Indie Film Producing: The Craft of Low Budget Filmmaking

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  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2012-01-24
  • Publisher: Routledge
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Indie Film Producing: The Craft of Low Budget Filmmaking explains the simple, basic, clear cut role of the independent. Raising funds to do your dream project, producing award-winning films for a low budget, putting name actors on your indie film-it's all doable, and this book guides you through the earliest stages of raising funding to selling and distributing a finished film-and all under the scope of a low budget, so that the film can actually make it to the screen.  Laid out in a step-by-step, A to Z, matter-of-fact style how the Producer's role can be easy and fun-especially when the Producer's role is spelled out, and when the Producer treats their film as a business. Showing you how to manage the overall budget for the film, and how to treat the film as a business, Suzanne Lyons pilots you through the actual making of SAG ultra low budget films ($200k-$1M) to show you how easy and fun it can be. Interviews with successful international producers provide additional perspective not found anywhere else. This book shows you how to avoid the painful pitfalls faced by so many-if you didn't secure the copyright/option for your film, or you began raising funds without the proper legal paperwork in hand, this book shows you how to do it right from the outset, giving you the essential tools you need to make your film a success from the ground up. . Breaks down the complicated duties of producing into manageable (and fun!) pieces, covering all the stages of producing a movie . Interviews with global producers from films such as Napoleon Dynamite, Open Water, Brick, the Undead, and more, give you real-world insight that can be applied to your own films . Shows readers how to seccure funding for their films - an ever difficult task . Author is highly in demand as a Hollywood producer, instructor, and industry leader

Author Biography

Suzanne Lyons is co-founder of Snowfall Films, WindChill Films, Inc., and the Flash Forward Institute. She is a Hollywood producer and an award-winning filmmaker. Her films have been distributed by Miramax, Disney, Lionsgate, and ScreenGems. She has over 25 years experience in television and film, and she also conducts highly successful workshops on producing (

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Forewordp. xv
Getting Ready to Producep. 1
The Time Was Rightp. 1
The Landscape is Changingp. 2
A Step-By-Step Approachp. 2
Wearing Two Hats: Business and Creativep. 3
The Business of Film Producingp. 4
Timeline for Séancep. 6
Timeline for the Film, Séancep. 7
September/October 2005: Optioned Screenplayp. 7
November/December 2005: Business Plan and PPMp. 8
January 2006: Opened an LLCp. 9
January/February/March: Funding the Filmp. 10
March: Finalized Detailsp. 10
April: Soft Prep - Four Weeksp. 11
April: Castingp. 11
May 1: Preproduction Begins - Three Weeksp. 12
May 21: Principal Photography - Two Weeksp. 12
June 5-September 29: Postproductionp. 13
October: Prepared for Marketp. 14
November 1-8: Attended the American Film Marketp. 14
November 9-December 1 5: Deliveryp. 14
The Script: Option and Developmentp. 15
Time to do the Paperworkp. 15
Research and Read Option Agreementsp. 16
What's Needed in an Option/Purchase Agreementp. 16
Option Periodp. 23
Payment and Back Endp. 23
Defermentsp. 24
Certificate of Authorship and Short-Form Assignmentp. 24
Script Developmentp. 27
Table Readp. 27
Director's Notesp. 28
Creating Your Business Planp. 29
K.I.S.S.p. 29
Table of Contentsp. 29
Quotationp. 30
Investor Proposalp. 30
Why $7,500? Here are Four Good Reasonsp. 32
Let's Start with Deliveryp. 33
Operating Costsp. 33
Executive Producer Feep. 33
Budgetp. 34
Extra Bonusp. 34
Riskp. 35
Project Objectivep. 35
The Marketplacep. 36
Film Comparisonsp. 36
Company Summary and Teamp. 37
Synopsisp. 37
Revenue Scenariop. 38
Newspaper Articlesp. 40
Section 181p. 40
Mission Statementp. 40
Your One-Sheet Posterp. 41
PPM/Operating Agreement/Subscription Agreementp. 43
Setting Up Your LLC and Opening Your Bank Accountp. 45
Opening Your LLC: You Can Do It!p. 45
Where Do I Open My LLC?p. 46
Wait Until You're Readyp. 46
Step # 1: Clear The Namep. 46
Step # 2: Articles of Organizationp. 47
Step # 3: Getting Your EIN Numberp. 49
Certificates and Sealp. 50
Opening Your Bank Accountp. 50
Wait Until You're Ready to Open Your Accountp. 50
Open two Accountsp. 50
What Type of Checkbook Should You Order?p. 51
Making Deposits: Detailsp. 52
Get Your Visa or Mastercard Nowp. 53
The Checks and Visa Are in Your Name Only!p. 53
Check Request Formp. 54
Payroll Company or Not?p. 55
Sales Presentation and Finding Investorsp. 56
Preparationp. 57
Outlinep. 57
Booking the Venuep. 57
Getting the Word Outp. 58
Logisticsp. 59
Setting up the Roomp. 60
Your Assistants Represent Your Companyp. 60
It's Showtime: Welcome Everyonep. 61
Purpose of the Eveningp. 61
Outline for the Eveningp. 61
It's Your Time to Shine: Have Fun!p. 62
Introduce Yourselfp. 62
Your Company Introductionp. 64
Launching Windchill Films: Why this Film? Why This Budget?p. 65
The Director's Visionp. 66
Introduce Your Teamp. 67
Your Offeringp. 68
What's in It for Me, The Investor?p. 69
Question and Answer Sessionp. 70
Wrap-Upp. 70
Mock Sales Presentationp. 70
A Promise Is Not a Checkp. 71
Additional Perksp. 71
Tips to Getting Investorsp. 71
Be Preparedp. 73
Be Innovativep. 74
Let's Get Visualp. 74
Soft Prepp. 76
What Is Soft Prep?p. 76
Get Sag Signatory Numberp. 77
Table Readp. 78
Location Scoutingp. 80
List Your Film in the Tradesp. 82
Inform Your Investorsp. 82
The Casting Processp. 84
Part 1: Preparationp. 84
Casting Director - Or Notp. 84
Guild Actors-Or Notp. 85
Guild Depositp. 85
Breakdown Servicesp. 86
Plan Casting Process With Your Directorp. 88
Part 2: Schedulingp. 89
Scheduling Auditionsp. 89
How to Schedulep. 89
How Much Time to Allow for Auditionsp. 91
Book Your Readersp. 91
Choosing the Sidesp. 91
Typed Sign-In Sheetsp. 92
Part 3: Auditions and Callbacksp. 92
Auditionsp. 92
Lunch Break and Atmospherep. 93
Scheduling Callbacksp. 94
Callbacksp. 94
Chemistry Callbacksp. 95
Final Decisionsp. 95
Part 4: Deal Memosp. 96
Extrasp. 103
Preproductionp. 105
Producer versus Line Producerp. 105
Producer's Focusp. 106
Line Producer's Focusp. 106
A Look at the Producer's Jobp. 108
The Making-of Producer and Stills Photographerp. 108
Still Photography and Making-of Cast Schedulep. 109
Proposed Questions for Cast for the Making-of Featurep. 110
Your Editorp. 110
Your Director of Photographyp. 112
Your Directorp. 116
Table Read With Your Keysp. 116
Cast Table Read and Wardrobe Fittingp. 118
Product Placementp. 119
Update Investorsp. 120
Keep the Actors and their Agents Informedp. 120
Principal Photographyp. 121
Now the Fun beginsp. 121
Know How to Read Your Call Sheets, Day Out of Days, and Shooting Schedulep. 124
Shooting Schedulep. 124
Dailiesp. 124
Video Villagep. 126
Know Your Scriptp. 127
Your Editorp. 127
Staying on Time: Your 1st ADp. 127
Writing Checksp. 128
Stills and Press Releasep. 128
Treatsp. 129
Putting out Firesp. 130
Planning Your Wrap Partyp. 131
Going the Extra Milep. 133
Children and Animalsp. 136
Investorsp. 138
Interviews for Postproduction Positionsp. 139
Acknowledgmentp. 139
Wrap-Up and Postproductionp. 140
Wrap Partyp. 140
Line Producer's Wrap-Upp. 141
Editor's Assemblyp. 141
Copyright Transferp. 141
Film Websitep. 142
Hiring for Postproduction Positionsp. 142
Director's Cutp. 149
Audience Testingp. 149
Pick-Up Dayp. 153
Lock Picturep. 153
Sales Agents and First Round of Festivalsp. 154
Music Score, Sound Designing, Color Correction, Spotting, and ADRp. 156
Additional Songsp. 157
Front-Roll Credits (Main Titles)p. 160
End-Roll Creditsp. 161
Making Ofp. 163
Investorsp. 163
Delivery and Sales Agentsp. 164
Put The Horse Before The Cartp. 164
Mistakes can be Expensivep. 166
The Cost of Deliveryp. 172
Items to Watch Forp. 172
Sales Agent Or Not?p. 178
The Tables are Turningp. 178
Problems With the Old Modelp. 178
Buy-Outsp. 179
Changes are Happeningp. 179
Your Deal with a Sales Agent: Do Your Research!p. 179
Expensesp. 180
Commissionp. 180
Get a Copy of Each Territory Dealp. 180
Keep the Number of Years Low and Get Back-End Dealsp. 181
Money Goes Into Your Bank Accountp. 181
Have Them Check With You if the Amount Is Below the Estimatep. 182
Which Territory Sold?p. 182
Do They Have an-E&O Umbrella?p. 182
Get a Box Of Dvdsp. 182
If They are Doing Your Domestic Sale, be at That Meetingp. 183
Exit Clausep. 183
Distribution Alternatives and Film Exposure: Guest Interviewsp. 184
You've Delivered … Now What?p. 211
A Whole New Worldp. 211
Festivalsp. 212
Communicate With Your Sales Agentp. 212
Attending Marketsp. 213
Promoting Your Domestic Salep. 213
Inform Investors Along The Wayp. 215
Sag Residualsp. 215
Accounting and Taxesp. 215
Closing Your LLCp. 218
Final Notesp. 218
Be Sure To Get A Mentor (Or Two)p. 218
Surround Yourself With Winnersp. 219
Keep Your Eye On The Prizep. 219
Filmmakers Website Resource Guidep. 221
Books: Some of My Favoritesp. 229
Glossaryp. 231
Indexp. 237
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