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 recently, “Guns, Girls and Gambling” starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook which is quickly becoming a cult favorite; this film was released into theatres on December of 2012 and, in January 2013, acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures. Other films Sama has produced include; “Black Limousine” starring David Arquette, Vivica 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. Sama also serves as Executive Producer on the recent film festival darling “Petunia” starring Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti. Sama has spent the first quarter of 2014 traveling back and forth to Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies working closely with government officials, film entrepreneurs and Question Mark Entertainment in an effort to help revitalize the film industry in that country. Sama is currently seeking a script that can be shot in Trinidad for $1M (USD). His shingle “Samaco Films” is currently funding a slate of several independent feature films, including "Bless Me Father" starring John Turturro, Michael Rapaport and Michael Rispoli as well as a moving military drama titled "Through My Daughter's Eyes" being directed by Dallas Burgess, starring ingénue Avi Lake as well as "Jarhead" and the "The Island" veteran actor Martin Papazian. Samaco Films releases two films in 2015, the first, "The Livingston Gardner" stars James Kyson the beloved "Ando" from the NBC television hit series "Heroes" 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 world wide. And the company's latest film "Game of Aces" directed by Aussie director, Damien Lay and starring former "American Pie" star Chris Klein alongside Victoria Summer (Transformers: Age of Distinction") and Werner Daehn ("Valkyrie", xXx) is scheduled to hit theaters early this summer. Full Bio »
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.
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.
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, The Tools You Need To Attach “A” List Actors to Your Film, Franco will outline specific steps and strategies that will ensure that the “A” Lister’s will at least read your script giving you an advantage over everyone else trying to secure talent but cannot. In this 90-minute online webinar you will learn specific tools you need - from LOIs to LOCs, Pay or Play, Deferred Payments, Back-End Point Deals, Credit Currency (and so much more!) in order to give your project the chance it deserves in A-list talent's hands. You will also learn negotiating perks that will help you stand out from the pack of scripts the talent may be considering.
Some of the actors Franco has had in his films include:
Your host, Franco Sama is a financing and producing expert who has produced over 25 profitable independent films ranging from micro-budget to $5M. Franco is bringing his years of experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community to help you get closer to understanding how you can attach A-List talent to your project.
To read more click "What You'll Learn" on the tab above!
Recorded Q&A with Franco!
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 audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year!
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!
As a veteran Independent Feature Filmmaker and Executive Producer, one of the questions that I get asked most is “How do I break the CATCH 22 of needing top talent to attract money and needing money to attract top talent? The answer to which is simple, but not easy. Aside from the obvious (making an awesome movie) the single most important objective for any first or second time filmmaker must be to ensure that investors receive, at a minimum, a fair return on their investment and at most, significant profits. Although there is no way any investment can be considered to be “safe”, the most effective and likely path includes casting “name” talent in your film; a task that is clearly much easier said than done. Casting name talent not only helps attract financing but it also increases the probability that your film will acquire distribution and will thus become profitable. After nearly two decades of experience in film finance, distribution and packaging, I have learned a few tricks to help “Crack the Code” which I will share with you in this Stage 32 Webinar.
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.
Learn directly from Franco Sama, 15-year expert of film financing and distribution, specifically in the $250K-$2M range, 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)! For many independent producers, approaching financing for your project is 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 & distributors all while mitigating your financial risk? The goal is to make your project financially attractive to investors. There is a “sweet spot” film budget that is most likely going to help you raise funds and get the ROI your investors require. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, producer and financing expert Franco Sama will teach you 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 how your investors can get that money back. You will learn how to build a team around your project and who is crucial for that team, how to approach investors and above all how to protect your investor’s money. Drawing from his 15-years 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. You will leave this webinar with a clear understanding of how to produce and finance your project!
Learn directly from Jake Detharidge, Head of Development and Production at 3311 Productions (In A World... starring Lake Bell, Eva Longoria and Big Sur starring Kate Bosworth) In times of financial crisis, people will still go and see movies - it will always be an affordable luxury. Most scholars and critics will say the golden age of the studios was in the late 20’s through early 30’s, some say it was post WW2 through the 50’s…but the real ‘Golden Age’ was circa 1998 – 2008. Studios were spending at an all-time high and had a strangle hold on domestic theatrical distribution. Meaning: you either made a movie through a studio, or your movie wasn’t ever seeing the light of day in the states. There were the few small (literally, small) exceptions, but for the most part it was working with a Big Major - or nothing. Now, however, we’re in this new frontier of feature films. There are literally dozens upon dozens of film financiers and sales agents all over the world with more money looking to invest in film than there are actual, legitimate film projects to be made. With more financiers then ever before, how do you navigate the roaring waters of getting your ‘independent’ movie made? What are the budget levels you should realistically be considering, and how does that directly relate to the finished product that you hope to achieve? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Jake Detharidge will go into detail describing the current market place of independent film financing, how it is shifting, and how to apply that to your specific project. You will learn how and why independent financing, investing, packaging and distribution are the future of feature films in the US, and the world.
It’s no secret that many creatives are looking to take the necessary steps to work on a TV show or break into a writers' room. Stage 32 and Jon Stahl, HBO’s Emmy-Award Winning Veep script coordinator, have the answers to help you find your way. We're taking you inside the room of one of the top comedy shows on television today (Veep) to learn what it's like to break in and expectations once you get there. Your host Jon Stahl spent the last decade working in television, with the last third of it in comedy. Working alongside the writers of television’s best comedy, Jon not only knows what it takes to write great comedy, but also what is needed to take a seat at the table with the rest of them.