Monday, May 22, 2017

Equity crowdfunding: How YOU can produce a Hollywood movie

Equity Crowdfunding: 
How You Can Invest in Hollywood Without Already Being a Millionaire

Have you ever wanted to be a part of Hollywood?

Have you ever wished you could share in the profits of a big movie?




For some reason, it took a law called the JOBS Act, passed in 2012, to allow ordinary, non-wealthy people to invest in Hollywood. You can read guidelines on the topic from the SEC here, if youre interested in the legalese. [Im not...]

I find it absurd that it took until after 2010 for non-wealthy people to be allowed to invest in this sort of thing! Heres why:

Mutual funds, in which a bunch of people buy a bunch of stock in a bunch of different companies, have been around since—as it turns out—the 1770s! It took about 200 years for them to become popular in the United Stats, but mutual funds are very popular today. In fact, as of 2013, over $15 trillion were invested in mutual funds in the United States alone—that’s $15 trillion with a t! Ive advocated a particular type of mutual fund, called an index fund, before. Check out that link for an explanation of why. 

And boring personal financial junk aside, people have been contributing money to films, products, etc. on Kickstarter since 2009. But on Kickstarter, contributors have no chance to share in the profits—they simply give money to help fund someone’s good idea.

“Equity crowdfunding,” as it’s typically called (though some prefer the term “crowdinvesting” instead), combines these two ideas. It’s like a mutual fund for small-time venture capitalists!

With equity crowdfunding, you’re not just giving money to a project—you’re helping to fund the development of a company! If you don’t know what a venture capitalist is, they give entrepreneurs money in exchange for a percentage of ownership in the company...kind of like the ABC show Shark Tank, but without all the made-for-TV drama. Well, hopefully without the drama…

If you’d like to know more, I’ve included a link to a guest-authored post by David Willis, the director and screenwriter of I’ll Be Next Door for Christmas. The team behind this movie has set an ambitious date of having the film completed by November of 2017!
Side note: he’s the writer, director, a producer, and he even writes guest posts for blogs?!?! This is definitely a man who wears many hats! I can’t figure out how to keep more than one on my head...if I can learn how David Willis does it, I’ll start the next fashion trend! What do you think, at least 3 hats at a time?...

Okay, maybe I don’t have much of a future in writing comedies, so I’ll just stick with purveying information. Here’s a link to the official press release, which contains some details about the project and some information about equity crowdfunding as well.

I’m afraid grad students don’t have a lot of money to invest in such ventures. But if this sounds interesting to you, you can visit their WeFunder page and throw some money into the pot. Who knows, you may even strike it rich! And even if you don't have the money to invest, you can always keep updated by following them on Twitter and/or Facebook

If you do choose to invest in this, be sure you read the terms carefully and know exactly what you’re getting into. And remember—as with any such investment, there’s the possibility that the movie won’t make any money and you won’t see a dime of royalties, so don’t give them more money than you can afford to lose.

The upside, though, is the potential to earn royalties every year, forever! Not a bad way to spend a hundred bucks that you were just going to blow at a restaurant, anyway...

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