Film & Television Development, Production and Distribution
A. THE SWF FILMS BUSINESS PLAN (the Plan) describes a financially risky venture: the independent production, distribution and marketing of a slate of motion pictures, herein called the Titles.
B. MOVIES ARE AMONG THE MOST RISKY OF INVESTMENTS. The SWC Films plan lists risk factors related to the motion picture’s production, distribution, the company, and the general economy. One, many, or none of the risks listed may result in the total loss of investment in the Title and do not include all possible risk factors.
C. THE PRODUCTS TO BE PRODUCED include mainstream motion pictures, and ancillary products such as documentary special features, companion books, soundtracks, and a discussion guides (collectively “the Products”). The Products will be aggregated under a Title of each film. Thus, "Movie Title A" will consist of all the Products aforementioned.
D. THE MOTION PICTURE STORIES we plan to produce are inspired by true events that are compacted and structured to suit the entertainment needs of general audiences.
E. SWC FILMS, owned by Stanley D. Williams, a veteran corporate and documentary filmmaker, Hollywood script consultant, author, and niche-distributor, is the principle manager of SWC Films. Each Title produced by SWC Films will be incorporated under its own LLC and become a "stand alone" legal and financial entity. SWC Films will profit from licensing the Title to the stand lone entity.
F. INDIVIDUAL BUSINESS PLANS will be written for each Title, as each Title will be a stand-alone investment entity disconnected from other Titles except for a provision granting preferred share options and returns on later Titles in exchange for early investment in the first Titles.
G. THE MOTION PICTURE INDUSTRY is generally described in the Plan, as well as how a motion picture is developed, produced, distributed and exhibited. The Plan also describes the significant differences between a studio and an independent production, along with the current trends in the industry.
H. THEATRICAL DISTRIBUTION is each Title's practical goal. Even limited theatrical distribution will positively affect revenue generation in secondary distribution channels, e.g., Home DVD, Bluray, television, Internet On-Demand channels, and international markets.
I. PROFESSIONAL AND EXPERIENCED CREWS will be retained to lead the various technical and creative production departments, e.g., camera, sound, lighting, art direction.
J. MARQUEE ACTORS will be cast in roles to attract theatrical distribution and audiences provided the higher level of investments can be attracted. If only low level investments can be attracted then experienced professional actors without the marquee name will be hired.
K. THE DISTRIBUTION PLAN calls for the licensing of the Title to a major studio’s specialty distribution division, or to a mini-major-distributor, or we may self-distribute. Setting up for distribution will begin as soon as the Title is financed, and continue through pre-production, production, and post-production. Distribution may not be acquired until after the picture is finished and shown at a film festival where distributors can gauge audience reaction to the picture. Getting distribution may also require a trial exhibition run to prove audience strength.
L. BUDGET. The motion picture production budget of a Title may vary from $2,000,000 to $15,000,000. Ancillary products will cost more to produce although they will benefit from the assets developed for the motion picture. The budget does not include distribution expenses that are normally borne by the distributor.
M. MARKETING is primarily the venue for the distribution entity. But as producers, we will market the Title to distributors and potential audiences from the beginning of production. The methods we will use to promote a typical Title are described in the Marketing Efforts section of the Plan and include: Engaging the potential audience through interactive Internet marketing, pre-production focus groups, industry endorsements, attendance at film markets, the use of social media, updating movie databases, press kits, press conferences, prepared PR articles distributed to cast and crew's hometown news outlets, blogs, collecting endorsements from trade organizations and agencies who would have a vested interest in the film’s subject matter, on-line trailers, sneak previews, and distribution of Internet links to critics and journalists.
N. FINANCING. SWC Films is currently seeking serial investments in four or more Titles, one Title at a time. Investors will be investing a a Title Property (aka Intellectual Property) and the LLC created around it, and not in SWC Films, per se. Investors in earlier Titles will be eligible for preferred returns in later Titles. The budgets of the current scripts being considered range from $2,000,000 to$15,000,000 (in total $28,000,000). These funds will come from: (1) cash equity (assisted by IRS Section 181 write offs if re-enacted by the Federal government), (2) in-kind (sweat) equity, (3) debt/loan financing, (4) government tax incentives and credits, (5) crowd funding, (6) bank loans, and (7) production expense deferrals (as negotiated with cast, crew and suppliers).
O. INVESTOR REPAYMENT. Annually or semi-annually, the manager will make an audit of the company's cash position, considering the current liability of unpaid bills. If there is money left to be distributed 100% will go to pay off debt-financing loans. When all loans are paid off 100% of the revenue stream will go to paying off deferral contracts. When all deferrals are paid 100% of the revenue stream will be paid out to Equity and In-Kind investors on a pro-rated basis. When recoupment to these investors is 120%, the payout will shift to 50% to the investors, and 50% to the manager.
P. COMPARABLES. Each Title's business plan will be compared to similar existing movies in regard to production budgets; box office gross; release method, length and channels; and return on investment.
Q. ROI and IRR. Titles will not be slated for production unless cash pro-formas indicate a minimum non-annualized ROI for low, medium and high success are 10%, 100%, and 200%; and indicate the potential for a minimum annualized Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for low, medium, and high successes are respectively 5%, 20% and 40%.
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