Campaign of the Week: Hollywood Comes to Syndicate Room

By AltFi on Friday 8 August 2014

Savings and Investment

Salty is set to become the first major film to be opened up to UK crowdfunders.

Simon West – director of Tomb Raider, Expendables 2 and Con Air – is offering investors the opportunity to own shares in his latest film, the action comedy Salty. West’s previous films have taken more than $1 billion at global box offices. This is the first time that an A-list Hollywood director has turned to crowdfunding to fund a film.

UK based equity crowdfunding platform Syndicate Room is running the campaign. The US regulatory restrictions on equity crowdfunding are a large part of why West turned to UK shores in his effort to finance the film. Syndicate Room has stated that the campaign does not currently have a closing date. The planned budget for the film is $10 million (£5.9 million), of which £1.8 million is expected to be invested through the crowdfunding campaign.

Supplementary rewards benefits on offer for investors include:

  • £300,000 or above: Producer Credit – equity investors who invest £300,000 or more will receive an onscreen executive producer credit on the title sequence of the completed motion picture. 
  • £90,000 or above: Investors will have the opportunity to participate as extras, subject to the production schedule. 
  • £60,000 or above: Investors will be invited to attend a private 
    screening of the completed film with a guest. 
  • £40,000 or above: Investors will be invited to visit appropriate locations of the Film while shooting and meet the cast and crew. 
  • £1,000 or above: Investors will be given exclusive access to a private production website documenting the progress of the production.

Syndicate Room’s funding model allows retail investors to invest alongside Angel investors. The Angels involved in the Salty deal have purchased £450,000 of the equity on offer. The investors will be repaid their capital from any revenue the film generates and will also receive a proportionate share of any profits. Under HMRC rules, investors must hold their shares for at least three years in order to benefit from tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).

Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, Founder and CEO, Syndicate Room, commented:

“For decades, investing in major Hollywood films has been a luxury reserved for the well-connected and the ultra-rich. The rest of us could do little but look on and stump up for a cinema ticket.

“At a stroke, Salty has changed all of that – by offering investors both the chance to get involved in the making of a movie, and a share of its profits.”

“Simon West’s contacts book reads like a Who’s Who of Hollywood, and there is no shortage of cigar-chomping movie moguls willing to back his films. So his decision to use crowdfunding to raise an important part of the budget for Salty is truly revolutionary.”

Simon West, director of Salty, comments:

“During my two decades in the movie business I’ve funded films in a variety of ways, but for this one I was determined to break away from the big budget, big studio model. With the studios’ deep pockets comes bureaucracy that’s inefficient, expensive and which can stifle creativity.”

“Salty will be different – and not just because it’s the first time smaller investors have been able to buy into a major film’s potential returns. As it’s a privately funded film, my production team and I will keep creative control while keeping costs down, while also giving free rein to the very best the cast and crew have to offer.

Campaign Breakdown

Amount raised so far: £531, 000

Percentage raised: 30%

Target amount: £1,800,000

Minimum investment: £1000

Tax Relief: EIS

Equity offered: 14.49%

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