thunderWith studios closing their independent film divisions over the last few years and Miramax no longer the cultural powerhouse it was in the 90s, new models are being tried in the indie film world: while some venture capitalists are promoting the idea of an accelerator model, borrowed from the tech-startup world, others, such as the program recently announced by Thunder Studios, which is offering $12 million to twelve indie features each year, are planning to do away with cash altogether, though not in the way you'd expect. Click through to learn about this new way to get your movie made, and how you can submit your film.

Thunder Studios, a motion picture service and soundstage company, announced today that it was partnering with  the following equipment and services companies: Pace Pictures (post production services), RED Digital Cinema (camera equipment), and Cassian Elwes of Elevated Film Sales (distribution) in order to form a sort of one stop indie film shop, a little like the studios of old.  The brainchild of Thunder C.E.O. Rodric David, Thunder Studios will provide the chosen films with $1 million each in services, rather than money to be spent on those services.

Under the deal, the 12 films selected will let the Thunder Funder provide everything up to and including distribution and sales, as well as taking an Executive Producer credit. According to IndieWire, the only aspect of production they will not be involved in is casting, and there is, of course, the question of salaries, etc.

The presence of Elwes, who handled financing and distribution for nearly 300 indies during his time at William Morris from 2004-2009, as well as countless others during his nearly thirty year career, certainly lends the project an air of seriousness given his track record. 

You can submit your project here.

What do you think? Is this is a viable way to finance a film? Would you be willing to give up so much for the chance to see your movie on the big screen? What do you think the future model for indie film financing will be, or do you think it's going to be a free for all, with various streaming, VOD and theatrical release platforms all coexisting. What do you think the optimal solution would be?


[via IndieWire]