| INVESTOR'S BRIEF
There are four existing markets and new possibilities to reach media consumers worldwide. Additional markets will increase profits through multiple distribution channels: DVD’s; CD soundtracks; broadcast; educational markets, and outreach programs. The distribution channels are 1) movie theatres;
2) broadcast television/web streaming;
3) DVD/VHS/CD sales and rentals; and
4) educational markets – schools, libraries, museums. The new possibilities are re-purposing documentary content into educational computer games, pay per view offer coordinated events, and new media channels.
Feature films domestic gross is between $8 and $10 billion a year. With the success of feature documentaries such as “An Inconvenient Truth” and many others*, it is clear that feature documentaries are hot and inexpensive to make when compared to their dramatic counterparts. They do not require huge investments.
Broadcast demand for documentaries is also growing. The Discovery Corporation alone shows 600 hours of new programming annually. Higher end subscription outlets like HBO, and the Times Discovery Channel air many original feature documentaries. We only need to capture a small percentage of the feature market internationally to become profitable, create a brand, and amass a substantial profit. One quarter of 1% of the domestic feature market would give us $25 million gross profit in our sixth year.
The marketing plan is to release 3-5 feature documentaries in 5 years in all venues – theatrical first. This creates a company library that will continue to generate revenue. Marketing includes finding investors and strategic partners with funding agencies, including foundations. Channelvison, a non-profit organization that evaluates the social change/influence success of media, will do the evaluation research.
Initially we will partner with feature film marketing & promotion companies and distributors. Commissioning companies (e.g. HBO and Carlton) will fund specific projects. Alliances with non-profits like ‘Save the Children’ (for a documentary on protecting women and children in war) are already established.
||Gross to Date
|March of the Penguins
|An Inconvenient Truth
|Bowling for Columbine
|Madonna: Truth or Dare
|Super Size Me
|Mad Hot Ballroom
There are no legal barriers to entry. Media project ideas and proposals have previously been copyrighted.
What is new is the commercial success of feature documentaries. Documentaries receive extensive publicity that supports sales and profits in each distribution channel. For a documentary, the cost of publicity is modest compared to dramatic features where the marketing costs often exceed the cost of production. With theatrical releases documentaries can recover the cost of production and marketing in a few months, with sales and licensing fees accrued in the ancillary markets creating handsome profits.
Projects will be funded individually with grants and commissions, while investment dollars cover overhead.
Customers will be reached by means of all advertising venues – print, television, film trailers, and radio. The channels of distribution do their own advertising: Landmark Theaters, Mann Theaters, HBO, Discovery, & Blockbusters. Our sales plan is to work with distribution partners but provide additional promotional sales via non-profits related to the subject matter of the documentary. We will partner with existing documentary distributors like Film Transit, New Yorker Films, and new distributors emerging for the feature documentary market - Zeitgeist and Artistic License Films. As our company name is branded it may become more profitable to self-distribute. The sources of revenue are theaters, broadcast, DVD/VHS sales and rentals, the educational market, web-based products and potentially educational computer games.
The breakdown looks like this: Theatrical: 38%, Broadcast: 4%, DVD/VHS: 29%, Educational: 7%, Web: 22%.
Earthworks Films, Inc. expenses are: Salaries cost of production, office, marketing, and establishing strategic alliances. [See table for aggregate expense] Margins vary from 0 to 30%, as there is more than one product and more than one method of distribution.
This is a new venture designed to unite the principal’s forces. They have invested $20,000 of their personal funds for research, assembling information for the business plan, and for completing individual film project proposals and promotional videos.
$444,000 for Seed & Early Funding $200,000. 80% of the proceeds for the start-up period will go toward company overhead – salary, office, marketing and 20% to production and release of the first documentary feature.
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Summarized Financial Projection
These documentaries deal with social change, emphasizing policies for peace, conflict resolution, and social entrepreneurship. Taking advantage of theatrical runs, complementary message campaigns in radio, print, web and video with non-profits will greatly increase public knowledge. Documentary filmmakers have done this ad hoc in the U.S., but social marketing programs in developing countries have been successful for women’s health, basic literacy programs, HIV awareness programs, etc. How one measures the efficacy of information campaigns is in knowledge,