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Just curious. I'm not sure exactly how the stock market works so i was wondering if people could invest in a filming project by buying shares which would payoff if the film succeeds.

  • Disney is trading quite well... – littleadv Apr 22 '16 at 6:06
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When we say "stock market," we are usually thinking of the publicly traded stocks, such as the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ. Shares of individual products do not go on these exchanges, only large corporations. You won't see a stock ticker symbol for The Force Awakens or for the iPhone 6s Plus.

The reason for this is that when investors buy a stock, they are looking for something that will grow in value theoretically forever. Individual products usually have a limited lifespan. Your movie will (hopefully) generate revenue when it comes out, but after a while sales will slow down after people have seen it. If someone bought a share of stock in a movie on the stock market, they have to realize that eventually the movie will stop making money, and their share of stock won't be worth anything anymore. Instead, people invest in companies that have the potential to make new products, such as Disney or Apple.

So if you were envisioning seeing the ticker symbol of your movie going across the screen on CNBC, sorry, that's not going to happen.

However, you could theoretically sell shares to individual investors for a percentage of the profit. You figure out how much money you need to create the movie, and estimate how much profit you think the movie will earn. Then you find an investor (or group of investors) that is willing to give you the money you need in exchange for a percentage of the profit. Unlike a stock market investor, these investors won't be looking for the long-term growth potential of the resale value of the stock, but simply a share of the profit.

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Stock is a part ownership of a business. First there has to be a business that people want to own part of because they expect to make a profit from that ownership. Nobody is going to be interested if the business isn't worth anything.

In other words: sure, you could try to start a movie production house to make this film and others... But unless you are already a major player AND already have a lot of money invested in the studio, forget it.

This isn't GoFundMe or Kickstarter. Nobody is going to buy stock because they want a copy of the DVD that you promise will be available in two years' time.

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