[Filmmaking A to Z by Vic Alexander]

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Film Finance 201

Film Finance Under the Three Forms of Government

Capitalism - the artist has the right to express himself. The capitalist (investor, producer, distributor) will finance the movie if the artist is willing to sacrifice his control in making the product, making it serve the interests of the capitalist.

Under this system the Director is asked to collaborate with the cast and crew to interpret the script, expand the story, and entertain the audience. Therefore, ultimately this form of finance robs the Director of his artistic integrity and his own self-expression.

Socialism - the artist collaborates fully with everyone involved in filmmaking, in order to foment the expression of collaborative ideas.

Under this system the financial burden is shared by the collective (government programs and subsidies, union dues and control, the cast and crew in working at the subsistence level), and the rewards of the productions are paid out to the distribution and exhibitors first, then the producers and investors, and finally to the Director, who more often than not receives nothing.

This type of financing kills the Director's artistic integrity and robs him of his control and claim to fame.

Fascism - everyone serves the interest of the fascist state. The filmmaking crews and actors glorify the dictator and fascist elite. They must not criticize the fascists, but they can criticize or caricature the culture. Some brilliant directors have emerged under this system of finance (by permission of the state.) The financiers are allowed to invest in the right kind of movies, those with some loosely perceived social value.

Most artists, however, are crushed by the system. A few stars are rewarded in spectacular fashion, to encourage everyone else to struggle in their craft for little pay. This system works to some extent, until it runs into the socialist needs of the people to share in the crumbs from the table of the fascists.

Hollywood has always run on this system, the best fascist-socialist model. This is why the capitalists shy away from financing movies in Hollywood. They go outside to produce their movies, (and then bring them back to distribute through the system.)

One of the interesting offshoots of this dual system are the "crowd funding" websites that allow the emerging directors the opportunity to get a meager form of financing; however, the crowd becomes the dictator with respect to who gets funded and what stories are produced.

Aug. 29, 2011

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