US talent and literary agency ICM became the first licensed user on Monday of a new financial software application designed to facilitate contract negotiations. The application is called movie dealflow and was designed by clearcounsel, a digital solutions subsidiary set up and wholly owned by UK entertainment law firm Olswang. The software, which costs $25,000 for an annual licence based on a minimum take-up of five users, incorporates financial data from 7,000 films and enables industry professionals to create rapid revenue forecasts with a clear understanding of the bottom line.
"movie dealflow demystifies the often protracted pre-production negotiations in the business," claims clearcounsel chief executive officer Jeff Golembo. "Our innovative software is set to become the industry standard and create a level playing field for all parties involved in movie negotiations. We are delighted that ICM is the first to adopt the movie dealflow program."
"We are enormously impressed by movie dealflow and what it can do to facilitate contract negotiations at every level," ICM chairman Jeff Berg said in a statement. "We expect that taking early advantage of this tool will give us an edge in a highly competitive marketplace."
Development on the program began three years ago after Olswang senior partner Mark Devereux and partner Clive Gringras decided it was time to simplify the often laborious process of contract negotiation. movie dealflow is an instinctive application that uses a graphic interface and allows users to key in known costs and deal conditions for their production and cross-reference them with the financial performance of films stored in the database. The result enables producers, agents, distributors and studios to find out, among other things, exactly how much a production needs to break even, at what point talent will get paid or how much to expect from royalties across non-theatrical platforms.
The database was compiled by box office tracker Nielsen EDI, which will update data via a monthly email to subscribers. Devereux told Screendaily: "We wanted to get to something that was fast and empowering and do it in a way that is not an Excel spreadsheet. The first release is geared to the US market but other models will be developed as the take-up grows. We want to go out with something that people can get in the biggest market first and make it more Europe-friendly. It will still appeal to the Pathes and Momentums in the UK."