Independent feature film producer Franco Sama boasts a remarkable and extensive history in public speaking, public relations and a decade of independent film development, production and financing.Sama has Executive Produced an impressive array of over twenty (20) independent feature films including most notably, "Guns, Girls and Gambling" starring Academy Award Winner Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook which is quickly becoming a cult favorite; this film was released into theaters and acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures.Other films Sama has produced include; "Black Limousine" starring David Arquette and Vivica Fox, "Tooth and Nail" starring Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, "Paid," starring Corbin Bernsen and Tom Conti and "The Penitent Man," starring "The Terminator's" Lance Henriksen. Sama also serves as Executive Producer on the film festival darling "Petunia" starring Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award Winner Christine Lahti.Samaco Films released "The Livingston Gardner" stars James Kyson the beloved "Ando" from the NBC television hit series "HEROS" and the second, "3 Days in Havana" starring Ally McBeal alum, Gil Bellows; both of which have been released through Samaco Films' sister company, Synergetic Distribution and have been released via all digital and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms worldwide.The company also released two films, the first of which is the highly-lauded WWI action thriller titled "Game of Aces" starring heartthrob and former "American Pie" star Chris Klein alongside "Transformers" Victoria Summer (Transformers: Age of Distinction") and Werner Daehn.His shingle "Samaco Films" is financing and producing a slate of several independent feature films, including 3 psychological thrillers "Stockholm", Séance, and "Alexis Colette", as well as a poignant heart-warming tear jerker titled "Take My Wife, Please." Most recently Sama has become the newest member of the Board of Directors for the Non-Profit organization "New Filmmakers, L.A." where he serves on the "Best of Awards" show committee. Full Bio »
Hosted by a Producer Who Has Made Over 25 Successful Feature Films With Name Talent!
PLUS! Franco will give you an example Offer Letter and Sales Estimate you can use on your next project!
Anyone who has ever tried to produce and cast a feature film is aware of the quagmire that attaching “A” List level talent represents. On one hand, you need the star power of a “name” actor in order to acquire funding and on the other hand you need the money in order to acquire the name talent. It's enough to drive even the most seasoned filmmakers crazy. Don't worry, there are proven strategies to help you solve this puzzle and assure that your project is top of mind for managers, agents, and their talent.
The reason why so many first and second time producers, writers and directors find themselves in this situation is simple. In most cases, they are attempting to approach “A” List celebrity talent to their film much too soon with the hopes of using that “name” to attract investors; a strategy that rarely works. The reality of the situation is that "A" List talent and their representatives get dozens of offers a month. And with more and more name actors working in television, streaming series, limited series and now even digital series, the competition is even higher. But you CAN compete and still attach "A" List talent to your project even if you don't have all your funds raised.
Franco Sama has produced over 25 profitable independent films ranging from micro-budget to films up to $5MM. Franco is considered a pioneer in the world of film financing and casting. He speaks all over the world on the subject and has mentored thousands of filmmakers and producers on how to attach the best talent to their independent features.
Just some of the actors Franco has cast in his films include:
Franco has also been a consulting producer on many films with many more in active development. Many top producers in the game turn to Franco to get their films off the ground. And now he's bringing his over 2 decades of knowledge exclusively to the Stage 32 community.
Franco will teach you everything you need to know about attaching top talent to your film including a bullet proof method for ensuring that managers and agents not only put your script in the hands of "A" List talent, but that they read the material! He will show you how to make sure your script is attractive to "A" List talent and how to turn a Letter of Intent into a Letter of Commitment. He will instruct you as to the proper timing to make your offer, so you assure that everything is in order and that you're in a position to answer all questions. He will dissect a physical offer so you know exactly what you should be presenting. He will discuss pay and play offers, deferred payments, using credits as currency and back end point deals and how you can identify which of these offers and strategies to deploy. He will go over proper etiquette and how to make sure everyone is happy so that you win the trust of the gatekeepers assuring you can return to the same managers and agents again and again.
PLUS! Franco will provide you with exclusive handouts to help on your next project. Downloads include:
Franco will take away the fear, anxiety, and, most of all, doubt, that comes with the desire to attach name talent to your project. You will learn all the proper strategies and methods to assure success in your casting process.
PRAISE FOR FRANCO'S TEACHINGS:
"I had the pleasure of seeing Franco speak live at one of Stage 32's live education events. He was so inspiring, so confident and so willing to help, this webinar became an instant signup. Even with my high expectations, I was floored by the wealth of information and the explanation of the strategies within. My fear, and let's face it, my insecurity of approaching talent was crippling. Not any more. I've put in 2 offers on 2 different features this morning and I'm already lining up my next move. Can't wait for the next one, Franco! And thank you, Stage 32!" -- Pamela R.
"One word - Invaluable." -- Larry S.
"This was a stunning presentation. One of the best yet." -- Antonio H.
"I have seen the light and I am ready to make offers. Try and stop me." -- Lydia W.
"Empowering. I'm going to watch it a 2nd and 3rd time just to make sure I got it all down. Then, I'm working the phones. Great job, Franco and Stage 32." -- Reese K.
General Truths Regarding Name Actors
Understanding the International Marketplace
International Sales Value of Talent - Plus a Sales Estimate Example
Old Way vs. New Way of Putting Together a Film and Offers
Making the Offer
A bullet proof method for ensuring that the agent/manager puts your script into the hands of the “A” Lister and that they READ IT!
How to make it, when to make it and under what conditions.
Dissecting an Offer
Pay or Play
Credits as Currency
Back-end Point Deals
Etiquette and the “Unwritten Rule”
Time Limit and Deadlines
Your State of Affairs
Offering and Negotiating Perks
Production Start Date
Q&A with Franco!
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"I had the pleasure of seeing Franco speak live at one of Stage 32's live education events. He was so inspiring, so confident and so willing to help, this webinar became an instant signup. Even with my high expectations, I was floored by the wealth of information and the explanation of the strategies within. My fear, and let's face it, my insecurity of approaching talent was crippling. Not any more. I've put in 2 offers on 2 different features this morning and I'm already lining up my next move. Can't wait for the next one, Franco! And thank you, Stage 32!"
- Pamela R.
"One word - Invaluable."
- Larry S.
"This was a stunning presentation. One of the best yet."
- Antonio H.
"I have seen the light and I am ready to make offers. Try and stop me."
- Lydia W.
"Empowering. I'm going to watch it a 2nd and 3rd time just to make sure I got it all down. Then, I'm working the phones. Great job, Franco and Stage 32."
- Reese K.
Learn directly from Franco Sama, 15-year expert of film financing and distribution with 25+ successful independent feature films to his name, including Guns, Girls and Gambling (Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook) and Petunia (Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti)! As a filmmaker you may find yourself at the mercy of distributors and the existing archaic, chaotic convoluted distribution system(s) that ultimately ends up costing the you profits and, more importantly, creative and financial control of your project. With many new options becoming available for your project to be seen, self-distribution is becoming an increasingly beneficial option. In this webinar we go over the self-distribution model of limited theatrical and limited platform release. We've brought in 15-year financing and producing expert Franco Sama to draw on his experience with over 25 successful indie films in which he has secured distribution. Franco will teach you step-by-step how to release your film in multiple theaters across multiple cities throughout the Unites States. Plus, he will take it a step further and show you exactly how to incorporate the release into your business plan as part of your development process so you can benefit your investors and increase your film’s international value. You will leave this webinar armed with knowledge and ready to self-distribute your film via limited theatrical or platform release. PRAISE FOR FRANCO'S TEACHINGS: “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 webinar gave me a TON of information and things to consider as we move forward with our first feature project. Thank you Stage32 for providing these excellent training opportunities.” – LeAnn M. “Franco was very informative. I've already produced a ton of stuff but have been challenged by the distribution side (although my 1st feature HAS finally gotten distribution!). He gave me some great nuggets of information. I would definitely take another webinar with him.” – Stephanie B. “I thought that this seminar presented a wealth of useful information in a short period of time.” – Glen P. “The material provided is informative and appreciated!” – Andry P.
For many independent film producers and filmmakers, approaching financiers and securing financing for your project presents one of the biggest challenges in the entire filmmaking process. How do you build your team, bring in development funds, attach name talent and work with rebates, sales estimates & distribution to attract financing all while compiling a plan to mitigate your financial risk? This can all be overwhelming for a producer, especially given the ever changing landscape and the increasingly competitive nature of independent film. Your goal as a filmmaker or producer is to make your project more financially attractive to investors over everyone else presenting projects to them. What many filmmakers and producers don't know is that there's a "sweet spot" in a film budget range that will help you raise funds successfully and get the ROI your investors are looking for. Setting the budget for your feature film at between $250,000 and $2 million opens up a variety of options for you to be able to attach the talent you're looking for, the distribution you need and make your investors money. But first, you have to understand the financial blueprint to get you there. Franco Sama has produced 25+ successful independent feature films between $250,000 - $2MM. He has worked with Oscar winner Christine Lahti, Dane Cook, Christian Slater, Gary Oldman, David Arquette, Brittany Snow, Vivica Fox, Michael Madsen and many more. He's worked with first time directors and experienced directors and has seen all scenarios when it comes to putting together financing for films. Franco knows first hand every step of the financial model needed to make a movie profitable and he's bringing this knowledge exclusively to the Stage 32 community. In this webinar, you will learn how to approach your film from the investor’s point of view so you can not only get the money you need for your project but, most importantly, make a profit on your film so your investor gets their money back. You will learn how to build a team around your project that will not only make investing more attractive, but also assure you don't make mistakes when you go after funding. You'll learn the type of funding that is available to you and how to approach the investors attracted to and interested in each type of financing. You'll dissect how to get agents on your side to attach talent to your project and how to work with attorneys. You'll also learn the most effective distribution options for this type of film budget. Drawing from his nearly two decades of experience, Franco will teach you how he gets his dozens of projects financed, distributed and turning a profit, and why he stays in the “sweet spot” range between $250K-$2M. Give yourself the competitive advantage to understand the types of investors you need to approach, how to approach them, how to get talent attached, and, ultimately, how to get your film made, distributed, and profitable so your investors return again and again! PRAISE FOR FRANCO'S TEACHINGS: “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 webinar gave me a TON of information and things to consider as we move forward with our first feature project. Thank you Stage32 for providing these excellent training opportunities.” – LeAnn M. “Franco was very informative. I've already produced a ton of stuff but have been challenged by the distribution side (although my 1st feature HAS finally gotten distribution!). He gave me some great nuggets of information. I would definitely take another webinar with him.” – Stephanie B. “I thought that this seminar presented a wealth of useful information in a short period of time.” – Glen P. “The material provided is informative and appreciated!” – Andry P.
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.
In today's global climate filmmakers need to consider their options for distribution, which ultimately begins at the development phase. While your project is in development, packaging the right talent (actor, director, casting director, etc.) play a huge part in the pre-sales process, and ultimately have a hand in the successful distribution of your project. Distribution changes constantly and there are not many people who have their finger on the pulse like Executive Producer Franco Sama from Samaco Films. Franco has EP'd an impressive array of over twenty (20) independent feature films ranging in the "sweet spot" $5MM and under range, generally releasing 2-3 films each year. We've brought Franco in to teach this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar on Packaging & Pre-Sales For Film Distribution. In this information packed webinar Franco will go over the entire development process from how to attract A-list talent and the offers they require, how to acquire "must have" international sales estimates, working with vertically integrated distribution companies, breaking down distribution options and much more. This is a go to guide to package with an eye towards distribution!
Have you ever wondered what the people you want to invest in your projects are thinking? Wouldn’t it be great if you could be in the room for the conversations and debates that lead to a project getting the money needed for production? This is your chance to find out. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, the co-founders of the film finance company Creativity Capital will answer the most commonly asked questions from producers and filmmakers just like you while sharing exactly what investors are thinking when they’re choosing projects. Creativity Capital co-founders Patrick Fischer and Richard Kondal have spent the last seven years financing films for Netflix, BBC Films, Universal Pictures, and many more. They specialize in financing solutions for global content productions. Patrick is a film producer and creative entrepreneur who has executive produced over 40 films, including the BAFTA-winning UNDER THE SHADOW and the acclaimed documentary feature MCQUEEN. Richard is a film producer, passionate entrepreneur, and post-production veteran. He has spent the past decade working in the film industry with well-known directors such as Mike Figgis, Stephen Frears, and Michael Winterbottom. In addition to answering your most pressing questions, Patrick and Richard will discuss how to structure your finance plan, how to approach investors, and how to close the deal. You will have an insider’s look at what goes into choosing which movies get financing and why exclusively from this webinar. Don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to see how you can set your own project up for investment success!
Learn The Fundamentals Of Being A Successful Independent Producer From A Leading Indie Producer Whose Worked With Paul Rudd, Cuba Gooding Jr., Dev Patel, Amanda Seyfriend, Zoe Saldana and Bradley Cooper. Plus! Receive 11 Exclusive Downloads To Help You Succeed As An Independent Producer! There are few jobs you can do that are as rewarding as being an independent producer who take a project to completion. It’s the independent producer who turns a great idea and dream into a reality and a singular product that can be enjoyed by people all over the world. What can be better than essentially creating something out of nothing? From conception and pre-production through distribution and beyond, the producer is with a film from beginning to end, builds the team, and makes the decisions that ultimately make the project a failure or success. You will always encounter problems or surprises that come up during the making of a film and it will invariably fall on the producer to address and figure out a way for the film to carry on. As the producer, it's impossible to fully predict what issues will inevitably arise during production, but having an understanding of the different facets of your job and what it takes for a film to be completed and released is crucial. Before taking the plunge in producing your first film, it's important to know everything you can and get the guidance you need so you can take that first step with your eyes wide open. Jim Young of Animus Films is a leading independent producer in the industry, with almost two dozen films under his belt. Jim has created a successful career producing true-story films such as THE CATCHER WAS A SPY with Paul Rudd, LIFE OF A KING with Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr., THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY with Oscar-nominee Dev Patel, LOVELACE with Oscar-nominee James Franco and Amanda Seyfried, and the upcoming film, THE PEOPLE VS. VEGAS DAVE. Jim has a long history of producing critically acclaimed features and documentaries including YEAR OF THE BULL at Showtime, THE WORDS with Oscar-nominee Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. Through years of successes and challenges, Jim has learned what it takes to be a working full-time producer and is excited to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Over the course this 4-session Stage 32 on-demand class, Jim will dive deep into the roles and responsibilities of an indie film producer and give you the guidance you need to tackle your next (or first) project with confidence and foresight. He will walk you through every step of making a movie, from development to casting and financing to prep and physical production all the way through festivals, distribution and release. Plus! Jim will offer 11 exclusive and helpful documents and resource sheets you can download and take with you for your own projects. Downloads include: Option/Purchase Agreements Sample Budget Foreign Sales Estimates Sample Investor Agreement Sample Shooting Schedule Sample Call Sheet Calendar of Film Festivals Sample Delivery Schedule for a Distributor If you’ve ever been interested in starting a career as an independent producer and making the types of films you’ve always been passionate about, Jim will give you the tools and tips you’ll need to make that actually happen. Praise for Jim's Stage 32 Education: "Jim opened up new avenues that I didn't realize existed. He was a great presenter and shared his own experience with relevant info. It was really motivating." -Ricki L. "Tons of new information. Thanks!" -Jacqueline L.