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Recession Watch: Imagi Studios

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Forbes reports on how the ASTRO BOY movie is squeaking through the tough times as Imagi Studios, the production company, searches for funding and so on:

Their boss, Douglas Glen, Imagi’s chief executive, had just come back from the American Film Market in Los Angeles, which was devastated by the gloom and doom spanning the globe. “If markets don’t return to some semblance of normalcy, it is going to be difficult to keep operations going,” an ashen-faced Glen told a visitor. Only two months before he had triumphantly secured $30 million in financing for his movie animation company. Then $20 million of it fell through.

Imagi wasn’t the only moviemaker in trouble–the whole industry was crippled by the credit crunch. In November at the Film Market “it was absolutely bleak,” says D. Jeffrey Andrick, managing director of Continental Entertainment Capital, a Beverly Hills company that serves as a merchant banker specializing in the movie industry. Continental brought to Citigroup (nyse: C – news – people )The Spirit, the $50 million-plus Frank Miller film that opened on Christmas Day. “It may have been the worst environment I’ve seen at the American Film Market.”

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