Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Image Nation Abu Dhabi Reteams with Emirati Filmmaker Ali Mostafa on New Feature Film “The Worthy” Image Nation Abu Dhabi Reteams with Emirati Filmmaker Ali Mostafa on New Feature Film “The Worthy” RightsTrade Closes Deals with Leading Film Sales Companies Lakeshore, The Solution, and Arclight RightsTrade Closes Deals with Leading Film Sales Companies Lakeshore, The Solution, and Arclight Cannes 2015: Salma Hayek, Empowering Women In Film Cannes 2015: Salma Hayek, Empowering Women In Film Cannes ISA of the Day: Ryan Keller of Instrum International Cannes ISA of the Day: Ryan Keller of Instrum International Cannes '15: Thailand Film Office Predicts 2015 Will Be a Record-Breaking Year for Incoming Productions Cannes '15: Thailand Film Office Predicts 2015 Will Be a Record-Breaking Year for Incoming Productions Canne '15: Beta Cinema’s 'Ghosthunters'  & 'Umrika' Among Hot Sellers at Marché du Film Canne '15: Beta Cinema’s 'Ghosthunters' & 'Umrika' Among Hot Sellers at Marché du Film Cannes '15: CinemaChile at Cannes 2015 Cannes '15: CinemaChile at Cannes 2015 Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards Meet the Filmmaker Who Brought to Life an Iconic 'Doctor Who' Episode and J.K. Rowling's Adult-Oriented Novel Meet the Filmmaker Who Brought to Life an Iconic 'Doctor Who' Episode and J.K. Rowling's Adult-Oriented Novel In Conversation with Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, at the 2015 Marché du Film In Conversation with Netflix Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos, at the 2015 Marché du Film Marché du Film Announces Inaugural 'China Summit' Program Marché du Film Announces Inaugural 'China Summit' Program The American Pavilion Worldwide Student Program Sets Record Enrollment at Cannes The American Pavilion Worldwide Student Program Sets Record Enrollment at Cannes  Oberhausen International Short Film Festival Oberhausen International Short Film Festival LatinoBuzz: Interview with Elvis Nolasco from ABC's 'American Crime' LatinoBuzz: Interview with Elvis Nolasco from ABC's 'American Crime' INTERVIEW: Director of Quiet Riot Documentary Regina Russell & Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot INTERVIEW: Director of Quiet Riot Documentary Regina Russell & Frankie Banali of Quiet Riot Review: Wild in Blue Review: Wild in Blue Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1 Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - Europe Part 1 Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' LatinoBuzz: Ten Years After Sharing Her Story of Surviving Torture, Maria Guardado Continues to Fight For a Better World LatinoBuzz: Ten Years After Sharing Her Story of Surviving Torture, Maria Guardado Continues to Fight For a Better World

Guest Blogger: Morris Ruskin of Shoreline

Photo of Sydney Levine By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz March 29, 2011 at 3:30AM

Morris Ruskin of Shoreline writes a blog on Huffington Post. This blog is on Investing in Film and draws on his experience investing in some 50 films including Glengarry Glen Ross.
0

Morris Ruskin of Shoreline writes a blog on Huffington Post. This blog is on Investing in Film and draws on his experience investing in some 50 films including Glengarry Glen Ross.

RICKY ROMA
Stocks, bonds, objects of art, real
estate. What are they?
(pause)
An opportunity. To what? To make
money? Perhaps. To lose money?
Perhaps. To "indulge" and to
"learn" about ourselves? Perhaps.

This is a quote from Al Pacino's character in Glengarry Glen Ross, released in 1992 and based on David Mamet's 1984 play that won the Pulitzer Prize. Now, I know that the fact that I co-produced Glengarry doesn't qualify me to comment on the economy, but I do know a thing or two about the movie business, as I've produced close to fifty movies and I run a worldwide film sales company. Lately, interest in movie investment has been piqued, given the recent challenges in the real estate and stock markets. In fact, some of my friends are saying things are so bad that they may as well be investing in the movie business. Let's look deeper at what seems just a humurous aside and ask ourselves the question, is investing in movies a good or bad idea? The answer is both, really. Of course, the biggest attraction is that it presents a unique opportunity to "indulge" and to "learn about ourselves" and maybe you make or lose money. However, I do believe there is a savvy, practical way to invest in the movie business. I've been in this business since 1985 and who have I seen make money time and again? The banks, naturally, because they position themselves to be paid back first.

Since the 2008 credit crunch we've seen the demise of over two-thirds of the entertainment lenders and those few that have remained have become even more conservative. And so from the ashes of the recession comes an opportunity. Where banks are contracting, where typical investments may have failed people, there is an opportunity to "indulge" in a business that seems to be recession proof, yet do so in a conservative and smart way, like the banks.

I often come across or I'm able to help assemble movies that are 70%, 80%, 90% financed by a combination of co-production deals, tax rebates, subsidies, deferments, production services and equity. If we believe we can sell a film effectively around the world, we see an opportunity there to make money by covering this gap, not to mention get worthwhile film productions over the budget hump. In the process, we get our money back in a first position and we get a gross position because we are the sales company working on commission. We can also fund against collateralized assets such as tax credits.

A few funds are beginning to crop-up in this area. Maybe we can help get some great films off the ground and in the process make money, or lose money, but certainly indulge and learn about ourselves. Right now, it beats the alternatives.

This article is related to: International Sales Agent, Film Funding & Financing, Independent Film Financing

E-Mail Updates