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

Hosted by Franco Sama

$49

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

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Franco Sama

Webinar hosted by: Franco Sama

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

Independent feature film producer Franco Sama boasts over a decade of independent film development, production and financing.Sama has Executive Produced an impressive array of over 20 independent feature films including most recently, Guns, Girls and Gambling starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook which is quickly becoming a cult favorite; this film was released into theatres on December of 2012 and, in January 2013, acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures. Other films Sama has produced include; Black Limousine starring David Arquette, Vivica 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.Sama also serves as Executive Producer on the recent film festival darling Petunia, starring Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti. His shingle Samaco Films is currently producing a slate of several independent feature films, including Farewell Party, starring legendary actor John Amos and Fine Young Gentleman starring funnyman Anthony Anderson. Samaco Films released two films in 2015, the first, 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 films have been released through Samaco Films’ sister company, Synergetic Distribution and have been released via all digital and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms worldwide. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

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!

 

What You'll Learn

  • Script vs. Deal
    • What attracts investors?
  • Do’s and Don’ts for Development and Approaching Financing
    • The old way of producing and financing a film.
    • The new way of producing and financing a film.
  • Building Your Team
    • Six critical people to hire and why.
  • Development Funding
    • Why you need it and where to find it.
  • Types of Funding for Your Film
    • Hard Money
    • Soft Money
  • Equity vs. Debt Financing
  • Tranches and Drawdown Schedules
    • 6 things you need to know.
  • Proof of Funds
    • 5 things you need to know.
  • Explaining Your Revenue Returns
  • Understanding Investors
    • Breaking down the 3 main types of investors, what they look for and what motivates them.
  • Tax Incentives, Rebates and Credits
    • Understanding how to monetize them.
  • Distribution Options for your Film
    • Distributors vs. sales agents
    • International vs. Domestic
    • Selling territories
    • Pre-sales vs. Sales estimates
  • Explaining Minimum Guarantees
  • Limited Platform Release
    • What it will cost you
    • What the pros and cons are
  • Third-Third-Third Theory
  • The Art of Securing “A List” Talent.
    • 5 things you need to know.
    • Letters of Intent (LOIs)
    • Pay or play
  • First Time Directors
    • 5 things you need to know
  • Attorneys
    • Key things to look out for when engaging your entertainment attorney.
  • Product Placement vs. Integration
  • Q&A with Franco

 

About Your Instructor

Independent feature film producer Franco Sama boasts over a decade of independent film development, production and financing.Sama has Executive Produced an impressive array of over 20 independent feature films including most recently, Guns, Girls and Gambling starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook which is quickly becoming a cult favorite; this film was released into theatres on December of 2012 and, in January 2013, acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures.

Other films Sama has produced include; Black Limousine starring David Arquette, Vivica 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.Sama also serves as Executive Producer on the recent film festival darling Petunia, starring Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti.

His shingle Samaco Films is currently producing a slate of several independent feature films, including Farewell Party, starring legendary actor John Amos and Fine Young Gentleman starring funnyman Anthony Anderson.

Samaco Films released two films in 2015, the first, 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 films have been released through Samaco Films’ sister company, Synergetic Distribution and have been released via all digital and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms worldwide.

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

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 webinar gave me a TON of information and things to consider as we move forward with our first feature project. Thank you Stage32 for providing these excellent training opportunities.” – LeAnn M.

Franco was very informative. I've already produced a ton of stuff but have been challenged by the distribution side (although my 1st feature HAS finally gotten distribution!). He gave me some great nuggets of information. I would definitely take another webinar with him.” – Stephanie B.

I thought that this seminar presented a wealth of useful information in a short period of time.” – Glen P.

The material provided is informative and appreciated!” – Andry P.

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

  • Nice job, definitely a great overview for the beginner considering a hunt for financing.
  • Back in towards the start of the new millennium I moved out to Los Angeles. One of my first experiences in LA was a dinner at a music producers home, during which he detailed the fall of Tower Records due to the burgeoning online platform of digital downloads, and also, largely to napster. How Napster could have caused the downfall of a music giant becomes less and less of a mystery when you listen to Sama talk about the trail he's, perhaps unwittingly, blazed which leads around the big six distributing companies, and to a more advantageous outcome. It's a like an artist direct pipeline script-to-screen version of how to DIY your vision WITHOUT the cumbersome studio and their myriad of input and mind-numbing developing process. I have yet to know if Sama's road will get me where I want to go, but it looks far more promising than the nightmare I am almost guaranteed in going through a major studio. Buyer beware, this is not just the A-B-C's of film making but the full alphabet, everything you need to know about going indie! My strategy for absorbing it is listening to it, sometimes taking notes, most of the time, doing other things, but making sure every last item absorbed into my brain. Making a movie is part miracle and part elbow grease, and one thing is for sure, you can't get the miracle without the elbow grease, so buy this webinar. This man is not guessing. He IS the NAPSTER of film.
  • Better than I thought it would be. Gives a ton of info
  • Franco is that rare person in Hollywood that actually cares about the people involved in his Productions. After watching his presentation I decided to reach out and it was a very pleasant introduction to this world of film financing. From the beginning it was apparent that he wanted to make sure from script to screen, all are taken care of, both financially and creatively. His knowledge of the Indy film making world has been gained from a wonderful array of life, people skills and financial success on his projects. I would highly recomend him to anyone looking to break into the Indy world of film making because he is that one person that has the knowledge and actually cares about more than just the money...and he's nice!
  • First, many thanks to the expertise and detailed exposure provided by Franco Sama! Thank you Mr. Sama! Most of my personal productions have been documentaries, with a couple of Alaskan Eskimo Docu-Dramas, combining actors for real characters that are not available. But now I'm preparing to start my first "mini" feature film. I found Franco Sama's webinar to be fantastic for me since I'm a beginner at producing a feature film. I have written a feature film script with the help of a noted Hollywood screen writer (cant mention his name at his request); but now with the opportunity to produce my own film, it was imperative I learn as much as possible right up front; and Mr. Sama has delivered! I previously took Stge32's hosting of "How to Finance Your Project with Equity Investors Using the Internet". That is also a VERY GREAT WEBINAR, but after viewing it once, I realize that it is a jewel I will need over a period of 6-12 mos. to develop contacts, convey the essence of what's need; build a team of not only filmmakers of different talents, but also the same kind of scenario in the finance realm. Fortunately I have some very good contacts and friends in the finance and legal arenas. Again though, Mr. Sama's info is what I need RIGHT NOW, and I'm so grateful for his generosity to teach and share his experiences, knowledge, and encouragement. I would like to meet him some day, perhaps take a live seminar from him if he ever does one. ---Thanks Mr. Sama, and thanks Stage 32! What a combo!!! -Rod Thompson/Legacy Productions Cell:714-624-5366
  • I've produced and directed a film in the $50k range, thus the material wasn't all that different from things I've learned and applied in my own experience. Still, it was a good refresher and would benefit anyone who's never sought financing or developed a feature. I would have given another star but Mr. Sama ignored a simple follow-up question I sent him via email. Guess we shouldn't expect too much interaction for $45 bucks.
  • A very practical and informative webinar. I'm about to start raising money for a feature in this budget range and feel much better prepared after listening to this session. Thanks for the great info!
  • Good no nonsense delivery of practical information. Spoke from the overflow of someone with years of practice as a professional producer. Bravo! JD
  • Franco was great. But I can't seem to get any follow up from stage32 regarding the webinar.
  • This webinar has enabled me as a producer/director to further my knowledge into the art of film finance.What an amazing webinar and a huge thank you to Franco Sama for his information over load, passion and enthusiasm.Would highly recommend to anyone needing the extra details for developing a investment strategy and getting that film made. Bobby Hodgson - Dark Image Studios UK

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