Tools for Financing Your Independent Feature Film - 6-Class Intensive with Handouts

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Taught by Viviana Zarragoitia

$599

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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

 

One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a creative is finding financiers and raising funds for your film. You may have a great script, a great cast and crew, but at the end of the day, no money means no project. For many creatives, the world of financing can seem overwhelming and impenetrable. Collection account management? Waterfalls? Gap financing? It can be hard to understand what these concepts even mean, much less how to navigate them successfully. But it's within your grasp to master these elements, find success for your project and allow financiers to recoup their investments. First you must understand the ins and outs of what goes into financing an independent film so you can ultimately find success.

Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films 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 power, 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 find success at all budget levels.

In this advanced level and intensive 6-session class, Viviana will comprehensively teach you how you can finance your own independent film, whether it's microbudget ($500,000 or less), more than $10 million, or anything in between. 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 microbudget films specifically and dig in to how films with these budgets can find success. Session 3 will center on using tax credits, soft money, and grants to help fund your project. In session 4, Viviana will bring in a notable film producer she has worked with in the past and discuss with them the principles of finding and approaching financiers and convincing them to contribute to your project. Session 5 will delve into equity, pre-sales, gap, and sales agents. Finally Session 6 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 6 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. This is an in-depth, practical, and detailed class with significantly more content than a standard 90-minute webinar.
  • This class will consist of six 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.
  • 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".

 

Praise for Viviana's Past Stage 32 Financing Classes:

 

"Viviana inspired me to learn more about the business side of filmmaking. I had an idea of how to finance a movie, but after our first class, I realized I had a lot to learn. I'm learning more to this day! I highly recommend her class to any film creative with little, to no understanding on how to finance an independent film. What she has to say is priceless!"

-Steven K.

 

"As an experienced film and television producer and writer, Viviana's class was just the refresher - and inspiration - that I needed! Having been a completion producer for a bond company, I have seen too many producers who were let down in the producing process by so-called-professionals who offered support at the on-set of a production, but then failed to deliver when needed. Viviana and her company Three Point Capital have an excellent reputation, and her counsel provided in the class solidified that. I highly recommend both Viviana and Stage 32 Education!"

-Patricia C.

 

"Viviana was personable, professional, interesting, interested, and a wealth of knowledge and useful information. I will take every opportunity to learn from her. She was patient and polite with every question and always clear with what she knew, what she thought, what she believed, and what she didn't know. She painted pictures and delivered facts, outlining the paths she has seen successful producers take while still encouraging all to pursue their art with a greater knowledge of the business and understanding of the challenges and potential pitfalls."

-Randy G.

 

"As someone who was totally new to the world of film financing, trying to learn about the process by myself was intimidating to put it lightly. Viviana clearly explains the film financing process step-by-step and demystifies the complex, bespoke nature of pre-sales, tax credits, sales agents, and so much more. I feel infinitely more confident in my ability to produce a film thanks to this class. I give it the highest possible recommendation for any independent filmmaker looking to finance their film and take their projects to the next level."

-Sean R.

 

"Viviana has a tremendous depth and range of knowledge about film financing and she was happy to share everything she knew. Thanks to her loose, attentive style for the class, it ranged far and wide, and she answered a lot of people’s questions whether they were general or specific to their own projects. And I feel like there was value for all of us in even the most project-specific questions."

-Randy V.

 

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
  • Working with Banks
  • Equity – Private Investors
  • Completion Guarantors
  • Tax Credits
  • Budgets
  • Q&A with Viviana

You will have an assignment after this session

 

Session 2 – Microbudgets

  • Review Homework Assignment
  • Characteristics of a Microbudget Film
  • How to Raise Money for Microbudget Films
  • Production of a Microbudget Film
  • Festivals & Distribution of a Microbudget Film
  • Pitfalls & Tips on Making a Microbudget Film
  • Q&A with Viviana

Handouts: Microbudget sample budget

You will have an assignment after this session

 

Session 3 – 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 with Viviana

You will have an assignment after this session

 

Session 4 – Approaching and Forming Relationships with Investors

  • Viviana will be accompanied by a notable producer in this session who will discuss strategies to find and approach financiers and investors and bring them on board to your film

You will have an assignment after this session

 

Session 5 - Equity, Pre-Sales, Gap, Sales Agents

  • Pros & Cons of Pre-Sales and how it affects recoupment
  • Handout: Sales agent contract – discuss fees and commissions
  • Working with Pre-sales when taking a senior loan from a Bank
  • Domestic & Foreign distributors – distribution rights
  • Film Markets
  • Q&A – 30 minutes at the end

You will have an assignment after this session

 

Session 6 – Waterfalls, Recoupment, Collection Accounts

  • Participants and Participations
  • Profit Centers And Distribution Expenses
  • Collection Account Management Agreement – Role of CAMAs in Independent Film Industry
  • New Media/Streaming/Revenue Effects in Terms of Budget and Film Financing Models

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: Overview on Types of Film Financing - Tuesday April 27, 5pm - 7pm PDT

Session 2: Microbudgets - Thursday April 29, 5pm - 7pm PDT

Session 3: Tax Credits, Soft Money & Grants - Tuesday May 4, 5pm-7pm PDT

Session 4: Approaching and Forming Relationships with Investors - Thursday May 6, 5pm-7pm PDT

Session 5: Equity, Pre-Sales, Gap, Sales Agents - Tuesday May 11, 5pm-7pm PDT

Session 6: Waterfalls, Recoupment, Collection Accounts - Thursday May 13, 5pm-7pm 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.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

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

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".

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.

Tools to Financing a Film Between $5MM-$10MM - 4 Class Intensive with Handouts

Learn from 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 $5-$10 Million can not only make a considerable return on investment, but also serve as a launch pad for its creators and win critical acclaim. Take some examples: BRUISED was made for $10MM and sold to Netflix after premiering at this year's Toronto International Film Festival PIECES OF A WOMAN was made in this range and sold to Netflix after premiering at this year's Toronto International Film Festival GET OUT was made for $5MM, grossed over $250MM worldwide, won the Oscar for best Screenplay and launched Jordan Peele into the elite entertainment stratosphere MOONLIGHT was made for $5MM, grossed over $65MM worldwide and won the Oscar for Best Picture. SPLIT was made for $9MM and grossed over $278MM worldwide and continued to propel James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Joy into creative roles. 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. And, with key star power, you have the ability to garner awards attention. It's these reasons why this budget range is attractive to many investors. Of course, there are many more variables at play, 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 $5MM-$10MM can be your calling card toward taking the next step in elevating your film career. 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 $5-10MM 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 $5-10 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

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. 

Make Your Animated Series or Film a Reality by Working With an Overseas Studio

Animation is one of the few types of productions that hasn’t slowed down or halted due to the pandemic. Since it’s possible for the bulk of the work of animated films and television to be completed from home or while socially distanced, animation has been flourishing as more players are turning to this format. With these ongoing changes in animated film and television production and financing, it’s now more important than ever to develop solid relationships to get into animation, and especially with overseas animation studios to successfully produce your own animated project. The truth is you’ll be hard-pressed to find many animated projects that are fully financed and produced in America. In fact, well over half of the work of most animated projects is done overseas, and that number is only rising as the industry continues to change. Working with overseas company is the norm and something that might be necessary if you are working towards producing your own animated project. Yet there’s more to gain in working with companies overseas than simply avoiding being left behind. Working with other countries opens the door for better tax breaks and lower cost and overhead. Going global might be the best step you can take in making your animated project a reality, but it requires a deep understanding of how this pipeline works and how to get your foot in the door. Mike Disa is the director of the hit Netflix series PARADISE PD and has been in the animation industry for over twenty-five years. Mike found success working with studios such as Dreamworks, Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount, and many others. Over a fascinating career, Mike has worked with some of the greatest and most infamous people in Hollywood including Steven Spielberg, Eric Goldberg, Ralph Bakshi, Glenn Close, Steve Oedekerk, David Tennant, Amy Poehler, Adam Sandler, Jeffery Katzenberg and Roy Disney. A favorite and fixture among the Stage 32 community, Mike has directed and produced movies and television with over a dozen overseas partners and wants to tell you how it's done. Mike Disa will walk you through the why and how of producing your animated project with an overseas company to best position it for success. He’ll begin by explaining the three basic models of animation production and how each works within a global pipeline. He’ll then explain why you should work with an overseas animation company and will outline both the benefits and negatives of doing this. He’ll then give you tools in how to best start a relationship with an overseas company and explain the difference between an overseas company, an overseas company with American offices and an American company with overseas offices. Next, Mike will explain how financing works with overseas companies and what these companies are looking for in an American partner. He’ll then delve into how the crash of movie theaters has affected the overseas markets and partnerships. Next he will focus on the impact Netflix animation has had on the industry as a whole and address the question “is everything bad Netflix’s fault?” Mike will teach you about how ownerships and participation work when working with overseas animation companies and will delve into why Chinese and Indian money is different than other money. Finally he will spend time explaining the problems Brexit is causing and how you can navigate these issues. Through covering these topics, Mike will give you a thorough blueprint of how to think and work globally and give your animated project success.     Praise for Mike's Stage 32 Webinar    It was really advanced stuff, and great advice. I appreciate that he was willing to stick around as long as he did to answer questions. -Shari E.    I loved the wealth of content and Mike's humor. -Prema R.   "Amazing" - Nilfredith S.   Loved the host and the webinar! Mike’s knowledge is sound and extensive. His vision for what’s happening now and what we are to expect in the future is brilliant. I could listen to him forever. -Jane D.      

How to Crack the Code: Needing Money to Acquire Cast and Needing Cast to Acquire Money

Having a known or in-demand actor in your independent film can make all the difference in whether it succeeds or not. A name actor gives your film a sense of legitimacy, which attracts new investors and more interested distributors. It also gives your film more opportunities for press and buzz, and will convince more people to watch it once it is released. That famous actor is very likely what you need to clinch your film, actually get it made, and have it ultimately find an audience and a home. But there’s a big, glaring problem with this truth: You need a name actor to get funding, but you need that funding in order to get the name actor. It ends up being a vicious circle, a catch-22 that can come across as frustratingly insurmountable, a barrier for entry that no independent filmmaker can get beyond. Let’s not mince words. Landing high level talent for your film is HARD, especially if your funding hinges on that actor saying yes. But at the same time, this isn’t the unsolvable puzzle it may at first seem. It comes down to finding the right investors and giving them what they need to say yes. This means pulling out all of the stops, preparing correctly, and doing the hard work. You’ll never be the only filmmaker going after top level talent, but you might be one of the few who’s able to do it the right way. First, it’s vital to understand what the “right way” actually is and what you need to know to do this right. Acquiring a talent is always going to be a hustle, but knowing what it takes and how to navigate this world can give you a serious edge. Independent feature film producer Franco Sama has produced an impressive array of over twenty independent feature films including cult favorite GUNS, GIRLS AND GAMBLING starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook, which was released theatrically acquired by Universal Pictures. Other films Franco has produced include; BLACK LIMOUSINE starring David Arquette, Vivica A. Fox and Bijou Phillips, TOOTH AND NAIL starring Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, THE PENITENT MAN, starring Lance Henriksen and Andrew Keegan and PAID, starring Corbin Bernsen and Tom Conti. Franco’s company Samaco Films continues to fund and develop independent films from burgeoning filmmakers. After nearly two decades of experience in film finance, distribution and packaging, Franco has come to understand how to crack the code and attract top level talent to independent films. He’s ready to share what he’s learned exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Franco will go in-depth on how exactly an independent filmmaker can find both cast and funding for their project. He will begin by explaining what budget range you should be aiming for to allow you to acquire the talent you’re looking for. He’ll then teach you the steps you must take before reaching out to either talent or investors. He will explain how to tap into an investor’s mindset and use it to your advantage, including why it might be easier for you to raise $5 million than $500,000, and how you should frame your project as an opportunity for investors. He’ll explain what development funding is, how it works, and why it’s now necessary in today’s landscape. Next, he will delve into how you should be building a strong team for your project before you start approaching talent. He’ll lay out the seven critical people you will need to bring on from the beginning, why you need an executive producer, how to choose the “right” director and casting director, and whether you can attract major talent as a first time director. Franco will explain the importance of acquiring international sales estimates and will lay out what your presentation deck to investors should look like to find funding and gain the cast you’re looking for. He will also talk about how pre-sales work and how many you need to be seen as successful. He’ll then start talking about the actual casting process, including how to create a realistic actor’s wish list, deciding between “A-List” and “B-List” actors and whether or not they pass Franco’s “Parentheses Test”. He’ll explain casting with an eye towards sales and then explain the difference between letters of intent, letters of commitment, and phone verification when going after talent. He’ll also break down contingency investments and how to know when to employ deferment and back-end offers with actors. Franco will explain how to make legitimate offers to actors and agents and how to ensure they’re never empty offers. He’ll go into how “pay or play” works in this world and why going out too early to actors can destroy your casting choices. Finally Franco will explain how you can use tax incentives to help with casting. Expect to leave with a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the steps you need to take to bring on your dream actor.   Praise for Franco's Stage 32 Webinar   "One word - Invaluable." - Larry S.   “Head & shoulders above the usual webinars on film distribution and finance. Franco actually knows his stuff and has a track record to back it up. Really good presentation.” – Scott B.   This was incredibly illuminating and really entertaining at the same time. I'm so glad I watched this" -Glenda T.   Wow. I cannot believe how much I learned from this webinar. Franco is the best. -Terrence R.

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