Angel Investors crash and burn…

by Geoff Hall on October 2, 2010

Angel investors crash and burn…when their wings are clipped by a fear of heights!

I’m not talking about the usual investment with the sole purpose of making a return on funding, but the visionary investor who believes that the arts, are culturally transformational.  For me the sharp end of this is film!

The visionary investor should understand three things about such activity:

1.    Investment is not speculative but adventurous.
2.    The adventure is not to a well-defined destination, but a journey through the cultural landscape.
3.    Having travelled from A to B, B is only your current position and not the place to settle down and build concrete super-structures to contain your aspirations. Death quickly ensues!

In the search for ‘new voices’, new visions of life, these will not come with an established ‘strong brand’, but will have the potential to be developed into one.  Those desirous of pre-branded artistry merely protect the status quo. The current economic climate may make this fear appear rational, but it is hardly the view of the visionary investor. God, after all, is in the detail.

Creative people like me, are not business people, PR people or marketing people.  They get up in the morning, or are disturbed by strong winds during the night and they have to write; to encapsulate new visions of life.  We generally do not think business first, or even promoting our work as the first and foremost concern.  Initially, I may suggest, that is not the reason for the inspiration and the ensuing frenetic activity and sacrifice!

The new voice is a different perspective, another way of looking at the world, a changed reality waiting to be born, of perceiving this current world of glory and decay. The voice of the new cries out in the wilderness, not in the City; longing to be heard.  The investor needs therefore, to travel culturally to get to a meeting place between the creative talent and business wisdom.

I expect angel investors have a different kind of aerial view of the landscape, but once they desire the safety of ‘terra firma’ they lose that perspective.  They lose their nerve for pioneering transformation and with wings clipped, crash to the ground and burn!

The cultural way of being is one of relationship between art and business.  One teaches the other; the creative life and practice, the development of brand and business acumen.  Apart they will both lose their faith in transforming culture, only witnessing the status quo being strengthened.  Together the journey starts, the transformation begins.

And the destination?  Well culture-forming is not a destination, but a continual walk through the landscape, cultivating change, new ideas and stories, adding a new voice to Creation; a new vision to astound an unsuspecting public.

These are my thoughts after failing to help business people see that a new voice doesn’t come with a strong brand already attached, but that one can be cultivated throughout the journey.  Otherwise the investment is into pre-produced, pre-packaged, pre-dictable films.  We simply confirm the malady that we were so desperately trying to change!

Geoff Hall

2 comments

A very profound and intelligent point.

by Heather on October 23, 2010 at 9:29 pm. Reply #

Thank you Heather,

It is also a painful point to make, as we struggle to have an impact on potential investors! We wonder how we shall make films instead of feeling confined to writing screenplays!

We need an investor who shares the vision with us for our development of 'cinema in extremis'! I begin to feel that this is a hopeless task!

Investors talk about transformation, but don't know what it takes to break the status quo; for that is the role of the artist. The investor needs to learn this in humility, from the artist! The whole transformational aspiration becomes a moot point around ideals, but 'our' cultural impotence simply reinforces the monoculture, where all the voices sound the same.

Never has our yearning been more deeply felt.

Peace and Love,

Geoff

by geoffh on October 23, 2010 at 11:30 pm. Reply #

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