Oscar-winning feature film banks on SVB Private

The North Shore region of Massachusetts has a rich history with the film industry. In recent years, the area has been featured in more than a dozen film and television productions. During the summer of 2018, several North Shore towns became filming locations for “Sound of Metal,” one of the most critically-acclaimed movies of 2020. As pre-production activities got underway in Beverly Hills, California, SVB Private was selected to serve as the bank for the film’s production company.

An audience favorite

Released in theaters November, 2020, “Sound of Metal” won rave reviews from audiences as well as critics and was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sound and Best Film Editing, winning the latter two awards in April.

Directed by Darius Marder and co-written by Darius and his brother Abraham, the film tells the story of a heavy-metal rock drummer whose life is thrown into chaos when he unexpectedly begins to lose his hearing.

Funding the production on two coasts

Prior to the start of filming, Meline Kalendjian, Manager of SVB Private’s Beverly Hills office opened a banking account that would become the lifeline of the production in Massachusetts. Coordinating with SVB Private’s North Shore Manager, Brian Gregory, Meline ensured the account would be fully accessible for the production team when shooting began on the East Coast. Meline handed off the day-to-day account servicing to Brian, who worked closely with William Wingate III, CPA, Production Accountant for the firm managing the Massachusetts operation. Brian made sure the film’s financial needs were addressed as the primary contact between the production site and the SVB Private office just a few miles away in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Much of the filming took place at the nostalgic Agawam Diner in Rowley as well as businesses in Danvers, Salem and Somerville, Massachusetts. Throughout production, SVB Private’s Beverly office served as the banking headquarters for weekly deposits and petty cash for items such as set necessities and equipment purchased locally.

“As we got to know the production staff, I offered the bank’s offices as an additional filming location. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a need for a banking scene in a heavy metal movie,” joked Gregory.

As filming progressed, the bank’s staff learned a great deal about the filmmaking process. “The Production Accountant, Bill Wingate visited our office at least once a week to fund everything from cast and crew meals, to wages for local lighting and sound professionals. It was fun to have the production staff visit the office once or twice a week and get updates on how things were going – it really provided an inside view of the nuts and bolts of movie production and its complexities,” said Gregory.

A successful production and an award-winning project

With a little help from SVB Private offices on both coasts, film production went smoothly. The staff at the Beverly, Massachusetts and Beverly Hills, California offices were excited to support the development of such a well-regarded film. Once the film was nominated for multiple Oscars®, the banking and production teams were rooting for a win. “When you go into production you seldom have time to think this will be the one. We’ll always have the pride in knowing we were part of an Oscar winner,” said William Wingate. The project turned out to be a rousing success for all involved.

Watch the Sound of Metal Trailer:

Source: Amazon Prime YouTube Channel:

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