Key Steps to Take During Pre-Production: Case Studies From the Trenches

Hosted by Doug Curtis

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Projects:

Doug Curtis

Webinar hosted by: Doug Curtis

Freddy vs. Jason, Shark Night, Cellular, Shoot 'Em Up

Doug recently served as Line Producer and Production Manager overseeing extensive re-shoots on IM Global's "Fifty Shades of Black". Curtis also served as Executive Producer and Unit Production Manager on Relativity Media's "Shark Night". He was also Executive Producer on a number of New Line Cinema Feature films including: "Shoot 'Em Up", "Cellular", "Freddy vs. Jason", "Friday After Next", "All About the Benjamins" and "Next Friday". Douglas Curtis' extensive career in the entertainment industry covers a wide variety of genres ranging from science fiction to horror to comedy to action films. Curtis was co-producer and Unit Production Manager on Zide-Perry Entertainment's "Repli-Kate", MTV/Paramount Pictures,' "The Wood" and HBO's "Shadow of Doubt". He also worked as a co-producer/Line Producer on Paramount Picture's "Save the Last Dance". As a producer, his credits include MGM/Rysher Entertainment's "The Eighteenth Angel", "Gunfighters Moon" and "Judicial Consent". For Trimark Entertainment Curtis produced "The Philadelphia Experiment II". For New World Pictures he produced "The Philadelphia Experiment", "Black Moon Rising" and "Nice Girls Don't Explode". He both produced and directed "The Sleeping Car" and "The Hazing". He has also served as 2nd unit director on a number of his films including "Black Moon Rising" and "Judicial Consent". Among Curtis' other credits are "Madame Claude 2", "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" and "Take This Job and Shove It on which he served as a production supervisor for Avco Embassy Pictures. Curtis currently serves as CEO-Founder of Quarter Town Films (QTF) a Los Angeles based development and production company where he is developing a number of feature film projects including "The Money Cave", a family film, in the vein of Goonies and Stand by Me, which was written by and will be directed by Thomas Koveleskie, his partner at QTF. Born in Dodge City, Kansas, Curtis graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Theater and Film. He began his career in TV commercials where he produced and directed nearly 200 national and regional commercials and a number of award winning documentaries and corporate image films. In 1992 Curtis formed Prelude Pictures, a joint venture with Neufeld-Rheme Production in association with Paramount Pictures, where he developed a wide slate of feature films including New Line Cinema's "Lost In Space". Curtis also has a consulting website; dougcurtisfilmconsultant.com, through which he consults on a wide variety of feature film related issues including; budgeting, scheduling, film incentives, locations, unions and guilds (SAG, DGA, WGA and IATSE) and many more. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Doug Curtis can boast that the films he's been involved with have earned nearly a half billion dollars at the global box office.

Over the past 20 years, Doug has had a hand as a director, producer or line producer in over two dozen features (including Save the Last Dance, Freddy vs. Jason, Next Friday, Cellular, Shoot em Up and Sorority Row) and over 200 commercials. Think about that. He's been on the set of over 250 projects! Needless to say he's learned a thing or two. And now he's thrilled, as are we, to pass his extensive knowledge on to you in this exclusive Stage 32 Webinar.

Doug is a firm believer that the success or failure of any film is mostly tied to actions taken during pre-production. From properly budgeting, pulling together a reasonable, yet tight production schedule, hiring the best crew and other tips, tricks and golden rules he's amassed through the last 2 decades, Doug will teach you everything you need to know to assure your production runs smoothly from start to wrap.

Doug has worked on the studio level (Paramount, Fox), with the independents (New World, New Line) and even with the premium networks (HBO), so no matter what kind of material you are working with, no matter what budget, no matter what targets you're positioning yourself to hit, Doug will have you ready and armed to head into battle.

What You'll Learn

Using case studies from a number of his films, you will learn the following:

  • Script – how I breakdown a script as illustrated through examples from many of my films; from The Hazing to Shoot em Up.
  • Schedule – how experience through making films hones your overview and knowledge of the scheduling process. How to break it down as I learned, through making films, and examples of what I leaned making each one of them
  • Budget – you’ll learn how to properly budget a film regardless of the size and scope of your film by learning how he budgets films and how that changed from the beginning of his career to the new films he’s developing now
  • Hiring your crew – you’ll learn why this is as important as anything else you will do during pre-production and production itself.
  • Pre-pre-production – all the critical decisions and actions you should exercise before you open an office for pre-production
  • Pre-Production – All the steps that have to be taken in the pre-production period if your film shoot is going to be successful

This webinar will include scenes from Doug’s films that he’s made throughout his career, as well as behind the scenes and all the documents you will need to know about before you start a film.

Case Study Filmography:

  • Calvin Productions - film job
  • The Hazing (retitled The Curious Case of the Campus Corpse) - first feature
  • Philadelphia Experiment - first studio film - New World Pictures
  • Black Moon Rising - 2nd studio film - New World Pictures
  • Nice Girls Don't Explode - first independent film but distributed by New World Pictures
  • Judicial Consent – film for HBO
  • Gunfighters Moon, The Eighteenth Angel, Shadow of Doubt - Rysher Production
  • The Wood - first big studio film - MTV/Paramount
  • Next Friday, All About the Benjamins, Friday After Next - first 3 New Line Cinema films
  • Freddy vs Jason - first big budget studio film - New Line Cinema
  • Cellular - 2nd big budget film - New Line Cinema
  • Shoot em Up - 3rd big budget film - New Line Cinema

 

About Your Instructor

Doug recently served as Line Producer and Production Manager overseeing extensive re-shoots on IM Global's "Fifty Shades of Black". Curtis also served as Executive Producer and Unit Production Manager on Relativity Media's "Shark Night". He was also Executive Producer on a number of New Line Cinema Feature films including: "Shoot 'Em Up", "Cellular", "Freddy vs. Jason", "Friday After Next", "All About the Benjamins" and "Next Friday".

Douglas Curtis' extensive career in the entertainment industry covers a wide variety of genres ranging from science fiction to horror to comedy to action films.

Curtis was co-producer and Unit Production Manager on Zide-Perry Entertainment's "Repli-Kate", MTV/Paramount Pictures,' "The Wood" and HBO's "Shadow of Doubt". He also worked as a co-producer/Line Producer on Paramount Picture's "Save the Last Dance". As a producer, his credits include MGM/Rysher Entertainment's "The Eighteenth Angel", "Gunfighters Moon" and "Judicial Consent". For Trimark Entertainment Curtis produced "The Philadelphia Experiment II". For New World Pictures he produced "The Philadelphia Experiment", "Black Moon Rising" and "Nice Girls Don't Explode". He both produced and directed "The Sleeping Car" and "The Hazing". He has also served as 2nd unit director on a number of his films including "Black Moon Rising" and "Judicial Consent". Among Curtis' other credits are "Madame Claude 2", "The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia" and "Take This Job and Shove It on which he served as a production supervisor for Avco Embassy Pictures. Curtis currently serves as CEO-Founder of Quarter Town Films (QTF) a Los Angeles based development and production company where he is developing a number of feature film projects including "The Money Cave", a family film, in the vein of Goonies and Stand by Me, which was written by and will be directed by Thomas Koveleskie, his partner at QTF.

Born in Dodge City, Kansas, Curtis graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Theater and Film. He began his career in TV commercials where he produced and directed nearly 200 national and regional commercials and a number of award winning documentaries and corporate image films. In 1992 Curtis formed Prelude Pictures, a joint venture with Neufeld-Rheme Production in association with Paramount Pictures, where he developed a wide slate of feature films including New Line Cinema's "Lost In Space".

Curtis also has a consulting website; dougcurtisfilmconsultant.com, through which he consults on a wide variety of feature film related issues including; budgeting, scheduling, film incentives, locations, unions and guilds (SAG, DGA, WGA and IATSE) and many more.

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