Actors: Make Your Headshot and Resume Stand Out to a Casting Director

Hosted by Marin Hope

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Marin Hope

Webinar hosted by: Marin Hope

Casting Director, CSA (HBO's BESSI, AMERICAN MADE, Emmy-winning HOMELAND)

Marin Hope is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson,COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Marin is a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA). She was nominated for an Artios Award for casting in 2018 for her casting of a short film entitled, Plea and was the recipient of an Artios Award for casting in 2020 for her casting of the Center Theater Group’s 2018 production of Sweat. For a complete list of her film and television credits click here. Prior to her current role, Marin joined Define American as their Entertainment Media Manager. Define American is a nonprofit media and culture organization founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, who’s mission is to use the power of storytelling to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America. She moved to New York City to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and landed a position at ABC Primetime Casting under casting executive, Marci Philips. She would go on to work for casting directors, Judy Henderson, Suzanne Smith-Crowley, Jessica Kelly, Billy Hopkins and Ann Goulder on projects such as Showtime's HOMELAND, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, ABC’S PAN AM, THE WOLVERINE, LABOR DAY, ABC's ZERO HOUR, NOAH, THE MAZE RUNNER, and NBC'S THE BLACKLIST, before returning to Los Angeles. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

As an actor, there are so many elements that go into being successful. Craft and method, scene study, poise, rehearsal, memorization, building your brand and identity. The list goes on. Yet in the end, getting cast in a project might come down to just two pieces of paper: your headshot and your resume. It’s often the very first impression casting directors or producers have of you and may dictate whether or not you get in the room to audition in the first place. Considering how much can come down to your these two items, it’s critical you make them as effective as possible to put your best foot forward.

There are tons of online resources, articles and videos on the do’s and don’ts of actor headshots and resumes, many of which contradict the next. Acting coaches, agents, managers and industry professionals are quick to define what makes a headshot “pop” and what to include on your resume. But what do casting directors really look for? And what can make your headshot and resume stand out from the stack of others that a casting director receives?

Over her career, casting director Marin Hope has cast hundreds of actors in film, TV, theatre and commercial projects. The winner of the 2020 Artios Award for Casting, Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, and most recently MOLLY, starring Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Marin’s deep experience in acting has made her a foremost expert in what it takes for actors to get the job, and she’s back exclusively with Stage 32 to reveal what she knows.

Marin will reveal from a casting director’s perspective what makes an actor’s headshot and resume effective. She will discuss everything from hair and makeup to how much you should spend on headshots to what makes a headshot stand out. She’ll provide details on how to best format your resume and what credits you should and should not include. She’ll also discuss what a casting director looks for when reviewing actor materials and why one actor may be selected to audition over another based solely on their headshot and resume. You’ll learn all of this from an esteemed casting director's perspective, which will give you a unique and valuable understanding of how to best curate your materials.

 

Praise for Marin's Previous Stage 32 Webinars

 

"I thought I was just going to revisit what I already know about self-taping but Marin brought forth valuable new information."

-Michele C.

 

"I think Marin's webinar is excellent and covered everything that an actor would want or need. I like her no nonsense approach. Takes a lot of the fear factor away."

-Sondra C.

 

"The information was informative, Marin gave a lot information that is extremely invaluable to me in this industry and I look forward to many more webinars with Stage32 because of this."

-Michael C.

 

"Well, done. I have made it into several movies and missed getting into others. There are several things I learned which I will incorporate in future auditions."

-Kenneth W.

What You'll Learn

  • Understanding the Casting Director’s Submission Sorting Process
    • What is a casting director looking for when sorting through submissions for a specific role?
    • How does a casting director decide whether or not to invite you to audition for that role?
  • What Does a Casting Director Want in a Headshot?
    • What do casting directors look for above all else when reviewing a headshot ?
    • Glamour vs. personality
    • How do you capture your personality and essence?
    • How can you best curate your headshots appropriately for specific roles?
  • Preparing for New Headshots
    • What should you wear?
    • Hair and makeup - should you get it professionally done?
    • Where should you shoot your headshots?
    • How many looks do you need for theatrical headshots?
    • How many looks do you need for commercial headshots?
    • How do you find the right photographer?
    • How much should you spend?
  • The Biggest Mistakes Actors Make When Taking Headshots
    • And tips on how to avoid these mistakes
  • What Does a Casting Director Look for in a Resume?
    • The one thing casting directors look for above all else when reviewing your resume
    • Quality vs. quantity
  • Resume Basics
    • The basic info you should include on your resume
    • What contact info should you include on your resume?
    • What credits should you include?
    • What credits should you not include?
    • How to tackle special skills
    • What should you include regarding education or training?
  • How to Best Format Your Resume
    • Page length
    • Formatting do’s and don’ts
  • Examples of Great Headshots and Resumes
  • Q&A with Marin

About Your Instructor

Marin Hope is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson,COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production.

Marin is a member of the Casting Society of America (CSA). She was nominated for an Artios Award for casting in 2018 for her casting of a short film entitled, Plea and was the recipient of an Artios Award for casting in 2020 for her casting of the Center Theater Group’s 2018 production of Sweat. For a complete list of her film and television credits click here.

Prior to her current role, Marin joined Define American as their Entertainment Media Manager. Define American is a nonprofit media and culture organization founded by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Jose Antonio Vargas, who’s mission is to use the power of storytelling to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America.

She moved to New York City to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and landed a position at ABC Primetime Casting under casting executive, Marci Philips. She would go on to work for casting directors, Judy Henderson, Suzanne Smith-Crowley, Jessica Kelly, Billy Hopkins and Ann Goulder on projects such as Showtime's HOMELAND, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, ABC’S PAN AM, THE WOLVERINE, LABOR DAY, ABC's ZERO HOUR, NOAH, THE MAZE RUNNER, and NBC'S THE BLACKLIST, before returning to Los Angeles.

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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!

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Other education that may be of interest to you:

Mastering the Self Audition Tape - Tips from a Casting Director with Video Examples & a Resource Sheet

Today, more than ever, self tape auditions are an integral part of the casting process. This is even more true in the age of social distancing. Additionally, due to the convenience self tapes provide and tight deadlines casting directors often operate under, more roles are cast via self tape auditions than ever before. Understanding how to set up, craft, and shoot a self tape can be the difference between landing more roles or having your talents fall by the wayside.  When a casting director requests and accepts self tapes to assist in their casting process, they inevitably wind up with tapes of varying quality and content. Whether it's picture quality or sound quality fails, a bad self tape immediately gets bypassed. Actors often think that their talent will always win the day. In a room, that might be true. But on a self tape, quality matters. Fortunately, there are some very simple, but comprehensive steps you can take that will make a massive difference in what you present to a casting director. The goal is to keep the attention off cosmetic or sound flaws and on your acting, where it belongs! Marin Hope, CSA is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director, who won the 2020 Artios Award for Casting. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Over her storied career she has seen thousands of auditions and hundreds of casting self-tapes and she's back here exclusively on Stage 32 to impart her wisdom on what can help you get a leg up on the competition when it comes to your self tape.  Marin will talk about the need for self-tapes and why they are an essential part of today's casting process. You'll get insight as to why some jobs rely on it vs. others who require in-person auditions. She will go over your question on whether or not you should use a self-tape facility or film from home. When it comes to shooting at home, you will learn background, lighting, angles, wardrobe choices and equipment you will need, as well as whether or not you should film horizontal or portrait. Finally, Karen will teach you the do's and don'ts of a self-tape and share with you examples of good and bad auditions. You will learn all of this from an esteemed casting director's perspective which will give you the unique insight into how your own self-tape is viewed. PLUS! Marin will share with you: Videos clips of do's and dont's for casting videos A resource sheet of tools and equipment that can help you with the look of your casting tape     Praise for Marin's Stage 32 Webinar:   "I thought I was just going to revisit what I already know about self-taping but Marin brought forth valuable new information." -Michele C.   "I think Marin's webinar is excellent and covered everything that an actor would want or need. I like her no nonsense approach. Takes a lot of the fear factor away." -Sondra C.   "The information was informative, Marin gave a lot information that is extremely invaluable to me in this industry and I look forward to many more webinars with Stage32 because of this." -Michael C.   "Well, done. I have made it into several movies and missed getting into others. There are several things I learned which I will incorporate in future auditions." -Kenneth W.

Breaking Down the Casting Process: How An Actor Wins the Role

There are a wide array of audition classes, books, and online resources that provide important actor insight and audition technique and etiquette. However, very few actors or industry professionals have an understanding of how the entire casting process works. If you're an actor, you may focused on winning the room. If you're a filmmaker, you may be focused on finding the best performance the quickest way possible. If you're a producer you may be focused on getting the best talent to bring audition to your package. Either way, every person involved with the project controls an important piece of the overall puzzle. If you're an actor it's important that you understand how the entire casting process works so you can build champions, win the room and book more work. If you're a filmmaker or producer, it's important that you understand the casting timeline to prepare for pre-production. Have you ever wondered what happens behind closed casting office doors, both before and after an audition? This is crucial information that helps you determine how you can best contribute to the overall casting puzzle. You need to understand project breakdowns, actor submissions, audition scheduling and director callbacks. You will need insight as to why one actor may be selected to audition over another and you’ll also need to know about the many factors that determine which actors advance in the casting process and ultimately book the role. Marin Hope, CSA is a Los Angeles native and LA-based casting director, who won the 2020 Artios Award for Casting. Marin works alongside Heidi Levitt, casting film, television, commercial, theatre and New Media projects. Some casting credits include HBO's BESSIE starring Queen Latifah, Mo’Nique, Michael K. Williams and Mike Epps, AMERICAN MADE, starring Tom Cruise and Domhnall Gleeson, COMPLETE UNKNOWN, starring Michael Shannon and Rachel Weisz, HOMELAND, starring Claire Danes, THE LAST WORD, starring Shirley MacLaine and Amanda Seyfried, KINGS, starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig, Bad Samaritan starring David Tennant and Robert Sheehan, WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY, starring Joan Allen and Adrien Brody, and most recently MOLLY, Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning, Chris Rock, Laura Linney and Salma Hayek, which is currently in post-production. Marin has cast hundreds of actors in film, TV, theatre and commercial projects and is back exclusively on Stage 32 to detail the casting director’s process, beginning to end. Marin will walk through the entire casting process from her perspective as an accomplished casting director. She’ll begin by discussing project and character breakdowns, how they’re composed, what details are included, and the various forums and databases these breakdowns are posted. She’ll go over what details actors should not before submitting to a role and how to know ahead of time if you’re right for the role. She’ll teach you how to submit yourself for a role or how to get your agent or manager to do so. Marin will give you an inside look into how casting directors sort through actor submissions to choose who to audition and what elements will help a casting director notice and choose you. Next, Marin will discuss how casting directors schedule actor auditions, how many actors are generally schedule in a single day and what you should do as an actor if you’re unavailable for your audition date or time. She will delve into the process of 1st call auditions, who is typically in the room, what you should expect, how you should prepare, and what the casting director’s process is after a day of 1st call auditions. She will also give you a peek into who views your 1st call audition tapes. Marin will then similarly outline callback auditions, how they work, how they differ from 1st call auditions, and how decisions are made at this stage. Next she will talk about 2nd callbacks, chemistry reads, and test shoots, including how best to prepare for these, how decisions are made at this stage, and what to expect for a test shoot. She’ll delve into what it means to be “put on avail” and how to navigate when you’re “on avail” and when to know if you are “released” or have been booked for the job. Finally Marin will discuss the ultimate step of booking talent, including how you will know if you booked the job, what the process looks like from the casting director’s perspective after getting the green light to book talent, and how you should communicate with the casting office throughout. You’ll learn all of this from an esteemed casting director's perspective, which will give you a unique and valuable understanding of how projects are cast.   Praise for Marin’s Past Stage 32 Webinar:    Well, done. There are several things I learned which I will incorporate in future auditions. Thanks so much, Marin. -Joseph H.   I thought I was just going to revisit what I already know, but Marin brought forth valuable new information. -Michele C.   Clear, professional, informative presentation. Thank you!! -Pamela F.   I think Marin's webinar is excellent and covered everything that an actor would want or need. I like her no nonsense approach. Takes a lot of the fear factor away. -Sondra C.

How to Write Faith Based and Faith Friendly Films That Will Make It to The Screen

Faith based and faith friendly films have been a steady, popular, and profitable industry and one of the hottest genres for success. It could be considered a niche audience, but it’s a powerful and dependable niche audience that has helped catapult films and filmmakers to success. Recent films like I CAN ONLY IMAGINE, GOD’S NOT DEAD, and THE SHACK have found popularity and impressive box office numbers by tapping into this audience and bringing out church-goers and other faith-friendly communities that might not be as eager to seek out films outside of this genre. And it makes sense that faith-based films are doing well. In challenging or negative times, people will more actively seek out positivity and inspiration, two ingredients almost guaranteed to be featured in a faith-based film. Considering how challenging and negative our current world can be, there might not be a better time to break into the world of faith-based films and write a script that can shine in this market. Writing a faith based or faith friendly script can be tricky, as you don't want to fall into cliches and lose your audience. You might have a great idea for a script with an uplifting message and inspirational ending, but when does it cross the line from a traditional genre script to faith-friendly?  What does that audience actually look for and what do faith-based production companies seek out when considering a script? What elements in your story are off-limits and which will help you sell your script? There’s no crystal ball that can tell us 100% what works and what doesn’t in this genre, but there are patterns and constants that can be gleaned and applied to your own script. With a proper lay of the land, you’ll be able to better tackle this genre and write a script that can not only get on the screen, but inspire and uplift viewers at the same time. Brad Wilson is the Co-founder of Higher Purpose Entertainment (HPE), a production company dedicated to telling stories in film and TV that encompass truth of character and strive to embrace inspirationally redeeming qualities. While at HPE he's produced a number of films including THREE BLIND SAINTS, CHRISTMAS ON SALVATION STREET, MY MANY SONS, THE MEANEST MAN IN TEXAS, and THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE, which was released last year in 1,100 theaters across the country. Brad is well-versed in the business of faith based films and has a keen sense of how projects thrive in this genre. He’s ready to share what he knows exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Brad will walk you through how to create a faith based script that can both sell and have a positive impact within this specific community. Brad will begin with an overview of the faith based/faith friendly landscape and will give you a rundown of how this genre works both at a studio and in the independent space. He’ll then break down major screenwriting points of an effective faith based scripts, including average page count, characters, and plot structure. He’ll outline what makes a script faith based or faith friendly and at what point a drama script would be considered by a faith based production company. He will delve into what the faith based audience looks like and the best ways to reach them. Brad will teach you the elements that work best for a faith based script, including employing romance and a specific message. He will also go over elements to stay away from and how to balance a cross over script with “preaching to the choir”. He will also give tips on how to drive the story forward within this genre. He’ll discuss when to take feedback on your script and when to trust your gut and will give you tips on how to keep your writing real, even when it’s made up. Brad will also discuss the types of budget you should keep in mind for the best chance of success with your faith based script. Brad’s valuable rundown of the faith based genre will give you the tips and tools you need to create an amazing script that will excel within the faith friendly community. Like what you heard from Brad during this webinar? Brad will read your script and speak with you for a half-hour if you click here.     Praise for Brad's Stage 32 Webinar   "Brad was terrific! This was an excellent real world webinar. Very helpful in reinforcing some of the trends that I have been seeing in this category, and I learned a lot from today's discussion." -Lew S.   "Brad was amazing. He laid out so clearly the genre and how to write for it in a practical way. He was an awesome instructor who combined practical info, inspiration, and was so "real." Loved it." -Ricki L.   "This was the best webinar I've had so far at Stage 32. Brad's very seasoned and gave wonderful tips that will help me make my faith-friendly script" more marketable." -Gayle R.   "A very honest, forth right presentation from a guy whose been there and done that, and knows the pitfalls and promises of the biz." -Dennis H.  

Understanding the Important World of Film Clearances So Your Film Can Be Distributed

Every year tens of thousands of filmmakers go out to market or submit to festivals with the hope of getting their films distributed, only to learn that by not taking the proper steps to deliver a cleared film, they're dead in the water. In a recent survey in a popular filmmaking magazine, over 40% of filmmakers had never heard of clearances and 75% didn't know how to go about clearing their film. Managing clearances ahead of time can save you huge headaches down the road. Not only will you allow yourself the best chance to secure a sales agent and/or distribution for your film or project, but you will protect yourself legally! The last thing anyone wants after all the time and effort it takes to make a film is to find out it's being held up by expensive legal issues. The truth of the matter is, understanding and working through the issues associated with clearances is not as difficult as it sounds. It does however require knowledge, focus and discipline. It requires someone keeping an eye on the entire shoot and that begins with a script breakdown report and continues throughout production. To teach this all important webinar, we're bringing you two times the knowledge! First, Stephanie Weier is the CEO/Founder of The Domain Group. Holding a passion for filmmaking, branding and legal compliance, Stephanie has worked on building The Domain Group to be a leader in the industry with 20 years of service working for studios, indie producers, game companies, web content and commercials. Founding the company in 2001, Stephanie has lead The Domain Group to having completed over 1000 films in 15 years. She holds a EJD in Contract and IP Law from Concord Law University. Lori Dalton is the President of The Domain Group and is one of the most comprehensive and detailed clearance analysts in the industry. Her project management ability has helped position The Domain Group as both a clearance house and branding company. Combined, Stephanie and Lori have over 40 years of experience. Their company has over 1,000 credits including Happy Death Day, Breaking Bad, Crazy, Stupid, Love (Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell), Blue Valentine (Ryan gosling, Michelle Williams) Edge of Darkness (Mel Gibson) Gimmie Shelter (Vanessa hudgens) and Ray (Jamie Foxx, Kerry Washington) to name a few! Together, Stephanie and Lori will lead you through the land of clearances, so you can concentrate on making the film you want to make without worry! Stephanie and Lori will teach you how to make sure your delivered project is a rockstar with distributors, and why a little more work in this area during pre-production and production can save you lots of time and money down the road. They'll start by showing you the details of a script breakdown report and explain why you need to have one. Then, they'll dive into the world of clearances, big and small so you know exactly how to handle each situation. On the fence about what to clear? They'll explain what you need to clear and what to leave alone. They'll explain what to do if your clearance request is denied. They'll also explain the all important difference between featured use and background use and why the distinction matters more than you think. They will break down title reports and copyright reports and discuss trademark law. And, most importantly, they will show you exactly what you need to do to protect yourself in case you are challenged legally in any way. Don't overlook this all important aspect of the filmmaking and producing process! Lori and Stephanie will have you navigating the world of clearances like a pro and assuring you're protected from the start of pre-production.   Praise for Stephanie and Laurie   "These women rock!" - Laurie T.   "A masterclass. So, so, good!" - Monica H.   "This is one of those subjects that prevented me from moving from screenwriting to making my own films. I always worried that I would do something wrong and get sued. No longer. Fantastic information delivered in a fun way." - Michael E.   "I had no idea. I should have, but I didn't. Now I do. This was a fantastic webinar on a subject every filmmaker and producer - and probably writer - should understand." - Gary G.  

Castable Types® in Acting:

Learn directly from Cynthia White, an actor, director, writer and producer who has coached hundreds of professional actors and acting students! Why do so many wonderful actors never get the chance to use their talent? Why do well-trained actors fail to convince casting directors to book them for jobs and agents to take them on as clients? Why do so many actors find they're chasing after any career opportunity as opposed to creating a career they love? The simple answer is most actors have no understanding of their Castable Types® and without that crucial knowledge and insight, a majority of actors will fail at their creative career goals. Understanding your Castable Types® is more than saying "I'm this or that type". It's having a thorough, in-your-bones knowledge of what is unique about your talent, how that can set you apart from the competition, giving you a recognizable identity as an actor. It builds demand for your talent. It becomes your area of acting expertise in the market. Strengthening and then using the unique and essential qualities that make up your CastableType® allows actors to take their work to Performance Level by bringing specificity, energy, relatability and nuance to every role. That is what casting directors look for in actors. That is what gets you to the final callback. That is what persuades a director to take a risk on a fresh face or an actor who differs from the breakdown and give him or her a chance. That is what tells an agent your talent is worth the investment. By understanding your Castable Type®, using the right techniques to achieve Performance Level work and having a clearer, current grasp of the industry, actors can finally make a successful and sustaining acting career a reality.

How to Find Investors and Secure Financing for your Feature Film- With a Mock Investor's Closing Call

As the landscape of independent film continues to evolve, a clear funding path has developed for films budgeted between high-six figures and $10MM. Indeed, it’s become an effective “sweet spot” for investors. At this budget you can typically attract and secure some star power, one important step toward increasing the odds that your investors will see a return on their investment. But this is just one reason why this budget range is attractive to many investors. There are many more variables at play which will help you raise money for a film or project in this price range. But first, you must understand some tried and true principles that will help you find investors, present your project in the proper fashion and lock them down for an investment. Knowing how to raise money intelligently for films and projects within this budget range can be your calling card toward a powerful career in the independent producing space. Simply put, those who understand the strategies and methods that can help your investors see a return get to keep those investors time and time again. And those investors can, and usually do, bring along more investors if they're happy. While everyone says that raising financing is the hardest aspect of filmmaking, there are smart ways to find money that you may not have thought of, and there are also ways you can expand your dollars once you start raising funds for your project. In addition, there is a well-known group of professionals and creatives that have been working on films in this budget range for years and it's important that you know who they are, how to approach them and what the expectations are once you do. Founded by Elsa Ramo, one of the top entertainment attorneys in the industry today and recently named to Variety’s 2019 “Dealmakers List,”, Ramo Law PC provides comprehensive legal services to its clients in the entertainment industry with a specialized focus in representing financiers, producers, directors, distributors, studios and production entities in all transactional aspects of film, television and digital content. The firm provides experienced legal services to optimize its clients’ financial, legal and business position in the financing, production, and exploitation of their content. Ramo Law has represented over 100 films and 50 television scripted and unscripted series in 2019 alone, including Emmy award-winning shows and films which debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. Clients include Imagine Entertainment, FOX, Balboa Productions (Sylvester Stallone’s production company), Scout Productions (creators and EPs of QUEER EYE), Boardwalk Pictures (EPs for CHEF’S TABLE) and Skydance. Elsa and her associates are bona fide experts when it comes to the nuts and bolts of finding financing for your independent film. Elsa and her senior associates Zen Raben and Sean Pope will join forces to demystify the film financing process so that producers, writers, directors, and financiers can understand the basic yet crucial components of how independently financed films are funded. They will begin by discussing entity formation. They will explain why you need to form an entity for your production and what type of entity you should form, as well as what state you should form it in. They will go over the information you will need to form the entity, the forms that need to be filled out with the state, and how operating agreements work. They will also teach you what a waterfall is and why you should include one in your operating agreement. Next, Elsa, Zev, and Sean will delve into important things to keep in mind specifically for your LLC formation, including the state of formation, deciding if it will be member-managed or manager-managed, who should be in control of creative decisions and who should be in control of business decisions. They will then talk about equity investment and go over who exactly provides equity investment, what investors get out of it, where the investment gets placed and why investors are motivated. Next, Elsa and her associates will explain debt financing. They will teach you the four common types of collateral in debt financing, and four types of debt you will be dealing with. They will go over the key terms and considerations you should know, and just like equity investment, they will explain who provides debt investment, what the investor gets out of it, where the investment gets placed and why investors are motivated. Elsa, Sean, and Zev will even stage a mock closing call between a producer and senior lender to demonstrate what it looks like to lock in funding from an investor. Finally, Elsa, Sean, and Zev will give you an invaluable closing checklist, walking you through everything you need to keep in mind when going after funding. Expect a thorough, comprehensive and undeniably helpful guide to give you the tools you need to find the funding for your next project. This is designed for all levels but particularly effective for those that are currently producing and/or packaging a feature film.     Praise for Elsa's, Zen's and Sean's Stage 32 Webinar:   "It was absolutely brilliant! One of the best webinars I've attended yet! Loved the mock call. That was so educational!" -Becca G.   "They are all knowledgeable and had a great presentation" -Carlos B.   "Great webinar financing. Will be watching again." -Martin R.   "AMAZING WEBINAR!!!" -Stephanie D.

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