Film financiers predict years of tight credit

The bad news is that the ongoing credit crisis is going to make it harder to assemble film financing, which will result in fewer movies coming to market. The good news is that the ongoing credit crisis is going to make it harder to assemble film financing, which will result in fewer movies coming to market.

While the increasingly grim global financial meltdown hangs like a black cloud over this year's American Film Market, participants at the annual AFM Finance Conference, held Friday at the Fairmont Hotel in Santa Monica, still saw a few silver clouds -- albeit on a fairly distant horizon.


Predicting that the industry may be facing five years of tight credit, David Molner, managing director of Beverly Hills-based Screen Capital International, which specializes in setting up film financing, said, "five years of tight credit changes the way things work."

Ticking off the trouble spots -- a de facto strike that has slowed down film production, weak presales, investors growing disenchanted with their Hollywood investments -- P. John Burke of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, pointed to "the brighter side": Talent that has become increasingly entreprenurial; the promise that in the future video-on-demand "may actually be worth something"; the spread of digital cinema, which will set the stage for the growth of digital 3-D.

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