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.
Lawrence Silverstein started his career in the sale business. He worked his way up through the ranks until eventually starting and running his own sales company, Strategic Film Partners, for seven years. During that time they produced and sold numerous international and domestic titles. He has since left and is now an active producer/director. Things we talk about in this episode: – Sales “Must-Have’s” – Time trusted genres that work – Understanding how language barriers can affect sales – Subjective casting and buyer influences – Theatrical vs. Digital – The reality of having no scarcity Other podcasts you may enjoy: Travis Stevens and elevated genre films Mia Bruno, Acquisitions Manager, Gravitas Ventures Maren Olson, Traction Media – the sales business Producing with Neal Dodson & Corey Moosa (All is Lost, Margin Call)
I was gonna put the picture of BIG ASS SPIDER from the movie here… but just couldn’t do it! Understanding the international market On financing genre films: Things we talked about in this podcast: Other podcasts you may enjoy: Mia Bruno, Acquisitions Manager, Gravitas Ventures Maren Olson, Traction Media – the sales business Producing with Neal Dodson & Corey Moosa (All is Lost, Margin Call)
Welcome back to the Business of Film Podcast. This week we chatted with Andrew van den Houten, producer of the soon to be released All Cheerleaders Die. On the value of short films: On art vs. commodity: On pitching: Things we talk about in this podcast: Other podcasts you may enjoy: Mia Bruno, Acquisitions Manager, Gravitas Ventures Indie film making tips with Richard Boddington Maren Olson, Traction Media – the sales business Producing with Neal Dodson & Corey Moosa (All is Lost, Margin Call)
Welcome back to the Business of Film Podcast. This week we chatted with Brian Udovich, independent producer. Can’t say enough good things about Brian. This is a guy who understands the business and his business model. He’s produced six films in the past eight years. And when it comes to consistency in a business that is anything but, you have to wonder… how does he do it? And we ask him that very question. Here’s some of the topics we cover in this podcast: Other podcasts you may enjoy: Mia Bruno, Acquisitions Manager, Gravitas Ventures Indie film making tips with Richard Boddington Maren Olson, Traction Media – the sales business Producing with Neal Dodson & Corey Moosa (All is Lost, Margin Call)
We welcome Mia Bruno, Acquisitions Manager of Gravitas Ventures to the Business of Film Podcast. The simple truth is we should have titled this episode Sex & Drugs with Mia Bruno… but you’ll have to listen to the interview to find out why. Gravitas Ventures is an indipendent film distributor and they are doing some really interesting films. Starting and capitlizing on the growth of digital distribution, Gravitas is a filmmaker friendly company that not only prides itself on distributing great stories but using analytics to help guide its buying decisions. What’s Working? On the Importance of Artwork: On Social Media: Other podcasts you may enjoy: Indie film making tips with Richard Boddington Maren Olson, Traction Media – the sales business Producing with Neal Dodson & Corey Moosa (All is Lost, Margin Call) Producing with Nicholas Tabarrok (The Art of the Steal, Defendor)
We welcome John Suits and Gabriel Cowan of New Artists Alliance (Bad Milo, Extracted, Static) to the podcast. In this episode, we discuss how John and Gabriel grew their company from mostly micro budgeted films to larger scale projects on a consistent basis. In this episode we cover: On attracting talent: The talent value equation: Picking a distributor: Enjoy the podcast as these guys go into depth on the film making process. Other podcasts you may enjoy: Indie film making tips with Richard Boddington Maren Olson, Traction Media – the sales business Producing with Neal Dodson & Corey Moosa (All is Lost, Margin Call) Producing with Nicholas Tabarrok (The Art of the Steal, Defendor)
Richard Boddington debut feature was a self financed $150,000 genre film, Dark Reprieve. The film went on to be picked up and distributed nationally by Image Entertainment. What’s great about Richard’s story is how he went about making his first film, his take aways, and then more importantly, how he leveraged that into his next two endeavors. Shortly after completing Dark Reprieve, he was able to line up The Dogfather, a $1 million plus family film starring Chris Parnell. And then his journey takes him to his latest family film, Against the Wild, starring Natasha Henstridge and CJ Adams. His journey is inspiring, because he gives us a step by step on how each of these movies was made and what he had to do to get each film off the ground. Packed with great tips and advice, I highly recommend this episode. The value of good packaging and presentation Understanding project goals (for a first feature): Richard came into the project with a very specific goal for his movie. It wasn’t to make a ton of money; it was to just to get the film out there… somehow, and to make his money back. Not make money. Just make his money back. And’s that’s critical, because for Richard, it took the pressure off. He wasn’t counting on the film to feed his family or anything. The film, for him, was a spring board to what he hoped would be bigger projects. Which is exactly what happened? Tip for low-budget movie production: 1) Carefully balance budget and financing. 2) Put money on the screen 3) Keep the budget as low as possible 4) Keep crew size a small as possible 5) Find qualified people just starting out 6) Do as much as you can, if you have the skill and are comfortable to do it yourself. 7) Think about how to combine rolls (for example, a 1st AD can act as production manager). Richard goes into depth on each of the above in the podcast… and then dives into how he used his low budget experience to get into bigger films. Enjoy this episode. Other podcasts you may enjoy: Maren Olson, Traction Media – the sales business Producing with Neal Dodson & Corey Moosa (All is Lost, Margin Call) Producing with Nicholas Tabarrok (The Art of the Steal, Defendor) If you enjoyed this podcast, get email updates (it’s free)
Hollywood accounting for many is a mystery at best. Meet Steven Sills. Steven is co-author of Movie Money: Understanding Hollywood’s (Creative) Accounting Practices. He is a certified public accountant, a certified fraud examiner, a certified financial forensic, and a member of the California bar. Think CSI in the world of of Hollywood accounting. Steven was gracious with his time and shares some very valuable insights about his work which specializes in auditing motion picture and television profit participations on behalf of talent, producers and investors. Steven’s 3 tips when entering into a contract: What is the current state of affairs in DVD vs. VOD? To understand how VOD is currently being accounted for, however, requires a bit of history. Steven takes us on a journey from the early 1980’s when the home video business first started to present day and how Hollywood’s practices for accounting haven’t changed… and why? If you like what you hear, please hop on over to iTunes and write us a review! Steven is accessible at Green Hasson Janks.
Maren Olson runs Traction Media. Based in Los Angeles, they do everything from developing, producing, packaging and selling independent film. Their primary business is selling films in the US marketplace. What do you look at when evaluating a project? How does budget impact your role as sales agent? Maren’s Packaging & presentation tips for the early stage film maker 1. Do get advice from other people. Particularly in the domestic market place. The market is always shifting. What was true six months ago is not necessarily true today. 2. You can’t make a movie by yourself, find people in every aspect – especially casting and budget – to help you. 3. Concept comes first. You have to have a great concept and then execute it to serve the story. Are festivals a “must”? Connect with Traction Media Other posts you may enjoy: Producing with Neal Dodson & Corey Moosa (All is Lost, Margin Call) Producing with Nicholas Tabarrok (The Art of the Steal, Defendor)
Amotz Zakai is a manager at Echo Lake Management. He gives some pretty cut and dry information on what he would do. If you are starting out in film, this podcast gives some practical advice on how to get started in film. Managers vs. Agents On the role of private equity: My #1 Rule: Links mentioned in this podcast: Vanity Fair Article – When the Spec Script was King The Industry Edge Software – Track Your Projects. Other links you may enjoy: Producing with Neal Dodson & Corey Moosa (All is Lost, Margin Call) Producing with Nicholas Tabarrok (The Art of the Steal, Defendor)
The guys at Before the Door (a partnership between Neal Dodson, Corey Moosa & Zachary Quinto) have been tearing up the independent film scene over the last couple of years. Their first film Margin Call, needs no introduction. It has become the poster child for the new independent VOD, Super VOD model; you name it, it was a trendsetter. Their second major film is director J.C. Chandor’s follow up film, All is Lost, starring Robert Redford. As of this posting, All is Lost comes out this weekend in New York and LA and then rolls out nationwide. What’s great about Neal and Corey, and their company, is their attitude and passion for independent film. We cover a lot of ground in the podcast, from packaging, to financing, to puke rigs (yes, puke rigs…), it’s just a fun time with these guys and we’re excited to share it with you. On the value of short films: Making Margin Call It’s pretty clear that Margin Call was driven by passion. As Neal says: It was a movie where they knew they had great material and they weren’t going to give up until it got made. It’s that single minded laser like precision which is a major take away for anyone looking to get their film made. The resulting actor list and success all happened because of the initial commitment not to let anything get in the way of making their first film. And while the results speak for themselves, the take away isn’t the result, the take away is the process. Has Margin Call changed the way you approach film? How do you package a movie? Financing Independent Film: Neal goes into quite some detail on the process of financing films at the end of the podcast – so enjoy the podcast, and don’t forget, if you like Craft Truck stuff… sign up for more below. Thanks for listening!
We had the opportunity a couple months back to sit down with Producer Nicholas Tabarrok (“The Art of the Steal”, “Defendor”). On location in Nicholas’s LA office, he gives a dissertation on things he would have done differently had he started his career today, how he goes about packaging and financing films, and gets into some of the nitty gritty stuff we love to talk about at Craft Truck — all from the perspective of producing indie features. Nicholas’s latest film, which is out this weekend in Canada, “The Art of the Steal” stars Kurt Russell, Matt Dillon and Jay Baruchel. On getting into the business: Why I Choose Films: Getting your project off the ground: On getting cast: On financing your film: On dealing with a derailed production: There’s so much more that Nicholas had to offer. So go back up to the top of this post, press play, download it and listen to it later… and enjoy. Leave a comment. Ask a question. What do you think?