Packaging & Pre-Sales For Film Distribution

Hosted by Franco Sama

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Franco Sama

Webinar hosted by: Franco Sama

EP of over 20 $1MM-$5MM Films at Samaco Films

Independent feature film producer Franco Sama has Executive Produced an impressive array of over twenty (20) independent feature films including cult favorite “Guns, Girls and Gambling” starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook; this film was released into theatres and acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures. Sama boasts a remarkable and extensive history in public speaking, public relations and a decade of independent film development, production and financing. Other films Sama has produced include; “Black Limousine” starring David Arquette, Vivica 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. Sama also serves as Executive Producer on the recent film festival darling “Petunia” starring Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti. Sama has spent the first quarter of 2014 traveling back and forth to Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies working closely with government officials, film entrepreneurs and Question Mark Entertainment in an effort to help revitalize the film industry in that country. Sama is currently seeking a script that can be shot in Trinidad for $1M (USD). His shingle “Samaco Films” is currently funding a slate of several independent feature films, including "Bless Me Father" starring John Turturro, Michael Rapaport and Michael Rispoli as well as a moving military drama titled "Through My Daughter's Eyes" being directed by Dallas Burgess, starring ingénue Avi Lake as well as "Jarhead" and the "The Island" veteran actor Martin Papazian. Samaco Films releases two films in 2015, the first, "The Livingston Gardner" stars James Kyson the beloved "Ando" from the NBC television hit series "Heroes" and the second, "3 Days In Havana" starring Ally McBeal alum, Gil Bellows; both of which have been released through Samaco Films' sister company, Synergetic Distribution and have been released via all digital and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms world wide. And the company's latest film "Game of Aces" directed by Aussie director, Damien Lay and starring former "American Pie" star Chris Klein alongside Victoria Summer (Transformers: Age of Distinction") and Werner Daehn ("Valkyrie", xXx) was released in 2016.   Full Bio »

In today's global climate filmmakers need to consider their options for distribution, which ultimately begins at the development phase. While your project is in development, packaging the right talent (actor, director, casting director, etc.) play a huge part in the pre-sales process, and ultimately have a hand in the successful distribution of your project.

Distribution changes constantly and there are not many people who have their finger on the pulse like Executive Producer Franco Sama from Samaco Films. Franco has EP'd an impressive array of over twenty (20) independent feature films ranging in the "sweet spot" $5MM and under range, generally releasing 2-3 films each year. 

We've brought Franco in to teach this exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar on Packaging & Pre-Sales For Film Distribution. In this information packed webinar Franco will go over the entire development process from how to attract A-list talent and the offers they require, how to acquire "must have" international sales estimates, working with vertically integrated distribution companies, breaking down distribution options and much more. This is a go to guide to package with an eye towards distribution! 

 


What You'll Learn:

  • Development, Development, Development
  • Insulating your project by building a strong team first
  • Development Funding, how it works, why it’s necessary
  • Choosing a Director
  • Challenges that First-Time Directors face
  • Choosing your Casting Director
  • At what point, should the Casting Director be hired
  • How to create a “realistic” actors’ wish list
  • Creative ways to attract “A” List talent
  • Deferment and Back-end offers
  • Making legitimate offers, not empty offers to actors, talent, agents
  • How “Pay or Play” works
  • Why going out too early to actors can destroy your casting choices
  • How to acquire the “Must Have” International Sales Estimates
  • Working with “Vertically Integrated” Distribution Companies
  • Defining the Distribution Dinosaurs and why they will be obsolete in 5 years
  • All Distribution deals are NOT created equal
  • A “good” distribution deal versus a “bad” distribution
  • Separating the “Domestic and Digital platforms from the “International”
  • Understanding the benefits of “Limited Theatrical Release”
  • What your “Presentation Deck” should contain and look like
  • Packaging with an eye towards “Sales”
  • Live and in-depth Q&A with Franco - bring questions about your own project for Franco to answer!

About Your Instructor:

Independent feature film producer Franco Sama has Executive Produced an impressive array of over twenty (20) independent feature films including cult favorite “Guns, Girls and Gambling” starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook; this film was released into theatres and acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures.

Sama boasts a remarkable and extensive history in public speaking, public relations and a decade of independent film development, production and financing.

Other films Sama has produced include; “Black Limousine” starring David Arquette, Vivica 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.

Sama also serves as Executive Producer on the recent film festival darling “Petunia” starring Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti.

Sama has spent the first quarter of 2014 traveling back and forth to Trinidad and Tobago in the West Indies working closely with government officials, film entrepreneurs and Question Mark Entertainment in an effort to help revitalize the film industry in that country. Sama is currently seeking a script that can be shot in Trinidad for $1M (USD).

His shingle “Samaco Films” is currently funding a slate of several independent feature films, including "Bless Me Father" starring John Turturro, Michael Rapaport and Michael Rispoli as well as a moving military drama titled "Through My Daughter's Eyes" being directed by Dallas Burgess, starring ingénue Avi Lake as well as "Jarhead" and the "The Island" veteran actor Martin Papazian.

Samaco Films releases two films in 2015, the first, "The Livingston Gardner" stars James Kyson the beloved "Ando" from the NBC television hit series "Heroes" and the second, "3 Days In Havana" starring Ally McBeal alum, Gil Bellows; both of which have been released through Samaco Films' sister company, Synergetic Distribution and have been released via all digital and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms world wide.

And the company's latest film "Game of Aces" directed by Aussie director, Damien Lay and starring former "American Pie" star Chris Klein alongside Victoria Summer (Transformers: Age of Distinction") and Werner Daehn ("Valkyrie", xXx) was released in 2016.

 


Frequently Asked Questions:

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! For a live webinar, you will be given the link within 2 business days after the live session.

Questions?

If you have a generic question about Stage 32 education you can take a look at our frequently asked questions section on our help page, or feel free to contact support with any other inquiries you might have.
 

Reviews Average Rating: 5 out of 5

  • It was dense, but if your serious about your project you like it like that. This guy is a pro, a top level guy operating at a level where he can slam his project every time! If you are dead serious about film making this is your dish! If your not it will likely confuse, or worse, bore you.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

How to Finance & Produce a Film in the $250K-$2M Range

Learn directly from Franco Sama, 15-year expert of film financing and distribution, specifically in the $250K-$2M range, with 25+ successful independent feature films to his name, including Guns, Girls and Gambling (Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook) and Petunia (Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti)! For many independent producers, approaching financing for your project is one of the biggest challenges in the entire filmmaking process. How do you build your team, bring in development funds, attach name talent and work with rebates, sales estimates & distributors all while mitigating your financial risk? The goal is to make your project financially attractive to investors. There is a “sweet spot” film budget that is most likely going to help you raise funds and get the ROI your investors require. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, producer and financing expert Franco Sama will teach you how to approach your film from the “investor’s point of view” so you can not only get the money you need for your project, but how your investors can get that money back. You will learn how to build a team around your project and who is crucial for that team, how to approach investors and above all how to protect your investor’s money. Drawing from his 15-years of experience, Franco will teach you how he gets his dozens of projects financed, distributed and turning a profit, and why he stays in the “sweet spot” range between $250K-$2M. You will leave this webinar with a clear understanding of how to produce and finance your project!

Self-Distribution: Limited Theatrical (or Limited Platform) Domestic Release

Learn directly from Franco Sama, 15-year expert of film financing and distribution with 25+ successful independent feature films to his name, including Guns, Girls and Gambling (Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook) and Petunia (Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti)! As a filmmaker you may find yourself at the mercy of distributors and the existing archaic, chaotic convoluted distribution system(s) that ultimately ends up costing the you profits and, more importantly, creative and financial control of your project. With many new options becoming available for your project to be seen, self-distribution is becoming an increasingly beneficial option. In this webinar we go over the self-distribution model of limited theatrical and limited platform release. We've brought in 15-year financing and producing expert Franco Sama to draw on his experience with over 25 successful indie films in which he has secured distribution. Franco will teach you step-by-step how to release your film in multiple theaters across multiple cities throughout the Unites States. Plus, he will take it a step further and show you exactly how to incorporate the release into your business plan as part of your development process so you can benefit your investors and increase your film’s international value. You will leave this webinar armed with knowledge and ready to self-distribute your film via limited theatrical or platform release.

The Tools You Need To Attach “A” List Actors to Your Film

Anyone who has ever tried to produce and cast a feature film is aware of the quagmire that attaching “A” List level talent represents. On one hand, you need the star power of a “name” actor in order to acquire funding and on the other hand you need the money in order to acquire the name talent. It's enough to drive even the most seasoned filmmakers crazy. The reason why so many first and second time producers, writers and directors find themselves in this situation is simple. In most cases, they are attempting to approach “A” List celebrity talent to their film much too soon with the hopes of using that “name” to attract investors; a strategy that rarely works. In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, The Tools You Need To Attach “A” List Actors to Your Film, Franco will outline specific steps and strategies that will ensure that the “A” Lister’s will at least read your script giving you an advantage over everyone else trying to secure talent but cannot. In this 90-minute online webinar you will learn specific tools you need - from LOIs to LOCs, Pay or Play, Deferred Payments, Back-End Point Deals, Credit Currency (and so much more!) in order to give your project the chance it deserves in A-list talent's hands. You will also learn negotiating perks that will help you stand out from the pack of scripts the talent may be considering. Some of the actors Franco has had in his films include: Gary Oldman (Oscar-Nominated, Dark Knight) Christian Slater (Golden Globe Winner) Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs) Chris Klein (American Pie) Christine Lahti (Oscar Award Winner) David Arquette (Scream) Vivica A. Fox (Kill Bill) Dane Cook (Comedian) Your host, Franco Sama is a financing and producing expert who has produced over 25 profitable independent films ranging from micro-budget to $5M. Franco is bringing his years of experience exclusively to the Stage 32 community to help you get closer to understanding how you can attach A-List talent to your project.  To read more click "What You'll Learn" on the tab above!

Working with Difficult Production Personalities

Learn directly from Adrienne Biddle, former SVP at Rogue Pictures! Working in the entertainment industry means you’ll inevitably come across all different types of people – most of whom are passionate, opinioned and sometimes very stubborn. This will inevitably produce confusion, tension, drama, and tough choices all along the way. What to do when faced with the notorious “difficult” personality? What to do when you learn YOU’RE the one labeled as such? In this Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, you’ll learn how to spot the troublesome ones, be less troublesome yourself, and generally learn some important tools of the trade when faced with the difficult personality. The goal is to teach all different types of creative people how to work better together so your project doesn’t fall apart in these moments of crisis.

Working Writers Lab: Write a TV Drama Pilot - 8-Week Intensive (January 2017)

PRE-CLASS PREP - Read your syllabus and plan out your writing ideas. Begin to think about 1-2 ideas that might be a good idea for your drama pilot. Start to prepare for your pilot pitch. WEEK #1 – Introduction, Pitch Docs, Character This week we will cover the syllabus, your instructor's background and experience, your goals for this eight-week lab and launch into a discussion on creating strong characters for your pilot. We will discuss the types of drama pilots and how they differ from network to network. We will go over how to create effective loglines and pitch documents. Then we will delve into character – what makes for strong characters and weak ones. The assignment for this week will be to create a pitch document and write a detailed description (around half a page) on each of your series regular characters. WEEK #2 – Pilot Outline and Series Bible This week we will break down pilot structure, plot and subplots. Pilot structure varies depending on the type of drama pilot (procedural or serial) and the network (broadcast, cable, streaming, digital, etc.) We will identify what kind of network to target for your story idea and structure the pilot accordingly. We will also discuss the function of your series bible and what it needs to include to support your pilot. The assignment for the week is to complete a pilot outline and start work on your bible. WEEK #3 – Pilot Outline (One on One Consultations – No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations regarding pilot structure. Each writer will send in their pilot outline in advance and will have a 10-minute call to discuss what works and what doesn’t. The assignment for the week is to address any notes given on the outline before proceeding with next week’s class and to continue working on your series bible. WEEK #4– Scenes, Beats, Dialogue, This week we will address the qualities of effective (and ineffective) scenes, story beats, and dialogue. The assignment for the week will be to write three complete scenes from your outline: the teaser/opening scene, a scene with heavy dialogue, and a strong character scene. WEEK #5– Acts 1 and 2 We will discuss both the four-act and five-act structure. You will decide which works best for the pilot that you are developing. This week we will go over all the necessary story beats that exist in acts 1 and 2 of a drama pilot, including exposition, number of scenes per act, traditional page count, inciting incidents, acts 1 and 2 breaks, etc. The assignment this week will be to complete Acts 1 and 2 of your pilot. WEEK #6– Acts 3, 4 and 5 Similarly to last week, we will cover the necessary story beats that traditionally exist in acts 3 and 4 of a drama pilot. If your pilot structure has five or more, as some broadcast network shows do, there will be time allotted for further instruction on how to proceed. The assignment this week is to complete the first draft of the entire pilot and to turn in your series bible. WEEK #7–Consultation for Revision (No Online Class) This week will consist of one-on-one consultations. Please turn in your pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call, and each writer will have a 10-minute call to go over notes. Your assignment this week is to address any notes. WEEK #8– One-on-one Feedback and Polish (No Online Class) This week will consist of 10-minute one-on-one phone calls as well. Please submit your revised pilot at least 24 hours before your scheduled call. Final notes and next steps for your pilot will be given.   Payment plans are available - please contact edu@stage32.com for more information.    

Learn the Ropes Of Film Music Clearances

If you're a filmmaker, producer or any creative head looking to incorporate music into your film & television, advertising or media project, you'll need to understand the basics steps of how to secure the music rights for the music you desire to use. From well known hit songs from major recording artists, to indie bands to public domain to original compositions and cover songs of music hits, you will need to be armed with all the knowledge of clearing the rights to that music for your film or project in order for it to play at festivals, screen theatrically, stream on the internet or be released on DVD/VOD.  The memorable song placeholder you are in love with and want to use in your opening credits that you found online - is that song even able to be used and licensed within your budget if you screen your film theatrically? What type of rights will you need to exploit your project globally? Or, what about that jukebox song your editor tempted into the background during one of your bar scenes - is that okay to use? And for how much will the licensing fee be for the rights you need? Knowing all these details and nuances will inform you as to why you must prepare in well in advance and allow time for the music clearances, along with knowing the type of rights your project requires for the music needed. Stage 32 Next Level Education is excited to present Anna Grannucci, a Los Angeles-based film producer and music supervisor and Yale School of Drama graduate, with more than a decade of experience working on films such as WHIPLASH and STICKY NOTES for the jam-packed 90-minute Webinar Learn the Ropes of Film Music Clearances. You will learn a variety of valuable information starting with the types of other source music available for film, television, advertising, video games and every other digital media source, which also includes public domain music, royalty free, original composition, and score. You will learn how to gauge what songs are licensable or not for use in your film or project. Once you've chosen your music, you will learn music rights, the clearance process, the difference between festival, theatrical, DVD/VOD and advertising clearances and more!    You will walk away from this Webinar with a clearer understanding of your music planning and the understanding of the music clearance process you need in order to make your film's music soundtrack a success! And, who better to educate you than the Music Supervisor for both the WHIPLASH short and feature film who controls the music library associated with the film - we bring you only the best instructors at Stage 32!