It’s not unusual nowadays that films may cost upwards to 200 million dollars. These types of budgets are normally reserved for the major Hollywood studios — Disney, WB, Sony, Fox, Universal, and Paramount — But do you think these Hollywood tycoons spend 200 million per film. The answer is a resounding– sorta — yes and well no.

GOVERNMENTS ‘MAKING IT RAIN’

Many Hollywood productions nowadays aren’t even shot in and around Los Angeles studios. They’re shot in places like Canada, the UK, or states like Georgia where governments provide tax credits anywhere from 5 to up to 50% of the costs.  In Ontario, Canada the tax credit for video game production is up to 50%. This is great news as we will be able to count on these media tax benefits in order to finance some of our project’s development costs.

Government tax credits are probably the #1 source of reliable funding and they are particularly important for smaller studios who don’t have huge cash reserves to risk upwards to 200 million on a project. An example of this is Luc Besson’s Europa Corp which invested approximately 20 million of their own money in order to produce their 200 million dollar project, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets. Now the film wasn’t a major success, and we have some ideas of why that was — but more on that later–, the film was revolutionary in the way that Europa Corp was able to invest only 20 million dollars in order to come up with a film with a 200 million dollar budget. So other than tax credits where did the rest of the money come from? In short, pre-sales and equity investments.

DISTRIBUTION PRE-SELLING

Pre-sales are probably the second most important forms of film financing after government tax credits but what are they? Basically, the production company sells certain distribution rights before producing the project.

Some production companies will even make a profit before their film is created. A perfect example of this is when Quentin Tarintino made Pulp Fiction. He was able to sell the international distribution rights for more money than the actual film’s budget. Meaning they ensured the film made money before they even started shooting it, and that is not to say how much money the production company made from the North American (Canada and U.S.) sales which are considered non-international distribution rights.

Pre-sales are often a bet from the buying distribution company that the film will be worth a lot more once produced.  They make their calculated bet on pre-buying distribution rights based on the script, budget, genre, and reputation of the director and other above the line talent attached. A buying distributor will also make a bet on a project if they know there’s a large built-in fanbase.

For our early films, Bellatorem will also be taking advantage of doing pre-sales in order to increase the size of our budget on projects we deem worthwhile. By bringing a passionate Bellatorem fan base and a motivated Bellatorem influencer team we will be able to negotiate better pre-sales than movies with just great talent and a great script.

EQUITY AND CO-FINANCING

Often times large institutional investors will put money into a movie in the hopes of receiving a great ROI. When a production company is seeking more funds for their project’s targeted budget, they’ll often ask private investment companies or high net worth investors/producers to invest in their project.

In fact, you may not have paid much attention but a little company called Legendary Pictures, which started back in 2000 by an industry outsider named Thomas Tull, was able to raise 500 million dollars from wall street with a singular mandate to co-finance popular films with well-known studios. Legendary Pictures went on to co-finance many of our favorite movies like The Dark Knight and Jurassic Park: Fallen Kingdom, and eventually sold to WANDA group, a Chinese company for 3.5 billion dollars.

As our intellectual property rises in popularity we’ll be sure to form partnerships with great financing partners like Legendary in order to greatly increase the necessary capital it takes to produce world class films.

GAP LOANS

Gap loans are loans provided by specialized lending firms can be used to finish the last 5-25% funding of a film. They are secured using the unsold territory rights of a film. They are usually paid back in full before the production company and any equity investors are paid back making them the least risky form of investment for a film project.

LICENSING

One way to raise extra money for a film’s budget and or to create another revenue stream is through licensing a brand as well as their merchandising rights. Think of all the toys, t-shirts, board-games, video games etc. that get made from fantasy universes like Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings, Marvel, Star Wars, DC etc. Well, the production companies/studios aren’t making all the spin-off products that these franchises inspire.

The best part with selling merchandising rights is that it’s a huge source of income for the franchise and it actually helps to advertise the brand itself. In fact, it isn’t widely known that George Lucas licensed the rights of Star Wars to Marvel Comics, for free. Yes, that’s right, free! Why? Lucas wanted to ensure that his little fantasy space opera, Star Wars, would be seen by as many people as possible. One way for him to ensure that there were lineups in front of movie theatres to see his film was to get as many people excited about the upcoming film as possible which is why the first Star Wars comic book came out a month before the first Star Wars film hit theatres.

As our fan base grows and our fantasy gets more recognition we’ll rely on licensing our brand so that other companies can help us produce more products.

PRODUCT PLACEMENT

Although this is a great form of funding for a film or tv project it’s also something that’s just plain weird in a wholly original universe like BELLATOREM. I mean can you imagine the Dragon Emperor sipping on a can of Coke or Darth Vader driving a Mercedes tie fighter. Not only is this a bit cheesy, it just doesn’t fit the storyline and the universe we’re trying to create. In short, it’s a great source of revenue for movies that take place in modern times within our own very human universe like when James Bond jumps behind the wheels to his new Aston Martin.

THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE

Film financing, in general, is not overly complicated. What increases our ability to make quality pre-sales on projects is our ability to convince distributors that there is indeed an audience willing and waiting to purchase a ticket. The best way we can do that is to increase the underlying fan base which is why we give every member of Bellatorem a free digital comic book subscription.

Having a great product will help us attract large fan base which in turn will help us attract quality financial and creative partners in order to make our vision come true of creating epic live-action films, tv series’, animations, video games, comic books and more!

YOUR FANTASY

One reason why we believe Bellatorem has the power to create the next best universe is that by bringing together influencers, creatives and fans we have the power to turn seemingly small investments –BY HOLLYWOOD STANDARDS– into a large big budget franchise. If you think you might be interested in investing in Bellatorem then join our community by signing up to our site so that we may update you on opportunities to invest and to get involved.

If investing isn’t your thing or perhaps you’re just not ready for it that’s fine, you’re always welcome to join as a member-fan of Bellatorem. We’ll keep you updated with interesting news articles about Bellatorem as well as when our products get launched. By joining, you’ll also receive a free digital comic book subscription as well as hear about other future free and paid products as they become available.