Magazine article Screen International

Euro Soft Money Easier to Access Than US Incentives, Financing Agents Tell Zurich Summit

Magazine article Screen International

Euro Soft Money Easier to Access Than US Incentives, Financing Agents Tell Zurich Summit

Article excerpt

Los Angeles-set productions ‘total lottery system’, agent says.

‘First They Killed My Father’

European soft money is often a first port of call as opposed to US incentives because it is easier to access, leading agents revealed in a Zurich Summit session called Behind The Powerful Agency Curtain this weekend.

The agents emphasised the continuing reliance on soft money in packaging and financing films for their clients. Subsidies and tax breaks are easier to access in Europe than in the US, and that, they said, is why so much attention is paid to Europe and there is now often a reluctance to shoot in Hollywood itself.

“If they [films] are set in LA, that is the last place you want to make a movie because it is a total lottery system. We always look at Europe first,” said Alex Brunner from UTA’s Independent Film Group, behind such titles as Copperfield, Miss Sloane, and Hidden Figures.

“There is so much pressure on the budgets from the sales side that we have to find all sorts of different tools to try to bring soft money to budgets. We’ve been doing that for a while but the pressure is dramatic now because the budgets essentially in the past 10 years have come down 40%.”

Brunner revealed that Netflix had been keen to come on board Crazy Rich Asians. “UTA put together Crazy Rich Asians and at one point, Netflix really wanted to jump in. …

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