Kristy Maurer, currently Director of Development at Endgame Entertainment (Looper, Side Effects, An Education), started her career working in production in Austin, TX. She worked in a wide range of departments on several projects, notably Season One of NBC’s Friday Night Lights and the independent film Elvis and Anabelle starring Blake Lively & Max Minghella. She then moved to Los Angeles where she worked in development at Village Roadshow and then worked at Nicolas Cage’s company, Saturn Films, on projects like Bad Lieutenant. Upon her move to Endgame she has worked on films like Looper, Side Effects, and most recently was on set this fall for the production of the film, Freeheld, starring Julianne Moore, Steve Carell, Ellen Page, and Michael Shannon based on the Oscar-winning short film by the same name. Kristy was raised in Dallas, TX and holds a Bachelor of Science in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas in Austin. Full Bio »
So you want to make a film but don’t know where to start – sound familiar?
You have this great idea for a film. Or, you’ve found the script, maybe attached some talent, and are ready to get things in motion for production. But what are your next steps? How do you get from script to screen? What is the difference between pre, post, and good old regular production? What about financing? How do you market it?
So many questions!
Producing, and especially independent producing, can be very complex, and with so many options out there it’s sometimes hard to know what is important to know and what you can skip. Here is your one-stop crash course on Indie Film Producing - Indie Film Producing 101, if you will.
Whether you’re producing the film yourself, looking for independent producers to bring on board, or have signed a deal with an independent production company, it’s important to know the steps involved in producing a film independently, no matter your role in the filmmaking process. Indie films are getting produced and distributed every day, and it’s time to learn how to take your vision for your film and make it a reality!
Kristy Maurer is currently the Director of Development at Endgame Entertainment (Looper, Side Effects, An Education) and has worked in a wide variety of production positions for film and TV. Having worked on network shows, such as Friday Night Lights to independent films, such as Elvis and Annabelle, starting Blake Lively, she knows the ins and outs of producing and can help you learn all you need to know to get your film produced and made.
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Kristy will walk you through every step of the production process, from where to start with the script, to creating production plans, to marketing, even adding in case studies of independent films in the past few years that have made a profit and how they did it. This will be your go-to guide for all things Indie Film Producing and give you a great foundation for understanding the process of production on an Indie scale.
Kristy Maurer Grisham
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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, with mistletoe, tinsel, sleigh rides, and, of course, a boatload of new Christmas movies. Indeed, for millions of families across America and the world, appetite is high for new Christmas-themed content. Hallmark alone is premiering 40 (!!) new Christmas movies this holiday season. That’s on top of the 40 they produced in 2019. And Hallmark isn’t the only player in the Christmas movie game. Many other networks and streamers have entered this space like Netflix, Hulu, Lifetime, Freeform, Ion, OWN, and BET, to name a few. With so many networks and streaming platforms hungry for Christmas content, there has never been a better time for writers and producers to bring their own Christmas story to the screen. If you want to write or produce your own Christmas film, there are a lot of opportunities available to you, but you first need to understand what this space is currently looking like and how you can best fit in. Who’s buying and selling? What makes a Christmas themed script successful and how can you best produce and assemble your film to make it marketable, unique, and exciting? Better understanding the context and current landscape can give your own Yule tide project the success you’re looking for. James Crawford is a producer and development executive currently at Fireside Pictures with several holiday titles—and several dozen other pitched projects—under his belt. While at Engage Entertainment, James developed, sold, and produced seven movies to Hallmark Channel over three years, including THE ROOFTOP CHRISTMAS TREE, SLEIGH BELLS RING and A DECEMBER BRIDE. In addition to his feature production experience, James has developed several one-hour television series, pitching to EPiX, WGN America, Cinemax, and Universal Cable Productions, among others. James worked as Creative Executive at Cartel Entertainment, a television and film literary management and production company, and was responsible for identifying, developing, and pitching content for its first-look deal with Entertainment One, including the Stephen King novel The Regulators. At Cartel Entertainment, James developed pitches for Amazon, FX, Hulu, Netflix, Cinemax, UCP, and other major networks. James has a storied background as a producer and executive and is intimately familiar with what it takes to turn a script into a produced holiday film. James will teach you how to write and produce a successful Christmas movie in today’s industry. He’ll begin by going over the market and explaining who is buying and selling. He’ll also outline what stories are popular right now. He’ll then delve into tips for writing an effective Christmas movie, both TV movies and films. He’ll discuss aspects like screenplay format, plotting and structure, themes to lean into and avoid, diversity, characters, and what the holiday film essentials are. Next James will go over how to produce a Christmas movie. He’ll talk about what a successful budget range should be and when to start pitching. He’ll explain how to cast your movie for success and where to spend your money in production. Finally he will go over distribution options for your holiday film and whether it can sell outside of the US. If you’ve always wanted to make your own Christmas movie or have a story that you think could work within the holiday market, let James give you the lowdown you need to take the next steps toward holly jolly success. Praise for James's Past Stage 32 Webinar James was awesome. Clear, concise, and knowledgeable. -Stephen B. “James Crawford was very informative, and the way he brought the webinar across was entertaining and kept you engaged. I loved every bit of it! I hope he comes back for a round 2” -Imo C. Super helpful and very clear. Right to the point. Not full of anecdotes but actual teaching. -Helena W. “It was very informative in a practical way. James was great!” -Dave M.
A professional budget is essential to every film, TV, and digital production. It's important that you get your financials in check in order to avoid any surprises once you yell "Action!" This will help avoid overages, delays, and frustration on the set. Putting together a professional budget is not as difficult as you think! Even if Excel and Movie Magic aren't your specialty, that's OK. You can still learn what you need to do to in order to make sure your budget looks professional. For starters, you must make sure that you have all the pertinent production details and supporting information. You need to proofread your work before it's submitted for the production. In short, before you can create a budget that will keep your production on track, you need to understand all the elements that will make is so. It's not as intimidating as you think, and we're here to help. Rosi Acosta is a Unit Production Manager, DGA, who has worked on over 75 TV and Film projects and over 100 commercials. She is a valued name in Hollywood as a top UPM who's worked on films such as DRIVEN, SPEED KILLS, IMPRISONED and many more. She's committed to helping you understand the basics of creating a professional film budget. You'll examine all the pertinent elements of a film budget so you have a clear understanding of what is considered industry standard. You will learn the basics of Movie Magic software and what support documents you will need to help you prepare a professional budget. Rosi will take away the anxiety and simplify the process of creating your film budget! This presentation will give you confidence to move forward with a professional level budget to ensure your production goes off without a hitch! "Rosi Acosta is, in a word, awesome. She is a treasure of knowledge and easy to understand! Incredibly detailed." - Lawrence W.
Learn directly from Host Tatiana Kelly, who has produced almost two dozen independent films including The Words (Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana), The Catcher was a Spy with Paul Rudd, Life of a King with Cuba Gooding Jr. and more! 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. To help you on your way to understanding budget, we've brought in producer Tatiana Kelly. Tatiana has produced almost two dozen independent films including The Words (Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana), The Catcher was a Spy with Paul Rudd, Life of a King with Cuba Gooding Jr., Cut Throat City, produced with Reggie Hudlin (Django Unchained), directed by RZA from Wu Tang Clan, Indie darling Wristcutters: A Love Story, and many more. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Tatiana 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.
As actors, we're living in a whole new world. Self-audition tapes, online auditions, virtual acting classes...Things have changed tremendously over the last few years and those ahead of the curve are doing everything possible online to win more champions of their work and land more jobs. Many actors have embraced a "control what you can control" mindset. This includes creating short form content as a way to control and film their own material, build up a library of acting samples, and showcase their versatility and talents. The idea of creating and filming your own content, especially for actors accustomed to only being in front of the camera, can be daunting. But seriously, it doesn't have to be. In fact, if you can knock down the mental walls associated with taking the step toward controlling your own content, and thereby your brand and the course of your career, you will find yourself with more freedom and creative inspiration than ever before. And we're here to help you take a sledgehammer to those mental walls and get you moving. Elisha has guest starred on the Emmy nominated/winning shows Better Call Saul, The Newsroom, Mad Men, Southland, Up All Night, The New Normal and CSI:NY and voiced the character of Jimmy Olsen and B'dg on DC Nation Shorts's Tales of Metropolis and Super-Pets. He was also in the highly acclaimed Sundance feature Frank & Lola starring Michael Shannon and Imogen Poots. Elisha is no stranger to creating content to help accelerate his acting career. He got his start writing web-series with his friends from Emerson College, including Downers Grove, which was picked up by Warner Brothers Studio 2.0. Aside from all the roles mentioned above, Elisha's content creation strategy helped him land commercials for Mike's Hard Lemonade, Time Warner Cable, Samsung, Wendy's, McDonald's, Nintendo 3DS and Hanes. In this comprehensive and detail filled webinar, Elisha will teach you how to create short form content to launch, accelerate, and expand your acting career. He will teach you how to identify your career blueprint by asking 2 simple, but important questions. From there, he'll ask you to get real and talk through your true goals so that you know exactly what kind of short form content you'll need to make. He will show you 7 examples of short form content to open your mind, spark your creativity and help you identify the direction you want to take with your content. He will teach you the 3 boxes you need to check to make sure your idea is a great one. He will then dive into how to make cost-efficient content and how not to overthink the process. He'll tell you how to build your team - again, on the quick and cheap. And of great importance, Elisha will teach you where to release your content, assuring that you get not only the biggest audience, but the most concentrated one based on your overall goals. "Brilliant. In every way, brilliant." - Kim G. "So f****** inspiring." - Laura P. "Yes, yes, yes. So tired of giving away my power. Elisha, you're my hero" Samantha K. "This is a step I've always wanted to take. I've seen my acting friends create content to great success. I just didn't know if I could create content that mattered. Now I do." - Joshua W. "I'm inspired and ready to rock." - Montell S.
Learn directly from Marty Lang, award winning producer of over 20 films! Making an independent film is hard, no matter where you're doing it. But there's great news – no matter where you film, there are treasure troves of resources available to you, if you know where to look. In any community, there are people, government agencies, and organizations that are looking to help people just like you. The smart filmmaker will find them, engage them, and work with them to create a much better film than they had, at first, imagined. This type of filmmaking is called place-based filmmaking, and it can be done in any big city, small town, county or state. If you think about how to engage your local community from the moment you start thinking about your film, you will be able to better capture the authenticity of where you are in your work, as well as open yourself up to resources you may not have had before. Marty Lang is a an award winning producer of over 20 films, best known for his feature romantic dramedy, Rising Star, in which he implemented place-based filmmaking and engaged his community’s resources from production to distribution. This film went on to win awards at various film festivals and was featured in Filmmaker Magazine, Film Threat and Film Courage. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Marty will teach you how to create a successful place-based film. Using examples of place-based filmmaking from his own resume, Marty will show you how place-based filmmaking will help you develop your story more organically, and how it will help you solve many problems before you even get into production.
Ask any successful filmmaker how they got started and almost all will tell you that their success began with a short film. And today, more filmmakers and producers are making short films as a proof of concept for a feature length version of their story. This doesn't have to be a daunting task. And we're here to prove it by showing you how a 5-minute short made for $5,000 went on to become a feature, a Tribeca Film Festival darling, and get national distribution. Natalie Qasabian has produced movies for the Duplass Brothers and recently was a producer on one of the biggest indie box office successes of the last few years, Searching. The film, made for under $1MM, was acquired by Sony at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to gross $75MM at the domestic box office. But much of Natalie's success and her journey began with a short film. Natalie is going to take you on an educational, inspiring, and motivational ride by teaching exactly how they pulled off the short film Join the Club, the feature All About Nina, and how the two were directly connected. She will explain the path this film took, from financing to casting to filming to film festival strategies to crushing it at Tribeca to getting global distribution. But this isn't all. Natalie will discuss the importance of making your short. How you should approach the process. How you should handle rejection along the way. How to navigate all the ups and downs of pre-production and production without having it cloud your overall strategy for the film and much, much more. Like what you heard from Natalie during this webcast? Send your script to Natalie and speak with her for a full hour by clicking here. Praise for Natalie's Stage 32 Webinar "Natalie knows how to take a film to the highest of places by committing to sound and proven strategies. Her perspective is amazing" - Doug L.