How to Shoot a Feature Film in 14 Days for $75,000 (or Less) and Be Profitable

Hosted by Zack Ward

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Zack Ward

Webinar hosted by: Zack Ward

Actor, Director, Screenwriter and Producer

Zack Ward an actor, director, screenwriter and producer with 37 years in the industry. Launching his career with the role of Scut Farkus in the classic A Christmas Story, Zack's career spans the gamut of genres, from blockbusters like Transformers and Resident Evil: Apocalypse to edgy art films such as Trade and Oscar Winner Almost Famous to the slapstick action of Postal and the dark comedy cult hit Titus. Zack continues using his years of experience behind the camera having written, produced and directed feature films. Don’t Blink released in September 2014, starring Brian Austin Green and Mena Suvari was Zack’s first production. In 2015 he wrote and produced two features, acting in both and directing one. Restoration was his feature directorial debut released May 2016. The second feature, Bethany, will be released September 2016. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

So you want to shoot a low budget feature film. You've heard everyone tell you how difficult it will be to raise the funds, secure talent, get through production and post, and most of all, what a pain in the ass time you'll have securing distribution and finding a path to profitability. But what if we told you that that's all BS? What if we told you there was not only a path to profitability, but that you could already be making money before you started shooting? Let 'em all say it's impossible. We're here to tell you show you how to get it done.

Low budget filmmaking has changed drastically over the last few years. From finding investors to attaching talent to having your pick of distribution channels, the landscape looks markedly different than at any time before. And in many ways, these shifts have proven to be quite advantageous to filmmakers, screenwriters, producers and financiers - if you know where to look and how to navigate.

Zach Ward has done just about everything in the film industry. Zach is a veteran producer, director, screenwriter and actor. You may remember him as Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story, but that was just the beginning. Zach has acted in over 100 films and been involved in dozens of others. Over his 3 decades in the industry, Zach experiences have allowed him to become an expert on the world of indie film. Over the last few years, Zach has produced 3 independent films and directed one more. His films Restoration and Ubiquity which he wrote, directed, acted in and produced are currently available on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Hulu, and for rental through Redbox. Ubiquity was made for only $75,000, was shot in 14 days - and - here's the kicker - was making money before he ever yelled "ACTION!"

How did Zach get it done? Well that's exactly what he's going to teach you. Zach will start by setting up some indie film guidelines including the 4 "P's" every filmmaker needs to live by in order to make a successful independent film. He will then discuss the triangle and the trinity which includes 3 more "P's" designed to help you hold the production together. From there, Zach will get into that subject everyone wants to know about - the money - including what to do if you have money and what to do if you don't. Then, Zach will dive into the script and what legal steps you need to take to protect yourself and keep your money in house and ready to be put to its proper use. At that point, you're ready to rock and Zach will show you how to prep, from table reading, script rewrites, location scouting, hiring cast & crew and everything that goes along with this process. During the production portion, Zach will cover production partner expectations, hiring decisions and how to keep the whole production on time and on budget (or even under budget). Zach will also lead you through the all important (and often misunderstood) world of post-production where films often go over budget. Finally, Zach will help you navigate the world of distribution deals and how to make sure you pick the right path so your project gets the widest audience and the largest profitability channels possible.

 

 

"Zack was great and was enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge. Loved every second."

-Jonah A.

 

"Zach was phenomenal. This was such rich information. He is the real deal."

-Debra S.

 

"Best, most practically informative webinar I have taken on Stage 32. So good to have someone walk through the process giving so much valuable insights. Good to hear Zack talk about the importance of looking at a project from the business side. Thought this was most informative webinar yet. Zack was fantastic in detailing through various stages of film little things that had to be done."

-Andy S.

 

"This was easily one of the most approachable How To sessions I've seen here. Advice given was rooted, did not include things only obtainable from within the system or resources that are unreasonable or unmanageable for starting/indie filmmakers."

-Shane W.

 

"Zack was fantastic. Honest, open, helpful, informative. Loved the content and Zack!"

- Dave P.

 

What You'll Learn

INDIE FILM GUIDELINES

  • The 4 “P’s” – what every filmmaker needs to live by to make a successful indie film. 

THE TRIANGLE & THE TRINITY

  • The 3 “P’s” hold the production together

MONEY

  • We will go over two different scenarios – 1) if you have the money and 2) if you don’t have the money.

SCRIPT

  • We will go over two different scenarios – 1) if you have the script and 2) if you don’t have the script.

LEGAL

  • We will go over the various roles involved with legal, and talk about LLCs, standards (or lack thereof) and how to protect yourself.

READY TO ROCK!

  • We will go over all things prep - table reading, script rewrites, location scouting, hiring cast & crew and everything that goes along with this process.

HARD PREP TO PRODUCTION

  • We will go over everything from production partner expectations, hiring decisions and I will offer TONS of advice on being on set – what you should do, how you should do it and who should be there. You’ll walk away armed with comprehensive knowledge to get it done. And, we’ll talk about everyone’s favorite part – THE WRAP!

POST

  • Often overlooked, post is so important. We’ll go over your key crew during post and how to deliver a good film and how to close out the “business” part of your paperwork. We’ll talk about delivering your film to a distributor and your social media strategy.

DISTRIBUTION DEAL

  • We will go over distribution deals and everything I’ve learned doing my films.

About Your Instructor

Zack Ward an actor, director, screenwriter and producer with 37 years in the industry. Launching his career with the role of Scut Farkus in the classic A Christmas Story, Zack's career spans the gamut of genres, from blockbusters like Transformers and Resident Evil: Apocalypse to edgy art films such as Trade and Oscar Winner Almost Famous to the slapstick action of Postal and the dark comedy cult hit Titus.

Zack continues using his years of experience behind the camera having written, produced and directed feature films. Don’t Blink released in September 2014, starring Brian Austin Green and Mena Suvari was Zack’s first production. In 2015 he wrote and produced two features, acting in both and directing one. Restoration was his feature directorial debut released May 2016. The second feature, Bethany, will be released September 2016.

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Testimonials

"Zack was great and was enthusiastic about sharing his knowledge. Loved every second." -Jonah A.

"Zack was great and his info very helpful." -Maurice B.

"Zach was phenomenal. This was such rich information. He is the real deal." -Debra S.

"He has been very helpful to the point!" -Merve T.

"Best, most practically informative webinar I have taken on Stage 32. So good to have someone walk through the process giving so much valuable insights. Good to hear Zack talk about the importance of looking at a project from the business side. Thought this was most informative webinar yet. Zack was fantastic in detailing through various stages of film little things that had to be done." -Andy S.

"This was easily one of the most approachable How To sessions I've seen here. Advice given was rooted, did not include things only obtainable from within the system or resources that are unreasonable or unmanageable for starting/indie filmmakers." -Shane Wheeler

"Zack was fantastic. Honest, open, helpful, informative. Loved the content and Zack!" -Dave 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

  • Zack, great two part session! Really wanted to hear the distribution more!! You went out in 10 cities in a day/date on Restoration, what did that cost you? QWhat did you make on your VOD release since you had a premium (theater) release? You sold at Walmart, how many copies did you move and any chargebacks? How many Redbox copies did you sell? Where do you think your Netflix numbers will end up? I know it's too late but us indie producers are needing these numbers.
  • Really enjoyed this webinar. Learned a great deal from Zack and LOVED the case studies, examples, numbers and insight he provided. It helps that he's very comfortable talking on camera (skype) and has a tremendous amount of experience in front of and behind the camera. Like most of these 90 minute (give or take) webinars, you can only get into so much detail and tips/suggestions (given the short amount of time), but Zack did a great job of walking us through how he made the film and was profitable. Highly recommend to any new (or new'ish filmmakers out there)!
  • He had so much info that he only finished half of his notes. So that was disappointing. But the notes that he did give were amazing and well worth the price. Looking forward to his 2nd webinar to finish his notes!
  • Zack, though he didn't finish his notes, talked to us like we were drinking buddies, not like he was trying to teach. His enthusiasm about the topic was refreshing.

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