How To Attach Top Talent To Your Independent Film

Hosted by Tatiana Kelly and Jim Young

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Tatiana Kelly and Jim Young

Webinar hosted by: Tatiana Kelly and Jim Young

Award Winning Independent Producers (Wristcutters: A Love Story, Lovelace, The Words)

Tatiana Kelly is the owner of Serena Films, while Jim Young is an independent producer and the president of Animus Films. Tatiana and Jim boast over a dozen successful indie films which they have produced. Examples of their work include Independent Spirit, Sundance, and Gotham Award nominated Wristcutters: A Love Story; Lovelace (Amanda Seyfreid and James Franco) and The Words (Oscar nominated JK Simmons, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Olivia Wilde) which both premiered at Sundance; Life of a King (Cuba Gooding Jr.) which premiered at the LA Film Festival; and the upcoming film, The Man Who Knew Infinity, based on the New York Times bestseller (starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, and Stephen Fry) which recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Tatiana are Jim are also in pre-production on Cut Throat City which is being directed by RZA from the Wu Tang Clan, as well as Catcher Was a Spy based on the New York Times bestseller of the same name, directed by Ben Lewin (The Sessions) and written by Academy Award-nominated writer Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot, Thor 2). They are also in development on projects with Academy Award-nominated writers Tab Murphy (“Gorillas in the Mist”), Roger Avary (“Pulp Fiction”), Ernesto Foronda (“Better Luck Tomorrow”), and companies including The Mark Gordon Company, Tribeca Productions and NBC Universal. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

***Please note: There are audio issues with this webinar so the price has been reduced. If purchased you are acknowledging this fact.***

Learn directly from Tatiana Kelly and Jim Young, independent producers who have worked with actors such as Bradley Cooper, Zoë Saldana, JK Simmons, Jeremy Irons, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Sharon Stone, James Franco, Lily Tomilin, Cuba Gooding JR, Dev Patel and Jeremy Irons!

In order to raise financing for any independent film, most investors these days will be savvy enough to be utilizing the foreign sales-driven model of selling a film based on a director and talent. Attaching “valuable” talent to a film as early as possible is extremely beneficial for filmmakers looking to get a green light on their film. However agents receive so many financial offers for their clients on a daily basis that those that are on an unfinanced film and without a monetary offer will likely go to the bottom of the pile.

With an independent budget, how can you make your film stand out as an attractive offer to talent reps? How can you get top talent excited about your project without using money as an incentive? If you don’t already have connections to casting directors, what options are available to get in touch with A-list actors?

Stage 32 Next Level Webinars is thrilled to bring back Tatiana Kelly and Jim Young to teach you how to attach talent to your independent film! Having worked with various A-list actors on independent films such as Lovelace, The Words, Life of a King and Wristcutters: A Love Story, they will teach you how to break through an actor’s fortress and get them interested in your project. You will learn how to determine what to offer talent based on your budget, how to be strategic about what agencies you’re making offers to, what to keep in mind at the script stage and early in the casting process and how to get past the dilemma of getting talent without money and getting money without talent.

You will leave this webinar not only knowing how to attach talent to your project on an independent budget but how to get actors excited about working with you!

What You'll Learn

  • Why talent is the key to unlocking your green light.
    • How to use talent to raise financing.
  • What level of talent you need depending on your project.
    • Big budget vs. period drama vs. low budget.
    • Why low-budget films have more latitude in casting choices.
  • Ways to break through an actor’s “fortress”.
    • How to utilize an actor’s production company.
    • Why you should get in good with an actor’s manager early on.
    • How to get casting directors involved at the beginning stages of your project.
  • How to build a team that has some clout.
    • The power of a heartfelt letter.
    • How to target crew, executive producers, producers, casting directors that have worked previously with the talent you’re interested in.
  • What to keep in mind during the script stage and early in the casting process to help you attach talent.
    • How to make sure an actor feels like this role will really do something for their career if it is not going to be a pay-day.
    • Why you should target actors looking to do something different with their careers.
  • The value of a Casting Director.
    • How to attract a good Casting Director.
    • What a Casting Director can bring to the table for your project.
  • How to determine what to offer an actor.
    • Why sales projections and soft money matter.
    • How to determine the actor’s value coupled with their market rate.
  • Things to consider when trying to attract talent.
    • Why scheduling matters.
    • Why location matters.
    • How to utilize an actor in marketing materials.
    • Why you should be strategic about what agencies you’re making offers to.
  • Recorded, in-depth Q&A with Tatiana and Jim!

About Your Instructor

Tatiana Kelly is the owner of Serena Films, while Jim Young is an independent producer and the president of Animus Films. Tatiana and Jim boast over a dozen successful indie films which they have produced. Examples of their work include Independent Spirit, Sundance, and Gotham Award nominated Wristcutters: A Love Story; Lovelace (Amanda Seyfreid and James Franco) and The Words (Oscar nominated JK Simmons, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Olivia Wilde) which both premiered at Sundance; Life of a King (Cuba Gooding Jr.) which premiered at the LA Film Festival; and the upcoming film, The Man Who Knew Infinity, based on the New York Times bestseller (starring Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Toby Jones, and Stephen Fry) which recently premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

Tatiana are Jim are also in pre-production on Cut Throat City which is being directed by RZA from the Wu Tang Clan, as well as Catcher Was a Spy based on the New York Times bestseller of the same name, directed by Ben Lewin (The Sessions) and written by Academy Award-nominated writer Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot, Thor 2). They are also in development on projects with Academy Award-nominated writers Tab Murphy (“Gorillas in the Mist”), Roger Avary (“Pulp Fiction”), Ernesto Foronda (“Better Luck Tomorrow”), and companies including The Mark Gordon Company, Tribeca Productions and NBC Universal.

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 have never found a better resource EVER!! ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS CLASS!!!! INVALUABLE.” – Steph G.

Best class I've taken with Stage 32. They're the attitudes and types of people you hope you'll find when you get to Hollywood.” – Nick K.

Excellent presentation. I've been on another site's presentation and this was far superior. Good info, good answers.” – John M.

Very clear thread of do's and don'ts and the live questions were very helpful. A "No B.S." webinar. Liked it.” – Bobby G.

Loved it. Very helpful.” – Ken B.

Great class for someone like me who has lots of determination and really needed a coach to clarify and get to the next level. Thank you!! “ – Larry C.

Great job explaining a complex subject.” – Skip B.

Great job! I've been producing and line producing for ultra low budget films for years…I definitely learned a lot and appreciated Tatiana's honesty!” – Stephanie B.

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

  • Very good info. Obviously, as most of the other feedback mentioned, the sound is bad (i plugged in my headphones into my computer)...but I was able to understand about 99% of it by listening closely + the notes on the screen are very detailed. Obviously it's better now that it's not life, so I was able to rewind parts I didn't hear clearly the 1st time.
  • Might have been some great information there, but I couldn't make out half the words. Audio was dreadful.
  • I never heard the phrase "ya know" so much in my entire life. There was one point in the video where my co-producer and I couldn't stop laughing. I think the sentence went something like this... "I know. Well, ya know. In case you don't know, now ya know." It was at this point I threw my popcorn. I would re-watch the video and count the number of times you hear this phrase. If it's over 100, I would suggest trying something new. Distracting, but extremely entertaining!
  • Hosts were great. A lot of good information. However, the audio was horrible. I missed so much of what was said and had a headache by the end. You guys need to do a connection/mic test before to make sure a 2 hour webinar of people speaking has a clear connection and good audio. Very disappointed.
  • Very informative and delivered well. The sound was a bit off but the information was invaluable.
  • They gave details that you wouldn't know unless you were familiar with the whole process. Very instructive.
  • I couldn't hear it! Asked for a refund but no ones gotten back to me :( only every third word was audible. Terrible sound quality :(

Other education that may be of interest to you:

The Art of Indie Producing: From the Inception of an Idea to the Release of the Film

3 part class taught by Tatiana Kelly and Jim Young, Award Winning Independent Producers (The Catcher was a Spy, The Words, Lovelace, Wristcutters: A Love Story)! AVAILABLE ON DEMAND! Are you interested in gaining a deeper understanding of what the indie producer role entails and how to improve your own producing skills? What does the independent producer do, exactly? Some producers shepherd the production from start to finish, others jump on later in the process once the script has been developed, and others can just help with raising financing. Oftentimes the producer starts at the beginning and develops an idea or script with a writer, helping to secure the necessary rights for the script, and in some instances the underlying material, such as a book or magazine article. Stage 32 is excited to bring you the previously-recorded 3 part class: The Art of Indie Producing taught by Tatiana Kelly and Jim Young, award winning independent producers of films such as Wristcutters: A Love Story, Lovelace, and The Words. Tatiana and Jim will take you behind the scenes, step-by-step, to learn what an indie Producer really does, beginning with the development stage all the way to packaging a film. You'll learn everything from raising financing to crewing up, including how to attach solid talent. Tatiana and Jim will teach you how to navigate film festivals and markets, and the many pitfalls of a film shoot. Purchasing gives you access to the previously-recorded live class.Although Tatiana and Jim are no longer reviewing the assignments, we still encourage all listeners to participate!

Jordan Yale Levine - Today's Master Producers: Part 2

This is the 2nd installment of the Stage 32 + Bondit Media Capital Masterclass featuring Matthew Helderman (CEO of Bondit Media Capital) and Jordan Yale Levine (President, Yale Productions).Please note this webinar is audio only.

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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. 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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. 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