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Producing for Profit

Book Description

In Producing for Profit: A Practical Guide to Making Independent and Studio Films, Andrew Stevens provides real-world examples and his own proven techniques for success that can turn passion into profit. Far more than just theory, the book outlines practical applications that filmmakers of all levels can use to succeed in today’s ever-changing marketplace. Readers will learn how to develop screenplays that are commercial, and how to negotiate, finance, cast, produce, sell, distribute, and market a film that will make a profit. The book contains numerous examples from the author’s own films, including sample budgets, schedules, and a variety of industry-standard contracts. This is the definitive book that every producer must have!

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. Foreword
  6. Prologue
  7. 1 What Is a Producer?
    1. Essential Responsibilities
    2. Explaining the Producer’s Role to Laymen
    3. Inexperience and the Three Rs
    4. Employees
    5. The Independent Entrepreneur Producers
    6. Producer Credits: What Do They Mean in Film?
  8. 2 Changes to the Independent Marketplace
    1. Historical Context
    2. Monopolies versus Independent Free Trade
    3. Home Entertainment Consolidation
    4. Keeping Abreast of the Changing World
  9. 3 The Global Marketplace
    1. The Evolution of the Independent Market
    2. Foreign Sales
    3. Definition of Film Sales
    4. Definition of Term
    5. Foreign Sales Contracts
    6. What is Your Film Worth?
    7. The Fallacy of the Going Rate
    8. Domestic Sales
    9. Art House and Specialty Films
    10. P&A
    11. Television Premieres
    12. Domestic Media and the Internet
  10. 4 How to TAP into the Marketplace
    1. Due Diligence for New Trends
    2. Sales Agents
    3. Sales Agent Alternatives
    4. How to Work the AFM
  11. 5 The Domestic Market, Festivals, and Market Value
    1. The Realities of the Market
    2. Film Festivals
    3. Listen to the Market
    4. Enhance Perceptual Value
    5. Market and Currency Fluctuations
  12. 6 Identifying and Developing a Film Based on Trend and Analysis
    1. Read
    2. Network to Gain Access to Material
    3. Make the System Work for You
    4. Write
    5. Develop
    6. Non-union Independent Films: The Backbone of the Film Industry
    7. Tricks to Write for Cost-effective Production
    8. Screenplay Titles and Perception
  13. 7 Now That I Have My Script, What Do I Do?
    1. Pitch to a Studio or Network
    2. Equity Investor
    3. Limited Partnership
    4. Self-finance
    5. Grants
    6. Subsidies
    7. The Great Subsidy Myth
    8. The Hidden Costs
    9. Foreign Pre-sales
    10. Bank Financing
    11. Domestic Pre-sales
    12. Combination Financing
    13. Crowdfunding
    14. Do Whatever it Takes to Make the Deal
  14. 8 Investors, Actors, Attorneys, Agents, Managers, Business Managers
    1. Entertainment Attorneys
    2. Agents
    3. Protect Your Investor
    4. Producers and Filmmakers Need to Understand Actors
    5. Actors’ Quotes
    6. Actors’ Language
    7. Casting
    8. Choosing a Representative and the Rates You Pay
    9. Business Managers
    10. Managers
    11. Insecurities and Common Sense
    12. Save Yourself
  15. 9 Film Production Basics
    1. Budget
    2. Union versus Non-union
    3. Non-union: Smaller Crews
    4. Payroll Companies
    5. Beware of Making Large Prepayments
    6. Places Never to Cut Corners
    7. Insurance and Murphy’s Law
    8. Production Legal Counsel
  16. 10 How to Manage Production Costs
    1. Learn Smaller to Get Bigger
    2. Unions and Guilds
    3. IATSE and Teamsters: Negotiate
    4. Reduce the Number of Locations
    5. Reduce or Eliminate Distant Locations and Save Money
    6. Reduce the Number of Speaking Roles
    7. Reduce Night Exteriors
    8. Reduce Company Moves
    9. Reduce Days or Weeks of Equipment Rental
    10. Reduce the Number of Shooting Days
    11. Rethink Expensive Sequences
    12. Reduce Vehicles, Drivers, Fuels, and Transportation
    13. Lay Low and Publicize Later
    14. Budgeting Software
    15. Creating a Schedule for the Picture
    16. Low-budget Shooting Schedules
    17. Stagger Actors’ Call Times
  17. 11 Mounting a Production
    1. Tricks of the Trade
    2. Production Staff and Pre-production
    3. Protect Yourself from Personal Liability
    4. Hire Motivated Multitaskers
    5. Payroll
    6. Production Office
    7. SAG, the Thirty Mile Zone (TMZ), and Locations
    8. Overtime
    9. Local Rules
    10. Buy and Return
    11. Hair and Makeup
    12. Grip and Electric
    13. Shooting with Multiple Cameras
    14. Print and Pickup
    15. Loss and Damage
    16. Vehicles and Transportation
    17. Security
    18. Shooting out of Sequence
    19. Meals
    20. Seek Local Hires
    21. The Editor and the Director
    22. Music and the Composer
    23. Extras
    24. Producers Set the Tone
    25. Real Producers Are Filmmakers
    26. After Wrap
  18. 12 Navigating the Actors’ Union
    1. SAG–AFTRA
    2. Residuals
    3. Production Bonds
    4. SAG Unintentionally Accelerated the Digital Revolution
    5. Financial Core
  19. 13 Respect for the Dollar
    1. Profit Participations
    2. Residuals Assumption Agreements
    3. Philosophical Differences
    4. Runaway Production
  20. 14 The Internet and New Media
    1. Loss of Privacy
    2. Wikipedia
    3. IMDb
    4. Google Maintenance
    5. New Media
    6. Piracy in Music and Film
  21. 15 Marketing and Publicity
    1. Studio Campaigns
    2. Key Art in the Independent Film World
    3. Study Current Film Campaigns
    4. Still Photography
    5. Log Lines
    6. Stars
    7. Second Level of Sell
    8. Trailers
    9. MPAA Rating
    10. Title Search
    11. EPK
  22. 16 Recap
  23. Appendix A: Major Entertainment Conglomerates and their Holdings as of 2013
  24. Appendix B: IFTA Model Sales Agency Agreement Completed Picture: Basic Form
  25. Appendix C: IFTA Model Sales Agency Agreement Completed Picture: With Advance
  26. Appendix D: Sales Projections and Participation Statement
  27. Appendix E: Sample Collection Agreement
  28. Appendix F: Sample Writer Option Purchase Agreement
  29. Appendix G: Sample Writer Work for Hire Agreement
  30. Appendix H: Sample Writer Step Deal Agreement
  31. Appendix I: Sample Post-production Schedule
  32. Appendix J: Sample Delivery Schedule
  33. Appendix K: Full Non-union Budget
  34. Appendix L: Non-union Top Sheet
  35. Appendix M: Union Comparison Top Sheet
  36. Appendix N: Standard Terms
  37. Appendix O: SAG Studio Zone Map
  38. Appendix P: Sample Shooting Schedule
  39. Appendix Q: Sample Call Sheet
  40. Appendix R: Sample Production Report
  41. Appendix S: Sample Composer Agreement