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Film Department revises IPO, reveals executive salaries [updated]

April 16, 2010 | 12:40 pm

MarkGill Struggling independent studio The Film Department filed a revised initial public offering prospectus on Thursday (here) that for the first time included the compensation of top executives.

Originally set to raise $85 million with an offering in February, The Film Department is now looking to generate $69 million by selling stock to the public. It didn't disclose when the offering will take place. [Update, 4:15 p.m.: A person familiar with the situation said the IPO will take place before the end of April.]

The company plans to use $24 million to repay debt, $1.1 million to pay down a production loan on its recently completed Kate Hudson romantic comedy, "Earthbound," and the remaining $28.6 million, after fees, for film production and other operating expenses.

The Film Department still retains the same post-IPO strategy of expanding beyond production into domestic distribution as soon as this summer, when it would release the Catherine Zeta-Jones comedy "The Rebound." However, the new document contains no mention of former Paramount marketing president Gerry Rich, who the company said in its December filing would become vice chairman following the IPO to oversee distribution and marketing.

The Film Department is looking to raise between $157.5 million and $185 million in the first half of this year to cover its marketing expenses.

Since its founding in 2007, The Film Department has produced three movies and released only one  worldwide, the October action picture "Law Abiding Citizen," which was distributed domestically by Overture Films. It also sold foreign distribution rights in a number of markets to the "The Rebound." Last month, it completed shooting on "Earthbound."

While the company reported a net loss of $10 million on $40.3 million in revenue last year, Chief Executive Mark Gill took home $821,540 plus stock with a book value of $215,192, the new filing said. President and Chief Operating Officer Neil Sacker was paid $547,693 plus stock with a book value of $148,158. President of Production Robert Katz collected $438,154 in cash and stock with a book value of $109,883.

[Update, 4:15 p.m.: This post was updated to specify money paid in cash versus the book value of stock awards.]

All three earned some money in stock awards, but took home the majority of their pay in salary.

The Film Department has lost a total of $29.7 million since 2007 and generated no revenue until last year. Gill, who was president of Warner Independent Pictures before founding The Film Department, has earned more than $2.6 million in that time.

In addition, the company has paid Gill's wife, Hanna Weg, $250,000 for screenwriting services on two projects in development and optioned a script by her for which she has not yet been paid.

Gill could not immediately be reached for comment.

-- Ben Fritz


The Film Department is trying to pay debts and transform its business with public offering

Photo: Mark Gill. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times