Nick Phillips has been a producer in the film business for nearly 20 years, in particular the world of genre films. His career started in New York in 1996 as a receptionist, when he began a nine year stint under Bob & Harvey Weinstein, working for Bob's Dimension Films label. While there, he was involved in such franchises as Scream, Halloween, Hellraiser, Mimic, The Crow, and Highlander. He moved to the Dimension LA office in 2003, during which time he appeared on Season 3 of Project Greenlight, which aired on Bravo, helping shepherd the film Feast through production and launching a new franchise in the process. By the time he left Dimension, he had risen to the post of Vice President of Production. In 2005, Nick went to work for Sony Pictures Entertainment in Culver City. He helped create the micro budget genre division Stage 6 Films, under Peter Schlesell. While there he worked on successful sequels to 30 Days of Night and Vacancy, among others. He soon after moved into a position at Sony Screen Gems, working under Clint Culpepper, where he oversaw a diverse slate of films including Straw Dogs, The Roommate, This Christmas and Country Strong, as well as being involved in franchises such as Underworld and Resident Evil. Nick is currently serving as Executive Vice President of Revolver Picture Company, a fully financed independent genre label he co-founded in 2012 with veteran casting director Kelly Wagner (The Grudge, Hostel). During that time they have produced four films - Haunt with Jacki Weaver and Ione Skye; the award winning Beneath with Jeff Fahey (both released by IFC in 2014) and Devil's Backbone Texas, which Fox Digital Studios released in March 2015. They just wrapped their latest feature, entitled Pet, which stars Dominic Monaghan, Ksenia Solo, and Jennette McCurdy. They also co-financed and produced the horror reality TV pilot Fight of the Living Dead with Alpine Labs and Blackbox TV. That pilot was picked up by Cinedigm to launch their new genre-centric network ConTV.com and premiered as a web series in March 2015. Full Bio »
You finally have the money to make a film. You’ve chosen a start date, you’ve found your locations. You’ve hired the crew and cast your actors. Now what?
On any movie set, there are two major obstacles: time and money. They can be your friends or they can be your enemies. As a producer, it is your job to make sure that you utilize both in the most effective way possible and not go one second or one cent over. And while you do this, you must walk the tightrope between staying within that budget and schedule while simultaneously producing a film that is creatively satisfying and interesting, with production values that give the film the best chance at succeeding in a highly competitive marketplace.
In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, Nick Phillips will walk you through the arduous, challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience of managing a film set. Having worked on sets for almost two decades, Nick has seen the process from every angle and worked with budgets and schedules that range from manageable to ambitious to completely insane.
A working film set is a living, breathing thing, an eco-system with a myriad of moving parts. The days (and nights) are long, exhausting and will prey on your every last nerve. But if you’re armed with the right tools and the proper knowledge, you can sharpen your skill set to the point where producing becomes second nature and actually enjoyable! From location scouting to hiring to shooting days to the wrap party, this webinar will be all encompassing and you will leave confident and ready to manage your set!
Q: What is the format of a webinar?
A: Stage 32 Next Level Webinars are typically 90-minute broadcasts that take place online using a designated software program from Stage 32.
Q: Do I have to be located in a specific location?
A: No, you can participate from the comfort of your own home using your personal computer! If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar.
Q: What are the system requirements?
A: You will need to meet the following system requirements in order to run the webinar software: Windows 7 or later Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later.
If you have Windows XP, Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion): The webinar software does not support these operating systems. If you are running one of those operating systems, please upgrade now in order to be able to view a live webinar. Upgrade your Windows computer / Upgrade your Mac computer
Q: What if I cannot attend the live webinar?
A: If you attend a live online webinar, you will be able to communicate directly with your instructor during the webinar. If you cannot attend a live webinar and purchase an On-Demand webinar, you will have access to the entire recorded broadcast, including the Q&A.
Q: Will I have access to the webinar afterward to rewatch?
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!
“Nick was fantastically generous with his information, experience and time. I got more practical information out of these 90 min than any film book. Please have him on again.” – Annelise P.
“Man, you were fantastic! I love your depth of knowledge and you dedication to the genre. Both really came through in your presentation. I benefited hugely from you experience and presentation. Thanks for making yourself available!” – Larry W.
“Awesome. Very educational. Thank you for your time.” – Joseph O.
“It's obvious Nick is full of experience and is a great resource.” – Clifford D.
“Seminar was mapped out well for different levels of attendee knowledge + good mix of examples from his own films mixed with other classics.” - Roland H.
“Please do more webinars, I learned a lot and like your energy!” – Dominika P.
“Very well done. Covered the material very well.” – Glenn C.
Low budget horror films have never been hotter or more in demand. Last year, The Hollywood Reporter stated that the horror genre was saving the film business and that low budget horror was helping to lead the charge. More and more companies are looking to follow the Blumhouse model of making horror films on the cheap and then raking it in at the box office and VOD. Even the streaming platforms have jumped in with both feet. But make no mistake, just because many of these production companies and filmmakers are keeping their costs down, they are not skimping on quality. Quite the opposite in fact. Horror film aficionados demand great stories, memorable characters and scares that are earned. They want fresh ideas, a unique vision, and an experience they can return to again and again. To stand out from the crowd, you need to be prepared not only to find or produce great material, but to understand how to navigate the landscape. More people produce and shoot horror than just about any other genre. And in such a crowded field, it can be hard to stand out. Go to any film market or horror trade show and you are instantly inundated with posters for dozens if not hundreds of horror features, short films, television shows and digital content looking for a home. After a while, everything seems to look the same. But there is a way to break out of that crowded field and assure that your work gets seen, bought, distributed and/or screened. And we have just the guy to show you how to get it done. Nick Phillips knows horror. In his 20 years in the business, Nick has worked, developed and produced films for Miramax and Sony Screen Gems. In 2012, Nick co-founded his own production company specializing in genre films, the Revolver Picture Company. Just some of the films Nick has worked on include Scream, Halloween, Hellraiser, the Crow, Vacancy, Feast and The Roommate. Now, exclusively for Stage 32, Nick will share his knowledge on how to create terrifying films at not-so-terrifying costs. Films the industry wants to have a piece of and horror fans won't be able to get enough of. Nick will start by teaching you one of the most common failings of producers and filmmakers within the horror space, namely what you should look for in a horror script. From there, he will talk development and the production process during this all important period of the project's evolution. Nick will show you how to stretch your budget dollar, by minimizing locations (but maximizing how you use them), making the right hires, keeping the shoot moving and staying on schedule. He will teach you his tricks on working with actors during the most intense scenes and keeping them motivated. Speaking of actors, he will discuss whether name talent matters or whether choosing the best actor for the part is a better approach. He will show you how to get the best production value throughout the film. And everyone knows, a great horror movie demands a sequel! Nick will show you how to set yourself up so that your project is franchise ready. This is a fully comprehensive overview of how to immerse yourself in the horror genre as a producer and/or filmmaker. "I have no desire to work in any other genre outside of horror. I've been frustrated that my vision always seems to be too expensive for the money I have available. Thank you, Nick, for showing me the path to seeing my vision through while keeping my costs down. I'm inspired again!" Matt H. "There is nothing scary about this webinar. It's fantastic." Devon M. "Man, was this eye opening. I have seen the light and now know how to keep my costs in check. Let the blood flow!" - Francisco D. "My all female slasher grindhouse project is back on my production slate thanks to you, Nick. I don't know how that makes you feel, but I feel fantastic!" - Marissa G.
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.
If you’re an independent filmmaker or producer working to put together a film or TV project, you are likely going to have multiple producers, investors, financiers, sales agents, and talent that are will be looking to recoup profits on the completed project. This can get tricky. Not only do you have to keep your numbers and figures straight to properly reallocate your revenues, you also likely have to handle guild residuals, navigate liability issues and ensure every party is happy and trusting in the process. This can ultimately be a very messy process, and one that you should not handle on your own as the film’s producer. Instead, it’s probably time you have a collection account. A collection account is an account in the name of a neutral third party who receives revenues generated by an independent film or TV project on behalf of the multiple beneficiaries from local distributors. This process is called collection account management and is an effective tool to guarantee that the beneficiaries receive their share of the revenues. Collection account management is a massive time saver and a way to lower the chances of errors or improper payments. But it’s also the industry standard and something most parties and investors are going to expect you to have if they are considering moving forward. So how exactly does collection account management work and how can you best use this process to your advantage as an independent filmmaker? 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. David will teach you how to navigate collection account management. He’ll begin by going into what exactly collection account management is and the different elements that go into it. He will also explain when to know if your production will need collection account management and delve into how this process affects your job as a producer, including liabilities, your relationship with your sales agent, and the rights and obligations with financiers, guilds, and talent. Next, David will demonstrate how collection account management works from a legal framework and the paperwork and contracts that go along with it, including the CAM Agreement. Finally, David will outline the benefits you will see as a producer when working with a collection account. He’ll even give specific tips for producers related to the CAM agreements, financiers, residuals, sales agents, and more. Collection account management can be a tricky process, but it’s also one that’s crucial to get right. David will show you how. 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.
Having a known or in-demand actor in your independent film can make all the difference in whether it succeeds or not. A name actor gives your film a sense of legitimacy, which attracts new investors and more interested distributors. It also gives your film more opportunities for press and buzz, and will convince more people to watch it once it is released. That famous actor is very likely what you need to clinch your film, actually get it made, and have it ultimately find an audience and a home. But there’s a big, glaring problem with this truth: You need a name actor to get funding, but you need that funding in order to get the name actor. It ends up being a vicious circle, a catch-22 that can come across as frustratingly insurmountable, a barrier for entry that no independent filmmaker can get beyond. Let’s not mince words. Landing high level talent for your film is HARD, especially if your funding hinges on that actor saying yes. But at the same time, this isn’t the unsolvable puzzle it may at first seem. It comes down to finding the right investors and giving them what they need to say yes. This means pulling out all of the stops, preparing correctly, and doing the hard work. You’ll never be the only filmmaker going after top level talent, but you might be one of the few who’s able to do it the right way. First, it’s vital to understand what the “right way” actually is and what you need to know to do this right. Acquiring a talent is always going to be a hustle, but knowing what it takes and how to navigate this world can give you a serious edge. Independent feature film producer Franco Sama has produced an impressive array of over twenty independent feature films including cult favorite GUNS, GIRLS AND GAMBLING starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook, which was released theatrically acquired by Universal Pictures. Other films Franco has produced include; BLACK LIMOUSINE starring David Arquette, Vivica A. Fox and Bijou Phillips, TOOTH AND NAIL starring Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, THE PENITENT MAN, starring Lance Henriksen and Andrew Keegan and PAID, starring Corbin Bernsen and Tom Conti. Franco’s company Samaco Films continues to fund and develop independent films from burgeoning filmmakers. After nearly two decades of experience in film finance, distribution and packaging, Franco has come to understand how to crack the code and attract top level talent to independent films. He’s ready to share what he’s learned exclusively with the Stage 32 community. Franco will go in-depth on how exactly an independent filmmaker can find both cast and funding for their project. He will begin by explaining what budget range you should be aiming for to allow you to acquire the talent you’re looking for. He’ll then teach you the steps you must take before reaching out to either talent or investors. He will explain how to tap into an investor’s mindset and use it to your advantage, including why it might be easier for you to raise $5 million than $500,000, and how you should frame your project as an opportunity for investors. He’ll explain what development funding is, how it works, and why it’s now necessary in today’s landscape. Next, he will delve into how you should be building a strong team for your project before you start approaching talent. He’ll lay out the seven critical people you will need to bring on from the beginning, why you need an executive producer, how to choose the “right” director and casting director, and whether you can attract major talent as a first time director. Franco will explain the importance of acquiring international sales estimates and will lay out what your presentation deck to investors should look like to find funding and gain the cast you’re looking for. He will also talk about how pre-sales work and how many you need to be seen as successful. He’ll then start talking about the actual casting process, including how to create a realistic actor’s wish list, deciding between “A-List” and “B-List” actors and whether or not they pass Franco’s “Parentheses Test”. He’ll explain casting with an eye towards sales and then explain the difference between letters of intent, letters of commitment, and phone verification when going after talent. He’ll also break down contingency investments and how to know when to employ deferment and back-end offers with actors. Franco will explain how to make legitimate offers to actors and agents and how to ensure they’re never empty offers. He’ll go into how “pay or play” works in this world and why going out too early to actors can destroy your casting choices. Finally Franco will explain how you can use tax incentives to help with casting. Expect to leave with a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the steps you need to take to bring on your dream actor. Praise for Franco's Stage 32 Webinar "One word - Invaluable." - Larry S. “Head & shoulders above the usual webinars on film distribution and finance. Franco actually knows his stuff and has a track record to back it up. Really good presentation.” – Scott B. This was incredibly illuminating and really entertaining at the same time. I'm so glad I watched this" -Glenda T. Wow. I cannot believe how much I learned from this webinar. Franco is the best. -Terrence R.
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.
We’ve brought in the CEO of Bondit Media Captial, Matthew Helderman, one of the leaders in film financing today with over 200 financed films over the last couple of years. He will be sharing the basics of film finance all the way through high level packaging tips, plus going over case studies on projects he’s financed and best practices to learn. As today’s film financing structures continue to be a labyrinth-like maze of confusion for most producers, this webinar will help break down that barrier through understanding how best to put a film together you can avoid pitfalls that plague the financing process.