What Hook to Use
When pitching your project make sure you know your hook. Your hook may change based on your audience. Research what your audience likes and know what they dislike.
Formats Distributors Want
The age of the digital format is now. Distributors will take projects in many formats and are eager for certain formats to fill voids in some markets. Research what format works best for yoru project and become an expert in that area. A project shot well
Finding Private Investors
Locate private investors in your area by research. Study potential investors and know what type of project they would be in drawn to and refine your project to fit.
Involve Your Investors
Successfully working with the same companies for a long period of time, means you have a smooth relationship and solve problems together. You must involve everyone in the process.
Vendor Commitments Carry Weight
Sponsorship carry weight when presenting your project to investors and distributors. Corporate sponsors lend validation and support and create excitement.
Why This is Important
You have to understand the financial side to the film industry if you ever hope to have a project made. You must also understand how it works to best protect your interests.
Top Sheet Budget Summary
The first thing any excutive will look when deciding to finace a film is the top sheet budget. This is the principle breakdown fo the budget summary and is very important.
Shooting a film fuels many economies. To help persuade companies to shoot in their countries many offer huge Tax Incentives and rebates. Canada and Eastern Europe are two areas well known for these practices.
Documentary Grants and Funding
There is a lot of support to make doc's and the audience for them is growing. If you prepare your project package you can appraoch many agencies for grants to create your Doc.
You need to apply the same fundamentals you would to a regular feature film as you would with a documentary. You have to research your market and the audience. A well planned package will is a powerful tool to aid you in making your doc.
Social Trends and Success
You need to pay attention to social trends. These can make your film successful if you factor them in correctly to your project or just as quickly thety can make your project bomb. The population is ever changing and so are the social trends.
What Works and What Does Not
You need to take into consideration what will help your film in distribution and what will hurt it. Each international market has different factors that will impact how well your film will do. You will have to weigh those and plan accordingly if you are a
Where to Find Unknowns
Based who you want and the roles you need filled, you should look to TV for unknown stars. Casting Directors can help as well and sometimes may be better suited to find actors for you film.
The Sword and the Sorcerer
Albert discusses some difficult choices he was forced to make on his first large project " The Sword and the Sorcerer".
As a smart filmaker you can successfully make a feature length film and have it shown in large theaters. The modern digital age has leveled the playing field for filmmakers.
HP Lovecraft Project Note
Albert discusses the potential for using existing open domain stories and how to use them to your advantage when they are in demand by distributors.
A discussion of current media types and the advantages over DV, HDV and HD over film.
Protecting your Project
Make sure you know how your project will be presented. Try to keep control of the look and sound by knowing in advance how it will be shown and where.
Albert discusses his newest project "Infection". This film was shot in one complete take using HD digital media to very positive critical acclaim.
Closing the Deal
The Deal is not complete until it is closed. Make sure you know all the terms and conditions of the deal when you close it.
Being Fluid and Flexible
You will have to find your comfort zone. You can not rule in absolutes and will have to make compromises. Make sure you are comfortable with them and ready for them when they happen.
Adapt and Overcome
You will be facing many challenges that you never expected. You will have to overcome them to get your project completed.
Get the Attention of the End User
Get people exited about your project. Start early with little bites and send more updates regularly. You may hear "no" at first but you can win them over if you keep trying.
Prepping your Pitch
Select investors you know who will not invest and practice your pitch on them first. Get over the anxiety and become comfortable with the pitch with practice. Refine your pitch so that you are ready once you reach the people who will invest in your projec
Line up Your Sponsers
Make people fall in love with your project and you can work out deals to get many items for cost or free. If you begin to line up sponsors many other companies will jump on board.
Post Production Sound Facility
Your persistence and organization will help you sell yourself and your project to large vendors and post production facilities. Let them feel they can contribute creatively and you can work out deals for deferred payments or free services.
Production Equipment Deals
When planning your project don't be afraid to work for others or volunteer your services at a sound house or production studio. This will provide you with experience for your own projects and help you build relationships to get free services or greatly di
Do Not Buy Your Equipment
By creating a solid package for your project you can approach large vendors for free equipment to use on your film. They want to help you and if you who to sell yourself and your project you can work out deals to get free equipment.
The Casting Director
One of the most important things you can do. If you can sell a Casting Director on your project you will add credibility to your project immediately.
Getting a Budget, Cash Flow and Schedule
Make sure you find the right people for you crew. As a first time movie maker you will need to instill confidence in your investors that this will be a quality and proferssional project. Where you lack experience bring in people who have that knowledge.
Foreign Pre-Buy Guarantees
Once the revnue flow begins upon release fo your project, the sales projections should match closely to the original Ask/take Sales Projections. The investors are paid off based on the terms and conditins set forth in the finacial documents agreed upon.
When working out the final details of investors and distributors you need to knwo in advance what terms your investors need to make the deal work. Sometimes it is best to get your investor and potential distributors together. Once together these two part
Not Worth the Paper they are Written on
If your financial documents are not written with enough detail and obligation by your investors they are virtually worthless. Any investor needs to sign the appropriate legal documents.
Letter of Credit
The Letter of Credit is as good as cash if you meet and carry out all the terms. Make sure the information on the LoC is accurate and agreed.
Lender's Letter of Intent
Make sure the Letter of Intent is carefully drawn out and very detailed. If these are poorly written they will not carry any weight and make you look unprofessional.
Completion Guarantor Letter of Intent
One of the most crucial parts of your project will be the financing instruments. You must have a firm grasp of what each document entails and the ramifications of each and how it will be met upon completion of the project. Failure to understand these full
End User Actor Preferences
Face of the box syndrome is what studios sufffer from when they feel certaain actors will not work for thier projects. Learn who they like and make sure those actors are on your list.
Identifying up and Coming Actors
Research the new TV shows in developement. Find out who they are using for actors and if any of those acotrs will appeal to your audicence. Use TV actors before thier tv show has been released.
How to get Actors
Research who is on hard times. These actors will take work they woudl not normally consider, especially if your project allows them to reinvent themself.
Talent Agencies will sometimes buy off on your project if they can submit a cast package deal. This will involve providing actors only if they can have others actors from their agency work on the same project.
Direct Access to Stars
How to use other means besides an agnet or manager to approach star. Research that actor and find out where they go, what they do and who they hang out with. Start low and work your way up.
Getting Noticed by Agents
You need to know what will appeal to an agent and make them want to bring you offer letter to an actor.
On the way down
The Hollywood Actors List is a powerful tool in aiding you to help determine which actors to choice and which to leave behind based on thier standing with Studios. Sometimes it can hurt you to have certain actors attached to your project. You must researc
When bringing stars on board they will request to make changes to your project that they feel are better or make them more comfortable. You need to make quick decisions to determine if you will agree and will accept the changes or insist to keep your vis
How to Identify the right Star
How to determine which actors to use for your film and which actors not to use for you film. Studios have lists of actors that they will support in projects and those actors can help get your film made, however they also have lists of actors they will not
Stars as Key Elements
You may be forced to balance many factors when choosing your cast. You may be able to achieve a cast driven package by casting many good actors instead of one temple star.
Visualization as the Star
If done well at a highest quality a promo can get your project noticed. You must make sure this is the highest quality and you must research who will be watching the material so you can make it appeal to that person or group.
The Director as the Star
if you can get the right director, that person can be the driving force for your project. A veteran director can bring you both cast and crew and instill confidence with your investors.
Film Financing as the Star
If you are able to secure financing for your film project you will have the doors open for you. Film distributors will jump on board a project that requires no additional financing.
The Script Driven Package
Is your script the star? Make sure you have others back up this desicion. If you have the right script you can sell but you have to stay objective.
How to Package your Project
You must create a preasentaion of your project that combines all your research into one easily understood presentation. Your Pakage must be refined and directed towards your audience.
Identify Your End User
Know who you are seekng as your end user. Make sure your package is designed for them. Know what they like and dislike through research. Start with the companies you know will not like your project and begin to refine.
Understanding Market Conditions
Researching current markets to know what content is right to market for them. Have a business plan that matches and refine your project to best fill the missing hoels in that market.
The Art of Film Business
This audio series and associated film finance documents is derived from a presentation made by Albert Pyun. Pyun is the veteran of over 40 feature films that have grossed over $227 million.
The Project You Want to Make
How to look at your project, determining who your audience is and why you want to make this film for them. How to shape your project for success to meet the negative attacks of studios and investors.
Produce Your Own Film- Part Two
Grants are another resource to getting your foot in the filmmaking world by getting the wherewithal to produce your own film. The key, of course, is to qualify for a grant. This varies with each grant and requires a lot of research and reading. You should
Responsibility to Investors
Preparing your documentation in your business plan in a responsible and credible way is key to bringing investors on board.
Jumping into Film Finance
There comes a turning point for every filmmaker when they must make a decision about whether or not they wish to make a career out of film or if it is simply a hobby. Like it or not, this decision usually hinges on the filmmaker's ability (or inability) t
Online Film Finance
Financing has always been an area where independent filmmakers have struggled. However, the Internet, coupled with independent film's embrace of anything new and risky, has brought many pioneering and fundamental changes to the way independent films are p
The film business is a lot of fun but it will eat up private investors and spit them out without burping. Michael Harpster,a 30-year veteran of film finance, provides some tips for investors interested in film.