Red Light Runners is an enterprise investment scheme (EIS) that aims to raise up to £8m to finance an Anglo-American film called Red Light Runners.
Unlike some EIS schemes that invest in films, the production of Red Light Runners will be a crime film for the mass market in the UK and US, rather than a niche production. If at least £2m is raised, the film will be made for video release only, but if more is raised it will make it to the cinema. It will feature Michael Masden and Christopher Penn of Reservoir Dogs and former EastEnders star Martin Kemp.
Investors in this EIS are likely to be those who are keen to support the film industry and who want to take advantage of the tax breaks offered by an EIS. Potential investors would also be willing to take a long-term view of their investment rather than expecting returns to materialise overnight. As an unquoted investment, this EIS is also high risk and the loss of capital is a possibility.
The presence of star names could attract the interest of film buffs more than a cast of unknowns. However, the film industry is very competitive and Red Light Runners may be up against films that have higher budgets.
Also, the majority of actors' contracts will be finalised once the money is raised, so there is no guarantee those star names will appear in the film. Even if the stars do perform, the film could still fail to make money at the box office or on video because it is difficult to predict the public's taste.