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Financial Planning

Financial Adviser Writes a New Script

Mark Motley, 51, co-founder of a Cincinnati investment advisory firm, has spent a substantial part of his time the past two and a half years producing an independent film backed by his clients' money and his own.

What's the movie about?
It's called Chasing 3000. It's the story of two teenage brothers -- one is an athlete, the other has muscular dystrophy -- who cross the country in 1972 hoping to see Pittsburgh Pirate Roberto Clemente's 3,000th hit. It stars Ray Liotta.

How did you get involved?
Bill Mikita, who wrote the script and whom I have known for years, was looking for financial backing. I was interested in increasing my clients' exposure to assets other than stocks and bonds.


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How much did you invest?
The firm and I invested about 14% of the film's budget. The rest came from our clients. We had to raise more money for postproduction expenses, but we got loans for that.

Were your clients skeptical?
We recommended it only to qualified clients who we thought would have the appetite for it. We tried to limit the investment to a tiny fraction of each investor's assets.


What is your role in the project?
I'm an executive producer, which means that besides raising the money, I deal with high-level business issues -- everything from finding a distributor to making sure taxes are filed. As the project progressed, I became much more involved in managing and guiding the film.

What's the status of the film?
It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City this past spring. We've been working on the distribution contract since then and are right at the cusp of getting it worked out.

What are the chances the film will turn a profit?
Everything takes longer and costs more than you'd think. If the film plays in theaters, we could make a nice profit. If it goes directly to DVD, it's hard to say. This is the type of film that could produce a nice revenue stream for quite a long time.

-- Interview by Joan Goldwasser