Initial capital for the development stage of a television series production.
• Project working title, The Family Business.
• The Intellectual Property is to be held in an entity albeit, LLC or Incorporated.
• The principal investment amount is $250,000.
• Purpose and use of funds, as stated, development of a television series for general distribution.
With over 28 years of experience in the entertainment industry, my roles included actor, second team, stand-in, and double, on numerous shows for both single and multi-camera productions. Other experience in film and television, include the founding of Blue Horizon Productions, Inc. where I was responsible for outlining Intellectual Properties in preparation for filmed productions. The stages of which include, evaluating a script for potential marketability, potential budget, set staging, locations, potential cast, director, showrunner/producer, and which studios would be most likely to show interest. Thus, helping to create a pitch to the studio executives with the potential for licensing and branding.
The starting point of producing any feature film, television series, made for streaming, or any filmed intellectual property is the development stage. This includes engaging the best writers, potential lead, and cast as well as a director. My background has enabled me to place an IP where exposure for branding and licensing can bring the highest profits (bottom line) to a studio. At this point, the likelihood of multiple studios bidding for the property becomes obvious and most desirable. It’s at this juncture that the owner/creator gains negotiating strength.
The capital investment of $250,000 will be used in the development stage. Where we will engage experienced writer(s) through the Writers Guild of America and bring on board established talent, such as director and actor(s) for character roles in the show. With a strong script and established talent interested and talks with product branding for placement, the studios would find the project much more appealing. There isn’t a question of will it get picked up, but rather by which studio and the deal details.
Once a studio, such as NBC Universal, Warner Bros, Disney, Paramount, Sony, or other streaming networks like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, to name a few, have put a deal in place, we would receive a capital advance against the licensing of our intellectual property (IP). It is at that juncture that the investor would have the option of, cashing out the original investment with a fair return on investment or the second option would be to take a percentage of the intellectual property and share proportionately from licensing in perpetuity. As such that investors would see substantial returns for the life of the IP. Once we are in production and distribution, the investor will receive dividends or royalties for the life of the property.
As for the studios and networks, they often do not desire private funding in the production (as opposed to the development) of a project, as that doesn’t allow for the level of necessary studio participation and ownership in the IP. Studios and networks typically put up all of the financing for production and distribution, as that is where their portion of control and ownership comes into place. Finally, the stages of the film and television process are development, pre-production, production, principal photography, post-production, and distribution. By putting in place all of the components of an intellectual property in the development stage, then approaching the major studios and networks, the likelihood of reaching a deal becomes incredibly strong and very likely.
Other sources of revenue are advertising and merchandise sales, the split, however, varies based on the television channel, HBO, STARZ, SHOWTIME, FOX, DISNEY+, and so on, each operates differently. To get a show on the air, the studio might sell all rights to the show to a channel (including merchandise) or just the airing rights (allowing the studio to make further merchandise sales). The TV channel makes money from ad slots and pays for content to draw in viewers. Premium channels like HBO also get revenue from paid subscriptions.