BAFTA-nominated producer Lisa Katselas is using a pioneering equity investment crowdfunding model to finance her next production, Somewhat Dead.
The horror-adventure-comedy marks the first time a film-maker will seek financing under the new SEC regulation 506(c), which allows for private producers to advertise private placement financing opportunities for productions.
Katselas describes Somewhat Dead as The Hunger Games transposed into the world of Tim Burton. “Somewhat Dead is a horror film at heart and is truly scary, yet at the same time, contains humour, dramatic sophistication and poignancy,” she said.
“Horror audiences have evolved and expanded in recent years. For a film to genuinely scare today’s audience, viewers have to feel a real connection to the characters – and for me that is the cornerstone of good storytelling.”
The partnership with I-Bankers Direct is the first time a US film will seek equity-based financing using the new SEC regulation that launched in September under the JOBS Act.
I-Bankers Direct allows accredited investors to invest a minimum of $5,000 in Somewhat Dead. By investing in the film, investors will earn an equity stake and net profit participation for the life of the project.
Until now, online film investors had no way of connecting with filmmakers other than through websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, through which they contribute funds but do not gain the opportunity for any kind of investment return.
“After analysing the investment potential of a well-made, low-budget horror film in this booming genre, we felt it made sense to make this opportunity available to investors on the I-Bankers Direct funding platform,” said Mike McCrory, CEO and co-founder of I-Bankers Direct.
“Horror films have traditionally performed very well at the box office and thus far in 2013 they have taken in just under $500m, which is 50% more than they took in in 2012 for the same time period, which was already up 20% from 2011,” said Katselas.
“By all accounts, 2013 is the first summer that studios have released horror films on the same weekends as tentpole productions and those small-budget horror films have repeatedly beat the big giants at the box office.”
This platform also gives accredited investors round-the-clock online accesses to the film’s offering documents, management conference calls, video presentations, and related materials to assist with their decision-making.
Somewhat Dead is scheduled to start production in spring 2014 on location in the UK and the US.