Low budget, low overhead and low risk are the watchwords of a new Stuttgart-based production outfit, Shotgun Pictures, which yesterday unveiled a plans for a ten-picture slate.

The company was formed by Kinowelt founder Peter Haeberle, German producer Peter Rommel, the UK's Mike Downey and Sam Taylor and Keith Rothman. Financial backing comes from German outfit Clou Partners.

Shotgun starts life with $5m of available capital and committed services. It intends to make films with an average budget of $500,000 and inject a minimum of $400,000 into each.

'We have been talking to some big name directors about making some of their pet projects which have been languishing for years,' said Downey. 'We will operate a greenlight board rather than a development process. Then we will make use of cost-effective locations in places such as Yugoslavia, China, Latin America or Cuba.'

'The beauty of this low-cost system is that we do not have to give away any rights in order to get things made. Income and some subsidies may even be counted as recoupment,' said Rommel. 'What's more, low-budget films do not necessarily have a worse box office than more expensive films.'

While Shotgun does not expect to get more than two pictures into production before the end of this year, it is already negotiating a first-look deal with Buena Onda, the new producer-owned sales agent launched recently at the initiative of Don Ranvaud.

Starting capital is made up of a $2m loan from the Stuttgard and Munich-based DZ Bank, some $2m of equity and approximately $100,000 per film of post-production commitment by Stephan Raiss.