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Arnold outbonds ’em

'End of Days' completion policy may be largest ever

In what is believed to be the largest such policy ever written for an independently financed film, International Film Guarantors has inked a completion bond for Beacon Pictures’ $100 million Arnold Schwarzenegger pic “End of Days.”

The picture, which began lensing Nov. 21 under the helm of Peter Hyams, is skedded for a 95-day shoot. In addition to its high-priced talent, “Days” involves a large number of visual and mechanical effects and complex stunt work.

Previously the costliest pic ever bonded was Carolco’s $98 million “Cutthroat Island.” IFG also bonded that picture, as well as Beacon’s big ticket actioner “Air Force One.”

Carolco’s “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” the most expensive indie pic ever made at about $102 million, was not bonded.

Big bond experience

“Big movies are always a challenge,” said IFG senior VP Joan Weidman. “But our experience with the Beacon team and the talented filmmakers they work with has always yielded excellent results.”

IFG is also bonding Beacon’s “Hurricane,” starring Denzel Washington and directed by Norman Jewison. Both “End of Days” and “Hurricane” will be distributed by Universal Pictures in the U.S. and Canada, Gaga Communications in Japan, Metropolitan Filmexport in France, RCV 2000 in the Netherlands, Village Roadshow in Australia, New Zealand and Greece, and Buena Vista Intl. in the rest of the world.

“Our history with IFG has created a level of trust and experience that allows us to turn an ordinarily complicated process into something very manageable,” said Beacon chief operating officer Tom Bliss.

Film insurance

Completion bonds are essentially insurance policies which guarantee that a film will be completed on time and on budget. In the event of cost overruns, the bond company pays out.

With offices in Los Angeles and the U.K, IFG provides completion bond services for films in all budget ranges. Last year, the company bonded about 40 films with budgets totaling roughly $600 million, according to president and COO Steve Mangel.

Through its partnership with Near North National Group and the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., the company is backed by roughly $12 billion in assets.

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