Free Advice Q&A: When are the big deals going to come back?Mon Jul 19, 2010 @ 10:51AM PST
For our annual Power Lawyers issue, we asked A-list dealmaker Skip Brittenham for some free advice:
THR, Esq.: When is the market for big deals going to come back?
Brittenham: "It is partially already back. Comcast-NBC is certainly a big deal. But there has been a massive change in the financial markets over the past three years. Everything is different. There used to be more than 40 banks lending in the motion picture sector and now there are a third of that number. Raising capital for the motion picture business will continue to be a very challenging proposition, but there is still the opportunity to make financing deals with studios if we and they recognize those changes. There's some motion picture financing out there, but it's very smart and cautious money. The challenging economic climate, which I don't see materially improving for a while, means the only driver that can help deals happen is better terms for investors. The next big revenue stream may be some form of digital delivery and selling motion pictures on all the new digital platforms, but no one knows when these revenues will be significant. I hope the fall in DVD revenues has finally bottomed out."
Brittenham, partner at Ziffren Brittenham, reps such major production companies as Legendary at Warner Bros., Skydance at Paramount, DreamWorks at Disney, Working Title and Illumination at Universal and Scott Free at Fox.