When you think of a truly great indie film producer, can you think of any names known in every household? Other than the indie distribution and promotional mastery of Harvey Weinstein, you may not readily know the name of any indie film producer working today. Only the big names from the mainstream studios may be your only chance at any recognition. But one name may start to become better known as he continually becomes the most ubiquitous presence in the indie film world.
If you’ve never heard of the name Cassian Elwes, the last name might sound a little familiar. That’s because this producer is the brother of the actor Cary Elwes, best known as the star of the 1980s classic “The Princess Bride.” Cassian Elwes may eventually be as well known as his brother, and he already is within indie film circles.
The reason is he’s produced some of the highest regarded indie films of recent years. He’s had a banner year this last year by producing “The Butler”, “Dallas Buyers Club”, and “All is Lost” as just a few. After about 30 years, he’s become the go-to producer in helping fund projects that go on to win awards and actually find an audience.
What’s most notable, though, is his approach to funding. In an interview with CNN Money from early January of this year, he showed how complicated it can be funding indie film.
Cassian Elwes’s Approach to Film Funding
One reason why Elwes is so trusted in the industry is because he knows how to plan the funding for an indie movie. In the above interview, he points out that mainstream studios gamble too much putting hundreds of millions of dollars in for the hope of supporting their ancillary businesses. Many of those gambles mean the loss of major money.
With indie film, he says that planning is much easier with more limited budgets. He can get a better estimation of how much money an indie film might cost to make or its box office potential based on past models. Going by prior revenues, foreign pre-sales, and tax write-offs, he doesn’t scare any investors away with smart projections.
He also started an investment fund called Lifeboat that helps loan out money to indie films still waiting for their own loans to complete. It helps save time and gets the film done without sitting and waiting until loans are approved.
In his interview, he particularly notes how outside investors are starting to become a major factor in getting indie films made. It’s that fact and Elwes’s smart financing tactics every indie filmmaker can potentially learn from. However, Elwes makes nothing known about the positive developments of crowd funding.
From a different perspective, outside funding is already a form of crowd funding. And no doubt many of those outsiders will be scanning the web looking for good indie films they can help bring to the screen.
The overall better picture for indie film financing should give you incentive to join us here at Indie Film Funding, Inc. once we go live. We’ll be one of the few sole Internet sources devoted to helping fund nothing but independent films.
Contact us about how you can get involved. Perhaps Cassian Elwes himself will find your film here someday. He or someone else of influence can potentially turn your dream film into a reality.