Over the past 30 or so years, my legal practice has given me the opportunity to participate in hundreds of entertainment financing transactions. As a lawyer, I get to see everything that can go right or wrong in the course of creating and distributing films and other properties.
Much of my practice these days involves helping investors figure out whether to put their money into this project or that project. Smart investors recognize that the entertainment industry presents some really outstanding opportunities to make enormous returns. But they also know that there are potential landmines everywhere and it is very easy to lose money if you are not fully informed. Unless you're actively involved in the business every day, it's very hard to know a good deal from a bad one. That's why they come to me and people like me to help them figure it out.
So what do I tell them? Here are the basic points I always start with:
I start every new assignment hoping my client is able to make the investment. No one makes money on the deals that don't happen. But I know that no project is perfect - there is always a chance that money will be lost. It's up to me to figure out how to best protect against those losses, and to make sure there is enough potential profit to justify the risk.