Business of Film
Summary: Business of Film is everything you wanted to know about the film business and filmmaking. From film production to distribution, each week you'll get insights from the top people working in the film business today. Be it film producers, film distributors, sales agents or managers, the Business of Film podcast is about making movies today. Jesse Ikeman unravels the complex world of film. Whether you are a low budget filmmaker or simple want to hear from todays top film professionals, this is the podcast for you. Business of Film is a Craft Truck podcast.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 42. Today we are joined by Howard Casner, screenplay reader for contests such as Slamdance and Final Draft and author of Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader. This episode was tons of fun. Howard reads somewhere between 300-400 screenplays a year for contest. And when you read that many screenplays you can’t help but learn what’s working and what not. What are the triggers that make you want to continue on? What makes you mentally pass on a script after just a few pages? At what point in a script has Howard made a decision? These are all facinating insights to learn because it helps you understand the mechanics of someone who is in the trenches. Things you thoughts weren’t issues, are actually big problems. Here are some of the things we talk about in this episode: – What grabs a reader? – Character vs. Plot. – On formatting… take note of this… very, very important. – The biggest conlict in the decision making process, and I guarantee you won’t believe the answer. We hope you enjoy this episode. Please leave us a review on iTunes, it really helps, and we appreciate it. We’ll even send you a digital muffin. Also, if you have any comments or questions, just write’em below or find us on Twitter.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 41. We are very fortunate to have Linda Seger, author of Making a Good Script Great, on this episode as she shares her insights on film. Linda needs no introduction. Her seminal book on screenwriting is now in its 3rd edition. In this episode we chat: – Where to start. – Where does structure play into good film scripts. – Independent and low budget filmmaking. – Most scripts have a major problem and figuring it out. – How many drafts are we talking about here…? We hope you enjoy this episode. Please leave us a review on iTunes, it really helps, and we appreciate it. We’ll even send you a digital muffin. Also, if you have any comments or questions, just write’em below or find us on Twitter.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 40. This episode we take an in-depth peak behind the curtain at Specscout.com and The Scoggins Report. The site combines a script coverage library with a scoring system in order to highlight the best screenplays circulating Hollywood This episode we chat with Jason Scoggins, the founder of Specscout as he gives us a personlized walkthrough of the platform. Spec Scout’s mission is to be the best place to discover and promote the highest-quality screenplays, both on and off the market. They’ve built a first-of-its-kind coverage library, developed a screenplay scoring system called the Spec Scout Score, and rolled everything up into a website designed to meet the needs of entertainment industry pros. They aim to promote the best material, whether it’s already circulating Hollywood or has been submitted by aspiring screenwriters. The result is a new level of transparency for the spec market, a level playing field for screenwriters, and a brand new way for aspiring writers to break into the business. Truly interesting stuff. I highly recommend you sit on front of a computer and do the walk through live with Jason as you listen to the podcast. Or just have a listen and noodle around later. Either way, it was great to have Jason on the show and to chat in depth about the spec market. In this episode we talk about: – How Spec Scout tracks data. – How to get free coverage. – The spec scout score and how it can work for you? – For industry pro’s and producers, how spec scout can help you find material. – How you can get into the Spec Scout market. – and much much more… We hope you enjoy this episode. Please leave us a review on iTunes, it really helps, and we appreciate it. We’ll even send you a digital muffin. Also, if you have any comments or questions, just write’em below or find us on Twitter.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 39. Sebastian Twardosz worked his way up in Hollywood the good old fashion way. From assisting Paula Wagner and Tom Cruise in their heyday to producing and selling feature films. Sebastian has worked in film and television for the past seventeen years. Previous to Circus Road, he was head of acquisitions for Allumination FilmWorks which specialized in domestic distribution and foreign sales of independently produced features. Before that, Sebastian was head of development for a Paramount-based production company called Craftsman Films which developed numerous studio projects, including early drafts of the feature film reinvention of the Star Trek franchise. For three years, Sebastian worked in comedy and drama development at Touchstone Television, the tv production division of the Walt Disney Company and ABC, where he staffed on six produced pilots. He also spent four years with Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner’s production company as an assistant and development executive participating in the making of “Mission Impossible 1-2”. He started in the business as an agent’s assistant in the motion picture department at ICM. In this episode we discuss: – What Sebastian learned assisting Paula Wagner. – Mistakes people make. – What’s selling now? – The dynamics of Horror Films. – The importance of cast. – Working film festivals. – Development of projects. We hope you enjoy this episode. Please leave us a review on iTunes, it really helps, and we appreciate it. We’ll even send you a digital muffin. Also, if you have any comments or questions, just write’em below or find us on Twitter.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 38. Today we are joined by independent producer and director Heather Hale with over 50 hours of produced television credits. She is also currently writing a book entitled Power Networking the Film & TV Markets for Focal Press. Heather is an approved independent Producer for NBCUniversal through their IFTA Development Needs Partnership Program. She directed, produced and co-wrote the thriller Absolute Killers starring Edward Furlong, Meatloaf Aday and Ed Asner. Ms. Hale is a highly sought after speaker and has taught all over the world. She served as the Industry Liaison for the American Film Market in 2013 and the Director of Event Programming for the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) where she helped develop what is now PitchCon (the TV Producers Boot Camp, formerly the LA TV Fest). On this episode we discuss: – Working the film markets. – The marketability of talent. – Budget levels and unions. – Presenting a pitch package. – How and when to work with sales agents. We hope you enjoy this episode. Please leave us a review on iTunes, it really helps, and we appreciate it. We’ll even send you a digital muffin. Also, if you have any comments or questions, just write’em below or find us on Twitter.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 37. This week we have a special presentation of our exclusive hangout with Kickstarter, Indiegogo and Seed&Spark. I’m thrilled to be sharing this particular audio version of the Hangout on our podcast. It was such fun to bring these big three platforms in the crowdfunding space together for our Hangout. This audio presentation is the live stream from the Crowdfunding Tips for Filmmakers Google Hangout that we co-hosted with Indiewire. Below is a written version of the audio cast for reference. And if you liked this, please leave us a comment at the bottom. We’d love to hear from you. Any feedback you have is appreciated. And kindly leaves us a note on iTunes. Reviews help. * written by Emily Buder, Indiewire Excerpted from Crowdfunding Tips fro Filmmakers Google Hangout With the democratization of filmmaking in the digital age comes an over-saturated virtual marketplace; everyone (and probably their mom) is asking for your money to fund their project. So how do you circumvent a “Portlandia” parody and build a meaningful —and successful— crowdfunding campaign? We asked the experts. Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and Seed&Spark have hosted hundreds of thousands of campaigns, from million-dollar successes to unfunded failures. While crowdfunding is not an exact science, there are fundamental variables that will bolster your ability to get your project funded. Last week, Indiewire and Craft Truck co-hosted a Q&A Google Hangout featuring representatives from these seasoned crowdfunding platforms. At the end of the Q&A, we opened up the discussion to the filmmaking community. Here are the essential highlights from the conversation. Follow these guidelines and you’ll have a statistical advantage in funding your film. THE PITCH VIDEO Emily Best (Seed&Spark): Have a script. Get feedback on your video. You have fifteen seconds before people are going to decide whether or not to stop watching. That fifteen seconds should be spent reaching your audience, not your mom or your friend. We see a huge number of people who sit down and say, “Hi. My name is John. I am making a thriller.” Already, the audience for thriller is gone. I was just working with a campaign for a thriller-based series, and I watched their pitch video, and the first fifteen seconds were shot like a thriller. I told them, “Good job, guys!” Your first fifteen seconds should match the tone of your film. MORE FROM EMILY BEST Craig Engler (Kickstarter): Have a pitch video. You’re doing a film project. Campaigns with videos succeed far more often than campaigns without videos. Have fun with it. The people who do great videos are going to do great projects. We recommend you keep it to around two minutes. Most importantly, share your enthusiasm. You’re not going out and asking for money — you’re going out and telling them what they’re getting, why they should be backing you. Your enthusiasm will come through. There was one video where the first try was a bit dry, so we told them it was a bit dry, then they came back with a second video and it was awesome. We were like, “What did you do between the first and second video?” And the person was like,
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 36. This week we are joined by Marc Schiller, CEO of BOND Strategy and Influence, a digital marketing and distribution agency that applies tech savy to the world of film with all the benefits of a creative agency — this is cool stuff! I really enjoyed having Marc on the show. It’s one of those calls that could go on for hours. But we really took the time to dive into some pretty impressive tactical information. My note pad next to the microphone couldn’t keep up. It was that jam packed. Marc Schiller is a very impressive guy with a history of working on some very amazing projects that we talk about on the show. Here’s a short list of the topics we cover in this episode: – What the future of film marketing and distribution looks like. – The 3 most important metrics when looking at data. – Interpreting the data and what to do about it. – How to increase conversation rates. – What are the primary drivers of digital traffic. – The single most effective converter of sales. – The only way to get conversation on Facebook. Thanks again for listening. Please leave us any comments or questions you have below.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 35. This week we are joined by Producer Dan Bekerman. Dan has an amazing and insightful way of thinking of film and producing that is bound to help you. I’ve known Dan for nearly a decade now. And what I love about Dan is his ability to approach a project with an eye toward getting the most onto the screen with limited resources. And the fact is that anytime you do a project, there are always limited resources. There’s never enough. Which means, the information in this podcast is scalable. Be it a micro-budget project, a million or under or even $5 million and up, there’s some really cool insights and take aways which are applicable to your project. Guaranteed. More to the point, Dan’s a great guy. So I hope you enjoy this episode. Here’s some of the cool things we talked about: – The touchstone ideas of what makes a project viable. – Working with sub-million dollar constraints. – How to keep your on-set “footprint” small – this is really cool stuff! – The dividing line of indie film. – 3 awesome ways to set yourself and your project apart.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 34. This week we are joined by Stephanie Palmer, best-selling author of Good in a Room. Write. Pitch. Sell. Curious about what makes a good pitch and what makes a bad pitch? Want to know the secret to making sure that the executive you are pitching to doesn’t “tune-out” in the first 30 seconds and is interested in what you have to say? This episode is for you. Stephanie started her career as an intern on Titanic, then worked as an assistant to the President of Production at Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Chad Oman, and then took more than 3000 pitches as Director of Creative Affairs for MGM. She knows what she’s talking about. Some of the things we talk about in this episode: – What’s the BIG idea? – Understanding what sells and why? – The #1 Thing you NEED to lead with in a pitch? Don’t break this rule. – The “filter” that all studio execs use to evaluate your project. – How to position yourself for maximum success – Directors/Writers — this ones for you. – The 3 most common mistakes when you are in a room. And much more… SPECIAL BONUS: HOW TO TAKE A HOLLYWOOD MEETING – This free eBook is jam packed with actionable advice. It’s an amazing resource that Stephanie is sharing. We had tons of fun on this episode and there is so much actionable an practical advise that Stephanie shared with us. Enjoy this episode. Please leave us a comment below.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 33. This week we are joined by Michael Franklin, a film business consultant working with companies like Distrify and a researcher focusing on digital engagement. Michael also works at the Institute for Capitalising on Creativity at the University of St Andrews and is affiliated with Creative Scotland: the national leader for Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries. In this episode we chat about: – The gap between social and getting the consumer to “hit the button”. – How to evaluate data. – Theatrical Dramatic vs. Documentary production in the DIY model. – What the most meaningful Twitter metric is… according to the data. – How P&A will start to shift based on social trends and what this means for you. – How value is NOT aligned… yet.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 32. This week we are joined by David Steinberg, a top entertainment attorney with a speciality in music for film. This episode is all about giving you tactical information and a practical guide to understanding music in film. It’s a complicated world, the world of music. And there are lots of moving parts that get easily confused. David does a masterful job in this episodes of unwinding the complexity and getting down to what you need to know. It’s your ultimate foundation in music for film. And check out the free guide by David below. In this episode we cover: – The music equation – Musical Compositions and Master Recordings – What rights do you need? – Understand the difference between a Synchronization License and a Master Use License – Public Performance Rights – what are they and how do they work? – Contracting with composers? BONUS! David has provided us with an exclusive copy of this very detailed 13-page reference guide: WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE… MUSIC IN FILM: A USER’S GUIDE FOR FILM PRODUCERS Thank you for listening. If you are enjoying the podcast, please kindly write us a review on iTunes or send us a note on Twitter. And as always, if you have any questions, you can drop us a line anytime.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 31. This week we are joined by the Executive Producer of WolfCop and the founder of Cinecoup. Cinecoup is a film studio which looks to invert the traditional studio model. Their first film, WolfCop, comes out June 6th. Recently, they announced that WolfCop II has been greenlit; clearly they are doing something right. In this episode, we discuss exactly how the Cinecoup model works – and more specifically WHY it works – and how this model is giving voice to filmmakers in areas of the country that otherwise wouldn’t be heard. This episode is about building audience. And working with the amazing tools that filmmakers have at their disposal right now. The Cinecoup experience brings it all together. Check out WolfCop in theatres!
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 30. This week we are joined by the GM of Creative District, Micki Krimmel. Creative District is a social network designed for filmmakers to collaborate on projects, find partners, and build a professional network. The site is elegantly designed allowing you to showcase your project and get the support you need to complete your project and to take your career to the next level. In this epsiode we discuss: – How the platform works. – The specific tools available to filmmakers on Creative District. – How to find collaborators? – Job postings and the power of connection on the platform. – The rapid growth of Creative District and how this helps you.
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 29. This week we are joined by the Co-Founder and CEO of VHX, Jamie Wilkinson. VHX is a direct-to-fan distribution platform built for premium video. They empower artists to sell their work from their own websites, directly to fans. Odds are that you’re already familiar with the platform. The team at VHX has created an elegant and simple platform. Everyone from the big guys, and that includes Drafthouse to Kevin Spacey; to the indie filmmaker are taking advantage of the VHX platform. Jamie shares insights on what’s working on VHX and how to best take advantage and integrate a VHX distribution strategy into a films overall campaign. In this episode we discuss: – Aggregate level analytics on what contributes to conversions. – Strategies and examples for your film specific campaign. – Things NOT to do with VHX — you’ll want to know about these. – Price points that convert – Strategies that work to take advantage of “Couponing” and “Flash Sales” – and more… Enjoy this one. It’s a goodey. If you enjoyed this podcast, get email updates (it’s free)
Welcome back to Business of Film, episode 28. This week we are joined by Lisa Wolofsky, Manager, International Film Group for the National Bank of Canada. In this episdoe, Lisa shares with us the nuts and bolts of film financing and working with banks. Don’t be fooled by the name of the bank, most of Lisa’s work involves international productions, not just Canadian productions. They finance tax incentives accross borders and provide GAP financing as well. In this episode we cover: – What you should have in place when you approach a bank. – The percentage of a budget typically covered by pre-sales. – Minimum budget levels typically required for GAP financing. – State of the market. – The biggest problem with GAP financing and what to watch out for. Lots of great stuff in this episode and an essential primer if you’ve never worked with a bank before. Please share any thoughts or comments with us below.