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Monthly Archives: January 2009

Financing independent films and theatre projects is more difficult in the current economic climate. Myth or Reality?

In recent weeks, I’ve had a number of clients express their view that the current down economy means that they won’t be able to find investors to finance their films and/or shows.   As a consequence, they’re sitting back, waiting things out.. not trying to make it happen.

Meanwhile, I’ve had others tell me that investors are good to go.

What’s really going on?

I think that folks looking for money from investors are operating from fear, uncertainty and doubt, and basing their expectations on the news of the economy as a whole.  But I believe that the economic outlook for the entertainment industry is a bit less dire than that for other market segments.

Entertainment has historically performed reasonably well in weak economies.  Audiences need the escape of good entertainment, and divert their discretionary spending dollars from the big-ticket expenses like overseas travel in favor of movies, sporting events, and domestic vacationing.

Meanwhile, the kinds of risk-tolerant investors who’ve traditionally financed indie films and theatre projects  are, in many cases, STILL risk tolerant.  In fact, following the second half of 2008 in which many of us saw our  more conservative, “safe”  investments in the stock markets drop precipitously, less risk-averse investors may view entertainment as a reasonably good bet, all things considered.

Ultimately, a good project will attract the money needed… it may involve tougher negotiations or more time, but I believe the funding is there for the right material.

So… go out and find the right material…

Agree?  Disagree?  Let’s have your comments.

The YouTube plot thickens…

Further follow up to my post on Wednesday regarding YouTube's automated audio-muting of user-generated videos containing unlicensed music…..

According to this piece at the Hollywood Reporter.. YouTube is taking things a step further… allowing users to REPLACE offending music in video soundtracks with pre-cleared music….  (automatically?)

I ask you again…  does this kind of filtering do any harm to Safe Harbor protections?

Did the RIAA just WIN the battle against Fair Use, and nobody noticed?

Interviewed today for the NY Post

I was interviewed today by a journalist at the New York Post regarding Jeremy Piven’s withdrawal from the Broadway production of “Speed The Plow” late last year. The actor withdrew suddenly from the show, citing his doctor’s advice following the discovery that he’s suffering from mercury poisoning.  Apparently, “Speed” producers have sought a second medical… Continue Reading

YouTube institutes automated removal of unlicensed music from posted video

UPDATE: reports in greater depth on this situation, and as it turns out, the system isn’t a unilateral, automated removal of soundtracks at all.  Apparently,YouTube identifies videos with unlicensed music using an automated filter, and then notifies the uploader/user of the situation, giving the CHOICE to mute the audio, or remove the entire video. … Continue Reading

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