Hawke-ing Stock
By Jonah Freedman

(MONEY Magazine) – If you've always wanted to tap your inner movie mogul, now might be your chance. Civilian Capital, founded in 2000, is making its underwriting debut with an offer to high-net-worth investors of preferred stock in an initial public offering for Billy Dead, a yet-to-be-produced independent film to star Ethan Hawke. Shares are $8.75 each (with a minimum purchase of 100). The company promises shareholders "fun" perks like your name in the credits on any eventual DVD.

Less fun is the fact that indie films are rarely profitable, even at Billy's $7.9 million price tag. Bottom line, Civilian is selling shares of a product that doesn't yet exist with no guarantee of return on investment, especially if the film fails to secure a distribution deal to put it in theaters. In a conference call, Hawke--the one real bargaining chip the project has going for it--noted that the project is "based on my availability." That's Hollywood for you. --JONAH FREEDMAN