In March 2015, the first equity crowdfunded Hollywood film, Salty by Simon West, successfully raised £1.9 million on SyndicateRoom.
Simon West’s films have taken more than $1bn at the global box office. Of those, five have reached number one at the US box office and taken more than $100 million in revenues, with his lowest-grossing film taking $62 million. He is the Director/Producer of Con Air, The General’s Daughter, Tomb Raider, Black Hawk Down, When A Stranger Calls, The Mechanic and Expendables 2, to name a few, but now he's going independant. The next film he’s producing won’t be funded through the traditional studio-led route, but instead with the help of online equity investors.
The company Salty Film Ltd will coordinate the production of Salty with West at the helm as lead Director/Producer. Inspiration for the story comes from the book Salty by acclaimed author Mark Haskell Smith, who has also worked on the screenplay for the film adaptation.
Where are they now?
Since successfully raising funds, Simon West and producer Harry Stourton have featured on Bloomberg Business TV and Sky News:
Salty Film Ltd has appointed Carnaby International Sales and Distribution to handle the international sales. Sales began in earnest at the European Film Market in Berlin February 2015, with several international distributors snapping up the rights to handle distribution in their territory. Sales are ongoing.
During the May 2016 Cannes film festival international film star Antonio Banderas was confirmed to play the leading role in Salty. Famed for cult classics such as The Mask of Zorro, Desperado and Assassins, Banderas will play Turk Henry, an ageing rock star and reformed sex addict married to a supermodel who is abducted by pirates whilst on holiday in South America. The news was covered extensively in the media online and off, including by The Telegraph, City AM and Deadline among others. You can read the press release here.
In June 2016, Salty’s producers announced that Hollywood actress Olga Kurylenka would star opposite Antonio Banderas in the hotly anticipated action-comedy. The Ukrainian-born actress and model, famed for her role opposite Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace – as well as the films The November Man, The Seven Psychopaths, The Water Diviner and Oblivion – plays Sheila Enry, wife of Banderas’s Turk Enry.