As soon as an inquiry is made for us to issue a guarantee, we request the script, the shooting schedule and the budget. We prefer that all three documents have already been approved by the financiers and distributors of the picture. In some cases, we are prepared to consider these documents prior to such stage. These three documents are examined in detail. In most cases FFI then moves to the next stage, which is meeting with any and all relevant personnel whose views on the project are deemed helpful. On the basis of these views and explanations, along with the papers submitted, we decide whether the project presented is feasible. When a positive decision is made, a “letter of intent” is issued by us confirming that we are prepared to go forward with the giving of a Guarantee of Completion, subject to the fulfillment of certain stated conditions. Most conditions are considered standard and apply to such things as financing, personnel, insurance and location agreements. The letter of intent will also list a number of budget items for which we are not responsible.
These above-mentioned conditions are incorporated in an undertaking required of the producers. The letter of intent specifies our fee for the giving of such a Guarantee.
When a letter of intent is issued and the project is approved, we then commence work on the legal documentation. This is all done in-house. In preparing the documents, we require the fulfillment of certain standard conditions, such as, the assurance of financing equal to the approved budget, available and capable personnel, and satisfactory insurance, studio and location arrangements have been made. In addition, we require the documents that entitle the production company the rights to make the film.
Film Finances is entirely an independent completion bond company with no affiliation. Being truly independent we are able to advise without the risk of any potential conflict of interest. Consequently, we are able to act in order to protect the interests of our clients at all times.
We need to be satisfied at all times that the production whose completion we have guaranteed progresses satisfactorily and on schedule. However, we do appreciate that making motion pictures is a creative process employing fine talents. FFI enjoys having a very close relationship with our producers, directors and key production personnel, and we are convinced that these relationships are more valuable than placing someone between us. Our monitoring process requires the production to email us daily shooting progress reports and a weekly cost report in order to properly evaluate the progress of the film. FFI also makes periodic visits to the shooting area.
The process of completing a motion picture continues well after the end of the actual filming. We also have a very experienced post production staff that monitors the post production of a film via a schedule and updated cost reports until the film is actually delivered to the distributor.
1. Completion Agreement This is the agreement between Film Finances and the production company (or companies) for the film. The Completion Agreement sets forth the obligations of the production company with respect to the production of the film and provides for the take-over rights and other remedies and security for Film Finances.
2. Completion Guaranty The Guaranty is the agreement between Film Finances and the financier(s) of the film and it sets forth the terms and conditions of the completion and delivery of the film.