S3 Entertainment Group creates $10 million financing fund for film industry

The credit crunch may be threatening the
local auto industry but it’s creating opportunity for at least one
local film-industry firm. S3 Entertainment Group has created a $10 million financing fund for film productions in Michigan called, surprise, Michigan Film Finance.

The
idea is to help filmmakers in need of financing for their projects with
the expectation of double-digit returns. So far the Ferndale-based firm
is the only company in Michigan providing such financing for filmmakers
to take advantage of Michigan’s film incentives. S3 is also working
with other lenders to originate, process and disburse loans for
productions.

The money can be used for a broad range of needs,
such as renting film equipment. S3 supplies numerous production
services and equipment to filmmakers. It has worked on a number of
major films shot locally, such as Gran Torino, The Butterfly Effect 3, Whip It! and Youth in Revolt.

S3’s
business has taken off since Michigan approved its film incentives. It
cuts paychecks to seven people and its subsidiaries employ about 80
more. The plan is to extend its employee base to 200 people by handling
15-20 major films per year.

Source: Meghan Edwards, spokeswoman for S3 Entertainment Group
Writer: Jon Zemke