This over 3-hour edition of On Stage With RB is jam packed! RB has on 2 special guests – Jen Grisanti, story/script analyst and 12 year studio executive, as well as producer of over 25 films, Franco Sama!
Jen talks about mentoring and how it needs to be mutually beneficial. She and RB get into trust and credentials in order to establish results that you both strive for. They venture into a conversation about recent network and cable shows such as Containment, The Walking Dead, Silicon Valley and how different people are receptive to indie versus studio films. There has even been a great synergy between feature and televisions Jen talks about how strong story that transforms a viewer makes you want to come back and watch the story. Jen even talks about women in the industry.
“Your platform and your education is phenomenal and I’m proud to be a part of this.” - Jen Grisanti
Key word to take away: Approach
Franco talks about what it was like moving to LA and started to get acclimated to the industry, working first at Francis Ford Coppola’s vineyard. He discusses the “ah ha” moment when he understood how to be able to produce multiple sweet-spot budget films from $250k-$2M. He talks about the usual chicken and egg scenario – what comes first, the money or the actor? Franco went out and forged the relationships with sales agents, distributors, CDs, himself. He talks about the fact that you need to know your budget and why Executive producer is code for “money. ” There is a process on your budget and you need to respect your system.
Key approach to take away: put matters into your own hands.
Then, RB opened up for over 90 minutes of Q&A answering questions such as:
- What kinds of stories sell on both domestic and the international market?
- What if we understand the below-the-line budget but we have no idea what the stars would charge? Or do we need two line producers - one that understands crews and one that knows the star rates?
- Angel funding groups- are they THAT serious about financing film projects?
- As a scriptwriter, do I need to actually understand all areas of production? I am not a producer and would have no idea where to start.
- If you are going after that one star for your low budget movie what do you offer him/her, in terms of money, points?
- As a beginning older screenwriter, I have learned from networking and the webinars that you should have more than one script to show as writers are often asked what else they have. How many scripts would you say I should have finished and ready to show before I start pitching?
- I have a question about language barriers, what are the opportunities for a non-native English speaker as a scriptwriter?
- I worked on True Detective this season and hit it off with some of the cast (lunches, drinks, etc.) is it tacky to try and get my “in” to come back by contacting them? Or is that wrong to do to my agent.
- I had my first role in a feature indie and in post they dubbed me to the point where it doesn’t even sound like me. It’s not even usable for my reel. Who do I approach about this? My director?
- When it comes to consulting for acting, writing, etc. does price matter more than credentials or does the credentials matter more than price?
- For anyone new to this industry, what would be the best way for them to network besides using Stage 32?
- I recently met someone through Stage 32 who has basically taken on the mentor role, although I'm the type of person who struggles to ask others for help because I don't want to infringe on their time. Do you have any advice?
- What's your take/insights on the Relativity Media bankruptcy? Anything to leand from such a situation?
- Is Atlanta the new Hollywood or just another flash in the pan?
- Would love your thoughts on EDM in film scores? Do you think it will stick? I have 20 years of classical composing experience and struggle with this medium.
- I am an author who owns the rights to several true, historical stories. How do I find a book to film manager?
- I'm a published author of an award-winning book (traditional publishing, small press). Is it acceptable to submit the book as a query to production companies or do I also need to do my own? And should I be pitching to production companies, agents, or distributors? I'm trying to understand chicken/egg.
- As a writer, how do you find potential producers?
- How do you strengthen your dialogue? Mine sounds slightly robotic.
- What is your favorite thing about Stage 32?