Friday 19 August 2011

Show me the money

In our Funny Business book (, we wrote about money and advice. The story where this one wise man we know, who is a very successful venture capitalist, tells us, that he often gets calls from young, enthused wannabe entrepreneurs, who ask for money. "Do you give them money when they call you?" "Never!" "Well, what do you give them then?" "Advice." "And when do you give them money?" "When they call for advice."

With Material ( getting more and more media attention, so my telephone and email inbox are getting more action. Calls from young, excited, film makers, who want someone to invest in their movie. "Please can I come see you about my film." "You want me to gamble?"

A movie is a business venture, so, these adventurous guys should be able to answer some fundamental business questions, like, how are we going to make a return on the investment? But, as it turns out, our movie guys know nothing about the workings of the film business. They just want to shoot.

One day I sit down with one of these excited film guys, and he still appears to know almost knowing about the movie business; so we start discussing distribution, and he tells me that it is going be a big DVD seller, even though the DVD market is slowing dying. So I ask him about the PPD etc. and he has no clue what I am on about. So I explain to him how the revenue splits work on a typical DVD distribution deal, and, then I ask him why he doesn't write any of it down; you know, make some notes. I look at him and go "Maybe you should be jotting this down". And he looks at me, and goes "Nah, I can remember".

Listening builds trust. You want to make money, you want to make movies, perhaps spend some time becoming better listeners.

Personality and character are two very different things. Sure, personality opens doors, but character keeps them open. Listening is a sign of character. People who listen generally make money, and perhaps, even movies.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker