Project leader for UCLA Anderson research on the Independent Film Industry.

While at UCLA Anderson, Collis spearheaded a six-month, six-person Strategic Management Research (SMR) study on best practices for the financing, marketing, distribution and exhibition of Independent Film.  The research was sponsored by Olympus Pictures, producer/financier of the Sundance winner, Adam, the acclaimed films, Rabbit Hole and Beginners and the upcoming feature, The Oranges. 

Over 300 industry professionals were interviewed for this study.  Key advisors included the following industry heavyweights:

  1. Tom Sherak (President, AMPAS; fmr partner at Revolution Studios)

  2. Bill Mechanic (fmr CEO, 20th Century Fox; producer of Coraline)

  3. Ted Hope (3 time Sundance Grand Jury prize-winning producer)

  4. Russell Schwartz (fmr CEO, Gramercy, USA Films)

  5. Mark Harris (3-time Oscar winning documentary filmmaker)

  6. Palmer West (producer, Requiem for a Dream, Waking Life, Scanner Darkly)

  7. Chris Bosco (SVP Finance, MGM)

Findings shared with the independent film community as well as with Film Independent, Independent Feature Project, and a selection of film school alumni groups who cooperated with the study.

The most important insights came from the research done on “Service Deals” and why independent film investors are forced to accept less than desirable deals on typical “Acquisition Deals” (the sort of deals that are made at festivals like Toronto and Sundance).  The report details why these investors are usually happy to only break even on their investments, despite enormous risk – and, even in the case when their film is a hit.

Ultimately, the report/presentation is a study of the risk-reward imbalance found in Independent Film investing and methods for correcting this imbalance.  The reasons behind these findings are detailed in the study.


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