Mike Downey

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The Film Finance Handbook

A practical guide to film financing for European producers, Volume 2

Europe is a vast amalgamation of cultures, traditions and ideas. The film industry in Europe is the result of the evolution of successful industries developing in parallel. The aim of this book is to try to bring together the manifold experiences of the European film industry as a whole, to assist the producers of the future to meet the challenges facing them in this melting pot of an industry bound to feature so prominently in so many people lives.

If William Goldman’s maxim that when it comes to the film business “nobody knows anything” were true, there would be little point producing a book like this. In the introduction to volume one of The Film Finance Handbook the point was made that there are as many ways of producing films as there are films themselves. Things have changed little in the intervening time period.

On the one hand, we live in a world in which websites exist which can digest a film’s subject, genre, cast, and director and then regurgitate its potential box office returns. ; also it is a world in which a Tibetan lama film director, who is the reincarnation of a 19th century saint, can create an international box office hit by making his artistic and practical decisions by using the Buddhist equivalent of drawing straws.

In producing the second volume of The film Finance Handbook for European Film Producers, the approach has been even more practical and following da Vinci’s maxim to “Look to the facts”, though not with the effect of losing imaginativeness in the process.

In no other single publication can the European producers film such a plethora of compressed information, data and documentation related to the hands-on, nuts-and-bolts production of internationally minded pictures. This information is presented in as straightforward, and as user-friendly way as possible. This book is designed to complement the narrative step-by step approach that appeared in the bestselling volume one.

This book was written with the support of the MEDIA Programme of the European Community whose aim is to strengthen the circulation of audio-visual works throughout Europe and to help professionals in Europe reach the maximum level of competitiveness. This boom mines a rich vein of experiences in the practical production sphere and this comprehensive manual is one that the independent film producer will exploit and return to again and again.