We talked to Grady Craig of BondIt Media Capital about the impact of COVID-19 on media financing.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Grady Craig: My family is doing well; thank you for asking.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you joined BondIt Media Capital.
Grady Craig: After selling the company that put me through college, I joined BondIt Media Capital in 2018 as the first employee in company history. Now, the VP of Business Development and Operations, I’m responsible for investment structuring and analysis, business development, and supporting the company’s financing, accounting, operations, marketing, and administration. My versatility serves indie screenwriters and filmmakers alike, as I’m packaging and pitching a number of feature films and episodic series on my Executive Producing slate. I hold degrees in Economics and Film Studies, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from Boston College.
How does BondIt Media Capital innovate?
Grady Craig: One of our core principles is to remain progressively focused. We no not adhere to ceremony or tradition simply for the sake of doing so – just because something worked for us yesterday doesn’t mean it will work today; we enforce progressive change wherever needed, push the limits of everything we do, and insist on improvements that amplify results not 2x but 10x. We do this by hosting regular full-team meetings that are intentionally designed to be introspective and transparent. From our portfolio to our pipeline, we discuss every deal we’re connected to and every opportunity we’re exploring. We are always looking for ways to strengthen our infrastructure and remain at the forefront of our industry’s needs, from individual intern projects to company-wide inefficiencies.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Grady Craig: Coronavirus brought film and television to a screeching halt in the early spring of 2020. This actually opened the door for new financing opportunities in other areas of the media that were thriving — podcasts, virtual reality, streaming platforms. This was an advantageous pivot we were able to capitalize on. As the summer progressed, our team was able to work closely with producers (which is challenging for studio-level bankers to do) in order to put necessary controls in place for our film and television productions to resume safely.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Grady Craig: When it comes to successfully financing productions, you need to balance flexibility with firmness. It’s important to be compassionate with hardworking producers but also strict when there are lofty expectations or goals. This had proved especially true when re-mounting productions that were shut down due to COVID.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and BondIt Media Capital in the future?
Grady Craig: For me, it’s leaning on my teammates who are in the trenches with me. Consistently maintaining high energy and optimism can be challenging — but relaxation, diet, and quality time with those around you can best prepare you for those tougher days.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Grady Craig: The competitive landscape in media finance is unusual — ranging from high net worth individuals to powerful banks. Cheap capital wins bids, but control and security keep you coming back.
Your final thoughts?
Grady Craig: Let me know if there’s anything specifically interesting that I mentioned above, and I can go more in-depth.
www.bondit.us (media finance)
www.buffalo8.com (production side)
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