Indie Filmmakers Hit Hard By Economic Crisis

Although the major studios continue to maintain that they are likely to feellittle impact from the current economic downturn, the outlook continues togrow bleaker for independent producers. Movie consultant Jeff Dowd, whofound a buyer for the singularly successful, The Blair Witch Project ,told Bloomberg News that independent filmmakers "are having a harder timegetting money at the $500,000, $1 million level than they were a year ago."He said he expects to see a significant drop in the number of independentmovies next year, following more than a decade of growth. Bloomberg citedthe case of producer-writer-director Neil Schulman, who used the equity in asecond home in Nevada to finance his film, Lady Magdalene's, starringNichelle Nichols of Star Trek fame. He has been unable to find adistributor for the film and now, with the collapse of the real estatemarket, he says that his equity in the home has been wiped out -- leavingSchulman with a hefty monthly payment to cover the debt he incurred inmaking his film.



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