Olswang handles unique film finance template for Slingshot

Olswang has advised on a film financing programme that has seen a new UK digital film company release its first movie.

The firm secured a groundbreaking new profit-share structure for 18-month-old film business Slingshot Productions, leading to the acclaimed newly released film Sugarhouse.

Traditionally film financing structures have seen financiers recoup their investments and take a proportion of the profit before the cast and crew see any monetary reward, which ordinarily comes after production costs have been deducted.

Under the structure devised by Olswang everyone, including casting crews, share the revenue from “dollar one”, as the firm’s partner James Kay put it.

Kay said: “Slingshot had three asks that they wanted to combine in their financial arrangements. Namely, to make a film that attracts top talent, for it to be commercial and to be under a budget of £500,000 – something not easily achieved with traditional financing.”

Kay explained that, under the new scheme, a standard contract has been drawn up that can now be used across all Slingshot’s films. The process can be turned around within two to three weeks, as opposed to the average three months.

Mark Devereux, senior partner and member of the film team at Olswang, said: “Slingshot’s success in challenging the conventional film funding model and in creating a novel approach to the financing of its slate has been an exciting journey and hopefully represents the start of an innovative trend for British film.”

Slingshot’s challenge to the traditional cost structure of UK filmmaking will see the young company finance 10 small budget feature films for cinema during the next three years.

The company’s current box-office hit Sugarhouse, which features a host of stars, including Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ Steven Mackintosh as a middle-class drug addict.