nov
15
By Karan
 

Film making is a HIGH...¬† It can either elevate you to the heights of success, or down you the drains of losses and despair. Trust me, it’s all a risky bet! If you thought investing in a film was a child`s play, think again! Being a Venture Capitalist in my own right, I have come to understand the nitty gritties of this thriving cash flow entertainment industry. In the typical Mumbaiya lingo, “paisa pheko, tamasha dekho,” is the name of the game here.

As for my company High Ground Enterprise, we have six films on the slate to look forward to. Two films, Kya Dilli Kya Lahore and Charlie Ke Chakkar Mein are in post-production and two more are under production, Chai Shai Biscuits and Let’s Talk Love. Another two yet-to-be-titled projects will be going on the floor early next year.  Yes, that’s a busy busy year ahead!  So far comparatively we have been pretty less lavish on our spending, the above slate doesn’t have any big-ticketed projects either. Our approach currently is bit conservative, lean and mean and the focus is more on niche projects to make a slow but steady foothold in the industry. Initially any Venture Capitalist investing in the film business cannot expect a lot of moolah coming in to them as profits; it needs to be understood that marking your presence as a legally compliant film investing resource is of quintessential necessity these days. More so, big ticket banners (as well as the smaller ones in recent times) have been marred by trade talks in respect of the legality of the funds that become a part of their glamour productions and the high profile, yet not so legal resources from which they are borrowed/sourced from. Banks and institutional lenders will take the industry seriously only if it meets established norms of transparency and honesty in all dealings, something that could not have been said of the film industry till some years ago. Once your presence as an efficient film-financing unit is established, that’s when your much awaited profit-rolling strategies come to the fore and guide you as to which project/s to invest in. 
In the long run, what really matters is how transparent you and your company are. There has been marked improvement in the funding environment over the past decade. It started with corporates joining hands with the film industry, and now with India’s growing rich community, many HNI [High Networth Individuals] want to be film financiers. The image of film funding has also gone through a radical change; whereas previously, this was an area of controversy, it is rarely the case nowadays, and probably for most now, it adds a glamour quotient to their profile.
In respect of the profits, we expect a positive ROI (return-on-investment) within three to six months of release of the film. Depending on the IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) deal/partnership, it may keep paying the investor for a long long time through royalties and re-sale of ex­ploitation rights. We mostly retain the rights or share them in partnership.
The fact that one might have the resources to pump in the monies into a project may not work in your favor as a profit maker, as what really matters is the knowledge of dynamics surrounding the intricacies of film making.
To sum it all up, film financing is like wine tasting. You should know the ones to sniff and taste and the ones to discard. Also, you should know to spit it out if the product doesn’t cater to your taste, and not gulp it just because someone else has. Keep sipping but don’t expect to get high! Not too soon anyway!

 
 
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Author : Karan Arora
Karan Arora has written 5 articles for us.
 
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The British Graduate 100 Awards.

Producer Karan Arora of Highground Enterprise was among the esteemed panel of judges of British Graduate 100, 2010.

Highground Enterprise sponsored the category "MEDIA, FILM & ARTS" of Graduate 100.
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