Jason Resnick is the EVP of Acquisitions for Aviron Pictures. He has been a consultant and executive producer advising organizations and filmmakers on the opportunities for production, financing and distribution in the independent film marketplace. His current clients include MGM Studios; Proimagenes Colombia, the audiovisual arm of the government of Colombia; Seven Stars Film Studios, a Chinese production and distribution company; Twin, a Japanese distribution company; Score Revolution, a new film music company and the Riki Group, a Russian animation studio. He has previously worked with SkyItalia, an Italian TV channel; the Canadian Film Centre and Script East, an Eastern European script development program. From 1998 to 2008, Mr. Resnick served as an executive for Universal Pictures and Focus Features. His most recent title was Senior Vice President and General Manager, Worldwide Acquisitions for the Universal Pictures Group. Mr. Resnick was in charge of all acquisitions and co-productions for all of Universal's distribution platforms worldwide: Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures and Universal Home Entertainment. His acquisitions for Focus included The Motorcycle Diaries, Lost in Translation, Swimming Pool, Brick, Mean Creek and My Summer of Love. His Rogue acquisitions included Jet Li’s Fearless, Dave Chappelle’s Block Party and Unleashed. For Universal his acquisitions included Ray, Drag Me to Hell, Step Up 2, Land of the Dead, Mulholland Drive, Brotherhood of the Wolf, Gosford Park and In the Bedroom. From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Resnick was also in charge of Universal's local language productions in Latin America and Asia. In Latin America, this included overseeing Universal's production deal in Brazil with Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardener, City of God); bringing in and overseeing Elite Squad, winner of the Golden Bear at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival and among the ten most successful Brazilian films of all time, and overseeing the production of the Mexican film, Sin Nombre, which won the Directing and Cinematography Awards at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. In Asia this included two major Japanese productions, Dororo and Midnight Eagle, overseeing Universal's production deal with Hong Kong-based producer, Bill Kong, which yielded master fight choreographer, Yuen Wo Ping's martial arts epic: True Legend, and Universal's co-production with CJ Entertainment of Thirst, Korean director Park Chan-wook's vampire film which won the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Mr. Resnick is fluent in French and Spanish, proficient in Italian and Portuguese and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. Full Bio »
With more and more content being created and more avenues for films to be seen, the overall distribution market is changing at a rapid pace. But, the classic in-theater experience is still alive and well – if you have the right type of film and you understand how tailor your approach to the market. Don't think for a second that your film is not a fit for theatrical distribution or that all theaters and screens are controlled by the studios. There still IS an opportunity for a film to be distributed to the US market in theaters.
Independent film acquisitions with the intent to distribute in the US theatrical market still make up a profitable part of today’s film business. Unfortunately, many filmmakers aren’t aware of the elements a film must have to be considered for theatrical distribution. Understanding everything from where your content fits to how to put your film in the best position to be acquired is absolutely necessary in order for you to give your project the best chance to attract a buyer and give you the opportunity to have your masterpiece, the film you worked so hard to make, seen in a theater.
Jason Resnick is the Executive Vice President of Acquisitions for Aviron Pictures and has had decades of experience in theatrical distribution on films of all budget levels. He Jason was formerly the GM of Worldwide Acquisitions for the Universal Pictures Group and in charge of all acquisitions for Universal, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures and Universal Home Entertainment. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, he'll go over what the current US theatrical market looks like for film acquisitions. And, it's more accessible than you think!
To fully understand how the market has shifted and how the old thinking has become obsolete, Jason will break down the last 10 years of theatrical distribution to show you what's still working and what has dramatically changed. This information alone will give you a competitive advantage in the space and make you more attractive to buyers. He will also make you understand limited, wide, and day-and-date releases and identify the key players in each. He will show you the proper way to approach these reps and buyers so you stand out in a competitive market. Most importantly you will learn how a film is acquired for US theatrical release and what can hurt and help your chances of getting acquired.
You will walk away knowing exactly makes your film look attractive for an acquisition for the US theatrical market.
"I learned a lot. Really appreciate Jason's experience and expertise. Jason's presentation was considered, articulate, to the point and very informative. Was well worth the class fee."
- Rebecca D.
A look at theatrical distribution from 10 years ago to today
Defining domestic distribution for the US market
Who are the key players in a release, how can you get to them?
How is a film acquired for domestic theatrical distribution?
What can hurt your chances of getting acquired a theatrical release?
Q&A with Jason
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As filmmakers, having your film stand out amidst the throng of weekly releases is no easy task. Oftentimes, you find yourself competing against studio releases and the multitude of small-to-mid-level distributors dropping a plethora of titles. This creates an influx of news that can make it feel impossible for an indie film to be noticed. Since a film’s success hinges so vitally upon a good marketing campaign, there has to be a plan from day one. In order to stand out, there are three things that you need to think about from the very beginning of your project: the assets you can create, the timeline of how you unroll those assets, and how to keep the publicity train chugging along up to and well after your film’s release. Writers and editors of genre and horror websites receive anywhere between 100-400 emails a day. A lot of messages that hit their inbox are automatically deleted because they look like every other press release that they simply don’t care about, don’t have the time for, or they know that their audiences aren’t going to be interested in. Yet with proper planning, you can figure out how to offer websites content on your film that they will be eager to write about, as well as create a lasting relationship for future projects from then on forward. Jonathan Barkan served as the Editor-in-Chief of Dread Central, one of the internet’s leading horror websites, where he spotlighted and championed countless independent horror films. He also served as acquisitions ambassador for DREAD Presents, a genre-centric distribution label under the banner of Epic Pictures Group. Before Dread Central, Jonathan served as the Managing Editor of Bloody Disgusting, another leading horror website. More recently, Jonathan joined forces with Epic Pictures’ Shaked Berenson to form the Horror Collective, where he serves as Vice President of Acquisitions and Distribution and finds and acquires genre titles for North American distribution as well as foreign sales. An internet personality, he has appeared on multiple podcasts and news segments to discuss the social and cultural significance of horror and his writing has been featured on sites such as Rotten Tomatoes, WatchMojo, Atom Tickets, Phantastiqa, ComingSoon.Net, and Shudder’s weekly newsletter The Bite. Through his extensive background, Jonathan has become a bona fide expert on the horror film industry and how independent genre filmmakers find success. Jonathan will teach you how to operate the horror and genre website landscape in order to get your genre film featured and form relationships critical to the marketing and ultimate success of your project. First, Jonathan will walk you through the assets you need to have leading up to your marketing campaign. He’ll show you what content you can create cheaply and efficiently during all stages of production, how to make it look good, how to think outside the box, and what the dreaded “curse of knowledge” is. Next Jonathan will explain how to unroll these assets, including working with your distributor (or yourself) to create a marketing plan, what to unveil and when, who to offer exclusives to, and how to get your cast and crew involved. He will give you tips of what to consider when submitting to film festivals, what to use to promote your premieres when you get accepted and what to hold onto, and how to use festivals as further promotion of your film. Then Jonathan will delve into how to get onto major outlets. He will teach you how to find contact information for writers, how to write emails for the greatest chance of success, and how to maintain a relationship that you can always rely upon. Finally, he will walk you through what to do after your movie has been released. He’ll teach you how to keep interest high moving forward and how you can keep on unveiling content. Standing out and getting your film noticed is always hard, especially in the world of horror, but Jonathan will give you practical and actionable tools to find success and your project the attention it needs. Praise for Jonathan's Stage 32 Webinar: "Really valuable and interesting content and told very clearly, concisely and just very open and down to earth, really enjoyed this webinar 5 stars!" -Jaye A. "Excellent and thorough presentation." -Christopher B. "Great host, very insightful webinar." -Matt D. "The webinar and host were both great - lots of useful info" -Matthew L.
Learn how to break into the Hollywood system from an international producer and distributor who has worked on over 300 films! More than ever Hollywood has their eyes on international talent, but how do international filmmakers break into Hollywood? While every filmmaker around the world dreams about working in Hollywood, very few have a realistic idea of how to break into the US system and get their project a greenlight from a major Hollywood player. Many young and first time filmmakers believe it is as simple as sending your script or short film to Netflix, Amazon, Paramount, or any one of the major studios or streamers and they will write you a multi million dollar check to make your project. But the truth is it is much more complex than that. Where the European market is ripe with government programs and organizations that provide funds and subsidies to filmmakers, that is rarely the case in the US. Rather, films in the US are usually funded by private money, oftentimes piecemeal from a handful of investors. While many foreign filmmakers believe that they must get their film to a major studio or streamer to have a US production, the reality is that there are countless ways to make your film in the US that will usually lead to a larger deal on your next project with one of the major distributors/streamers. So for all the foreign filmmakers trying to break into Hollywood, how do you actually get there? How do you get that US investor, producer, actor, or casting director to come on board your project to move the needle forward? What kind of story can you tell in the US that will get attention? What is the ladder within Hollywood (between creative execs, producers, and executives) and how do you navigate working in that system? Stage 32 is here to help you learn what steps to take to get your film made in the US and eventually get seen by Netflix, Amazon, Paramount, or another major studio or streamer. Teaching you all the ins and outs of US film production is Alexia Melocchi, a partner at Little Studio Films International - a multi-lingual boutique company that specializes in consulting, distribution, and production of content for both the US and international markets. Alexia has made a career out of successfully acting as a bridge between Hollywood and the global marketplace. She previously worked as a distributor and a sales agent, where she sold over 50 films to profit for clients and acquired more than 250 major studio and independent films, including LA LA LAND, NOW YOU SEE ME 2, PEPPERMINT and more. With a robust understanding of both the US and international film markets and a proclivity for working with up-and-coming foreign filmmakers WHO ARE WORKING SUCCESSFULLY WITH HOLLYWOOD, Alexia will teach you everything you need to know about US film production and empower you to get your movie made in Hollywood! You will walk away from this exclusive Stage 32 webinar with all the tools necessary to navigate the complex Hollywood system as a foreign filmmaker so you can become a working writer, director, and producer in Hollywood! PLUS! Alexia will provide you with an exclusive Guide to Hollywood for Foreign Filmmakers, with a checklist including how to access: Agents Managers Producers Production Companies Studios Streamers Financing Sources Praise For Alexia's Previous Stage 32 Teaching "Alexia explains it in terms that is understandable and clear, her experience and knowledge shines through." -Heidi "Alexia showed me how to make a plan to attack my career, not just hope for the right person to read script one day." -- Markus F. "As a non-American film director, I needed to figure out how to actually make a living doing this work in the US. Alexia helped me by showing me the way the business works and how I can live and work in it. Thank you very much." -- Alan G.
Everyone wants to get into TV these days, and everyone IS getting into TV these days! With demand on the rise, so is independent TV production and savvy international co-productions. The field is opening up and it’s more than possible to create, sell and be profitable on your own independent TV series. However, there are some crucial things to understand about independent TV that differ from traditional TV models. One big difference is revenue sharing and how to track and distribute money that comes in. This is absolutely essential for any television producer who's working towards creating a profitable series. Understanding revenue sharing in independent TV production models is so important because there are multiple pieces that can confuse someone who has never had experience in independent production. Deal terms may be unclear, and sometimes even conflicting if you’re not careful and aware of all the varying pieces and players! Even though revenue comes later, you have to understand it and plan for how everything fall together from the start. This part of TV production can be overwhelming, but we’ve got just the person to give you the right guidance so you can walk into any TV production with confidence! David Zannoni is an international business specialist for Fintage House in the US, Europe, Canada and Latin America territories. Fintage House, the world's most respected company for revenue and rights protection for industry professionals and companies. David negotiates agreements for films and television series and is involved in business development and relationship management globally on hundreds of productions. David is continuously present to make deals and speak at international film markets, festivals and conferences, including: the Cannes Film Festival, the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, the American Film Market (AFM), Ventana Sur, the Bogota Audiovisual Market (BAM), and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and travels regularly to the United States, the Netherlands, Europe, and all over Latin America. In this webinar, David will show you how independent TV shows generate money and what you need to do to properly share revenues. He will break down TV production models, the financing and distribution of independent TV, and how revenues for TV productions are generated and shared. He’ll also teach you the stages of a TV project as it relates to financing, distribution, and revenue sharing, along with guild obligations and how to manage revenue sharing through Collection Account Management for TV projects. If you’ve got questions, David’s got answers! Knowledge is power, and this webinar will leave you ready and empowered to take on independent TV production! Praise for David's Previous Stage 32 Webinars "David is incredible and lovely and clearly knows his stuff." -- Cynthia P. "Eye-opening information. A no-brainer approach that wouldn't be so obvious to the uninitiated." -- Gary O. "By far, the best class I've seen on the subject." --Kirk K. "David is a fantastic teacher. And what a voice! I could listen to him all day. More importantly, I learned so very much!" -- Isabella T.
Top Gun: Maverick smashed box office records and received 6 Oscar nominations included Best Picture of the Year! Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Skydance Media executive Aimee Rivera and Aimee in here to teach you how to develop a blockbuster movie of your own. Aimee, the Vice President of Motion Picture Production for Skydance (which produced Top Gun: Maverick, and which Aimee was instrumental in developing) will walk you through what it takes to have a successful blockbuster. Skydance is known for its big stories in film and television having recently released THE ADAM PROJECT on Netflix, THE TOMORROW WAR on Prime, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT, TERMINATOR: DARK FATE, and the 10-time Oscar-nominated, TRUE GRIT.Big blockbusters have always been a fabric of the creative community. Now with more movies being made in the history of cinema, buyers are looking for that next huge splash to hit the big screen. Do you have big ideas in your head? An outline of big action set pieces that captivate a global audience? Look no further, because we're going to teach you how to get it on the page, and what buyers look for when considering movies like this. Only through Stage 32 - the global leader in entertainment industry education - can we get you this close to the executives that make the movies we love and the thought process to how and why they develop them. Don't miss out on this chance to learn from one of the top executives working in the film industry today whose latest blockbuster garnered 6 Oscar nominations!
A New Exclusive Webinar Learn From A Producer Of 45 Short Films! PLUS! Get A Production Resource Guide When you start your career with your first short film, you may not have a full grasp of the how to approach the process to achieve the highest levels of success. While making any first short film is an effective way of learning, making films costs a lot of money and every opportunity should be for your maximum creative experience and benefit. In this exclusive Stage 32 webinar, award winning short filmmaker Tash Ann will help give young filmmakers an edge as she shares the four biggest things she wishes she knew before she made her first short film. Tash wants you to succeed so you now have a chance to learn from the mistakes she made when she was starting out. For most beginning filmmakers, making your first short film can be a daunting concept. For some people it’s so daunting that they don’t even start. Even in many film schools, people aren’t taught a no nonsense, step-by-step guide to self produce their own small projects. So when you write (or get access to) that first amazing short script you want to make, you may be completely in the dark about what happens next. Luckily, Tash has stumbled through her early producing experiences and has emerged with meaningful knowledge to share and she is here to teach you how to make the most of your opportunity when you set out to make your first short film. Plus! Tash will provide her production resource guide and links to her early short films, which she will also discuss in the webinar. Don't miss your chance to learn short filmmaking from one of the best in the business! PLUS! You'll receive: Production Resource Guide PRAISE FOR TASH'S WORK: "Tash is very dynamic and extremely hard working. She is very passionate about her work and creating meaningful and powerful stories. She's an extraordinary talent with a beautiful vision for crafting and producing films and videos that truly impact her audiences." -- Aastha Lal Vice President of Operations, Icon Media
We are well into the digital revolution in filmmaking. The least known and least understood aspect, but arguably the most important, of the digital revolution is the digital master of your film via a Digital Cinema Package. More than cameras or editing or access to great equipment, the one factor that allows the indie filmmaker to truly be on a level playing field is the ability to screen your film at festivals and any theater in the world via DCP. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, experienced filmmaker, Stephen van Vuuren, will teach you all secrets, tips, and best practices that everyone involved in film productions must know to end up with a quality digital master of your film. The information in this webinar is not available all together in one place anywhere on the internet until now! Many film festivals, large and small, now require DCP screeners and nearly all theaters in the world require your film on DCP. A DCP is the single most important master of your film that you will ever make. However, many indie filmmakers have limited experience and understanding of how they must plan from the very beginning stages of a film to insure their film – short, feature, documentary – is ready for DCP. You only have one chance with your audiences to make a great impression – and today that chance depends on your DCP.