How to Structure Financing for your Film and Creatively Approach Investors

Hosted by Aimee Schoof

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Aimee Schoof

Webinar hosted by: Aimee Schoof

10 Sundance, 4 Tribeca and 3 SXSW Premieres - Producer at Intrinsic Value Films

Aimee Schoof Co-founded Intrinsic Value Films with Isen Robbins, and have produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, nine 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. The company develops, produces and sells independent lms that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance award, a Sundance Special Grand Jury prize, and being nominated 5 times by Film Independent as producers. They are currently both Sundance and Film Independent Fellows, have worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecture on film finance and production. They have expanded into Television and currently have a slate of scripted and unscripted projects and feature films in all phases of production. Aimee is a partner in comic book publishing company Red Giant Entertainment, developing comic book properties for film and TV.   Select films include: MIGHTY GROUND (Documentary: Random Media) AMERICAN SATAN (Malcolm McDowell, Boo Boo Stewart, Denise Richards: AMC/Weinstein) MARJORIE PRIME (Jon Hamm, Tim Robbins, Geena Davis: Film Rise) EXPERIMENTER (Peter Sarsgaard, Winona Ryder, Jim Gaffigan, John Leguizamo: Magnolia) TRUTH ABOUT LIES (Fran Kranz, Odette Annable: Blue Fox/Level 32) BLUE CAPRICE (Isiaiah Washington, Tim Blake Nelson, Joey Lauren Adams: IFC) RUN (William Moseley, Kelsey Chow, Adrian Pasdar, Eric Roberts: Millennium Entertainment) ALPHABET KILLER (Eliza Dushku, Cary Elwes, Timothy Hutton: Starz/Anchor Bay) DEATH OF A DYNASTY (Kevin Hart, Rashida Jones, Chloe Sevigny: TLA Releasing) XX/XY (Mark Ruffalo, Kathleen Robertson: IFC) SKEPTIC (Zoe Saldana, Tom Arnold, Tim Daly: IFC) BROTHER TO BROTHER (Anthony Mackie, Daniel Sunjata, Aunjanue Ellis: Wolfe Releasing) Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

It can be the bane of a filmmaker’s existence, but there’s no denying that financing is a critical step in getting that movie made. After all, not even the greatest script can get produced without the money and resources to back it up. But this is never a straightforward endeavor. Securing the funding for your film is almost without question a fraught, complicated ordeal. It can be enough to drive the most optimistic filmmaker away, but if done smartly and successfully, financing can give you the resources you need to not only see your vision through, but perhaps even to elevate it, to gather opportunities and talent to raise your project’s profile and find further success.

Finding and dealing with financing for a film can feel like a Sisyphean task, a hunt for treasure without any map to help. After all, we’re not just talking about finding people with deep pockets who believe in your vision (though that definitely helps); you also need to be well versed in tax structure and incentives, legal codes, equity models, sales projections, crafting a pitch to investors—all things you likely didn’t learn along the way or through the process of writing that script. Yet as overwhelming and insurmountable as it seems, there’s always a way through, and there are strategies and skills you can pick up as a producer or filmmaker to find the money and navigate the politics and nuances of this difficult landscape.

Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and has produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, nine 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. Aimee’s extensive experience has made her an expert in the art of film financing, and she has developed a slew of skills and lessons learned to more successfully find and manage funding for independent projects, skill and lessons that she’s excited to share with you.

Aimee will give you a comprehensive look at how to finance your independent film and the tips and strategies to have in your arsenal to make sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity available. Aimee will start by discussing how equity models are structured and the benefits that come with starting your own LLC. She will then delve into the legal components of a standard investment deal, including being clear with who owns the rights to the film and how those rights are distributed and paid for. Then, Aimee will go into navigating foreign sales and domestic sales within this quickly changing landscape and how you may be able to find the right sales partner that can give you an advance to make the movie. Aimee will teach you everything you need to know about tax incentives and how best to take advantage of them and earn back what is essentially free money. Next, Aimee will discuss the benefits of crowdfunding and the strategies and tips she has employed in the past to create a successful campaign. She will talk about the rise of the digital streamers and how to target these platforms for possible funding. Aimee will then delve into the art of finding and approaching potential investors, including the research you need to do and how best to pitch them your project. Aimee will even share one of her own pitch decks to illustrate how to craft the perfect pitch deck. She will teach you ways to think outside-the-box and find non-traditional investors or partners that you might not have otherwise encountered. Finally Aimee will teach you strategies to better network, including finding way to get to people you don’t personally know and how to use film festivals and film markets to your advantage. Be prepared to leave this webinar with an expansive and comprehensive view of film funding and the tools you need to get your next project financed.

 

Like what you heard from Aimee during this webinar?
Send her your script and speak with her for an hour by clicking here.

 

Praise for Aimee’s Webinar:

 

Clear and efficient!

-Dirk B.

 

I've watched several webinars on film financing and this has been by far my favorite. Thank you for the practical, straightforward advice, and for presenting the info in a way that is not too overwhelming to take in.

-Rose M.

 

Grounded and Practical

-Jennifer S.

 

This webinar was jam packed with so many useful and accessible strategies I can start using today. Thank you!

-Brian D.

What You'll Learn

 

  • How to Structure an Equity Model
    • To LLC or Not to LLC?
      • Finding partners for your company
    • Legal Components of a Standard Investment Deal
    • Who Owns Your Film?
      • How film rights are created
      • How rights are distributed and paid for
    • Foreign Sales vs. Domestic Sales
      • How this is changing in today’s climate
      • Angling for an advance from sales companies
    • The Importance of Tax Incentives
      • Pros and cons
      • The main things to look out for when working with incentives
    • Crowdfunding
      • When crowdfunding is worth it and when it’s not
      • Tips and strategies to have a successful crowdfunding campaign
      • Unexpected additional benefits that come with crowdfunding
    • Digital Streamers
      • The benefits that come with the growing streaming landscape
      • Strategies to get noticed by your dream streaming platform
  • How to Find and Approach Potential Investors
    • Crafting the Perfect Pitch Deck
      • What should you always include
      • What you should never include
      • Case study of a real pitch deck
    • Using Outside-the-Box Thinking
      • Who can you approach outside of traditional financiers?
      • Places to find newer or more unconventional partners
    • The Art and Importance of Networking
      • Strategies to get to people you don’t know
      • Using film festivals and markets to your advantage
  • Q&A with Aimee

About Your Instructor

Aimee Schoof Co-founded Intrinsic Value Films with Isen Robbins, and have produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, nine 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. The company develops, produces and sells independent lms that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance award, a Sundance Special Grand Jury prize, and being nominated 5 times by Film Independent as producers. They are currently both Sundance and Film Independent Fellows, have worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecture on film finance and production. They have expanded into Television and currently have a slate of scripted and unscripted projects and feature films in all phases of production. Aimee is a partner in comic book publishing company Red Giant Entertainment, developing comic book properties for film and TV.
 
Select films include: MIGHTY GROUND (Documentary: Random Media) AMERICAN SATAN (Malcolm McDowell, Boo Boo Stewart, Denise Richards: AMC/Weinstein) MARJORIE PRIME (Jon Hamm, Tim Robbins, Geena Davis: Film Rise) EXPERIMENTER (Peter Sarsgaard, Winona Ryder, Jim Gaffigan, John Leguizamo: Magnolia) TRUTH ABOUT LIES (Fran Kranz, Odette Annable: Blue Fox/Level 32) BLUE CAPRICE (Isiaiah Washington, Tim Blake Nelson, Joey Lauren Adams: IFC) RUN (William Moseley, Kelsey Chow, Adrian Pasdar, Eric Roberts: Millennium Entertainment) ALPHABET KILLER (Eliza Dushku, Cary Elwes, Timothy Hutton: Starz/Anchor Bay) DEATH OF A DYNASTY (Kevin Hart, Rashida Jones, Chloe Sevigny: TLA Releasing) XX/XY (Mark Ruffalo, Kathleen Robertson: IFC) SKEPTIC (Zoe Saldana, Tom Arnold, Tim Daly: IFC) BROTHER TO BROTHER (Anthony Mackie, Daniel Sunjata, Aunjanue Ellis: Wolfe Releasing)

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.

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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!

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Other education that may be of interest to you:

Which Film Festival is Right for My Feature or Short Film? How to Navigate the Growing Festival Market

Stop wasting money! Make no mistake, entering film festivals should be part of the overall strategy for just about any independent filmmaker or producer. There is tremendous value in getting in the right film festival, perhaps more than ever before. So how do you not only identify the best festivals for your film, but assure you give yourself the best chance of being selected? Get the answers from a producer of over 35 independent films and a veteran of the festival circuit.   With so many film festivals popping up year over year and many of the major festivals turning to higher profile projects, navigating which festivals to spend your dollars on can be daunting. Unfortunately, many filmmakers and producers today are overspending on festival submissions (or entering as many as possible) so they can say they've made it into something. This is an approach that can not only leave you light in the wallet, but can also put your film, the one you spent so much time and effort into, in a position to be branded incorrectly and actually hurting its chances of success.   Aimee Schoof has produced over 35 films, many of which have played at some of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. But many others have played at festivals that may not have the marquee names, but proved correct for the content. By using this approach, Aimee and her producing partner have scored lucrative deals and distribution opportunities.   If you've seen Aimee's other Stage 32 webinars, you know she brings energy and knowledge to spare. She will teach you everything you need to know about where to submit, but also approaches on how to give your film the best chance of standing out from the crowd. She will also demystify and destroy some of the "false truths" that have become part of submitting for festivals (YES, you can submit a rough cut!) She'll tackle how to get press, how to run your social media, how to get your team involved, and much more, all in the name of getting your film seen and, ultimately, the attention it deserves.   This is a blueprint that will have you saving money, making it into more festivals, and smiling from ear to ear while walking the red carpet.     Like what you heard from Aimee during this webinar? Send her your script and speak with her for an hour by clicking here.          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.

How To Be a Power Producer In Today's Market

The director and actors may get the lion’s share of the credit, and the writer might be the one who thought up the story in the first place, but it’s the producer who actually puts a film together and who turns ideas into reality, all the way from conception through distribution and beyond. The role of a producer can be enigmatic, though. It’s not as straightforward of a job as, say, an actor or a DP, and with so many different types of producers (Line producer? Associate producer? Executive producer? Co-Executive Producer?) it’s a hard concept for people to wrap their heads around. But if you’re interested in being a producer yourself and in leading the charge in creating great content that people want to watch, it’s important you better understand the role and find ways you can separate yourself from the pack and excel. There are a lot of producers out there, a lot of people working to create content. 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She’ll then discuss the best practices for networking to build your connections, including how to work film festivals and markets to meet new and exciting potential partners or friends. Next, Aimee will delve into how best to source IP as opposed to working with original stories. She’ll go over the balance between holding your relationships close and expanding your network and how a good producer budgets their time when working on multiple projects. Aimee will also give you tips on how you can produce a science fiction film, even on a budget. Then, Aimee will give an honest and realistic breakdown of what a film’s timeline actually looks like—how long it actually takes to make a film and how you can stay motivated along the way. Aimee will use examples and case studies from her own past films, including projects made from existing IP, to further break down the role of a producer.   Like what you heard from Aimee during this webinar? Send your script to Aimee and speak with her for an hour by clicking here.     Praise for Aimee’s Webinar   “I loved this! Aimee knows so much about the subject. I really learned a lot” -Cheryl B.   “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.   “This was great! Thank you!” -Joanne D.   “I feel ready and inspired to set out on my own and make some great movies after listening to Aimee!” -Hannah W.

Stage 32 Producing Lab: Get Your Feature Film Project Ready to Go to Market

Aimee has added 5 more spots! 2 Spots Remain  In today’s film market independently producing a film is a great way to get your project made. There are thousands of independent films that are developed, made and distributed every year that started from a script. But how? Now, more than ever, the need for a major studio to get your project into production becomes less and less, while more control is put into your own hands. Whether you're a filmmaker, producer, writer or actor, you have the ability to produce and shepherd a film project if you know the right steps to take to get it done. In order to do this, though, you will need to get your project market-ready and make it attractive to co-producers, financiers, actors, directors, distributors and more. Looking professional when going out to the market with a film project is key and separates the professionals from the amateurs. 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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. Aimee’s extensive experience has made her intimately familiar with how to successfully get a project off the ground and build a team to get a script made. In this advanced level and exclusive four-session lab (no more than 10 students will be admitted), Aimee will work directly with you in an intimate class setting to help you make your script marketable and put the pieces together to get the film ready to go. 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Payment plans are available - please contact Amanda at edu@stage32.com for more information   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.   “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.   “I feel ready and inspired to set out on my own and make some great movies after listening to Aimee!” -Hannah W.

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