Developing a True Story Into a Film - How to Acquire IP & Develop, Write, Produce and Distribute the Project

Hosted by Animus Films (The Catcher Was a Spy, The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Words)

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Jim Young

Webinar hosted by: Animus Films (The Catcher Was a Spy, The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Words)

Owner/Producer at Animus Films

Producer Jim Young’s first production was the award-winning football documentary “Year of the Bull” for Showtime Networks. On the film side, Young produced the thriller, “Homecoming.” Paramount Pictures released the film. Young then produced the dark comedy, “Don McKay,” starring Academy Awardnominees Thomas Haden Church and Elisabeth Shue, and Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released theatrically by Image Entertainment. Young’s next film, "The Words,” starring Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, JK Simmons, and Zoë Saldana was the Closing Night Film at the Sundance Film Festival. CBS Films released the film. “Lovelace,” starring an all-star cast including Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, and James Franco, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and subsequently screened at Berlinale. Academy Award-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman directed the drama. The film was distributed by The Weinstein Company. Young then produced the film, “Life of a King,” which starred Cuba Gooding, Jr., Dennis Haysbert, and LisaGay Hamilton. The drama is based on the true story of Eugene Brown, founder of the Big Chair Chess House in Washington, DC. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was released theatrically by Millennium Entertainment. The film received an NAACP Image Award nomination. Young produced the historical drama “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, and Stephen Fry, based on the New York Times’ bestseller of the same name by Robert Kanigel. The film was part of Film Independent’s Producer’s Lab and received a grant from the Tribeca Film Institute and the Sloan Foundation. The film premiered in the Toronto Film Festival and was released by IFC Films.   Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

With all the recent success for true story dramas including Harriet, Bombshell, Judy, Ford v. Ferrari, The Irishman (among many others), it’s an exciting time in the marketplace for non-fiction. If you have found a story that truly inspires you and know it will make a great film, sometimes it’s hard to know where to start to make that happen.

The easy part is finding the right story, the hard part is knowing what to do with it. Whether it’s a book, a newspaper or magazine article, a documentary subject, or even if it’s the story of someone you’ve met or are related to, understanding how to get the rights and put the project into motion is paramount. To cover all your bases from the legal aspects to development to filming to distribution, you need someone who has been in the trenches time and time again. And we've got just the person, one of the most experienced independent film producers working today, to help you make sense of it all.

Jim Young of Animus Films has created a successful career working in the true story space with films such as The Catcher Was a Spy (Paul Rudd) based off of the life of Moe Berg, Life of a King (Cuba Gooding Jr.) based off of the life of Eugene Brown, The Man Who Knew Infinity (Dev Patel) based off of the life of Srinivasa Ramanujan, Lovelace (Amanda Siefried) based off of the life of Linda Lovelace and the upcoming The People vs. Vegas Dave based off of controversial gambler Vegas Dave. Jim is a leading independent non-fiction producer, with almost two dozen films under his belt. And now he's bringing his extensive knowledge exclusively to the Stage 32 community.

Jim will take you through the steps of acquiring the rights to a particular article, book or other printed material about, or the life rights of, a given person (or persons). From there he will cover writing and developing the script, getting buttoned up legally to avoid pitfalls in the pre-production and production phases, and help you navigate the process of releasing and distributing the film. He will provide real life case studies using some of his own films as examples to help you gain real world experience and make the process painless.

 

"Jim was an excellent educator. He really broke down the process of getting life rights in an easy to understand way and opened my eyes to some huge pitfalls I need to avoid along the way. Great examples from someone who's actually doing it right now, which is important. Thanks Jim!"

-Jonathan R.

What You'll Learn

  • Finding a Story Worth Telling
  • How to Acquire Life Rights  
  • How to Acquire Book or Article Rights
  • Tips During the Script Development Phase
  • Clearance and Legal Steps - How to Get Buttoned Up Legally
  • Things to Accomplish During the Pre-Production Phase
  • Production Phase Ideas
  • Steps to Accomplish before Releasing the Film
  • Critical Elements to Have in Place for Distribution (an essential list to have!)
  • In-depth Q&A session with Jim Young

About Your Instructor

Producer Jim Young’s first production was the award-winning football documentary “Year of the Bull” for Showtime Networks.

On the film side, Young produced the thriller, “Homecoming.” Paramount Pictures released the film. Young then produced the dark comedy, “Don McKay,” starring Academy Awardnominees Thomas Haden Church and Elisabeth Shue, and Academy Award-winner Melissa Leo. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was released theatrically by Image Entertainment.

Young’s next film, "The Words,” starring Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, JK Simmons, and Zoë Saldana was the Closing Night Film at the Sundance Film Festival. CBS Films released the film.

“Lovelace,” starring an all-star cast including Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, and James Franco, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and subsequently screened at Berlinale. Academy Award-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman directed the drama. The film was distributed by The Weinstein Company.

Young then produced the film, “Life of a King,” which starred Cuba Gooding, Jr., Dennis Haysbert, and LisaGay Hamilton. The drama is based on the true story of Eugene Brown, founder of the Big Chair Chess House in Washington, DC. The film premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival and was released theatrically by Millennium Entertainment. The film received an NAACP Image Award nomination.

Young produced the historical drama “The Man Who Knew Infinity,” starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, and Stephen Fry, based on the New York Times’ bestseller of the same name by Robert Kanigel. The film was part of Film Independent’s Producer’s Lab and received a grant from the Tribeca Film Institute and the Sloan Foundation. The film premiered in the Toronto Film Festival and was released by IFC Films.

 

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