Tools to Financing a Film Between $1MM-$3MM - 4 Class Intensive with Handouts

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Taught by Viviana Zarragoitia

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Class hosted by: Viviana Zarragoitia

Vice President at Three Point Capital

Viviana Zarragoitia is the Vice President of Three Point Capital. She began her career in the entertainment industry working in production accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films. She then spent 5 years at Lionsgate, where she started working in the accounting department and segued into the finance division, specifically, profit participation. While working in profit participation, she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. She was then promoted to the group's audit division, where she managed film and television royalty audits of producers’ profit participation statements. Almost a decade ago she joined Three Point Capital, a boutique firm that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. While at Three Point Capital, Viviana has been involved in the financing of over 100 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes, Rob Barnum, Anthony Bregman, James Schamus, Aaron Gilbert, Kimberly Steward, Nicolas Chartier and Kevin Frakes, among others. As Vice President, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in, as well as manage the company's operations in its satellite offices (Ohio, Kentucky and Louisiana). Viviana has received over a dozen Executive Producers credits on titles she has financed. She graduated Cum Laude with a double-major in Business and English from Loyola Marymount University. Full Bio »

Summary

Mentoring in a private class setting with top financier Viviana Zarragoitia, VP of Three Point Capital - exclusively through Stage 32!

Get access to exclusive handouts including sample budgets, packages and collection account management statement, sales sheets, sales agent contracts and distribution agreements

Over recent years, the independent producing model has shown that films budgeted between $1-$3 Million have become a "sweet spot" for investors. At this budget you can typically attract and secure some star power, one important step toward increasing the odds that your investors will see a return on their investment. But this is just one reason why this budget range is attractive to many investors. There are many more variables at play which will help you raise money for a film or project in this price range. But first, you must understand the ins and outs of what goes into financing a film with this budget level so you can ultimately find success.

Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films and projects with budgets between $1MM-$3MM can be your calling card toward making a life working in independent film. Simply put, if you understand the strategies and methods to help your investors see a return, you get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring more investors with them if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, it's not impossible, and in fact can be well within your grasp, especially with the right guidance and education.

Viviana Zarragoitia is the Vice President of Three Point Capital, one of the entertainment industry's top financiers that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. Through Three Point, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in. She has been involved in the financing of over 100 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes (DALLAS BUYERS CLUB), Rob Barnum (MARGIN CALL), Anthony Bregman (ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), James Schamus (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Aaron Gilbert (JOKER), Kimberly Steward (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA), Nicolas Chartier (THE HURT LOCKER) and Kevin Frakes (HEREDITARY), among others. Before Three Point Capital, Viviana worked in accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films, as well as in the finance division of Lionsgate, where she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. Viviana has seen it all when it comes to film financing and knows intimately well how films in the $1-3MM range can find success.

In this advanced level and intensive 4-session class, Viviana will comprehensively teach you how you can finance your own film in the $1-3 million budget range. In Session 1 she will provide an overview of the different types of film financing available to you. In Session 2 she will focus on using tax credits, soft money, and grants to help fund your project. Session 3 will delve into equity, pre-sales, gap, and sales agents. Finally Session 4 will look at waterfalls, recoupment and navigating collection accounts.

Along the way, Viviana will provide exclusive and valuable handouts that you can take with you for your own projects, including:

  • Sample Budgets and Packages
  • Sales Sheets
  • Sales Agent Contracts
  • Sample Collection Account Statement
  • Example Distribution Agreements

WHAT TO EXPECT

  • **Viviana will be available on email during the 4 class sessions to answer any questions you have about your project.**
  • This class is designed for beginner, intermediate and advanced students looking to learn the ins and outs of film financing at the $1-3MM level. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar.
  • This class will consist of four sessions, each roughly two hours in duration. In addition to the presentation-style lessons where Viviana will be walking you through various elements of film financing, you will have the opportunity to ask her questions during each session.
  • ***Only 20 Spots Available.**
  • Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the process.
  • To see the full budgeting class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".

What You'll Learn

Session 1 – Overview on Types of Film Financing
• Equity, Gap, Tax Credits, Bridge, Debt, Pre-sales
• Debt Financing – Bank and Private Lenders
• Equity – Private Investors
• Sales Agents – Gap and Pre-sales
• Tax Credits
• Budgets
• Q&A 

Handouts: Sample Budget and Package 

You will have an assignment after this session

 

Session 2 – Tax Credits, Soft Money & Grants
• Types of Incentives and How to Access Them
• Domestic & International Tax Credits
• How to Monetize Incentives
• Effects of Tax Incentives in the Entertainment Industry and Locally
• How to decide on a Jurisdiction – Creative and Financial Elements
• Q&A 

You will have an assignment after this session

 

Session 3 - Equity, Pre-Sales, Gap, Sales Agents

  • Handout: Sales Sheet - Discuss in Detail
  • Pros & Cons of Pre-Sales and How It Affects Equity 
  • Handout: Sales Agent Contract – Discuss Fees and Commissions
  • Domestic & Foreign Distributors – Distribution Rights
  • Film Markets
  • Q&A 

Handouts: Sales Sheet, Sales Agent Contract, Sample Collection Account Statement

You will have an assignment after this session

 

Session 4 – Waterfalls, Recoupment, Collection Accounts

  • Participants and Participations
  • Handout: Distribution Agreement – Discuss Profit Centers and Distribution Expenses
  • Collection Account Management Agreement – Role of CAMAs in the Independent Film Industry
  • New Media/Streaming/Revenue Effects in Terms of Budget and Film Financing Models
  • Q&A

Handouts: Distribution Agreement

You will have an assignment after this session

 

About Your Instructor

Viviana Zarragoitia is the Vice President of Three Point Capital. She began her career in the entertainment industry working in production accounting at Millennium Films and Bold Films.

She then spent 5 years at Lionsgate, where she started working in the accounting department and segued into the finance division, specifically, profit participation. While working in profit participation, she oversaw the preparation of multi-million dollar film and television distribution deals. She was then promoted to the group's audit division, where she managed film and television royalty audits of producers’ profit participation statements.

Almost a decade ago she joined Three Point Capital, a boutique firm that specializes in senior lending on film and television projects. While at Three Point Capital, Viviana has been involved in the financing of over 100 independent films, and worked with such producers as Cassian Elwes, Rob Barnum, Anthony Bregman, James Schamus, Aaron Gilbert, Kimberly Steward, Nicolas Chartier and Kevin Frakes, among others. As Vice President, Viviana closes the financing on every film that the company is involved in, as well as manage the company's operations in its satellite offices (Ohio, Kentucky and Louisiana). Viviana has received over a dozen Executive Producers credits on titles she has financed.

She graduated Cum Laude with a double-major in Business and English from Loyola Marymount University.

Schedule

Session 1: Saturday November 21, 10:30am - 12:30pm PDT

Session 2: Sunday November 22, 10:30am - 12:30pm PDT

Session 3: Saturday November 28, 10:30am - 12:30pm PDT

Session 4: Saturday November 29, 10:30am - 12:30pm PDT

If you can't make a live virtual class, don't worry. It will be recorded and you can watch it at your leisure on demand. 

 

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a class?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Classes are typically 120-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.

Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class.

Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live class. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer

Q: What if I cannot attend the live class?
A: If you attend a live online class, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the class. If you cannot attend a live class, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A. Plus, your instructor will be available via email throughout the lab.

Q: Will I have access to the lab afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of the lab, you will have on-demand access to the video recording, which you can view after the class is complete.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

  • Amazing stuff. Viviana is this world of knowledge, compassion, hard facts, spread sheets and tells it as it is. I feel totally in the know now with most of the nitty-gritty. And I would not feel embarrassed now asking anything I don't know - there is no way I can come across like a dunce after this!

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Find More Money For Your Production: Step by Step on How to Work with Tax Incentives

As the Vice President of Three Point Capital, Viviana Zarragoitia is one of the most prolific financiers who routinely lend on tax incentives, both domestically and internationally, on independent films. She is aware of the rules and regulations of tax incentives in many jurisdictions, and have spoken on numerous panels about tax credits. In this webinar she will cover working with transferable vs. non-transferable credits, give an overview of the states and countries that are most popular right now, the reasons why and the incentives that each of them offers. Viviana will also go through the general steps that are required to take advantage of tax incentives from beginning to end, as well as the requirements to qualify for tax incentives. She will highlight the importance of working with CPAs, the roles of production accountants and line producers, as well as how all departments in a production are affected. She will also use 2 states as case studies for how to go through the process of applying for and receiving a tax incentive. You will walk away gaining a deeper understanding of the details involved with tax credits; how to take advantage of them, how to monetize them and how to follow the guidelines to ensure they are in compliance with the rules. 

6 Pitfalls To Avoid When Working With Tax Incentives

As the Vice President of Three Point Capital, Viviana Zarragoitia is one of the most prolific financiers who routinely lend on tax incentives, both domestically and internationally, on independent films. She is aware of the rules and regulations of tax incentives in many jurisdictions, and have spoken on numerous panels about tax credits. In this exclusive webinar, Viviana will be teaching what producers should be aware of when working with tax incentives. Although there are minor details that change within each state/country, there are some overall issues that come up in each jurisdiction that producers should be aware of when taking advantage of tax incentives for their film/TV project. These include, but are not limited to, things such as: corporate structure of the company applying for the tax incentive, making sure that costs in-state are qualified spend, working with tax incentive offices during pre-production, production and post-production, submitting final costs in a timely fashion, working with production accountants/CPAs on tracking qualified spend, working with lenders and filing tax returns to claim the incentives.

The Step by Step Process of Developing a Book Into a Film or Television Series

Some of the most well regarded recent feature films and television shows were based on books, including the Oscar-nominated Little Women, JoJo Rabbit, The Two Popes, The Irishman and the Emmy-nominated Game of Thrones, Chernobyl, Fosse/Verdon, Sharp Objects and many more. Authors spend months, if not years, formulating characters and worlds that make it onto the printed page. This creativity serves as great source material that would translate greatly to the big or small screen. If you're an author who's written a novel and are looking to get it adapted, a screenwriter that's written a script based off a book you have (or would like to obtain) the rights to, or a producer or financier who has the rights or are circling securing the rights to a property you believe would make a great film or TV show, you need to understand the steps to take to obtain the rights, protect yourself legally, and make the development process a smooth and enjoyable ride. Discovering an adaptation-worthy story can be as simple as stumbling across an interesting book or article at a bookstore, library or newsstand. Understanding how to obtain the rights and develop that material effectively is the harder part. It takes meticulous planning and approach to be able to get the rights to the desired intellectual property and successfully adapt and develop the material. Many factors go into getting an adaptation to the screen including negotiations, legal hurdles and making sure you're staying authentic to the source material. Once misstep and it could derail an amazing project. You need to be prepared. Jim Young has produced films adapted off of books and intellectual property such as The Catcher Was a Spy (starring Paul Rudd), Lovelace (starring James Franco, Sharon Stone, and Amanda Seyfried) and The Man Who Knew Infinity (starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, and Stephen Fry) and Life of King (starring Cuba Gooding Jr.). He's had his films premiere at Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW and has earned himself a reputation of being an expert in adaptations. Through years of working with authors, publishers, talent, financiers and distributors Jim knows how to adapt a book into a film and TV series from start to finish. Jim will teach you how to acquire the rights to a book you're interested and go over where to look for title, how to approach the author and publisher and how to close the deal. He'll give advice on the story development process and how to engage the author during that time, as well as tips on how to avoid liability. You'll learn two essential people you must have in your pre-production phase and how to work with the cast, crew and author on set. You will get insider tips on what to do before your film or TV show hits the screen to gain momentum for your project. And, finally, Jim will give you six legal elements to have in place prior to your project's release. This is must-know information coming from someone who's prolific in producing films based off of books.     

How to Find and Work With a Script Supervisor to Make Your Film Better

One of the most critical and underappreciated roles necessary to make a film work is the script supervisor. This person is vital to helping a director achieve his or her vision and is one of the most important positions a director must choose for his or her team. A good script supervisor not only keeps track of script progress and continuity, but serves as the director’s trusted confidante. They save time, money, and are instrumental in helping a director achieve his or her creative goals. But for this to work, the relationship between these two roles needs to be solid. A director and script supervisor have an interesting and complex relationship. You can have a great script, a spectacular cast, the most talented cinematographer, production designer, and gorgeous costumes, but if your film doesn’t edit well, it will be a disappointment. A good, experienced script supervisor helps a director avoid missteps, gives them cinematic choices in the editing room, and becomes their narrative storytelling accomplice. A bad script supervisor can be a real nuisance, interrupt the creativity on a set, and fail to protect a director’s vision. It all comes down to understanding and communication. Forming the vital and promising relationship between a director and the right script supervisor will have a lasting, positive impact on the film. No matter the size of your film, mastering this complex relationship can make all the difference. Let’s explore how to make this work. Brenda Wachel is an accomplished and sought after script supervisor with over 30 years of experience and credits on some of the biggest films of all time, including JURASSIC PARK 3, OCTOBER SKY, BRIGHT, COLLATERAL, FURIOUS 7, and CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER. She has worked with countless directors like Paul Haggis, Joe Johnston, Michael Mann, David Ayer, Tim Robbins, and Terry Gilliam and continues to serve as script supervisor for upcoming projects like Netflix’s just released mockumentary feature DEATH TO 2020, written and directed by BLACK MIRROR’s Charlie Brooker and starring Hugh Grant, Samuel L. Jackson, and Lisa Kudrow. No one knows the role of script supervisor and how to find success through this position better than Brenda, and she’s prepared to share what she knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Brenda will break down the importance of a script supervisor throughout the process of making a film and demonstrate how to make the vital relationship between a director and script supervisor work. She will begin by delving into the job of a script supervisor and why they’re especially important to directors. She’ll also explain their duties during prep, filming, and post production. She’ll also explain why a script supervisor is necessary for films of all levels, from low budget features and shorts to big budget blockbusters. She’ll give tips on how to find the right script supervisor for your project as well. Next, Brenda will look at how to shape the relationship between a director and script supervisor including how to establish one and how to grow and maintain it. She will then teach you how best to communicate between these two roles and then go into how a script supervisor can help with the relationship between directors and actors. Finally Brenda will share the biggest lessons she’s learned in her storied career as a script supervisor. If you are a director preparing to start a new project in the new year, no matter the size, it’s imperative you have a good script supervisor on your side and a good relationship with them. Brenda will show you how to do this.     “The role of a Script Supervisor is vital for any film production, but also often a misunderstood, under-utilized, and underappreciated one. Doing it well sometimes means being invisible. I’ve been on enough films and worked with enough different directors to know how much a good relationship between a director and script supervisor can elevate a film, and how much a film suffers when the relationship isn’t there. I am very excited to share my experiences with you and teach you what I know about being an invaluable script supervisor.” -Brenda Wachel

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As a television maker, one of the most difficult aspects of your job is creating and managing the budget for your project. Budgeting a feature or a short can be complicated enough, but at least you have all of the information at your fingertips. You have a script, schedule, rates—all of these things are at your disposal. However what happens when you need to budget a TV show? You don’t have all the scripts, there’s seemingly no way to create a schedule and, on the surface, no way to generate a budget. And once that budget is established, how do you handle decision making and cost tracking over a many, many months long process? These seemingly unsolved issues do have answers, and ones that may be simpler than you think. Successfully producing a TV show to get on screen requires that you understand not just how to build a TV budget, but also how to operate it. Knowing the ins and outs of Movie Magic and the various tools within as it relates to television is key. It’s very easy to get overwhelmed and drown in the details of creating and managing the budget of a series. Through thorough research of the software, what it does and how it affects your project, you will be able to create TV budgets with ease. Presenting a solid TV budget will help you gain the confidence of those who can ultimately invite you into the inner circle of TV producing and allow you to advance your career to new heights. Rami Rank is a producer with credits on shows including Amazon's GOLIATH, DEXTER for Showtime, SWINGTOWN for CBS, HELP ME and HELP YOU for ABC, as well as features such as the remake of APRIL FOOL'S DAY. Rami began his career working on indie features as a Production Coordinator, Production Manager and Line Producer. After joining the union and coordinating the third season of DEXTER, Rami joined Universal Studios where in addition to helping manage the Backlot and Stage Operations he also ran UVS-1, Universal’s Virtual Production business until 2013, when he came back to production. Through his storied career, Rami has produced and budgeted for all types of television shows, including some of the biggest ones out there. He knows intimately what goes into the vital aspect of creating a budget for these projects and is ready to share all he’s learned exclusively with the Stage 32 community. In this 3-session class, Rami will offer detailed, practical, and exhaustive guide to creating and managing a successful TV budget. In session one he will review the basic starting point of a TV budget: where the information comes from and how to utilize it. He will review some basic concepts like Budgeting and Scheduling Software, Rate Guides and the two types of budgets you’ll be creating – Patterns and Amorts. Session 2 will be a deep dive into the Amort budget. Students will receive a copy of an Amort budget to use as reference as we walk through all of the departments, positions and costs to consider in preparing the Amort. In the final session you will receive copies of a pattern budget to use as reference as he teaches how this budget is transformed into an episodic budget and then tracked using hot costs and cost reports. You will leave these three classes with the knowledge base and confidence to tackle any TV budget. WHAT TO EXPECT This class is designed for beginner and intermediate students looking to learn the ins and outs of creating a budget for a television show. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more than a standard 90-minute webinar. You will be given guides and walk throughs of software and procedures and will receive handouts and resources that will accompany the lessons and that you will be able to hold onto after the class ends. This class will consist of three sessions, each roughly 90 minutes in duration and spaced one week apart from one another. In addition to the lessons where Rami will be sharing his screen and walking you through section by section of television budgeting software, you will have the opportunity to ask Rami questions during each session.  Plus, to stay motivated and inspired, you will have access to a private, dedicated Stage 32 Lounge where you can communicate with your fellow classmates throughout the budgeting process. To see the full budgeting class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".   "As a long time producer, I know how important a solid budget is for any television show, and I know just how challenging it is to create one successfully—much harder than for features and shorts. I’m excited to empower producers and creatives in the Stage 32 community to do the same. Get ready to learn more about TV budgets than you ever have before!" -Rami Rank

Advanced Level Accounting for Film & Television

Throughout every phase of making a film or series, it’s vital to have a vision, but it’s paramount to make sure your books are in order make sure that you are running your project as a business and making money back for your investors. Losing either of these aspects will spell disaster for your project. Vision likely comes more easily to creatives—it’s why you set out on this venture in the first place—but if it’s not accompanied by strong financial records and a wherewithal of what to do, both to spend money and to earn it, you’re going to find yourself in a heap of trouble that no amount of vision can get you out of. In the previous webinar in this series, Introduction to Film & Television Accounting, we discussed the things you need to know in order to responsibly get your project off the ground, including navigating tax incentives, finding and approaching investors, and working with loan-out companies. However your dealings with accounting don’t end here; they continue well through production. You might have wrapped your film, but there are still some serious i’s to dot and t’s to cross. How do you report your earnings and your spending? How do you handle payroll in accordance with the different guilds and unions? How do you prepare your taxes and how do you make sure you actually get those credits and incentives you’re owed? There’s no time to sit on your laurels. It’s more vital now than ever to ensure that your accounting is, well, accounted for. John Thomas and Kristy Clabaugh are Atlanta-based CPAs that specialize in providing services to the film & entertainment industries both abroad and in the US. Kristy also serves on the executive board of directors as Treasurer for both the Georgia Production Partnership and Women in Film & Television Atlanta. Together they have worked on hundreds of film and television projects assisting clients in all stages of project implementation from investor relations, entity structuring, waterfall projections, budgeting, pre-production and development, production accounting to post-production. John and Kristy will continue on from their first accounting webinar to share with you more advanced but equally vital aspects of handling the accounting on your film project. They’ll go over financial reporting requirements for any project, specifically your balance sheet and your income statement and teach you how to reflect your project as an asset, how to report investor obligations, both as loan payable and equity interest, and when and where the revenue hits. Next they’ll delve into the importance of quality production accounting and go over the guild and union rules you need to know while doing payroll. John and Kristy will walk you through cost reports and how they compare with the budget. Then they’ll teach you the nuts and bolts of tax preparation, which includes both federal filings like elections and K1s, and state filings, like resident/non-resident filings tax incentive and credit declarations.   Praise for John and Kristy’s Webinar Both presenters really knew their stuff and presented it with clarity. -Clint A.   This advanced class was so helpful. John and Kristy got into the nuts and bolts of accounting in a serious way and gave me a lot more confidence in being able to handle accounting on my own project” -Cassie G.   Really thorough but also easy to understand -Gerry T.   John and Kristy are the best! -Rodolfo B.

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