A Line Producer's Guide to Making a Movie in 10 Steps

The Ultimate Guide
Hosted by Maura Anderson

$49

On Demand Webinar - For immediate download. Unlimited access for 1 year.

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Maura Anderson

Webinar hosted by: Maura Anderson

Award-Winning Line Producer (Winter's Bone, Suit Up, Would You Rather, Bad Samaritans)

Maura Anderson has worked in independent film production since 2006. After training as an actor at the School for Film and Television, she began work at New York based Gigantic Pictures (Goodbye Solo, Dare) handling everything from clearances to casting. She left Gigantic a year later to freelance, working as a production coordinator, location manager, production manager and line producer. She has since production managed Academy Award nominated Winter’s Bone, Berlin's best first feature winner On The Ice, Max Winkler's Ceremony starring Uma Thurman and Night Catches Us in competition at Sundance 2010. In 2011 she produced Would You Rather, which was acquired by IFC Midnight and premiered in North America in February 2013. In 2011 she also began work for Fox Digital as a line producer working on Wolfpack Of Reseda. In 2012 she line produced Bad Samaritans produced by Walt Becker and produced two seasons of the web series Suit Up for Fox Digital which played across the internet on Yahoo, Crackle, College humor and later on DirecTV's audience network. It was for this she won an award for producing from LA Webfest. In 2013 she began work as a producer for Wigs (www.watchwigs.com), a YouTube channel conceived by Jon Avnet (Black Swan, Fried Green Tomatoes) & Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs, HBO'S In Treatment) and partnered with Fox Broadcasting. She is the former EVP of Production for Indigenous Media, a next generation digital studio focused on producing original content for digital and emerging platforms worldwide, as well as developing and operating multi-platform content brands. She had her directorial debut with the 2015 feature film, Heartland (www.heartlandthefilm.com) and currently continues producing independent films.  Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Most people don’t know the scope of what a Line Producer actually does. How does one make a budget? What goes into it? How do you devise a realistic plan to shoot a movie and how do you seamlessly make it happen? Maybe you’ve managed to finish one movie, but how do you repeat that over and over? Do I really need a budget for my $100k film? (Hint: the answer is Yes!)

Every project, whether it's a movie, a TV show or web series, or even reality TV works off the same basic blueprint. You need a script, a schedule, a budget, and lastly someone with a plan to manage all the elements you need to shoot, from cast and crew to locations and equipment. This person is the Line Producer.

Maura Anderson is an award winning Line Producer who has worked on films and TV series such as Academy Award nominated Winter’s Bone, Would You Rather, and Suit Up. She's the former EVP of Production for Indigenous Media, a next generation digital studio focused on producing original content for digital and emerging platforms worldwide. Having filmed in many places and situations, from the Ozark Mountains to the Alaskan Tundra, and with budgets ranging from $30k to $10M, Maura discusses everything from the minuscule details to the broader strokes of making a film. 

In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Maura will take an in depth look at all the steps a line producer takes from script stage to years after the film is made. Using materials from actual films, she’ll discuss how a script is turned into a schedule and a budget. You’ll learn how to build out your team and how you can create long lasting relationships. You’ll also learn the basics of setting up a film’s infrastructure. Lastly she’ll look at enacting the brilliant plan that you came up with and what that looks like in terms of prep, shooting and wrap.

 

This webinar includes live examples of schedules, budgets, wrap binders, etc. from films she's worked on!

 

 

"Seriously one of the best webinars on the whole site. Absolutely fantastic, informative, and easy to follow. Maura gets 5, no 20 stars from me!"

-Steph G.

What You'll Learn

  • Script 
    • Breaking down the blueprint
  • Schedule
    • How to create a realistic plan
  • Budget
    • Creating the document that will be your Bible
  • Building Your Team
    • Building your crew, how and where to find them
  • Vendor Relationships
    • Building long lasting relationships
  • Setting Up A Film’s Infrastructure
    • From setting up the LLC to tax rebates
  • Prep
    • Good prep is the key to a smooth shoot, what does that entail?
  • On Set
    • What do you do once you’re shooting?
  • Wrap
    • Wrap binders and how to tie it all up
  • Post Shoot
    • The months and years after a project
  • Conclusion
    • What Maura has learned during her time as a LP
  •  Q&A with Maura

About Your Instructor

Maura Anderson has worked in independent film production since 2006. After training as an actor at the School for Film and Television, she began work at New York based Gigantic Pictures (Goodbye Solo, Dare) handling everything from clearances to casting. She left Gigantic a year later to freelance, working as a production coordinator, location manager, production manager and line producer. She has since production managed Academy Award nominated Winter’s Bone, Berlin's best first feature winner On The Ice, Max Winkler's Ceremony starring Uma Thurman and Night Catches Us in competition at Sundance 2010. In 2011 she produced Would You Rather, which was acquired by IFC Midnight and premiered in North America in February 2013. In 2011 she also began work for Fox Digital as a line producer working on Wolfpack Of Reseda. In 2012 she line produced Bad Samaritans produced by Walt Becker and produced two seasons of the web series Suit Up for Fox Digital which played across the internet on Yahoo, Crackle, College humor and later on DirecTV's audience network. It was for this she won an award for producing from LA Webfest. In 2013 she began work as a producer for Wigs (www.watchwigs.com), a YouTube channel conceived by Jon Avnet (Black Swan, Fried Green Tomatoes) & Rodrigo Garcia (Albert Nobbs, HBO'S In Treatment) and partnered with Fox Broadcasting. She is the former EVP of Production for Indigenous Media, a next generation digital studio focused on producing original content for digital and emerging platforms worldwide, as well as developing and operating multi-platform content brands. She had her directorial debut with the 2015 feature film, Heartland (www.heartlandthefilm.com) and currently continues producing independent films. 

FAQs

Q: What is the format of a webinar? 
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-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 webinar.

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 webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer 

Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A. 

Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
A: Yes! After the purchase of a live or On-Demand webinar, you will have on-demand access to the recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year! 

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: 4.5 out of 5

  • This webinar would be more useful if it were more about the concepts and process instead of about how to use specific tools that most indy producers don't have or use.
  • Seriously one of the best webinars on the whole site. I really, really want Maura to do more of these! Maybe an even more in depth part 2 to this one?? Absolutely fantastic, informative, and easy to follow. Maura gets 5.. no 20 stars from me!
  • The only reason I'm not giving this webinar a 5-star rating is because the speaker's camera cannot be seen in the downloadable video. In a couple of moments it would have been really helpful, and overall it's better to see your teacher's face while they're talking. Other than that, it was a very complete, great course. The speaker was great, with lots of knowledge and very professional. Being able to download the video is amazing -thank you for making it available!
  • Excellent! To the point and a step-by-step process, which I totally appreciated. This class made me want to dig deeper in budget and scheduling.
  • Very useful
  • Very thorough.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Navigating a Film's Financials: Budget, Cash Flows & Cost Reports

Part 1 - Budgets & Cash Flows Maura teaches you how to create a realistic plan for your film and make sure there is always money in the bank for what you need. You'll learn how to figure how much money you really need, and how to put together a proper film budget. Part 2 - Cost Reports, Film Infrastructure, & Tax Incentives Maura discusses setting up a film's infrastructure (from setting up an LLC to finding a lawyer) and various accounting options. She details cost reports, and how to analyze what you've spent and what you need to spend. Lastly, she discusses tax incentives before hosting a Q&A session. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class. Although Maura is no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all filmmakers to participate.  

Ask Me Anything with Stage 32 CEO Richard "RB" Botto: Quarantine Edition

Since announcing our new screenings initiative, thousands of new members have joined the Stage 32 community, and there was no better time than to come together to connect, learn, and grow in our digital universe. So with that, I wanted to welcome our new members to the party by hosting one of my AMAs (Ask Me Anything): Quarantine Edition. Damn, you guys were on fire!   The entertainment industry is rapidly changing as we all navigate this evolving landscape. In the last few weeks, in addition to talking with over 800 filmmakers from canceled festivals, I've had countless conversations with executives and industry professionals how creatives can keep hustling and put themselves in position to succeed in this new and ever-changing landscape. With everything going on, I can say without hesitation that I had a LOT to share! And I know you all had questions!   In this over 2 hour AMA webcast we got together for inspiring, motivating, and brutally honest craft and industry talk. Remember, no matter what your discipline, skill level, geographical location, etc, this AMA will be helpful for ALL! You all brought your questions and the energy and I handled the rest.   Amidst this global crisis that has forced so many of us indoors, we are excited to give film, tv, and digital creatives a safe place to stay creative and build relationships with their fellow entertainment industry folks from all over the world.   Let's continue to come together for some inspiration, motivation and community love. And if you know any other creative who is not a member of Stage 32 that could use a lift, please invite them as well by sharing the on demand link to download.   I enjoyed spending quality time with you all.

How to Handle Guild Residual Payments For Your Film Production - with Free Agreement Downloads

If a film production is going to use talent that belongs to a guild, you will need to adhere to labor related matters when it comes to residuals. Residuals are how you pay your guild talent and a key component of any production. These payments have a strict way in which they need to be handled in order to make sure that your talent is being compensated properly - whether it's payment upfront or payment on the backend. Conversely, if you are in a guild you need to ensure that your contract lays out the correct components with residuals to make sure that you are paid properly.  Whether you are the person paying or the person receiving, we're talking about money here and you don't want to get it wrong. Understanding residual payments in some of the world's key film markets (US, UK and Canada) is vital to your production. As you are putting together your budget and ensuring that your production comes in at or under your budget you have to know how residuals work. Working with guilds can be tricky, but as long as you are clear upfront on how to pay their members and how that flows into your budget you can ensure success. And, if you're talent that belongs to a guild you want to ensure that you are getting every payment that is owed to you for your service on a project.  David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. David will teach you what exactly residuals are and go over a comparison of them in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. He will go into a deep dive example on a US example where he will discuss options for payments of residuals and how the calculation works. You will understand how the payment for residuals is secured in security interest, the collection account or the payroll house. He will even go over the agreements you should know that are related to residual payments. He will even dive into residual and media allocation and the recoupment schedule. You will leave with a clear understanding of how residuals work and how to best protect yourself on both sides when dealing with them. With this webinar you will receive free template downloads: DGA Basic Agreement SAG AFTRA Security Agreement SAG AFTRA Standard Agreement SAG AFTRA Television Distributors Assumption Agreement SAG AFTRA Television Buyers Assumption Agreement WGA Theatrical and Television Basic Agreement Standard CAM Agreement International Multi-picture Rights Distribution License Agreement Sample Webinar Resource Sheet   Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars   "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." - Cynthia P.   "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." - Gary O.   "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." Kirk K.   "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" - Isabella T.

Crafting Scene Descriptions: Make Your Prose Leap Off the Page!

Writing scenes come naturally to many of us especially when we have an outline of what we are aiming to accomplish. Scenes require us to describe setting, introduce characters, establish tone, and achieve a list of other key elements. We are tasked with making the words in each scene exciting and engaging with a few precious moments - urging the reader to keep turning the page and for the audience to keep watching. The words that we use should guide the reader and allow our voices to shine through our work. Understanding the importance of the words you use is imperative to how well your script ultimately translates to the screen. Scenes are a building block to the narrative of your story. Without well-written scenes, the foundation of your story will crumble. It is important to examine each scene of your story and analyze what ways it can be enhanced so that it really adds to the overarching points you are trying to get across as a writer. This comes with proper execution of infusing your own personality and authentic voice in a way that uniquely connects with your readers. Although this can be difficult, there’s no need to run away from this challenge. We have the tools and resources to help your words spring off the page instead. Steve Desmond is an established award-winning and represented screenwriter who wrote the thriller feature ON YOUR DOORSTEP that sold to Treehouse Pictures which has worked with incredibly talented actors like Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Henry Cavill and he also created the horror feature, TWISTED AVENUE, which made 2015 Hit List honoring the best spec screenplays of the year. His successful portfolio of films continues with his current project, MONSTERS, that won the Comic-Con International Film Festival for Best Horror/Suspense Film and Best Overall Film and has been accepted into over forty film festivals. Steve’s well-renowned success has landed him amazing representation with APA who is connected to partners such as the Global Production Network, The Gotham Group, that produced projects such as THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES and THE MAZE RUNNER franchise, and Eclipse Law Firm which has represented projects like NARCOS, KING KONG, WATCHMEN, and YOUNG ROCK. Steve will instruct you how to effectively craft the scene descriptions of your story to make them truly come to life. After providing you with the critical Do’s and Don’ts when writing scenes, Steve will show you how to guide your reader on an exciting journey, set your tone so that readers can feel the words on the page, and craft character introductions that leave memorable impressions with your audience. He will also discuss directing on the page, rewriting scene descriptions, and the importance of reading scripts. Steve will provide you with several resourceful writing exercises that will help you generate ideas for your own prose writing. You will walk away from this session with your words leaping off the page! Steve is beyond excited to share his tools and expertise with members of the Stage 32 community.

How to Attach a Director to Your Project to Get Investors and Execs Interested

Comes with a free month of Variety Insight to help you start your outreach!   As a producer it can be HARD to get your project traction. No matter how passionate you are about it, no matter how fantastic the script is, it’s not easy to stand out to investors and executives. But attaching a notable or exciting director to your project can make a big difference. Finding a director with a good reputation or recent buzz that believes in your project and wants to helm it can add a level of legitimacy that will allow you to break through from a saturated marketplace and get the attention your project deserves. However, finding the right director and bringing him or her on board can often require a bit of finesse. Often when filmmakers consider attaching talent to a project, they think more of actors. No doubt attaching a famous actor to your project can help boost its profile, but attaching a great or exciting director can boost it in an even more powerful way and can give potential stakeholders more confidence that the final product will end up great. This is something an actor usually can’t guarantee, no matter how famous they are. From a producing perspective, there are a lot of similarities in the approaches of attaching an actor and director, but there are key differences as well. When you attach a director, you’re handing over the keys to a project you’re passionate about and allowing them to take it in their own direction. It can be a scary or difficult position, but finding a director who’s the right fit and who will add a level of gravitas or buzz might be what it takes to get your project made. Let’s discuss how to make that happen. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and a veteran film producer with 35 features under her belt. Of those 35, 9 have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Through her career, Aimee has helped attach many directors to her projects and understands the steps that need to be taken to make this process smooth and beneficial. Exclusively for Stage 32, Aimee will teach you how to find the right director for your project and what you need to do to bring them on board. She’ll show you how to build your director wish list and how to find the next hot directors before they’re out of your budget or reach. She’ll then give you tips on how to initially approach a director you’re interested in, whether it’s through them directly, through their reps or through your own network. Aimee will also explain how she pitches her own projects to get directors excited to come on board. She will discuss the legalities of attaching a director and show you a real shopping agreement she uses to help seal the deal, and will finally go over how you can use your newly attached director to your advantage to help sell your film or bring in partners.     Praise for Aimee’s Previous Stage 32 Webinars   "I've taken many Stage 32 webinars and they've all been wonderful, but Aimee's had me ready to run through a wall! So much thoughtful and intelligent information!" - Debra S.   "This webinar was jam packed with so many useful and accessible strategies I can start using today. Thank you!" -Brian D.   "Grounded and Practical" -Jennifer S.   “Aimee was able to take these big ideas and make them feel totally accessible and easy to understand. I really enjoyed hearing from her” -Howard F.

Filmmakers: How to get Cinematic Images in Ugly and Small Locations—includes 6 case studies

Any independent filmmaker can tell you that one of the key rules to creating a successful film is to use what you got. This is especially true (and especially challenging) with cinematography. With a limited budget you’re likely not going to have the state-of-the-art equipment or perfectly lit soundstage to get the optimal shot. Often you’re going to have to make do with the locations the team was able to rustle up. These locations might be too small, might lack natural light, might be the wrong color. Well that’s too bad. If you want your indie film to look great, you’re going to have to be scrappy, adapt quickly, and be ready to pull a couple miracles out of your hat. Don’t think this won’t be noticed though; having the tools to make any location look great will not only elevate the film you’re working on, but also bolster your own reputation and prove your worth as a DP or director. It might not always be fully appreciated, but if you’re serving as DP, it’s down to you to take any shot and make it cinematic. Sometimes this might be as easy as setting up a fill light, but especially for low-budget projects, it’s often much more complicated. With a lack of access to sufficient resources, it can feel like reinventing the wheel to make any shot work. However, coming to set knowing the questions to ask and the tools at your disposal can make all the difference. What combination of a fill light, key light, and back light will work best? How can you use the props and materials that happen to be around to draw the eye to your subject? And perhaps most importantly, when should you push to make the shot better and when should you recognize that it’s as good as it’s going to be? Barry Andersson is an award-winning director and cinematographer. He has directed 5 feature films, many of which were released in theaters—his most recent film is being distributed by Lionsgate. Barry’s career as a cinematographer includes several television pilots, acclaimed short films, numerous commercials, and countless commercials and corporate videos. Barry is also the author of the DSLR Filmmakers Handbook. Barry has had to light and shoot more ugly locations than he can count and has developed a slew of strategies to tackle the challenges they bring. Barry will give you tips and tools to pull beauty out of the ugliest of locations. Barry will start by going through the basics of art direction and what expectations directors will have of you as a DP. Using case studies and practical examples, Barry will outline how to find and create depth in flat locations and how to use available lighting to your advantage, even if it’s not ideal. He’ll then give you ideas of how to find use available props and items you might not have considered to add dimension to your shot. Then Barry will discuss the importance of where in the location to place your talent to elevate or destroy your scene. Finally Barry will delve into the best way to choose the right lens for each shot. You'll walk away from this fun webinar knowing how to navigate any small space surprises once you get on set with your equipment.   Praise for Barry's Webinar:   "Very professional and Barry gave good advice" -Carol L.   "Excellent webinar . Many great tips I can definitely use. Thanks!" -Ron H.   "Barry has a bunch of great strategies that I'm totally going to use on my next shot" -Charlie C.   "Super interesting and super practical advice. Thank you!" -Tina R.

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