Laurie Cook worked as an Assistant Director for the BBC and Sky for four years before moving into Development, reading for companies such as Working Title, Qwerty Films and Element Pictures. Combining an experience of on set physical production and spotting talented script writers, he began producing high concept, low-budget, commercial films. Laurie is now a Producer and Head Of Development at Bigscope Films in London. Laurie's credits include Don't Hang Up, Pressure, Alien Outpost, Hangar 10, Camera Trap, Honor and The Trade. Four of his films have sold theatrically across the world and he is always on the look out for the next talented writer or director. Full Bio »
With advances in modern technology across all facets of production, post and distribution, there is no better time to go and make a low-budget film and establish yourself in the industry. From Christopher Nolans' £4,000 Following to Eran Creevy's £100,000 Shifty to Jay Blakeson's £1 million Disappearance of Alice, there are different types of "low-budget" that have been proven successes in their own right, but more importantly a launching pad for the filmmakers.
So what kind of film should you make? And how can you, regardless of how small your budget is, get the most for your money? Most importantly, how can you make sure that the right kind of people see your film once you have made it?
In this exclusive stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Laurie Cook will guide writers, directors and producers through his experience developing and producing for the UK low-budget market. Having produced 6 low-budget feature films in the past few years within the UK, which all received worldwide theatrical distribution, Laurie will teach you his tips and tricks for producing low-budget, high production value feature films and how to best utilize UK resources. From development ideas to sources of finance, production tips to the ever-changing distribution landscape, this will be your go-to guide for navigating the low-budget UK film market, with an open question and answer throughout the webinar for maximum interaction.
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Learn directly from Laurie Cook, Producer and Head of Development at Bigscope Films, who's produced 4 feature films that have sold theatrically worldwide! Lured by generous tax incentives, many of Hollywood's biggest films have shot in London or are planning to head to the U.K. There is over $500,000,000 worth of public money to be spent on films each year in the U.K., and in 2012 there were over 250 films shot in the U.K. and over 600 films released there. It's a wonderful place to get films made, but the competition for finance and distribution is stronger than ever. What makes the film market different in the U.K than in Hollywood? How do you get your foot in the door as a writer, director, or producer in the U.K. film industry? Once you're in, how do you stand out from the crowd? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Laurie Cook will guide writers, directors and producers through the independent U.K. film market from an insider's point of view: how to get funding for your script and film, how and why certain projects stand out against the rest, and how to boost your chances of success. This will be your go-to guide to navigating the U.K. film market and getting your film made in the U.K. You will leave with an agenda to make you and your project focused and well presented for maximum impact. Your host Laurie Cook is a Producer and Head of Development at Bigscope Films, where he produced the films Pressure (starring Matthew Goode & Danny Huston) and Don't Hang Up (starring Gregg Sulkin) releasing this year, as well as Hangar 10 and Outpost, which were released in 2014. He knows the ins and outs of the U.K. film market, what executives are looking for when taking on projects and how to make your mark to get your script and films made.
How do I get financing? How can I win over a financier? How can I stand out from other projects looking for funding? How can I create a pitch that blows financiers away? These are the questions on everyone's mind. And we have the answer. One of our favorite educators, Tribeca-winning producer Samm Haillay, is back again exclusively at Stage 32 and this time he's bringing the goods to help you design the best pitch possible for your film. As an example, Samm will be showing you the 15 minute pitch which helped raise ALL the funding for the feature length film, BYPASS, which went on to be nominated for Best Film at the prestigious Venice Film Festival (among others) and continued Samm's incredible stretch of raising funds and winning awards.. This film was written, directed and produced by Duane Hopkins, who's experience prior to this was primarily in short films. In this two part online class, Samm will break down what it takes for any filmmaker, producer, screenwriter or other creative looking to raise funds and get their projects into development!
If you're thinking about attending some of the major film markets - including Cannes, TIFF, AFM or EFM - it's important to understand how to navigate the commerce of the markets. We're bringing in international producer Alexia Melocchi, who has over a decade of experience at the markets to go over each of the markets and how you can get the most out of attending!
As an independent filmmaker or producer, you probably start working on a new project for creative reasons—the chance to tell an amazing story, build worlds, create something of cultural value. Yet your independent film is not just a creative endeavor; it’s also a business. You’re sourcing financing and bringing in investors, building a team, and creating a property that will (hopefully) ultimately make money. To operate successfully in the world of independent film and continue to make films that you’re proud of, you need to be able to understand the dynamics and the relation between financing, distribution and recoupment of film investments so you and your investors can both leave with a profit. The business side of films is often especially difficult for filmmakers and creative producers, but it's actually more possible than you think. No matter how big or small your film is, there are multiple ways you can find funding and multiple ways you can ultimately create profitability. And while it might not be second nature for creatives, once you get a handle on how to make this process work for you, you will also be able to create a business model that you can apply to your future projects, and eventually a portfolio of profitable assets (or films) that will serve as an effective and undeniable calling card as you continue to grow in the industry. Over twenty-five years and working across three continents, Jeanette Milio has been involved in the production of over 500 hours of content for film and television, with a total production value of over $250 million, and including Academy Award® winning talent in front of and behind the camera. Throughout her career, Jeanette was involved in financing over 45 film and television projects for HBO, Showtime, ABC, USA Network, Disney, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., and others. Jeanette also managed a media fund for Far East National Bank, which funded 40 film and television projects, which lead to her structuring her own media fund that financed theatrical features with a production volume of $60 million. Jeanette’s decades working and finding success in the film industry has given her a unique and unrivaled perspective of how to finance film content and make a profit. Exclusively for Stage 32, Jeanette will give a realistic, accessible, and straightforward presentation of the best way to actually finance your film and make a profit in today’s market. She’ll go over the differences between the studio finance model and independent finance model and then delve into how distribution can work best for you and how you can take advantage of more options than you think. Jeanette will also lay out how you can establish profitability for your film by explaining the essential ingredients necessary for a profit, going over how to create a budget and teaching you how you can best align your interests with the investor’s. Jeanette will break down the financial sources available today and give you tips on how you should be balancing multiple sources and mitigate risks for investors at the same time. She’ll even walk you through the complicated “waterfall” process of recoupment. Financing your film is more possible than you might think, even if you’re just getting started, and Jeanette will give you the tools and confidence to be able to take the necessary steps for your own project. PLUS: Jeanette will provide exclusive and helpful documents to take home with you after, including: Collection Account Management Agreement Example Pay or Play Offer Draft Finance Plan Template for Microsoft Excel Praise for Jeanette's Stage 32 Webinar “This was an excellent overview of all that is involved, and a great encouragement to reach out to people who do this kind of thing for a living, instead of trying to do it by myself for the first time.” - Sarah D. “Jeanette was so detailed about the how to's and why you need to take and research every step. I love getting the details that really feel behind the curtain.” - Melissa B. “I liked it. Specifically, the content. Jeanette was very informative and clearly knows her stuff.” - Crystal B. “Explanation of pre-sales and budget breakdown was very informative.” - Roc R.
Let's get one thing out of the way immediately: It's not just Hollywood anymore. Actually, let's take it one step further, it's not just the United States either. If you're a filmmaker, screenwriter or producer seeking to sell and/or distribute your content, looking to work on a consistent basis and, hopeful in building a long lasting career in the industry, you must be paying attention to what's happening around the world. The international entertainment industry now contributes to over 70% of the theatrical releases and box office receipts across the globe. And many estimate that number will grow over the coming years. But it's not just film that has seen this global expansion, television and digital content has exploded outside of the U.S. as well. Not to mention, many of the streaming platforms are now looking for film, television and other short form content that will play with a U.S. audience, but will be especially popular in specific regions overseas. So where do you begin to look where others aren't, expand your prospects and give yourself a competitive advantage? Well, right here, of course! For many, navigating the international market presents a black hole. Where can one find producers, financiers, representatives and development execs who serve these markets? How do you know what the trends are and how you may best serve them? How do you know the mandates of streamers, distributors and sales agents? Do you have a story already in hand that can be tweaked to serve an international audience? You may be surprised. We could fill 20 paragraphs with what Alexia Melocchi has achieved in her 25 year career in the entertainment business. Alexia is an accomplished entertainment industry professional with a long proven track record of success within both the domestic and international arenas. A vital contributor to the LITTLE STUDIO FILMS brand, Alexia Melocchi's expertise and footing in the entertainment industry began in the international marketplace, as both a sales agent and buyer’s representative for eleven territories, giving her diverse exposure to all types of films and functions in the entertainment industry. As a consultant she currently uses her professional relationships and expertise by providing screenplay development, packaging films, securing co- productions and arranging for US and international distribution for her clients. A regular participant at most major film and television markets as well as festivals around the world, Alexia Melocchi still pursues international acquisitions and uses a global film marketing approach for the projects of her clients as well as the films she has and is producing under the Little Studio Films banner. During her tenure as a sales agent she sold more than 50 movies to profit on behalf of her producer clients, and acquired more than 100 major studio and independent films on behalf of the Distributors she has ongoing relationships with in Italy, Greece, Latin America, Spain, France, Germany, Japan and Scandinavia. She recently handled territorial sales for Unstaged, the Duran Duran live concert film directed by David Lynch, the Italian American film American Fango directed by Gabriele Altobelli and the Australian feature Bathing Frankie directed by Owen Elliott. Alexia will teach you everything you need to know about the international marketplace and how to use your English speaking talents to get paid as a director, writer or author by international companies. She will give you an overview of the global film business including trends and how to tell global stories for a global audience. She will take away the fear and anxiety and the time suck of figuring out how to find, meet and engage international producers and financiers. She will explain the film markets and explain which ones to attend and which to skip. She will teach you the proper cultural etiquette when dealing with international decision makers. Of monumental importance, she will show you how to pitch yourself and your projects to the international marketplace and how your pitch may differ from U.S. targets. Plus, you will get a handout of resources and links for foreign resources Alexia goes over in her webinar! This is a comprehensive look at the international market and how to navigate the landscape toward opening up the world for new possibilities as a filmmaker, screenwriter, author or producer. Praise for Alexia "Great information. She covered a lot of ground and it was one of the most informative Stage 32 webinars I've attended. Thank you!!" - Debbi M. "Concise and to the point, great information on international markets, I will apply this knowledge to my debut film's development." - Francisco C. "Great advice. She really demystified a lot of what's involved. Thank you Alexia!" - S.J. "A lot of great info, but also a new way of thinking, a fresh perspective to help advance my career! Thank you!" - John E. "Great energy and to the point info. Loved it." - Sebastian T.
Get the lowdown on how to save your film even in the worst case scenario with a veteran producer with over 35 films under her belt. Comes with example Letters of Intent Try as hard as you might, even when you dot every ‘i‘ and cross every ‘t’, the production of your film is never going to go perfectly. Things invariably come up or go wrong that are outside your control. Ask any producer—it is a certainty. As a result, it’s not the mark of a good producer to prevent unexpected problems from coming up, but instead to be able to address these issues when they do inevitably arise. You’ll never know what might come up during the course of your film’s production, but two of the biggest and scariest issues are when your money or your talent fall through. Even with everything else set to go, a full team intact, your locations booked, and your equipment prepped, if you lose either of these two crucial elements, it can bring your entire film to a grinding halt. Losing your film’s money or top-level talent just before production begins is a more common issue than you might think, and while it’s certainly a difficult situation to navigate, it doesn’t need to derail your project. There are strategies you can use as a producer to soften the blow, move forward, and bring the money or actors back on board. It comes down to attitude, knowing your options, always having contingency plans, and being smart and measured in how you communicate with financiers, agents, and actors. So how do experienced producers deal with losing these elements last minute? How can they convince financiers to stay on board? How do they renegotiate with actors without going over-budget? And how do they know when to re-approach and when it’s time to part ways? Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and a veteran film producer with 35 features under her belt. Of those 35, 9 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. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Through her career, Aimee has had to navigate losing money and losing talent many times and has developed valuable strategies she will share with the Stage 32 community that has kept her projects moving and allowed them to find success. Aimee will walk you through what exactly you should do for your film if either your funding or your talent fall through during the course of pre-production or production. She’ll lay out the first steps you should always take when you first find out you’re about to lose either of these elements. She’ll then spend time discussing financing specifically and strategies you should employ. She’ll talk about how to figure out what really went wrong and how to renegotiate with the financier, including how to offer points or credits. Aimee will also talk about how you can move forward anyway by paring down expenses and altering your schedule. She’ll also tell you how to reapproach investors or partners that said no in the past. Aimee will also spend time discussing strategies specifically for losing talent. She’ll tell you how to gauge if the talent can be recovered, and offer actor-specific tips on how to renegotiate. She’ll talk about communication tips for both actors and their reps and advise you on when it’s worth it to reschedule your shoot. She’ll also go through how to find new acting choices and use leverage to get a last minute replacement. Finally, Aimee will show you how you can best recover when things fall through and how to move forward with your plan B without sacrificing the quality of your film. Along the way, Aimee will share personal stories of her own past and even show you specific emails and language she used to renegotiate or find new funding or actors. You’ll never be able to fully prepare for problems that come up last second, but Aimee will give you the tools and confidence you can use to navigate these problems and keep your project afloat. Praise for Aimee’s Previous Stage 32 Webinars "I've taken many Stage 32 webinars and they've all been wonderful, but Aimee's had me ready to run through a wall! So much thoughtful and intelligent information!" - Debra S. "This webinar was jam packed with so many useful and accessible strategies I can start using today. Thank you!" -Brian D. "Grounded and Practical" -Jennifer S. “Aimee was able to take these big ideas and make them feel totally accessible and easy to understand. I really enjoyed hearing from her” -Howard F.