How To Be a Power Producer In Today's Market

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Hosted by Aimee Schoof

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Aimee Schoof

Webinar hosted by: Aimee Schoof

9 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

When choosing what to produce, you first must be passionate about the subject matter. What is interesting to you? What is interesting to others? Any story you are making into a film will take a long time - much longer than you think - so you must believe in the story.

A great original story is always exciting to watch, but today’s marketplace is relying heavily on stories based on underlying properties in order for you, as a filmmaker, to get the greenlight. Articles, books, graphic novels, podcasts are more important than ever to get a project to the finish line. A great script and cast are essential, but having a built in audience is crucial these days.

Your host, Aimee Schoof has adopted this strategy and has become a power producer making over 35 films and having 9 films premiere at Sundance, 4 at Tribeca and 3 at SXSW. 

Aimee will give examples of films that have been made from underlying IP, and she’ll go over some personal experiences from films she’s made that are based on real people and their stories, as well as graphic novels/comic book properties.

What You'll Learn

Choosing Your Path as a Producer

  • Independent
  • How to find partners and mentors and how important they are
  • How to choose material
  • Should you focus on one project or multi-task?
  • A day in the life of a producer

Power of Relationships and How to Strengthen Them

  • Agents/managers
  • Talent/cast
  • Casting directors
  • Other producers
  • Networking
  • Film festivals and markets

Original vs IP

  • Articles, books, comics
  • How to get creative with options
  • What type of people you should partner with & how it can help you
  • When to hold your relationships close, and when to expand your network
  • How to best use your time when working on multiple projects
  • Making Sci-Fi on a budget

Understanding a Realistic Timeline

  • The truth of how long it takes to make a film
  • Advice on how to stay motivated
  • Advice on collaborations

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.

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!

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.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

Creative Ways to Find Financing For your Film

When looking for financing on your film, you need to think about your audience. What attracted you to the project? Who would like the film and why? Why are you making it? Who are your ideal partners, from the creative to distributor? These are all the questions important to also figure out who your investor/finance partners will be as you figure out your plan of attack. There are more options than ever now with Streaming platforms and Crowdfunding to find the right finance partners, it’s up to you to design the right pitch that makes others feel as inspired as you did about your project, then do your homework to target your best potential partners. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you will get creative ideas on how to find and attract the right finance partners. You will learn techniques for putting together your pitch deck, making lists of who you know, who you don’t know but want to know and how to get to them, and having enrolling conversations with investors. Your host, Aimee Schoof, is a prolific independent film producer with 9 Sundance, 4 Tribeca and 3 SXSW premieres.   

The Ins and Outs of Becoming a Showrunner for Unscripted TV

Learn directly from Adam Matalon, award winning executive producer, show runner, director and creator who's worked on over 20 projects on cable and network television. The unscripted and reality genres are becoming more and more fragmented and producers are forced into more and more niche areas of expertise. This is creating a vacuum in which producers wanting to step into showrunner roles are unable to do so because they lack the overview expertise. In this Next Level Webinar, Adam Matalon challenges that notion and investigates the role of the showrunner in today's current climate of television. As more and more networks and production companies are struggling with staffing their leader, there are fewer and fewer opportunities. We will discuss the reasons for this and how storytellers, producers, writers, and directors can best prepare themselves for leadership roles in the fast evolving television and digital space. Adam will break down the process of taking a project from presentation, through production and on to delivery to the network; something that is vital for all aspiring showrunners both in the reality and unscripted space as well as a scripted space. Adam will also touch on the best ways for building an environment that will make you more employable, how ‘storytelling’ is utilized in a reality show and the various documents needed to accomplish the task of getting the 'greenlight.'  This webinar includes a packet of supplemental materials such as templates and example production documents!

How To Prepare A Film Budget

Learn directly from Host Tatiana Kelly, who has produced 12 independent films including The Words (Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana), Wristcutters: A Love Story and The Procession!  One of the most critical stages in filmmaking, once you have a script, is budgeting your film. The budget can cover everything from the inception of the project, such as writing fees and other development costs, all the way to the finished film and even film festival marketing. Whether the film is under $10,000 or over $10,000,000 the film budget must present a spending plan for every dollar to be expended on the production. You will need to have a budget that is detailed and accurate because it will serve as the road map and your bible for the project. It is also one of the key documents of your presentation that should be in place when seeking out investments. It is really the scope of the budget that will directly affect the amount of money needed to be raised. Creating a budget is not an easy task given that it can consist of hundreds of line items that have to be balanced across many different competing priorities. Both over and under estimating the budget can be disastrous in that you can either end up not having enough money to finish the film or you can have enough but it will be impossible for investors to recoup their financial investment. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Tatiana Kelly will present a straightforward method of developing a working budget. She will discuss what some of the key questions are as well as the decisions that need to be made prior to embarking on a budget. There are certain primary elements of the film and the screenplay that may be necessary such as stunts or locations or cast in order to secure financing for example, and which will help start to build out the budget. She will also cover budgeting basics and review what all of the line items represent. Tatiana Kelly is an independent producer who has produced 12 independent films including Wristcutters: A Love Story, The Words (Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana), and The Procession. Tatiana is also on pre-production on "Cut Throat City" which she is producing with Reggie Hudlin ("Django Unchained") and which is being directed by RZA from the Wu Tang Clan, "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"), and "House of Curl" based on the bestselling book by the same name starring Guy Pearce and Laura Linney. She is also in development on projects with Academy Award-nominated writer Tab Murphy ("Gorillas in the Mist"), Ernesto Foronda ("Better Luck Tomorrow"), and companies including Lynda Obst Productions, CBS Studios, and Tribeca Productions.

How to Find & Adapt Comic Book, Video Game, Book & Article IP for Film & TV

State of the industry Why the majority of TV/Film comes from pre-existing IP "The Executive Bias" Pre-existing Fan Base/Fleshed Out World Adapting Books/Articles Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study: Game of Thrones, Sex and The City Case Study: The Wedding Sting in the Atlantic, now going to be a film at Paramount Adapting Comic Books / Video Games Where to Go! How To Choose Material Who To Contact For Film/TV Rights How To Close The Deal Case Study (Comics): Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel/Disney, lesser known/less successful comic became a blockbuster) Case Study: Jessica Jones (Marvel / Netflix) Case Study (Video Games): Assassin's Creed (FOX, to be released this December) Making it your own Most say DO NOT adapt your own material (leads to being too protective of your work/not as open to change) Fun thing about IP, when you build a world, it can keep being adapted into other mediums (Example: Orphan Black the comic book was one of the best-selling comics last year, adapted from TV show. Goes in both directions) The heart of this, however, is making sure the new versions are different enough from the old, AND have your voice in them. LIVE Q&A with Maggie!

Film Development Process: Defining The Producer-Writer Relationship

Session 1: Initial Contact: Where do producers look for material? If you’re a producer, selecting the right writer for your story. Should you really sign up for those websites that claim to get your stuff read? What makes a producer decide to read your material? How to get past the measures designed to keep you on the outside. Repped vs unrepped. How many projects is a producer developing at any one time? How To Write To Get Read. What hooks a producer, development exec or reader and are those things different at different budget levels? Should you go ahead and write your $100 million dollar summer blockbuster? Writing to get it made now. Pre-existing material. Where you find it, how to get it. Coverage. Who’s reading? What are they looking for? How do they judge? Recorded Q&A with Shaun! Session 2: What is “development” really and how long can it take? From big budget films to indies, the time period can vary wildly. What are the factors? Is there a way to “beat the system” and ensure your film gets going? Building your relationship: Working with a producer or development exec. can be a stressful process. Learn how to navigate this so that you end up with the best version of your project. Fighting/Making up/Moving on. So you’ve hit a wall. They want more changes and you’re not willing to go there. How to move past the inevitable speed bumps and get going again. Is being replaced inevitable? You’ve been optioned/hired… Now what? Beginning to understand the dynamics of your new relationship. If you’re a writer, how to work with your new producer/partner to create the best result. If you’re a producer, how to navigate the process with your screenwriter. Differences between indie/big budget in terms of development Thinking in terms of production: While certainly not a “must” for writers, having some sense of what may go into crafting a single scene from a practical perspective can be of enormous value. Recorded Q&A with Shaun!  

The Keys to a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign

Learn directly from Indiegogo Film Campaign Specialist, John T. Trigonis! Raising funds. Every filmmaker, director, screenwriter, even actors, has experienced the frustration. The introduction of crowdfunding through sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo has brought an incredible new opportunity to those looking to find funding for their films. However, running a successful campaign is not easy! Crowdfunding has revolutionized the way film and video projects are funded by taking the power from the corporations and putting it back into the hands of the creators. Because of this, it's not enough to run a simple, run-of-the-mill campaign on crowdfunding platforms like Indiegogo. Today, running a campaign must be an experience for the campaign owners and especially the contributors, and that's where innovation and creativity come into play, oftentimes spelling the difference between a short-lived stint in crowdfunding and a memorable communal experience. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you will learn the history of crowdfunding, how to pre-market your campaign and you will walk away with basic & advanced techniques of running a crowdfunding experience!    

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