WeatherVane Productions, Jason Van Eman, Forrest Capital Partners, Ben McConley, Baker Film Fund, and Jonathan Baker met earlier this month in Los Angeles. What was at issue was Baker's claim that Forrest Capital and WeatherVane could not complete the funding for Baker Film Fund's pictures in a way that was originally contemplated. The ensuing conversations proved positive to both sides as of late last week and further allowed an open door to future film business.
These types of initial disagreements are commonplace in the ever-growing disruption of independent film finance. Finding new and strategic ways to provide sophisticated investment for independent films has become increasingly challenging.
Reaching an amicable solution in these types of disagreements between producers and investors are becoming more and more commonplace as independent films have a potentially shorter window for financial return with the various VOD and OTT platforms offering another vertical to recoup one's original investment. No one makes a movie hoping to lose money and have a terrible experience. The goal is always to have that distribution plan in place from day one. Stepping on to set the first day of production without a bottom line distribution plan, hoping your film gets picked up is simply not acceptable for today's film investor. And one has to always be mindful of the vanity investment that comes with the territory of independent filmmaking.
It is key to work actively with producers and investors on the same side of the table. It has long been a business of 'their side' and 'our side' in taking a film from script to execution.
Jonathan Baker's latest film and directorial debut, "Inconceivable," was just released to market and is being well received. WeatherVane Productions Jason Van Eman states, "We are excited to see this well delivered picture get attention in the marketplace and we're talking about future business." Van Eman continues, "Even when we might initially disagree with certain business practices, we have the ability to move beyond those conflicts and rise to meet our individual needs between the producers who want to make their creative vision a reality and independent film financiers like us who require and keep a strategic eye on how (our) money is spent to achieve success."
As WeatherVane Productions and Forrest Capital Partners have moved through the muddy waters of financing films for the past five years with a true second money match investment, it has not come without hiccups from all sides of the production. Van Eman commented, "We started making films because we loved the business and the creative process, which we still believe in. We wanted to offer new filmmakers an opportunity to get their films made with like-minded producers, directors and investors." Van Eman went on to comment, "The experiences of working with prior investors, attorneys and first-time producers that had no real understanding of how the production process or financing worked eventually created a line where we clearly decided to stop working with first time producers and vanity investors.
The majority of producers and investors have to be and should be reminded repeatedly that the film business is just that -- a business.
WeatherVane Productions and Forrest Capital Partners continue to actively support the creative community with selectively financing film, TV and various projects that have the right touch points to the entertainment business.