The paradigm in Hollywood is shifting and it makes sense to explore how movies can be financed more efficiently
One of Hollywood’s most prolific independent producers seeks to democratise Hollywood
Leading independent film producer Cassian Elwes has announced a brand new crowdfunding film venture, Movie Collective, inviting fans to invest in a slate of upcoming film projects and help democratise Hollywood.
Until now, the studios and powers have shied away from opening up finance opportunities to the masses, instead focusing on traditional avenues of banks, pre-sales and large private equity investors. Having been involved with over 450 films, Cassian Elwes is arguably the most experienced producer in the independent film industry, and is now looking to challenge the status quo by calling on members of the public, from film buffs to high net worth investors to the first-time backers, to join his team and help bring more independent films to the big screen.
Movie Collective, a joint venture with self-distribution expert and independent filmmaker Marcus Markou, is unlike conventional crowdfunding campaigns offered by the film industry and aims to disrupt the norm. The principle is simple; finance raised during the forthcoming Crowdcube campaign will be used to produce Movie Collective’s slate of films, with shareholders investing from as little as £10. It is the intention of the company to pay prospective profits as a dividend to equity stakeholders, with remaining profits used to help finance other projects on the slate.
The first Movie Collective project, feature film Utopia Road, has been greenlit and is expected to shoot this summer. Anjelica Huston is attached to the film, whilst as previously reported discussions are underway with Garrett Hedlund (Mudbound) and Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3). The film will be directed by Rosson Crow, marking the American visual artist’s directorial debut, and is written by Karolina Waclawiak (AWOL). Movie Collective will co-produce alongside other existing partners, whilst the company has a number of other projects at various stages of development.
Movie Collective offers investors an opportunity to go into business with Cassian Elwes who has produced/executive produced or packaged over 450 independent films, first at William Morris and latterly as an independent producer. Most recently he sold Mudbound to Netflix for $12.5 million in the biggest deal at Sundance 2017, and other notable films on his resume include The Butler, Dallas Buyers Club, Blue Valentine and Lawless.
The Movie Collective management team also includes Marcus Markou, who wrote, directed and produced indie hit Papadopoulos & Sons, self-distributing the film to huge success and achieving the second highest screen average of any film in its opening weekend at the time. The film is used as a case study within the independent film industry, with the film eventually being bought by Netflix, BBC and ARTE.
Cassian Elwes said: “The paradigm in Hollywood is shifting and it makes sense to explore how movies can be financed more efficiently. If we can make it work and deliver success for a broader base of stakeholders then there is no reason why we cannot make more movies this way. It’s very exciting.”
Marcus Markou said: “Because people will be investing in a slate, the risk, as well as the rewards, are spread. We are effectively replacing the single equity investor – the person that will often own the movie – with the crowd: that’s people like you and me, for as little as £10 per share. These are not micro budget projects with little hope of distribution. These are commercial gems produced by Cassian. Movie fans will finally be able to say they own a piece of the picture they are seeing.”
Movie Collective is expected to launch on Crowdcube on 1st May 2018. Fans can sign up to the Movie Collective mailing list at www.MovieCollective.com, to get access to a private investment window to purchase shares in the company at the end of April, before they are made available to the wider public.
Investing involves risk and should be done only as part of a diversified portfolio. Investing equity in start-ups and early stage businesses involves risks, including illiquidity, lack of dividends, loss of investment and dilution. Crowdcube is targeted exclusively at investors who are sufficiently sophisticated to understand these risks and make their own investment decisions. Approved as a financial promotion by Crowdcube Capital Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 650205).
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