Thierry Baujard and Vincent Favrat • Directors of Just Temptation
"Producers, directors, composers and Just Temptation share the same objective"
- Thierry Baujard and Vincent Favrat elaborate on Just Temptation’s innovative business model
Just Temptation is a pan-European film music financing company that addresses European film producers' and directors' needs and helps them to overcome the challenges they face when creating the soundtrack to their productions. The fast-growing company has to date contributed to over 20 high-profile productions.
Cineuropa: You define Just Temptation as a film music financier. How do you position yourselves in the film market?
Thierry Baujard: As a consultant in the film financing industry, I noticed that there was a gap in the market when it came to financing film music. Music industry expert Vincent and I teamed up to develop a business model at the intersection of those two worlds, targeted at a niche market crucial to the European film industry. Just Temptation's unique position in the market relates to its aim to serve independent film producers and directors by providing original music financing through private equity and soundtrack-based promotion as well as creative, legal and technical support for all matters related to film music.
Vincent Favrat: Both producers and directors acknowledge that a high-quality soundtrack greatly impacts the commercial success of a film production. However, they are at times frustrated by the complexities inherent in the music rights and the usually rather modest budgets left for the score at the post-production stage. As a qualified partner, Just Temptation addresses both of these challenges.
As far as the original music financing is concerned, at what stage do you get involved in a film production?
TB: It depends on the producer's needs, really. We're actually quite flexible on that: our investments can function as a way for producers to increase their private equity rate and thus contribute to raising additional subsidies. Or we'd come in at a late pre-production phase to help to close the financial gap; or during production to ensure that an adequate budget is kept for the score at a time when costs could escalate; or again, in post-production so as to avoid cash-flow issues.
I can see how producers would find such flexibility convenient. Though what exactly do you get in return for the investments you make?
VF: Music rights that we exploit throughout and beyond the film’s distribution cycle. We optimise the reciprocal marketing effects between the film and its music. By focusing on music rights, our investments remain entirely independent of the rest of the film’s financing. This can be quite practical for producers, because we don’t interfere with their revenue streams, as traditional private-equity investors would do, nor do our investments conflict with any of the production’s existing agreements.
Would a producer interested in your financing scheme have to work with composers of your choice?
VF: What matters to us is to fulfill both the producer’s financial requirements and the director's creative vision while supporting the composer and promoting his/her work. We welcome all music genres and are happy to work with a composer who is already on board, to search for the right artist, or to collaborate with composers from our own roster: just to name a couple, Gabriel Yared, known for the score of Minghella's The English Patient, or Teho Teardo, winner of the Ennio Morricone Prize for the score of Sorrentino's Il Divo [+see also:
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What kind of profile do films have to have in order to suit the funding opportunity you are offering?
TB: We refer to Just Temptation as pan-European because our focus lies on high-profile European co-productions and European national films. Since we launched the company in 2012, we have invested in 20 productions: commercial, art-house, a wide range of genre feature-length films as well as high-concept documentaries and TV series. As for the production size, we have been involved in projects with budgets ranging from 0.5 to 10.5 M €. Generally, we look at projects with strong producing and creative teams, with at least 40% of the financing secured, and with TV pre-sales secured in at least one of the big five European territories.
And finally, what synergies could producers expect from Just Temptation?
VF: Our film music financing offer aspires to achieve a win-win situation as we are convinced that producers, directors, composers and Just Temptation share the same objective: to gain a competitive edge by increasing the music budget, improving the soundtrack, and thus elevating the creative potential and commercial performance of the film.
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