Film Business
Getting into Cannes Film Festival?

Getting into Cannes Film Festival?

How can one attend the Cannes Film Festival?  There are four ways: with a film, as staff, as a patron, or the way I did in 2011, as a journalist. First and foremost, it is utter chaos. Generally, the festival has 75,000 attendees.  In 2011 more than 250,000 fans joined the crowd. Being part of...
Selling your DVDs – going alone or signing with a distributor?

Selling your DVDs – going alone or signing with a distributor?

Even though DVD sales are currently falling worldwide, the profit from sales of home videos is still definitely worth having.   There’s also merchandising to consider.  People like to put stuff on their walls, like posters ;or on their bodies, like T-shirts –  stuff that they think reflect their choice of film or life style.  However,...
Detailed Examples of the Film Value Chain Model

Detailed Examples of the Film Value Chain Model

In the book The International Film Business, Angus Finney gives detailed examples of the costs, fees and recoupment involved in independent filmmaking.  Here, we’ll take a look at two of these examples.  Later on, we’ll discuss the implications of the film value chain model, and the central role and responsibility of the producer in the...
Is Hollywood Misogynistic?

Is Hollywood Misogynistic?

Anyone who has read a biography of any of the great actresses of the silent era can easily see that the power structure within Hollywood has rested on the shoulders of men. Women have had teeth pulled, ribs taken, and sanity lost to conform to the production studios  so they could be packaged as a...
Importance of Integration In The Film Value Chain

Importance of Integration In The Film Value Chain

Film Distribution The film value chain is a stripped down depiction of the process of investment and recoupment for a film project, from beginning to end.  The further to the left you are in the chain, the earlier on you are in production, the greater the potential investment risk for a capital investor. The risk is...
Everything You Need to Know about Film Writing Screen Credits

Everything You Need to Know about Film Writing Screen Credits

Writing Screen Credits Creating the screen credits for your film starts on the first day of prep and ends on the last day of wrap.  The production coordinator presents a draft of the credits on the first day of shooting for the production manager and the producer.  Writing and designing the credits can be a...
The Reality of Film Development – Part Three

The Reality of Film Development – Part Three

This is the third and final part of a three-part series of articles, which concludes an examination of the transfer of power and influence in the development of a film. We will end the series by exploring the process of gaining  commitment and securing funds from a financier. There can be difficulties when it comes...
Reality of Film Development – Part Two

Reality of Film Development – Part Two

In part one of this three-part series we examined the transfer of power throughout the various stages of film production. We saw how the writer enters an arc of power that begins with him pulling all the strings and inevitably ends with him losing all control to producers and financiers before once again taking  control...
Reality of Film Development - Part One

Reality of Film Development – Part One

When funding reaches its later stages, the producer must obtain final approval and agreement from each funding source. Financiers will have to provide the go-ahead before shooting can begin. There are occasions where the producer will need to push the project into pre-production to force a commitment from the financiers to prevent it from stagnating...
Press Kit for Filmmakers

Press Kit for Filmmakers

In addition to the press release, having a press kit is a critical part of marketing and publicity. You will send the press kit to distributors, film festivals, journalists, and wholesalers, in essence, anyone who needs or wants to know more about your film. It is important to include as much information as possible, as...
Publicity and the Audience

Publicity and the Audience

Through word-of-mouth, the production website, social networking, and the blogosphere, the audience can be well-connected to the film production long before the film’s actual premiere on the big screen. As the PM or PC, you won’t be as involved in the shaping of the publicity plan but you can assist the publicity team during principal...
Power and Influence in Screenplay Development

Power and Influence in Screenplay Development

All script development projects start out small. They consist of a writer, who comes up with the film idea, and a producer, who can also be the originator of the idea. But as the project moves forward, more players get involved and they significantly shape the direction the script takes. They can also drop out...
Distribution of Investment and Compensation in Film Production

Distribution of Investment and Compensation in Film Production

While production may require the smallest amount of time relative to the other parts of the filmmaking process, it is often where the majority of the investment goes.  Exactly where the investment goes can vary greatly from film to film, and similarly for the process of recoupment (payment). The value chain concept, designed by Michael...
Film Business - Show Me The Money

Film Business – Show Me The Money

The film business and the value chain ‘I think someone who has writing talent and who also understands how the television, film and games industries work, will be more successful as a writer.  They understand that you’re not writing for the public, you’re writing for the people who can invest money.’ (Julian Friedmann, writer’s agent)...
Three Things to Think About Before Giving Your Film Away for Free

Three Things to Think About Before Giving Your Film Away for Free

Making your content free and available can be a powerful marketing tool when executed intentionally and strategically. Luc Besson, creator of the environmental documentary “Home”, celebrated his film’s theatrical and television release by making his content available for a limited time.  This internet event garnered 1.8 million views. Each film is different and requires a...
How Development Funding Works – The Numbers And The Risk

How Development Funding Works – The Numbers And The Risk

‘What we do is find stories which we somehow find compelling, fresh; stories we have to tell.  And they will, by definition, be things that are hard to sell because they haven’t been done before’ (Andy Paterson, producer The Girl with a Pearl Earring). It all starts with an idea, of course.  But even before...
Film Festivals: The Modern Independent Filmmaker’s Boon

Film Festivals: The Modern Independent Filmmaker’s Boon

Festivals have changed drastically over the years, growing over time in ways that have significantly benefitted film distribution. Festivals are no longer just a way to show a film or a chance to make a deal with a distributor; rather, they’ve become a way for a filmmaker to develop his fan base by gauging their...
Theatrical Experience for Independent Films

Theatrical Experience for Independent Films

When films began, our notion of the traditional movie theater did not exist. Instead, films were viewed in a variety of public settings, including churches, public parks, storefronts, or tents. It was quite common, in fact, for a film to travel around on tour, sometimes as an event in itself or else in conjunction with...