You learn, you get traction, you can make good decisions, you make sense.

  • The difference between getting a credit as producer and producing.
  • What is a”FILM MARKET” and should you go to them?
  • If you needed to estimate the budget for a film, could you do it?
  • Do you know what foreign sales are and how they figure in financing (2015)?
  • Picking a script – is a book or play adaptation any easier to do? Easier to get money for?

How About…?

Budgeting for your core audience. Do you know how to evaluate the market for your film and then budget it accordingly? Facing the budget instead of hoping you can do the movie for what you have. Keeping an eye on your director and his choices. Casting relative to budget. When can an agent help. Agencies’ economics. How much ego is really too much ego?. Liking actors. What’s the contingency fund for?

In a Skype webinar later this year-

What Does A Producer DO?

Using clips, scripts, photos and examples from her movies, producer Judith James empowers, excites and grounds people who want to produce, or understand what they can expect from a producer (as a writer, cinematographer etc).

You begged, borrowed and stole to get the first movie done. Reasonably good notices, screenings or maybe a booking and your friends came and your parents beamed and you met a lot of important people.You tried the online route and learned so much about the opportunities and the failures, but no money… How do you plan to finance/produce your second movie? Do banks invest in movies? Are foreign sales accessible to you? Where is that small distributor with the great reputation. How to find it. How important is a festival? A first picture and your career vs the director’s career. The actor’s career.
How do “foreign sales” impact a film? Are they sales? What’s the inter-action between casting, sales and banks. Bonding? The bonding company is your friend. Learning the basic concepts whether you bond your picture or not. Getting the picture in the can. What are the differences between the studio system and the independent sphere today. What is P&A money. Whose is it? Should you have some “in” your budget?
Crewing and the truly key positions for the movie, the various departments and you. Putting experienced, calm rocks in certain positions. First-time directors and interaction with the crew. Minimizing tensions. Chatting as a function of producing. Myths. Keeping your eye on locations and your director. Criteria for compromises. The balance between compromises and the ticking clock. Are you prepared to estimate the interaction of budget and scheduling and locations??
If a forth of your budget falls out in pre-production (a lying investor, crashing intentions, shrinking pot), how and with whom do you determine if you can make the movie on a tighter budget? Turning to the number of shoot days – can you? ETC.
The danger of under-funding editing. The value of a post-production supervisor. How much does it cost to release and promote a picture per city. Myths. The function of P&A money. Experts. Are you focused on festivals. Who they benefit. The impact of the economics of digital distribution. Separating the technological advancements from the meaning of “producing”. “Viral” social media and movie promotion. Again – How do you plan to make your second film? ETC.
You have of course heard. over and over, that it’s a complicated industry and half-way between art and business, but it’s important to understand that inter-action. Sometimes a picture just wants to be commercial (more P&A money?), sometimes a picture is sweet and can gain recognition with a marketing plan. Which is which, and which, if either, do you prefer? Empower yourself, and don’t let the myths insist on the opposite or defeat you.
The excruciating process of herding a thesis project into being is a starting point. But it hardly prepares you for the cold stares of the A/D/D. professionals populating the “biz” (why is that?), or a movie that turns out like shit that NO-ONE saw coming, or the lack of attention from fickle audiences. Or a critic that takes out after the film. It wasn’t you, it was a massive confluence of things. Learn and move on.
Using clips from her films and others to illustrate problems and solutions in the scripting, filming or in post-production and releasing, she provides examples of ways to confront “challenges” and their consequences. “My career certainly doesn’t represent the only way to do things, but my experience reflects real world experiences, which are vibrant additions to the potential producer’s expectations.” Yes, you will learn by doing, but Ms James helps you evade the myths that make you blame the biz and gives you the information to manage it instead. One important lesson here will be the very oft challenge of
Filmmaking is truly a collaborative industry and producing well turns that collaborative impulse into an opportunity for everyone on the picture to do their best work and hopefully that will resonate with those fickle audiences.