The Tools You Need To Attach A- List Actors to Your Film (With Offer Letter & Sales Estimate Example)

Hosted by Franco Sama

$39.20 $49
Today's Flash Sale - 20% Off
Sale ends Jan 24 - 11:59 PM PST

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

Rating   | Read reviews

Start Learning

Please make sure you use the same email address as the one you use to sign in to Stage 32, otherwise you won't have access to your webinar.
apply Your coupon will be applied after you agree to terms below.

- or -

$39.20
TOTAL PRICE:
Overlay Icon

Satisfaction Rate:

Franco Sama

Webinar hosted by: Franco Sama

EP of over 20 $1MM-$5MM Films at Samaco Films

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 »

Webinar Summary

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 solving this puzzle and assuring 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 the 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 (hello, Quibi!), 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:

  • Gary Oldman (Oscar Winner, Darkest Hour, Oscar Nominee, Dark Knight)
  • Christine Lahti (Oscar Winner)
  • Christian Slater (Golden Globe Winner)
  • Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs)
  • Chris Klein (American Pie)
  • David Arquette (Scream)
  • Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill)
  • Dane Cook (Comedian)

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. He will teach you 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.


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.

 

"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.

 

 

What You'll Learn

General Truths Regarding Name Actors

  • 6 things to keep in mind when considering name talent for your project
  • How to set reasonable expectations when approaching talent
  • Why do you need a “name” actor?

Understanding the International Marketplace

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Eastern Europe
  • Middle East
  • Asia
  • Latin America
  • Misc.

International Sales Value of Talent - Plus a Sales Estimate Example

  • 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.

  • Letters of Intent vs. Letters of Commitment

Dissecting an Offer

  • We will dissect an example of an actual, physical offer to an “A” list actor

Pay or Play

  • What this actually means and how to negotiate a "pay or play" offer

Deferred Payments 

  • How does this work and will they agree?

Credits as Currency

  • Using credits and credit placement as a negotiating tool.

Back-end Point Deals

  • Spicing up your offer with back-end points – gross or net?

Etiquette and the “Unwritten Rule”

  • Making multiple offers for the same role

Time Limit and Deadlines

  • How to decide when to move on.

Your State of Affairs 

  • What stage of development should you be in before you even consider making an offer to an “A” Lister.

Offering and Negotiating Perks 

  • First class airfare and accommodations, star wagons, etc.

Production Start Date

  • How moving or changing it negatively impacts your offer/project.

Q&A with Franco!

About Your Instructor

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.

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 audio recording, which you can view as many times as you'd like for a whole year! 

Testimonials

"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.

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

  • Fantastic, Franco! This was so chock-a-block full of step by step information. Thank you for your openness.
  • Tons of great tips in this webinar. Best webinar I've seen so far. I saw Franco present something similar at a Pitch Fest and he really knows his stuff.
  • Excellent information. Clearly explains multiple ways to get A-list talent in your project. Thank You!
  • Fantastic. Nuts and Bolts practical information that cuts through all the nonsense and explains how to actually MAKE your movie. Well done, sir!
  • Liked it a lot. some bleeding from his other webinars, but still good.
  • Great information. Time to assemble 'The Team' and get things rolling!! Thanks Franco.
  • Very comprehensive information. He tells it like it is, not necessarily how you want it to be.
  • This was the ABSOLUTE BEST webinar I've taken yet from Stage 32! Franco is AMAZING, so easy to understand, and he covers a TON of other, highly valuable information in addition to what's listed as the title. Take this class if you have the chance or stream it NOW!

Other education that may be of interest to you:

The Art of Self-Distribution: The Domestic Limited Theatrical Release

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.

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.

How to Finance & Produce an Independent Film Between $250K-$2M

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? It can 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 it 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.  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, how your investors can get that money back with profits. 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!  

How To Package To Help Your Film's Distribution

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!   

The 5 Secrets to Financing Your Next Indie Film

Learn directly from Anne Marie Gillen, who has over 20 years of experience with independent film financing and has raised over $100M worldwide! There is no getting around it. If you want to make your own project, if you want to control your own career, you will need financing. In order to secure that financing you will need the necessary tools, language and know-how. Equity is King – and finding and closing it is the key component to funding every project no matter what the budget! This webinar will address 5 key strategies regarding financing that most filmmakers do not know. Are you stressed & overwhelmed with the thought of finding money for your film? Do you know how to talk the language of an equity investor? Entertainment is a high risk investment. Do you know how to mitigate that risk to get investors to a "Yes!"

Taking the Steps to a Full Time Career in Screenwriting

It’s the dream of many to have a career as a writer for TV or film, to be able to make a living creating worlds and telling stories. However finding success as a writer is rarely easy, no matter how talented you are. Once you’re able to get your script into the hands of someone who can do something real with it, your script can speak for itself. But until then, you have to strive to get your work read and make sure it stands out from the others. This can be very tough. Without a professional, targeted approach, you could have the talent and the drive for a successful and sustained career as a writer but never get the opportunity. The truth is there’s a lot more that goes into being a full-time writer than just writing, and every successful writer working today has learned how to balance the craft with the business. And while each writer’s path to success is unique, it almost always involves building your toolkit, finding the right representation, getting noticed, and networking. These elements do not come easy and are not always self-explanatory. If you’re a writer that’s serious about building a career in this field, it’s crucial to learn how writers have achieved their goals in the past and how you can use the tools at your disposal to pave your own path to success. Ashley Berns is a long-time literary manager who worked at respected management company Circle of Confusion for 15 years before opening his own company, Leigh Hill Management. Over his career Ashley has represented writers and directors including Tony Jaswinski (THE SHALLOWS), Olly Blackburn (DONKEY PUNCH) two time Academy Award nominee Lucy Walker (WASTE LAND), Nicholl Fellowship winners Alisha Brophy & Scott Miles (WHITE GIRL PROBLEMS), and BAFTA winner Tinge Krishnan. Ashley also serves as executive producer for the Showtime comedy series WORK IN PROGRESS. Over his career, Ashley has worked with a slew of talented writer and helped them find success and build their creative career, and will share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Over the course of four sessions, Ashley will dive deep into the steps you should be taking to build your writing career and the strategies, tips, and advice you can use to find your place in the industry. He will work directly with you in a class setting, focusing on four major aspects of a writer’s career—building your toolkit, finding representation, getting your work and yourself noticed, and networking. Along the way he'll offer exclusive and helpful downloads and resources that you can take with you to your own projects. If you are a screenwriter with the hopes of writing full time but aren't sure where to start, start here!   WHAT TO EXPECT **Ashley will be available on email during the 4 class sessions to answer any questions you have** This class is designed for beginner and intermediate students looking to learn the ins and outs of screenwriting as a career 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 Ashley will be walking you through various elements of building a career in screenwriting, you will have the opportunity to ask him 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 class schedule, see below under "What You Will Learn".

register for stage 32 Register / Log In