Monday, January 25, 2010

Limbo & something new.

                        Sitting here in Limbo                           
Waiting for the dice to roll.
Yeah, now, sitting here in Limbo,
Still got some time to search my soul.

                                                                            - Jimmy Cliff 

That's just the feeling I'm getting this week. Last week none of my calls or emails were returned and with time working against us, it's not the easiest way to wake up Monday morning. There are some mornings I wake up and wish it would all just go away, the calls, the budgets, the waiting. 

"You go from 200 calls to 10 and mostly if I didn't initiate a call, there wouldn't be one coming back to me."
                                             - Dawn Steel

I take comfort from Dawn. After all when she was at Paramount as chief she okayed movies like Flashdance, Top Gun, Fatal Attraction, the Untouchables and later When Harry Met Sally.  How's that for a record.

And once she was gone, as most executives have a shelf life of several years at best, nobody called her unless she called them first.

So I'm sitting here in L.A, the rains have subsided for the moment and the sun is shining again although it's still cool, I can't help but feel optimistic.

But maybe that's just the sun.

One has to get used to waiting in this game, or at least knowing when to "remind" the decision-makers that you are still here, eager and ready to give them any information you know. Some people are of the "hey, where's our money" school, in which they call the studio head or investors and simply lay it out in front of them; "give us the money."  NOW.

Well, needless to say that doesn't work. Because they know you don't have your half yet and until they feel absolutley sure your side has dipped their feet in the water first, they sure the hell aren't gonna dip theirs.

That's why it's a game of who's first.

How does it work for us?

I am waiting for the Manitoba partners to come  up with their LOI's, Letters of Interest from both the producer, the tax credit appraisal and the bank who will discount the tax credit in the form of a loan.

The private investors, mostly in the U.S. are waiting to see these papers because it's some solid proof from someone else besides me, someone who's showing some confidence that Shirley and I can pull this off.

Is it a guarantee that the private investors will invest.


But with those papers, and more calls, it sure will get me interest from others. There's just one other element that nobody is talking about.

What about the story?

You know, the screenplay, what got 2 Academy award nominees interest and what brought Shirley into the project as director and what got the attention of Rachael at Eh Channel, which led to the Canadian producer Dane.

Doesn't story count to investors?

What do you think? 

The answer is like everything else in this business. Maybe, maybe not. There are definitely investors who are taken with the story, but more than likely they just want to be involved in a movie. And some are interested in only making money.

So who are those guys in the middle who just want to get involved?

They are usually nice people who have done well in their lives, doctors, dentists, shopping mall owners, oilmen, enough to want to "spend" a little money on being part of a movie. Really. I know this for a fact with some of the investors of past films I've done.

Why? It's kind of cool, it's being part of Hollywood for a moment, it's something to tell their friends and maybe get their daughter in for a small part (sometimes a big part), and a hundred other reasons.

They are considered good investors. They don't really care about the details, they just want to show up, have a picture taken with the stars and watch the process until they realize that watching a movie being made is boring as hell.

So here we are.

(Coming next: Something new)


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