metromode | 12/18/2008
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.