About Us - The BMS Group is a specialist insurance group built around teams of experts in the fields of Wholesale, Reinsurance, Direct Insurance and two MGA subsidiary businesses.
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BMS has been involved in film insurance for many years and is another example of the diversity and breadth of expertise that the Group encompasses. Scratch beneath the surface of this reinsurance broker and you will find many individual stories of unique knowledge and long-standing, valued client relationships.
BMS started off in the film industry in cast insurance which is intended to cover props, sets, wardrobe, cast. BMS worked mainly for Firemen's Fund of San Francisco, followed by CNA of Chicago and then EBI in Los Angeles.
During the early 1990s, BMS became involved in film completion bonds, which are a bond issued to a film producer which guarantees that a film will be made on time and on budget. BMS began working with Film Finance Ltd, the market leader in the provision of completion bonds for the film and television industry in 1993 and it has continued to have a successful and fruitful partnership ever since. Today, Film Finances Ltd’s principal operating company is a California corporation, Film Finances, Inc. (FFI), founded in London 60 years ago.
How did BMS ensure that Film Finances became the market leader for film bonds? Our team decided on a completely new and innovative approach to generating the capacity for Film Finances to bond films. The team, lead by Adam Leegood, decided to focus on Professional Liability
underwriters rather than Contingency underwriters and this opened up a whole new market to the bonds and gave our client the capacity to bond from the very small to the very large budget films. We have established a trusted advisor role over the years and ensured the client remains at the top.
A film completion bond is a written contract that guarantees a motion picture will be finished and delivered on schedule, within budget and according to an agreed script, it does not, however, guarantee the quality or success of the film. Most independently financed films, including many that are released and distributed by the major studios, require a completion bond to satisfy the lending bank. They are needed because a completion bond company’s balance sheet is usually quite small, so they need to go out to the market for the capital and then the insurance required to collaterise the guarantee is issued by the completion bond company. The technical structure of a film
completion bond is an X/L treaty structure, with facultative cover for big budget films this is achieved through markets in Bermuda and Europe, as well as London. Film Finances retain the first $500,000 but this is fronted to satisfy the banks and the X/L treaty structure is made up of six layers. One of the largest limits completed to date, $120m is in respect of each of the final two Twilight films. Other examples of interesting films bonded by Film Finances include; Four Weddings & a Funeral (1994), Pulp Fiction (1994), Phantom of the Opera (2004), Borat (2006) and Oscar winning The King’s Speech (2010).
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Film Finances was founded in 1950 for the purpose of giving guarantees of completion to financiers of motion pictures.
Big Rich Films
Big Rich Films develops, co-finances and produces feature films. Richard Holmes is the owner. Like Many independent film producers he utilizes film capital bonds to ensure he can get his films made.
Rise of the Appliances
This is an example of an independent film, looking to raise funding and hopes to utilise a film bond to help secure it. Rob Sprackling, successful screen writer with hits such as BAFTA nominated Gnomeo & Juliet and Mike Bassett Football Manager. His next project is to direct his first film, Rise of the Appliances, from his own script. The short of the film has already won Best Short film at the London Horror Awards 2011. To watch the trailer please follow the link (Please be advised this trailer contains scenes of fantasy/horror that may disturb young children)
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- Film Bond A film completion bond is a written contract that guarantees a motion picture will be finished and delivered on schedule
- The largest recent film bond limits were set up for the last two twilight films at $120m each
- Technical structure:A film completion bond is an X/L treaty structure, with facultative cover for big budget films, X/L treaty structure is made up of six layers.
- The Oscar winning ‘The Kings Speech’ was produced with the aid of a film completion bond.
- Markets This is achieved through markets in Bermuda and Europe, as well as London
- Independent films rely on film bonds to secure financial backing and peace of mind.