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A Real Shift Slides

A look at how we believe we can move forward as an indie film culture.

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A Real Shift Slides

  1. 1. A Real Shift An Independent Filmmaking Workshop Hosted by Lawrence Whiteside and Antonio Bonilla CINEMA SET FREE Presents
  2. 2. What is a Producer? And what the hell do they do? Executive Co- Associate Line Segment Classic? It has something to do with money and selling? Indie producers bring elements to a project SIMPLY PUT Research Scout Communicate Book If you’ve ever ordered a pizza, you can produce a film Music Art Direction Extras Wardrobe Crew Locations VehiclesFX Cast Common Elements FoodContracts Props You don’t worry that the pizza guy doesn’t think you know enough about pizza to order some.
  3. 3. Research For someone who's never done it before. Not even once. Not even on Craigslist. Say you’re looking for a Pizza Shop location Make a list of locations that may meet the needs of your production. Scouts often happen en media res. So, what does a scout look like? Producers are detectives • Nobody knows before they’ve found it. • Google, Craigslist, OregonFilm are places to start. • Bookmark resources you find useful for later. • Share them freely with your team and community. • P.A.'s jump in the car & hope. • Producers call around first & confirm. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PRODUCER & A PRODUCTION ASSISTANT? Pre-Scout on Google Streetview.
  4. 4. Scouting A Location Scout example Information to record • Owner/Agent Contact Info • Draw floor plan • Bathroom availability • Possible Staging areas • Nearby food, medical, hardware • Available parking • Breaker Box Amperages • Sun movement in windows • Natural sounds (that you can’t avoid) What to bring • Camera/Camera-phone • Location Agreement • Insurance Company Info. • Business card • Soft shoot dates • A good attitude • An answer to the question of a fee. ($100/day, $50/half-day) • The script, just in case. What they can expect • Production may take up 3+ more rooms than the Picture rooms. • Complete silence is required during shooting. • Professional/courteous load in & strike. • Leave it as you find it. • They will be kept updated on changes. Overhead layout
  5. 5. Reaching Out, Connecting & Following Up Get the "no." Make progress. Ask again. Repeat Producer Hello. My name is Antonio. I am producing a film and would love to use Pizza-A-Gogo in a scene. Do you have a minute this week to discuss? Producer Yeah, I’ll see you on Thursday. 2pm work? The film is a comedy about a young man who wants to change the world. We’d only need the shop during it’s closed hours. More on Thursday. Owner/Agent Hey Antonio. I’m a little busy this week. Can We do next? What’s the movie about? How long would you be filming? I’m at the shop this Thursday if you’d like to just stop in. SUPER HAPPY Owner/Agent I know my place looks awesome but I can’t have an indie crew messing stuff up. Maybe if Nick Cage is the Pizza Guy. How much money do you have? I’m really just all about money. Producer No problem. It’s not a big budget film. We make artistic, thoughtful projects for the love of it. Thanks for getting back to me. Let me know if you change your mind. THE NO GO Owner/Agent Hey Antonio. I’ve had bad experiences with filmmakers, especially indie ones in the past. Do you have a budget for a location fee and insurance? How long do you need to shoot? Producer Yes. We’ve budgeted a certain amount per day for locations. And production insurance will be through Gales Creek Insurance. We’d be looking at 2 days of work, all during hours you’re closed. Owner/Agent Alright, well you sound more professional than the last jokers. I’m in the shop on Thursday if you’d like to talk in person. 2- 3pm are usually slow enough for a 20 minute meeting. Doable? Producer Absolutely! Thank you. I can assure you we are a professional crew. I’ll be in at 2pm on Thursday to talk further. THE TOUGH SELL
  6. 6. Production Meetings: AKA Momentum But I never have any time! But I have a day job! But I live across the country! What to cover on first meeting • Give everyone a draft of the script to work from. (Even if it’s not “done/perfect/whatever”) • Set rough shooting dates. 1-4 months out. • Make lists of Cast, Crew & Locations needed. • Set dates for an initial audition. • Someone writes the character descriptions for agencies, open calls. • Someone agrees to scout/book an audition space • Start an email chain or private facebook/google group. • Everyone call each other. Confirm Invites. • Establish a workable day/time each week for future quick meetings. Then be done! We’re all busy people. E-mail or group post any followups, random thoughts, brain dumps. Team can read them at leisure. The Quick Meeting - When you’re in it 1. What you've accomplished last week. Even if it’s just attempts. At least you covered that ground. 2. Make decisions based on what you have. Keep scouting, book and move on. 3. New assignments. Divide & Conquer. Obvious blocks? The group may have leads. Stay positive, specific & constructive. 4. Agree to work on it and have results next week. Everyone takes a turn briefing the group. Questions? Comments?
  7. 7. • 15 minute break. • Say Hi to those around you. • Grab another drink, smoke. • We’ll be back with a Revenue Share Business Model for Indie Film. Break Time
  8. 8. THESE FOLKS ARE ALL LOOKING FOR WORK The Competition Culture Film/Drama School Admissions Short Script/Film Contests Audtioning/Job hunt Get your first big break Reality Shows Pitching to Studios/Networks Writer’s Rooms/Film Festivals/Markets IMDB/HSX Ranking/# Followers Pilot Season/Get Discovered Academy Awards/Best Dressed Achieve Spielberg Status Limited jobs and the perceived ladder What's different about Spielberg? "Hollywood is going to implode in 2015" - Steven Spielberg & George Lucas, June 11th 2013 Source: The Hollywood Reporter Those that seem to have made it, have usually just started their own companies Move to Hollywood Unpaid Internships Those that wait for other people to accept them may eventually tire out.
  9. 9. An Entrepreneurial Path Unlimited jobs. We are the job creators! Meet weekly. Research/Scout/Book Raise Money for production costs. Show your progress, Keep asking for help Produce/edit your project. Pay your crew Self-Distribute. Pay out per the schedule Earn a living doing what you love Learn by doing/Teach by example Contribute to a knowledge base Apprentice/Work on a Project Gather your team Start your own project Offer yourself to your community Stay where you areMove to Hollywood Make it? rama School Admissions Short Script/Film Contests Audtioning/Job hunt Get your first big break Reality Shows Pitching to Studios/Networks Writer’s Rooms/Film Festivals/Markets IMDB/HSX Ranking/# Followers Pilot Season/Get Discovered Academy Awards/Best Dressed Achieve Speilberg Status Unpaid Internships The technology for truly independent filmmaking is here. It’s time we developed the culture/business practices for it as well.
  10. 10. An Overview of Concepts Defining the terms of entrepreneurship Revenue Monetary Income from the sales of products produced by the company. The movie, etc. Member of Company A person who has agreed to work for a company and forgo their usual wages for a percentage of revenue in the future. Schedule of Payment A document that details how the revenue from a particular market will be delegated in the future amongst debt, investors and members. Investment An agreement to fund a company at their own risk for an agreed upon repayment percentage (150%). To be included in the schedule. An Agreement A contract signed by the member and an officer of the company that details the expectations for both parties. Debt Expenses accrued over the course of the production that are tied to an interest baring account. To be included in the schedule. Pre-Sales/Crowd-funding Interest or Repayment-free income before the completion of the product that is used exclusively for paying production costs. Offset more costly investment & debt. An Addendum An amendment to the agreement that brings the schedule or other terms current as the project progresses.
  11. 11. Rev Share Example Percent of North American Online Distribution Revenue Revenue Online Sales $10 per Unit 6,500 Fans Buy It $65,000 in Y1 Investment/Debt $0 (to keep it simple) RevShare % for 6 Producers (Members) Pre-Sales/Crowdfunding $30,000 (total cost) Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total $16,800 $11,200 $5,600 $2,800 $36,400 $6,000 $4,000 $2,000 $1,000 $13,000 $3,000 $20,000 $1,000 $500 $6,500 $2,400 $1,600 $800 $400 $5,200 $1,200 $800 $400 $200 $2,600 $600 $400 $200 $100 $1,300 $30,000 $20,000 $10,000 $5,000 $65,000 56% 20% 10% 8% 4% 2%
  12. 12. Payment Schedule Example Striking a balance so we can all eat, attract investment & rights acquisition, payoff debt and earn residuals long term. To Payout CC Debt $20,000 ($5k Interest 1st year) $25,000 Investment $20,000 (150% Return) $35,000 Rev Share $22,000 (Q1-4) $54,000 (Q5-8) Example Cost Breakdown Fundraising/Pre-sales $30,000 Total Cost to Produce $70,000 Total Earnings (2 Years) $134,000 Foreign Rights AcquisitionFestival Laurels Other Press Foreign Rights AcquisitionFestival Laurels Other Press
  13. 13. The Agreement A discussion of expectations LLC Your Project • LLC's are $300 on LegalZoom for State of Oregon. • Members can be added after incorporating. • Rev Share is taxed as individual income. Added to regular income tax. • The LLC’s taxes are $0 if RevShare takes all the profits. • Signed Agreements are binding, even plainly worded ones. Lawyer fees shouldn’t be a roadblock to industry. • Members aren’t legally required to make at least minimum wage. Non-members are. • Equity or Common Stock in a company are taxed on perceived value. Not ideal for a film. • Shares can still be sold to investors in a traditional way. Return on investment may be put before Rev Share or during. Per the schedule of payment. • Rev Share can be structured however both parties agree. % of revenue for hours worked seems like the fairest way for new comers. • RevShare is tied to a particular market or markets. So rights acquisition is still possible. • Online distribution is guaranteed, so we can work with that first. • Other distribution methods. (Foreign/DVD/TV/Airline) can be negotiated for producers who work at the tail end of production on securing these deals or for schedules with less upfront RevShare What the project expects • Producer will be a contributing member and assume a share of the workload throughout. • Producer will stay on the project as needed until exhibition. • Producer will not jeopardize project by abruptly leaving or otherwise. Risk losing rev share. • The RevShare for Pre-pro work is for North American Online sales. • Other RevShare can be available for help distributing. What a member expects • Agrees to join as member of LLC for % rev share without wages or less wages. • Agrees to the schedule of payout and to sign addendum's as needed. • That project will be completed for paid exhibition. • They will receive their portion simultaneously with all other members. • The project will keep accurate records and make them available to all members of the team. (AKA transparency). Other stuff I learned along the way
  14. 14. Thank You! There are filmmakers all around you. Stick around and say hello. We are Lawrence Whiteside and Antonio Bonilla If you’d like to produce on upcoming projects, get in touch! Please leave a positive comment on our meetup page afterwards. It really helps. Signup on our website We will make all documents available on soon.