At Summit, Hollywood leaders discuss the changing landscape of film finance in an increasingly digital world

Day One of the Summit featured an extraordinary panel on the changing landscape of film financing, with David Linde (Lava Bear Films), David Glasser (The Weinstein Company), Jonathan Cavendish (The Imaginarium Studios), and Vince Jolivette (Rabbit Bandini Productions).

“The economics of the global film business are transforming, largely driven by technology changes in an around traditional distribution mediums,” said Linde, who is also a member of CNC’s advisory board. The sudden and severe disinterest of Western audiences in the DVD format, combined with their increasing facility in downloading pirated content, has created real challenges to traditional film economics and thus the means of financing films.”

“In this ever-changing landscape, we need to find ways to make spectacular motion pictures for much less money than in the past, said Cavendish, whose Imaginarium is a performance capture-based studio he created with Andy Serkis in 2012. “Being in a technical space as well as a creative space, we have a bunch of people working for us who can help us do this.” His studio acquires existing IP or creates its own, then develops digital assets from that content that the studio can then use in TV, video games, and interactive.

Jolivette runs the prolific, low-budget Rabbit Bandini production house with actor James Franco, and they’ve experimented successfully with crowdfunding as a new financing stream. “Filmmakers who tend to be more creative than business savvy can use their creativity in the [crowdfunding] campaigns,” he said.

Glasser said The Weinstein Company has embraced a range of platforms to respond to market changes – from TV (including reality television) to Netflix to video-on-demand day-and-date releases for some of its films. “We put the same amount of energy into a VoD release as we would a theatrical one,” he said.


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