Lambert Media Group’s Michael Lambert and Sam Englebardt have teamed up with investor William D Johnson to provide senior and gap loans and preferred equity on film and TV projects
The company commenced film financing operations in November last year having made public and private media and technology investments in such entities as Cinedigm and Moviepass.
Demarest has invested in Neil Jordan’s Byzantium (pictured), which is currently in post-production and stars Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Arterton, Jonny Lee Miller and Sam Riley, as well as David Rosenthal’s A Single Shot which is currently filming and TWC’s psychological thriller Penthouse North with Michelle Monaghan and Michael Keaton
“We intend for Demarest to be faster, more economical and less risk-averse than other specialty financiers, which often makes all the difference,” Englebardt said. “Producers need a partner who can stretch a bit further against the foreign sales estimates, close the financing faster, and maybe put up a modest amount of equity to get the project into production.”
“I’ve always believed that allocation to alternative asset classes is essential to any asset management strategy,” Johnson said. “The entertainment business is cyclical, and recent developments, as well as the state of the global economy, have made investments in film and television – when structured properly – a very attractive proposition both in terms of absolute return and the creation of a diversified portfolio.”
“This is a unique moment in time because the film studios are largely focused on big budget tent pole movies and, since 2008, many banks have exited the financing of independent films,” Lambert said. “At the same time, the appetite for pay TV, VOD, free TV and video is growing in an expanding and emerging global marketplace. That, coupled with the opportunity to apply some of the proven film financing structures to scripted television and other formats, makes this an especially interesting time to be in the production finance business.”