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Jeff Steele
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Blog Entries by Jeff Steele

House Passes First Crowdfunding Legislation

2 Comments | Posted December 9, 2011 | 13:22:01 (EST)

The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed its first significant crowdfunding legislation, in the form of H.R. 2930, the Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act. The bill (now in the Senate) amends the Securities Act of 1933, by allowing entrepreneurs to crowdsource (online) up to $2 million per year...

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How to Make Crowd-Funding Work for Filmmakers: Highlights from the Film Finance Forum: Part 2

Posted March 22, 2011 | 15:02:18 (EST)

Last week I moderated the panel on "How to Make Crowd-Funding Work for Filmmakers" for the Winston-Baker's 3rd annual Film Finance Forum West. The panel marked a seminal moment in the evolution (and convergence) of filmmaking and technology. This may sound slightly overstated, considering it was my own panel, but...

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Oscars and Financing -- Why 'A-list' Isn't 'Always-List'

Posted March 8, 2011 | 12:42:19 (EST)

With the Academy Awards just behind us, we should discuss what "A-List" means and more importantly, what effect it has on actually getting a film made (from a financing perspective.) Does winning an Oscar make you an A-list star? Whoopie Goldberg might beg to differ -- but it also depends...

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Power to the People: The Democratization of Film

Posted March 2, 2011 | 11:53:55 (EST)

The media-publishing World is comprised of four massive tectonic plates called audio, video, print and software. These plates rest on a fluid called technology that keeps them in continuous motion. Technology moves these plates at glacier speed, but every so often a bubble in the technological fluid causes a seismic...

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Chinese Film Funds: A Cookie Without a Fortune

Posted February 17, 2011 | 15:00:16 (EST)

It seems you don't have to swing a dead cat very far to find a project that has Chinese money attached. What's the lowdown on this foreign dough and is it for real?

Over the past couple of years, a number of sovereign funds have emerged in China, initially to...

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Be Warned: What 2011 Means for Filmmakers

Posted January 14, 2011 | 13:10:44 (EST)

I feel that last two years of financial volatility have abated enough to get some clarity on what filmmakers should be looking for in 2011. Obviously, life has yet to return to normal, but that's not going to happen in 2011, nor 2012. Our national debt and deficit are going...

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Note: Oscars Don't Finance Films

Posted December 17, 2010 | 10:48:49 (EST)

It's kind of sad that Mark Boal & Kathryn Bigelow, The Oscar winning writing & directing masterminds behind The Oscar winning Best Picture The Hurt Locker, couldn't muster up the courage to re-team with Nicolas Chartier, The Oscar winning financing and sales mastermind behind The Oscar winning Best Picture The...

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Prediction: Netflix Will Soon Produce Original Content

Posted October 25, 2010 | 21:19:43 (EST)

In the world of streaming, Netflix is the undisputed king of prime time.

According to the Fall 2010 Global Internet Phenomena report, "In the United States, Netflix represents more than 20 percent of downstream traffic during peak times." Producers, networks, or anybody in the video space...

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Indie Producers Don't Understand Tax Credits

Posted October 11, 2010 | 03:25:38 (EST)

Producers don't get it.Over the past ten years most producers and financiers have been deriding the escalating cost of film production. Indie producers have been on a relentless quest to find the elusive "final 20%"...

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Will 3-D Kill the Indie Film?

Posted May 20, 2010 | 13:38:05 (EST)

There's good news and bad news about technology for independent filmmakers. The good news is that continued improvements have led to what Michael Cioni, co-founder of Light Iron Digital in Culver City, and a panelist at the recent Whitewater Roundtable, called a "democratization of technology." Now,...

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Hollywood Banking Takedown: Is JP Morgan Next?

Posted May 6, 2010 | 13:34:15 (EST)

Almost two months ago, I tweeted about Robert Halmi International (RHI) Entertainment's massive bankruptcy that took out US Bank's entertainment division. Having had some time to think about it, I realize this path of destruction did not end with US Bank, but will continue through a...

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Independent Films' New Path to Financing

Posted April 27, 2010 | 15:54:44 (EST)

Indie filmmakers are always looking for money, and as I wrote in my last post, as conventional forms of financing for indie films continue to dry up, enterprising producers have discovered an unprecedented new resource for money: they're going online and hitting up their audiences. This online solicitation...

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Why Films Under $2m Can't Catch a Break

Posted April 19, 2010 | 11:17:03 (EST)

One of the things big-budget producers take for granted is their access to film financing. Gap loans, presales, tax credits, equity investors - these are items on a menu to be ordered up and combined in whatever way works best.

In bars around the world, broad-stroke percentages are scribbled on...

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