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Film Finance Books

Books by John W. Cones


    Investor Financing of Independent Film

: A Guide for Producers, Attorneys and
Film School Lecturers

This book explains how to comply with the federal and states securities regulations when seeking to raise money from private investors for the development, production and/or distribution of a feature or documentary film. It is an essential resource for any film student taking a film finance course (or a production course with a film finance component), as well as any independent film producers, entertainment/securities attorneys and film school instructors, who want to be informed about the legal and practical aspects of investor financing of independent films. ISBN: 9781032528755 (hbk), 9781032520001 (pbk), 9781003408871 (ebk); published 2023, Routledge/Focal Press (Taylor and Francis Group) https://www.routledge.com/Investor-Financing-of-Independent-Film-A-Guide-for-Producers-Attorneys-and-Film-School-Lecturers/Cones/p/book/9781032520001; 175 pages.

Dictionary of Film Finance & Distribution:  A Guide for Independent Filmmakers — Definitions of nearly 4,000 terms used in the film industry in the finance and distribution of feature films. In addition, to the definitions, examples of usage and commentary are provided for some terms. The dictionary also includes John Cones’ original list of 337 business practices of the major studio/distributors. ISBN # 978-0-922993-94-9 / Paperback / published 2008 by Marquette Books and subsequently by Algora Publishing; 514 pages. Order through the publisher at https://www.algora.com/416/book/details.html.


43 Ways to Finance Your Feature Film:  A Comprehensive Analysis of Film Finance — A comprehensive overview of film finance with a discussion of advantages and disadvantages of forty-three different ways to finance feature films and other entertainment projects. Paperback / ISBN # 0-8093-1968-3 / Published by Southern Illinois University Press / Available at Amazon.com or phone 800/346-2680 or 618/453-6619; 207 pages. Order through the publisher at http://www.siupress.com/books/978-0-8093-8739-7.


The Feature Film Distribution Deal: A Critical Analysis of the Single Most Important Film Industry Agreement — A provision-by-provision critical analysis of the single most important film industry agreement. The book clearly demonstrates why it is highly unlikely that anyone will ever get a “good” feature film distribution deal. The book also provides samples of five different film distribution agreements in its appendix. ISBN # 0-8093-2082-7 / Paperback / Published 1996 by Southern Illinois University Press / Available at Amazon.com or phone 800/346-2680 or 618/453-6619; 380 pages. Order through the publisher at http://www.siupress.com/books/978-0-8093-2081-3.


Business Plans for Filmmakers: This book dispels many of the myths and much of the misinformation circulating among filmmakers regarding the preparation and use of business plans for raising money from investors. It discussions issues filmmakers need to consider before conducting such an offering, including the efficacy of a business plan to fund the development, production or distributions costs associated with a film. He also discusses the common elements of fraud that filmmakers need to avoid, useful distinctions between “company financing” versus “project financing”. Published by Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale Illinois ISBN 0-8093-2994-8 and 978-00-8093-2994-6. Order through the SIUP Chicago Distribution Center, phone 800/621-2736, or order through the publisher at http://www.siupress.com/books/978-0-8093-2994-6.


Hollywood Wars: How Insiders Gained and Maintain Illegitimate Control Over the Film Industry — An inside look at one of the most closed business communities in America and revealing publicly what every Hollywood insider knows privately: that a small group of insiders controls the Hollywood film industry and often engages in unethical and illegal business practices that hurt independent filmmakers and screenwriters as well as the movie-going public. Original publisher Marquette Books. Now available through Amazon at amazon.com/Hollywood-Wars-Insiders-Maintain-Illegitimate-ebook/dp/B01DO4Z27E/ref=sr_1_9?gclid=Cj0KCQjw_OzrBRDmARIsAAIdQ_K47FPDQjAqeymfJwHR0VYV.


337 Business Practices of the Major Studio/Distributors — A comprehensive list with descriptions of the many business practices used over the years by the major studio/distributors to siphon money out of the revenue streams of motion pictures and prevent such earnings from flowing past the distributor to other potential profit participants; the business practices are described by the various source material as unfair, unethical, unconscionable, anti-competitive, predatory and/or illegal; includes comprehensive bibliographical list of sources; self-published monograph, 1992. Order through the publisher Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Business-Practices-Major-Studio-Distributors-ebook/dp/B01FC92CEA.

Patterns of Bias in Hollywood Movies — A study of the repeating themes seen in Hollywood movies over the years that appear to be preferred by the Hollywood insiders who have decision-making authority over which movies that get made and the scripts upon which such movies are based; Algora Publishing, 2012. Order through the publisher at https://www.algora.com/400/book/details.html.



Motion Picture Biographies: The Hollywood Spin on Historical Figures — A study of the patterns of bias exhibited in Hollywood biopics over many decades, showing how who has been honored by Hollywood with a movie about their life and how the subjects of such movies has changed with time. Order through the publisher at https://www.algora.com/456/book/details.html.


Who Really Controls Hollywood — The only study that accurately describes the so-called “Hollywood control group” — the small group of people who has the power to determine which movies are produced and distributed to the vast majority of movie-goers around the world, and to determine who gets to produce, direct and star in those movies. Order through the publisher at https://www.amazon.com/really-controls-Hollywood-John-Cones/dp/1890341061.


What’s Really Going On In Hollywood — A well documented explanation of how Hollywood uses techniques of distraction (stars, glamour, awards shows, publicists, press releases, etc.) to avoid calling attention to the massive amounts of money being made by the major studio/distributors, their top executives and how much of that money is then funneled through political action committees and other political contributions to influence federal governmental policy. This book is not currently available (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Whats-Really-Going-Hollywood-Cones/dp/189034110X).


A Study in Motion Picture Propaganda – Hollywood’s Preferred Movie Messages — A study of the preferred messages communicated over the years through Hollywood movies. Order through the publisher at https://www.amazon.com/study-motion-picture-propaganda-Hollywoods/dp/1890341037.


Politics, Movies and the Role of Government — An exploration of the relationships between politics, movies and government during the near 100 year existence of the Hollywood-based U.S. film industry. Order through the publisher at  https://www.amazon.com/Politics-Movies-Role-Government-Cones-ebook/dp/B01G3VAOVO.


Motion Pictures: A Complete Guide to the IndustryAn overview of the American film industry, considering the various phases in the life of a feature film, a study of the core of the industry and an examination of the many film industry support services. The book also identifies the many individual film industry jobs with their descriptions as each contributes to the creation and marketing of a feature film, along with how such groups have organized at the industry level to protect their mutual interests. The book also provides an overview of some of the problems and issues the industry faces, while also considering the economics of the industry, with a look at the actual nature of film and the role of movies in a democratic society. Originally published by Marquette Books, LLC 2009 / ISBN# 978-0-922993-90-1. Order through the publisher at https://www.amazon.com/Motion-Pictures-Complete-Guide-Industry-ebook/dp/B01EQ7UOM6.


Hollywood Essays – A Collection — A collection of essays about Hollywood, the film business and film finance, written by Securities/Attorney John W. Cones during his 23 years in Hollywood while working with independent filmmakers and helping them with their compliance obligations as they sought to raise film finance from investors. Order through the publisher at https://www.amazon.com/s?k=hollywood+essays+john+cones&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss


In addition to the above titles, Attorney Cones has also written and published two books that are not concerned with the film industry. Those titles include The Logical Fallacies in Plain English (see https://www.amazon.com/Logical-Fallacies-Plain-English-ebook/dp/B01GU5Q6LA) and The Book of Secular Wisdom (in five volumes at https://www.amazon.com/Book-Secular-Wisdom-John-Cones-ebook/dp/B01HC5I66A).