So many scripts … so little money. However, thanks to President Obama’s Jobs Bill, on-line investing in films will be possible in early 2015 through equity crowdfunding. Unlike donation crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, equity crowdfunding will give investors the chance to receive a return on their investments. According to criteria currently being considered, The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would allow up to $1 million in investments over 12 months in each company.
Since August 2013, retired financial executives from the Memphis chapter of SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) (SCORE.org) have been working in alliance with leaders of The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission. Their goal? To develop an educational/mentoring program to prepare local filmmakers for this new way to raise capital for their films. A leading securities and corporate finance attorney is keeping the group apprised of all new developments in equity crowd funding regulations -- Matt Heiter of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz.
SCORE’S Crowdfunding Co-Directors, Reese Austin (formerly Managing Director Institutional Equity with Morgan Keegan) and Ramkrishna Kasargod (formerly Managing Director Equity Research with Morgan Keegan), will lead an in-depth financial workshop in early 2015, specifically designed to prepare the filmmaker for the equity crowdfunding portal experience. SCORE board member Jack Gibson will discuss film business plans. Award-winning Film Commission client and internationally acclaimed producer Mike Ryan (“June Bug,” “40 Shades of Blue”) will discuss film budgeting in the second part of the workshop. For a nominal fee, the workshop will be open to all legal residents of Shelby County.
Successful graduates of the workshop with “camera ready” scripts will then be eligible to apply for a competitive mentoring program. In it, SCORE financial executives, Mike Ryan, and several Film Commission established clients would select three filmmakers for special pre-portal nurturing.
Although SEC regulations regarding equity crowdfunding will likely not be finalized until early 2015, an informational workshop to prepare Shelby County filmmakers for the final workshop will be held in May. Location and date will be announced in April.
For more information on this new type of film investing, go to: