How to Find Investors and Secure Financing for your Feature Film- With a Mock Investor's Closing Call

Hosted by Elsa Ramo, Zen Raben & Sean Pope, Ramo Law PC

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Elsa Ramo, Zen Raben & Sean Pope, Ramo Law PC

Webinar hosted by: Elsa Ramo, Zen Raben & Sean Pope, Ramo Law PC

Managing Partner and Senior Associates at Ramo Law, PC

Elsa Ramo Elsa Ramo is one of the top entertainment attorneys in the industry today and the managing partner of Ramo Law. Recently named to Variety’s 2019 “Dealmakers List,” Elsa Ramo has represented over 100 films and 50 television scripted and unscripted series in 2019 alone, including Emmy award-winning shows and films which debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.Her clients include Imagine Entertainment, FOX, Balboa Productions (Sylvester Stallone’s production company), Scout Productions (creators and EPs of QUEER EYE), Boardwalk Pictures (EPs for CHEF’S TABLE) and Skydance.   Zev Raben Providing guidance and advice to financiers and distribution companies, Zev Raben brings his depth of legal experience to bear for his clients in all aspects of their varied businesses. While his practice is primarily focused on representing financiers and distribution companies, Zev also assists producers in all areas of their creative pursuits. He has worked with producers whose films have been recognized by Sundance Film Festival and SXSW. His past experience as an entertainment litigator makes him well equipped to identify potential issues early on in transactions. His recent projects include the upcoming Bruce Willis film HARD KILL, 2020 Sundance standout FOUR GOOD DAYS starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis, and the award-winning A PRIVATE WAR starring Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan.   Sean Pope Sean works with producers and production companies focusing on all aspects of production legal services from development to distribution, with a particular focus towards documentaries and docu-series, and corporate formation services. Prior to joining Ramo Law in 2016, Mr. Pope worked at a boutique entertainment transactional and litigation firm providing legal services for producers, writers, actors and musicians. His past projects include the upcoming Liam Neeson thriller HONEST THIEF, Netflix documentary THE BLACK GODFATHER, and hit Netflix docu-series CHEER. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

As the landscape of independent film continues to evolve, a clear funding path has developed for films budgeted between high-six figures and $10MM. Indeed, it’s become an effective “sweet spot” for investors. At this budget you can typically attract and secure some star power, one important step toward increasing the odds that your investors will see a return on their investment. But this is just one reason why this budget range is attractive to many investors. There are many more variables at play which will help you raise money for a film or project in this price range. But first, you must understand some tried and true principles that will help you find investors, present your project in the proper fashion and lock them down for an investment.

Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films and projects within this budget range can be your calling card toward a powerful career in the independent producing space. Simply put, those who understand the strategies and methods that can help your investors see a return get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring along more investors if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, there are smart ways to find money that you may not have thought of, and there are also ways you can expand your dollars once you start raising funds for your project. In addition, there is a well-known group of professionals and creatives that have been working on films in this budget range for years and it's important that you know who they are, how to approach them and what the expectations are once you do.

Founded by Elsa Ramo, one of the top entertainment attorneys in the industry today who was named to Variety’s 2019 “Dealmakers List,”, Ramo Law PC provides comprehensive legal services to its clients in the entertainment industry with a specialized focus in representing financiers, producers, directors, distributors, studios and production entities in all transactional aspects of film, television and digital content. The firm provides experienced legal services to optimize its clients’ financial, legal and business position in the financing, production, and exploitation of their content. Ramo Law has represented over 100 films and 50 television scripted and unscripted series in 2019 alone, including Emmy award-winning shows and films which debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Clients include Imagine Entertainment, FOX, Balboa Productions (Sylvester Stallone’s production company), Scout Productions (creators and EPs of QUEER EYE), Boardwalk Pictures (EPs for CHEF’S TABLE) and Skydance. Elsa and her associates are bona fide experts when it comes to the nuts and bolts of finding financing for your independent film.

Elsa and her senior associates Zen Raben and Sean Pope will join forces to demystify the film financing process so that producers, writers, directors, and financiers can understand the basic yet crucial components of how independently financed films are funded. They will begin by discussing entity formation. They will explain why you need to form an entity for your production and what type of entity you should form, as well as what state you should form it in. They will go over the information you will need to form the entity, the forms that need to be filled out with the state, and how operating agreements work. They will also teach you what a waterfall is and why you should include one in your operating agreement. Next, Elsa, Zev, and Sean will delve into important things to keep in mind specifically for your LLC formation, including the state of formation, deciding if it will be member-managed or manager-managed, who should be in control of creative decisions and who should be in control of business decisions. They will then talk about equity investment and go over who exactly provides equity investment, what investors get out of it, where the investment gets placed and why investors are motivated. Next, Elsa and her associates will explain debt financing. They will teach you the four common types of collateral in debt financing, and four types of debt you will be dealing with. They will go over the key terms and considerations you should know, and just like equity investment, they will explain who provides debt investment, what the investor gets out of it, where the investment gets placed and why investors are motivated. Elsa, Sean, and Zev will even stage a mock closing call between a producer and senior lender to demonstrate what it looks like to lock in funding from an investor. Finally, Elsa, Sean, and Zev will give you an invaluable closing checklist, walking you through everything you need to keep in mind when going after funding. Expect a thorough, comprehensive and undeniably helpful guide to give you the tools you need to find the funding for your next project. This is designed for all levels but particularly effective for those that are currently producing and/or packaging a feature film.

 

 

Praise for Elsa's, Zen's and Sean's Stage 32 Webinar:

 

"It was absolutely brilliant! One of the best webinars I've attended yet! Loved the mock call. That was so educational!"

-Becca G.

 

"They are all knowledgeable and had a great presentation"

-Carlos B.

 

"Great webinar financing. Will be watching again."

-Martin R.

 

"AMAZING WEBINAR!!!"

-Stephanie D.

What You'll Learn

  • Entity Formation
    • Why do I need to form an entity for my production?
    • What type of entity should I form?
    • What state do I form in?
    • What information do I need in order to form my entity?
    • What forms need to be filed with the state of formation?
    • What is an operating agreement?
    • What is a waterfall and why should I include one in my operating agreement?
  • Key Things to Keep In Mind For an LLC Formation
    • The state of the formation is important
    • Will your LLC be member-managed or manager-managed?
    • Who will be in control of creative decisions?
    • Who will be in control of business decisions?
  • Equity Investment
    • Who provides equity investment?
    • What does the investor get?
    • Where does the investment get placed?
    • Why are investors motivated?
  • Debt Financing
    • 4 common types of collateral
    • Types of debt
      • Bridge loans
      • Tax credit loans
      • Loans against minimum guarantees and/or pre-sales
      • Gap loans
    • Key terms &considerations
    • Who provides debt investment
    • What does the investor get?
    • Where does the investment get placed?
    • Why are investors motivated?
  • Mock Closing Call
    • Mediator – Elsa Ramo
    • Producer/Borrower – Sean Pope
    • Senior Lender – Zev Raben
  • Closing Checklist
    • A list of all the financing/loan documents generated by the lenders
    • Confirming that the lender can assert it’s required security
    • Chain of title
    • Other third partyagreements
    • The production related documents &agreements
    • Insurance
    • Corporate documents
    • Collateral agreements &other investor agreements
  • Q&A with Elsa, Sean and Zev

About Your Instructor

Elsa Ramo Zen Raben Sean Pope Ramo Law PC

Elsa Ramo

Elsa Ramo is one of the top entertainment attorneys in the industry today and the managing partner of Ramo Law. Recently named to Variety’s 2019 “Dealmakers List,” Elsa Ramo has represented over 100 films and 50 television scripted and unscripted series in 2019 alone, including Emmy award-winning shows and films which debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.Her clients include Imagine Entertainment, FOX, Balboa Productions (Sylvester Stallone’s production company), Scout Productions (creators and EPs of QUEER EYE), Boardwalk Pictures (EPs for CHEF’S TABLE) and Skydance.

 

Elsa Ramo Zen Raben Sean Pope Ramo Law PC

Zev Raben

Providing guidance and advice to financiers and distribution companies, Zev Raben brings his depth of legal experience to bear for his clients in all aspects of their varied businesses. While his practice is primarily focused on representing financiers and distribution companies, Zev also assists producers in all areas of their creative pursuits. He has worked with producers whose films have been recognized by Sundance Film Festival and SXSW. His past experience as an entertainment litigator makes him well equipped to identify potential issues early on in transactions. His recent projects include the upcoming Bruce Willis film HARD KILL, 2020 Sundance standout FOUR GOOD DAYS starring Glenn Close and Mila Kunis, and the award-winning A PRIVATE WAR starring Rosamund Pike and Jamie Dornan.

 

Elsa Ramo Zen Raben Sean Pope Ramo Law PC

Sean Pope

Sean works with producers and production companies focusing on all aspects of production legal services from development to distribution, with a particular focus towards documentaries and docu-series, and corporate formation services. Prior to joining Ramo Law in 2016, Mr. Pope worked at a boutique entertainment transactional and litigation firm providing legal services for producers, writers, actors and musicians. His past projects include the upcoming Liam Neeson thriller HONEST THIEF, Netflix documentary THE BLACK GODFATHER, and hit Netflix docu-series CHEER.

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Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

  • Excellent overview, and best explanation of structuring entities as well as equity and debt financing that I've seen. Very thorough, such that I now know how to speak with legal and accounting teams.
  • Excellent. A lot of information and resources.
  • Highly recommended. I’m writer/director/producer on my first feature. I’ve worked in contract negotiations and project management in the energy industry for 20 years, so am pretty business and contract savvy, so I easily understood everything that was presented prior to the mock closing call. What surprised me most was how little I understood of the mock closing call at the end. They say “you don’t know what you don’t know”. Realizing how out of my depth I am and how much help I will actually need on the business side, is likely the most valuable thing I learned in this webinar.

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