Jordan Yale Levine, President, Yale Productions Named as one of Variety's 10 Producers to Watch in 2016, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and the President of Yale Productions, Jordan Yale Levine has made a strong name for himself in the entertainment industry. Jordan has garnered a substantial list of film credits, as well as currently having several projects in various stages of production and development. Jordan is responsible for the producing, financing and/or distribution of over twenty-five feature films. These films include the recently released IFC title, King Cobra, starring James Franco, Christian Slater, Garrett Clayton & Keegan Allen, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2016, and Jack Goes Home, released through eOne, starring Rory Culkin, Britt Robertson & Lin Shaye, which premiered at SXSW in 2016. Additional films include Petunia, starring Brittany Snow, Thora Birch, and Eddie Kaye Thomas; Addiction: A 60's Love Story, starring Ian Harding, Evanna Lynch, and Carol Kane; Black Limousine, starring David Arquette, Bijou Phillips and Vivica A. Fox; Wreckage, starring Aaron Paul, Scoot McNairy and Cameron Richardson; He's Way More Famous Than You, starring Michael Urie, Jesse Eisenberg, and Ben Stiller; and more. Upcoming releases that Jordan produced include Welcome The Stranger, starring Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, and Caleb Landry Jones, which is Jordan's second collaboration with writer/director Justin Kelly, and Welcome to Willits, starring Bill Sage, Thomas Dekker, and Chris Zylka. Most recently, Jordan produced Pretenders, which was written by Josh Boone, directed by James Franco, and stars Jack Kilmer, Shameik Moore, Jane Levy, Juno Temple, Brian Cox, and more. Matthew Helderman, CEO, Bondit Media Capital Matthew Helderman founded Buffalo 8 Productions in 2012, as a feature film & commercial production company growing to deliver projects to clients such as Sony and Lionsgate. Under Helderman’s leadership, Buffalo 8 has built a full library of content – touting 4 premieres at the 2016 Sundance Festival – a roster of commercial directors, a talent management division and a full post-production facility. In 2013, Helderman co-founded BondIt Media Capital to solve the multitude of financing difficulties found in the entertainment & media business — by 2017 BondIt had participated in the financing over 200 feature film projects ranging from low budgets to studio level productions. Helderman graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in English from Lake Forest College. Helderman has been a featured speaker at the Cannes, London, and Bahamas Film Festivals as well as guest speaker at the Chinese US Business Summit. Full Bio »
This is the 2nd installment of the Stage 32 + Bondit Media Capital Masterclass featuring Matthew Helderman (CEO of Bondit Media Capital) and Jordan Yale Levine (President, Yale Productions).Please note this webinar is audio only.
Your Stage 32 + Bondit Film Finance Master Class host, Matthew Helderman, leads a discussion with Jordan Yale Levine, President of Yale Productions, about film financing today. In this exclusive Master Class they go over common traits of producers and financiers that allow them continued success. Matthew and Jordan go over the process of creating a brand to help you create project after project. They talk about a case study of working together with James Franco on the film King Cobra and how that model has helped them continue producing successful features. They discuss the common thread for attaching name talent and modern packaging. They also talk about the need to be on set as a producer and what it takes from the crew to make a successful film. Together they go through various case studies on low-budget to mid-budget films they have worked on together. After, both Matthew and Jordan participate in a Q&A session.
Jordan Yale Levine
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The entertainment industry is constantly shifting and adapting, but perhaps no aspect of Hollywood is more volatile than that of film distribution. Over the past twenty years, the methods and processes of releasing films have changed drastically and continue to be difficult to pin down or predict. From theatrical to video and DVD, television to VOD, the industry continues to not only adjust but wholly reinvent itself. Now, of course, one of the bigger, if not the biggest, avenues of distribution has become online streaming platforms. Massive players like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu and newcomers like HBO Max, Disney+, and Apple TV+ have been making and picking up a very large number of films, and the viewership numbers for these titles can be staggering. There might not be a better place for your film to find a home than a streamer, but that’s easier said than done. For many, the holy grail of film distribution has become Netflix. It’s a titan in the industry, and with over 180 million subscribers worldwide, no one can release a film quite like them. Yet for as prominent and omnipresent as they might be, Netflix is enigmatic and confusing from the outside. They hold a lot of secrets close to their chest and their inner-workings and processes are a mystery to many. They’re not a complete unknown, though, and there is a lot you can learn as a filmmaker and content creator to better approach this media giant, get your film on their radar, and maybe even get that distribution deal you’ve been after. First it’s critical you learn some context surrounding how they work, what they are looking for, and how you can break through the noise. Steff Monsalve Reed is the Director of Content and Distribution at Quiver Distribution, where she discovers and releases titles from emerging voices and helps independent filmmakers get their projects on platforms like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Redbox, DirecTV, and more. Recently, Steff has distributed films such as THE LOST HUSBAND, starring Josh Duhamel and Leslie Bibb, BECKY, starring Kevin James and Joel McHale, and THE SUNLIT NIGHT with Zach Galifianiakis, Jenny Slate, and Gillian Anderson. She will be distributing CHICK FIGHT, starring Malin Akermin and Alec Baldwin, a feature film which was incubated through Stage 32. Before Quiver, Steff worked as a distribution consultant for AMBI Distribution and Raven Capital Management, and served as the Manager of Acquisitions and Exhibitor relations for Entertainment One, a major independent distribution company releasing films in North America as well as several major territories around the world. Through her extensive distribution background, Steff has become very familiar with what it takes to get a film on various platforms. Steff will walk you through how Netflix finds and picks up films and what content creators can do to better get their own projects on Netflix’s radar. Steff will begin by giving you a rundown of Netflix and how they’re working right now. She’ll explain how you should be thinking about and categorizing the company, who their main competitors are, what their subscriber base looks like and how it compares to their competitors’ bases. Next she will talk about how Netflix picks up content. She’ll go over who gets to pitch to Netflix in the first place and how that process works and will then do a deep dive of Netflix’s curation model. Steff will explain what types of content are currently the most successful on Netflix and how their new “Top 10” feature might be changing things. She will also break down the three main divisions that review content within Netflix and the common deal structures filmmakers should expect from each. Then she will go into how Netflix actually works with content creators and handles both revenue and delivery. She will teach you about Netflix’s payment structure and how content aggregators or distributors can sometimes “buy out” the Netflix window. Steff will even offer a case study of her own film THE LOST HUSBAND and demonstrate how this process worked. She will then explain how to determine a film’s budget for an expected ROI and how you can recoup your investment and where that money will come from. She’ll also go over the process of getting your film picked up by Netflix after they pass on it as an Original, including how to help your chances in this regard and what you can do to make your work stand out more and break through the clutter. Steff will then offer some final pieces of advice on Netflix opportunities and deal negotiations, including looking at contract terms, territories, and hidden fees. She’ll explain how to understand the specific cost of distribution and offer the key piece of advice on budgeting moving forward. Finally she will give you a peek at the distribution industry itself, the changes that are coming, and what you should expect to come next. Expect to leave with a much clearer understanding of how Netflix works and how you can better position your film for success at this streaming platform. This webinar comes with a free handout that details distribution terms and Netflix's specific deliverable requirements Praise for Steff's Stage 32 Webinar "One of the best presentations I have seen." -John S. "Great info. Great presentation. Really explained the topic well. " -Martin R. "Steff was excellent in explaining the distribution process and especially how it pertains to Netflix." -Michael W.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought film production to a standstill last year. The risk of holding close gatherings required everyone to profoundly change how a film is produced in order to keep everyone safe. Yet we’ve luckily found a way to create new projects, on both a major studio and independent level. This doesn’t mean it’s easy, though. The preparation and process for producing a film have changed drastically, as have the rules and guidelines a crew needs to follow. There are ways to safely put your own film together even under these extreme circumstances, but doing so will require a new understanding of how to move forward. As a producer or filmmaker of any level, it’s your job not just to make sure a film comes together, but that the team you assembled stays safe in the process. This is extra difficult due to the pandemic, but it’s not impossible. In fact, independent productions have been finding a ways to do this successfully for a while now and you can as well. But this won’t be accomplished through business-as-usual approaches. Every aspect of the filmmaking process needs to be examined, altered, or even turned on its head in order to comply with new regulations, make the team feel comfortable, and most importantly to keep everyone virus-free. This is a big undertaking, but other independent outfits have figured this out, and learning how they did it can be instrumental in you finding success for your own project. Multi Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and author Shane Stanley has worked in almost every capacity on and off the set with hit shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and SEINFELD and producing films like Sony Pictures’ GRIDIRON GANG a #1 box office hit starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. For three years, Shane was Vice President of Sheen/Michaels Entertainment where he produced several motion pictures starring Marlon Brando, Mira Sorvino, Thomas Hayden Church, Donald Sutherland, Marisa Tomei, Sean Penn, John Travolta, and Charlie and Martin Sheen.. Shane recently released his book What You Don’t Learn In Film School, which covers filmmaking from concept to delivery and has already landed on required reading lists at several universities across the country. Shane continues to produce and direct independent films of all levels, and just wrapped production on his latest action thriller BREAK EVEN, which was safely shot over December and January during the peak of COVID-19. Shane learned how to find success in the midst of a pandemic and is ready to share the lessons he picked up. Shane will teach you what you need to do to successfully and safely plan and produce a film during the COVID-19 pandemic. He’ll delve into the new rules you need to follow, issued by guilds, government agencies and film/permit offices. He’ll also discuss how location scouting works now and what sort of locations can be safely shot in. He’ll go through the changes in production insurance and how to hire and work with a COVID Compliance Officer during production. Shane will also discuss how to conduct COVID tests with your crew and how to work with guilds along the way. He will then go over how to work with actors during this time and will share with you the biggest tips and must-dos he learned to keep your crew safe. Finally, Shane will share the details of how he produced his own recent film DOUBLE THREAT and wrapped his 6 week production without a single COVID positive test. Even in times as tough as this, there’s a way forward and a way to create your art, and Shane will show you how to do so smartly, effectively, and while keeping yourself and everyone on your team safe. Praise for Shane's Previous Stage 32 Webinar "Shane was thorough, gave me a realistic view into the market as it is now, yet encouraging. Easy to listen to and follow. I'll be signing up for other classes he teaches in the future." -Karena K. Just straight-forward, real, the kind of producer most of us would kill to work alongside. -Clark R. "Shane was relevant, knew what was happening, and could walk the walk." -Chuck R. "I loved the inside look from someone in the industry that is dealing with Covid restrictions on a daily basis." -Marven L.
We all know that America is bursting with talented filmmakers. Are you an independent filmmaker, cinema or digital media student, D-I-Y filmmaker or videographer? Do you have great ideas, a few skills and few filmmaking friends? Maybe you can shoot a short movie, but can you finance one, find an audience to watch it, or promote and sell it? Raindance Film Festival Founder and social media maverick Elliot Grove comes to New York to bring a fresh look at breaking into the film industry to get your movie made and seen by others. Elliot has produced over 700 short films, 6 features and trained thousands of new and emerging filmmakers around the world. Discover how to use the Raindance method and social media to build audiences, source financing and screen films. CHARGE YOUR SMARTPHONES! Join @stage32 and @RaindanceNYC and #IndieFilmNYC for this information-packed one-day seminar. DOORS OPEN at 9:15 am.
It can be more exciting to focus on the creative side of developing and producing your film or TV project, but if you’re a producer, you know this is not the only aspect you need to cover. Navigating business and legal aspects can truly make or break your project. Handling IP, chain of title, contracts and legal documents, setting up production entities, domestic and international negotiations with producers, financiers, talent agents and law firms—the list goes on, and not one element can be overlooked or handled haphazardly. No matter the size of your project, understanding the business and legal affairs that come with it is of the utmost importance and can be the difference between your film making it to the screen and falling apart in the process. Business and legal affairs are a different story for larger independent production companies and studios. They will have in-house staff and lawyers to handle these matters or can hire outside production council. This is likely not be possible for your smaller independent project. As a result, business and legal affairs are often overlooked in smaller productions—to the production’s own detriment. Yet it doesn’t need to be this way. You don’t need to hire a team of attorneys in order to ensure your indie project is covered and protected. Instead, you need to understand which aspects of business and legal affairs are important, what support there is available for independent producers, and how to best navigate the process to ensure every other aspect off your production stays on track. 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 discuss both business and legal affairs that will be involved with your independent production. He’ll dive into how to deal with multiple players in the industry while putting together your project, how to negotiate and make deals, and the other business knowledge and expertise that is important for you to know when putting your film or series together. On the legal side, David will explain the different types of agreements you’ll need to have and the process of navigating many agreements at once. He’ll also go into the trickier aspects of legal affairs including domestic vs. international jurisdiction, distribution rights and licensing, recoupment schedules, and even arbitration and legal proceedings. Through David’s advanced and wide-stretching presentation, he will share with you countless tools that you can take to ensure that your own project is protected and can ultimately come together.
Feature films, documentaries, biopics, book adaptations, and sequels/prequels are all very different from each other, but they share a fundamental legal necessity: the need to acquire certain intellectual property rights in order to make the film. Whether it’s a fictional character or a real-life person; a novel, play, comic book, movie, TV show, or web series if you don’t own or control the underlying rights your film may end up in litigation rather than the theaters. This webinar will introduce you to basic intellectual property concepts and walk-through the key agreements and licensing language you will need when you are making a film based upon somebody else’s property or persona. Too often filmmakers “shoot first and get permission later.” This might be fine for scenes which can be cut if you can’t get the rights but is disastrous when your entire movie depends upon a copyright or life story that you have not effectively licensed. Intellectual property can be complex, and confusing, and the failure to include the right licensing language may result in a film that can never be distributed. To make matters even more complicated, conscientious producers often pull forms from the web that are not designed for their particular projects. In this webinar you will learn from one of the top entertainment attorneys in the industry, Thomas A. Crowell, Esq. A former television producer and director of development for STN, Mr. Crowell counsels clients on a wide range of entertainment law and intellectual property rights issues. He has worked with clients who have had deals with TLC, Elsevier Publishing, Starz, Discovery Communications, Focal Press, the Smithsonian Network, WE: The Women's Entertainment Network, The Science Technology Network, IDW Publishing, and Sony Entertainment. His clients' work is seen in the pages of Marvel and DC Comics and on movie, TV, computer, and mobile screens across the world. He will teach you how to spot problems with licensing agreements, learn what agreements are needed in order to license copyright and “life rights,” and learn how to investigate and correct breaks in a film’s “chain of title.” You will walk away feeling confident that you have the correct copyrights in place for your project!
In today’s climate, independent filmmakers and producers are expected to make their movies on lower and lower budgets. This is hard enough for a simple or grounded drama, but what if your film includes supernatural elements or other aspects that require effects? How can you keep the budget low while still including the monsters, explosions, illusions, and other that can only be made possible special and visual effects? As it turns out, it’s more possible than you might think, especially with the right preparation. Whether you need to work with practical special effects or include visual effects in post, the key is always careful planning ahead of time. There are many pitfalls that producers and filmmakers can run into when working with effects, including going over budget and not getting the result your film needs, but these can always be overcome with the appropriate preparation, research and understanding ahead of time. So how exactly do experienced indie producers prep for effects? What can be done in early pre-production and throughout? And how can you make sure that, even on a low budget, your effects are, well, effective? Let’s explore. Micah Gallo is an award-winning writer, director, cinematographer, producer and post-production expert who has been making films for over ten years and has worked on effects and post-production for over 40 feature films. A filmmaker from an early age, Micah’s fascination with visual composition and technology inspired him to cofound the award winning post-production facility Lit Post where he built the company up and collaborated with other top artists to design new cutting-edge effects previously unavailable for independent films. As a filmmaker, Micah has earned several Best Director and Best Cinematography awards as well as the Emerging Cinematography award for Achievement in Cinematography from the International Cinematographers Guild. Micah most recently served as writer, director, producer and post production supervisor on the celebrated cult creature feature ITSY BITSY, starring Bruce Davison (X-MEN) and Denise Crosby (STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION). Micah’s excited to bring his experience both as a writer/director and as a post-production expert to the Stage 32 community. Using his experience both as a filmmaker and an effects guru, Micah will walk you through the steps you need to take as an independent filmmaker to include visual effects and special effects into your film at any budget. He’ll go through the process of analyzing your script with an eye for effects, how to research and get bids from vendors, and incorporating effects into both your shot lists and storyboards. Micah will also give you tips on how to handle the critical lighting and video testing phase of effects and how you can work with your DP, AD, and production designer to ensure everyone’s on the same page. Micah will also lay out how to handle effects while on set and how you should be shooting for VFX. He will also teach you how to navigate effects shots in post-production. Throughout, Micah will be providing specific examples from his own award-winning film ITSY BITSY, which heavily used both special effects and VFX, and using this as a case study you can take back to your own project.