stone Canyon can provide portions of a film budget in return for certain distribution rights. Corporate ties: Stone Ridge is a consultant to numerous companies, including TF1, Mediaset/Medusa Film, Quinta Communications/Kingdom Entertainment, HEC Asset Management Gmbh. Advice: “European territories must be available (for projects involving Stone Canyon), and ideally, the project should have domestic distribution,” says CEO Ibrahim A. Moussa. “At least one major element should be attached (producer/director/cast).” Recent releases: Stone Canyon is a new company and is currently finalizing its first projects. Sumitomo Bank 777 S. Figueroa St. Suite 2600 Los Angeles, CA 90017 (213) 955-0825 Fax: (213) 623-6832 Contact: Stephen Mras, VP and group manager. Type of business: Entertainment and structured finance. Type of finance: Sumitomo offers per-project gap financing on a case-by-case basis and revolving credit facilities. Structured financing includes synthetic sale/leasebacks, film securitizations and structured library financings. Advice: “We need projects with name talent attached, along with distribution contracts, completion guarantors, budgets, production cash flow, a film synopsis and so on,” explains VP Stephen Mras. Recent projects: A $300 million film lease with PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, with funds used for the making of “Fargo,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus” and “Dead Man Walking.” “Long Time, Nothing New” “Affliction” “American History X”
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