Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Hollywood Babble On & On #843: Dear Billionaires


Dear Billionaires.

I recently read how one of your brethren, a chap named Ron Burkle loaned $200 million to Relativity Media's gadfly in chief Ryan Kavanaugh so he could start releasing movies again. Something that Relativity needed badly because Kavanaugh drove away his other big investor, Elliot Associates' Beverly 2 investment fund.

Now that news got me thinking.

Why can't I have some of that sugar?

Sure, at first glance it looks like a really stupid idea.  I'm as far from being a Hollywood insider as you can get and still be part of the same continent. However, if you look at it from another angle, it's a strangely brilliant idea!

Dealings with the major studios are a pain in the ass, and far too many of them wind up in court.  Also dealing with independent producers who are "movie business insiders" are rife with traps of their own, and usually wind up enriching the lawyers more than the investors.

If you look at it that way, putting your movie investment money with a complete unknown quantity like me doesn't really sound so crazy after all.

Let's face it, you tried the so-called best, it's time to try the rest.

Here's what I will do with your money:

1. I will not waste money on myself.  I don't like boats, and I'm a terrible driver, so you won't have to worry about me wasting your investment money on big yachts and fast cars. As for loose women, they will handled out of my salary, which will be indexed to the performance of the films I make.

2. If the money being spent does not impact what's going up on screens, it will not be spent.

3. I won't hire stars for more than their actual worth to the project.

4. I will pursue every avenue that could help our films make a profit, whether it's the increasingly lucrative VOD, or internet related opportunities.

5. I won't deliberately piss off partners and investors.  No one is asking to be anyone's friend, but there's no point or profit in making enemies, enough people will do that all on their own without my help.

6. I will keep all business practices simple and straightforward. The sort of funny accounting that dominates Hollywood makes my eyes bleed and can lead to all sorts of trouble that I don't care for.

7. If a profits are made, profit shares will be paid.  Naturally investors get first crack.

8. I will not invest your money in movies unless there is an audience out there for them, and even then, I will invest in direct correlation with the size of that potential audience. 

Now I'm not going to ask that every billionaire who reads this post give me $200 million. I have a very reasonable scale for billionaires of all sizes to participate.

If you're net worth is $1 billion to $1.49 billion, then all I'm asking for is $50 million from you.  If you're worth is $1.5 billion to to $2 billion, then let's make it an even $100 million, and the richer you are, the bigger the investment, and the bigger the share.

I'm keeping individual investments size in proportion to the wealth of the investor, because I'm not going to lie to you, movies are inherently risky.  You could have all the best people, the best script, and the best marketing campaign, and still wind up losing money.  So I will only ask that you risk what you can easily afford to lose.
I promise I won't let your money go to my head.

But enough about that, let's look at another up-side to this plan.


Face facts, billionaires like you have been getting a bad rap lately. You got protesters pooping outside your office, the politicians you bought and paid for are blaming you for everything, and the movies are always casting you as the bad guys.

Well, how can anyone dislike people who risk tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars of their own money to make some complete unknown guy's dream come true, and make some movies that people might actually want to see.  Hell, I'll even make a few with a billionaire hero in it if you want.  Can't let Iron Man be the only one, eh?

So come on down and give me your money. I prefer small, unmarked, bills and you can drop them off at my place.


Furious D

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