Jordan Yale Levine - Today's Master Producers: Part 2

Hosted by Matthew Helderman
Hosted by Jordan Yale Levine

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Jordan Yale Levine

Webinar hosted by: Jordan Yale Levine

President at Yale Productions

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 »

Webinar Summary

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.

What You'll Learn

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.

About Your Instructor

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.

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Other education that may be of interest to you:

Which Film Festival is Right for My Feature or Short Film? How to Navigate the Growing Festival Market

Stop wasting money! Make no mistake, entering film festivals should be part of the overall strategy for just about any independent filmmaker or producer. There is tremendous value in getting in the right film festival, perhaps more than ever before. So how do you not only identify the best festivals for your film, but assure you give yourself the best chance of being selected? Get the answers from a producer of over 35 independent films and a veteran of the festival circuit.   With so many film festivals popping up year over year and many of the major festivals turning to higher profile projects, navigating which festivals to spend your dollars on can be daunting. Unfortunately, many filmmakers and producers today are overspending on festival submissions (or entering as many as possible) so they can say they've made it into something. This is an approach that can not only leave you light in the wallet, but can also put your film, the one you spent so much time and effort into, in a position to be branded incorrectly and actually hurting its chances of success.   Aimee Schoof has produced over 35 films, many of which have played at some of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. But many others have played at festivals that may not have the marquee names, but proved correct for the content. By using this approach, Aimee and her producing partner have scored lucrative deals and distribution opportunities.   If you've seen Aimee's other Stage 32 webinars, you know she brings energy and knowledge to spare. She will teach you everything you need to know about where to submit, but also approaches on how to give your film the best chance of standing out from the crowd. She will also demystify and destroy some of the "false truths" that have become part of submitting for festivals (YES, you can submit a rough cut!) She'll tackle how to get press, how to run your social media, how to get your team involved, and much more, all in the name of getting your film seen and, ultimately, the attention it deserves.   This is a blueprint that will have you saving money, making it into more festivals, and smiling from ear to ear while walking the red carpet.     Like what you heard from Aimee during this webinar? Send her your script and speak with her for an hour by clicking here.          I've taken many Stage 32 webinars and they've all been wonderful, but Aimee's had me ready to run through a wall! So much thoughtful and intelligent information! - Debra S.

How to Get Past the Gatekeepers: Give Your Script the Best Chance for Success

A script's journey of a thousand miles begins with a single page. Well, more accurately, ten pages - that's the amount of space a typical script has to grab the attention of the anonymous, overworked reader that picked their script off a pile for evaluation. If a writer's sample script is excellent enough, the pieces start to fall into place: an entire script read, the writer recommended, the manager's decision to represent, the long and fruitful thousand-mile career. If a producer's script is perfect for the marketplace, a reader will get excited, move it up the ladder and then the wheels start in motion for finding financing, attaching talent and going into pre-production. None of it happens, though, if the script never makes it to the decision maker's desk. But who are these mysterious readers? Who decides which scripts go on to consideration or representation - and maybe one day fame and fortune - while others get a stone-cold pass? It's not exactly who you might think: while the agents and managers of Hollywood excel at their jobs, they only have so much time in the day and most of it is not spent seeking out new talent. That job falls to the Gatekeepers, the assistants and pro readers who tackle stacks of scripts every week hoping to find the diamond in the rough: a script they can confidently recommend. So, who are these gatekeepers, how do you even get to them and, more importantly, how do you win their endorsement to help move your script up the ladder?  Gabriel Chu works with artists, writers, and directors to identify and develop new ideas and stories, shepherding them from page to screen. As a story analyst at Sony Pictures, he works on current projects alongside the executive team and helps to field incoming submissions and identify new talent for the studio. Prior to joining Sony Pictures, he was an executive at Vertigo Entertainment, working closely with award winning directors and writers on both animated and live action film projects for Warner Bros., Lionsgate, and Fox Animation. Gabriel started his career at Bad Hat Harry Productions, and has also worked at Summit Entertainment and Mandalay Pictures. Through his career, Gabriel has served as a gatekeeper in multiple roles and knows intimately what it takes for a script to break through and make it to the right person’s desk, and he’s ready to share what he knows with the Stage 32 community. Gabriel will give you a rundown of how gatekeepers manage script submissions and what you can do to give your own script the best chance to be noticed and make it past those first rounds of coverage to make it to the eyeballs you’re aiming for. Gabriel will begin by explaining how scripts are able to get submitted to studios and other gatekeepers in the first place, including through agents and manager, through script competitions, other types of referrals, and through networking. He will also explain how taking the assistant route at an agency could help your chances of getting that script noticed. Next he’ll outline how coverage actually works at production companies and studios. He’ll explain the differences between the procedures at production companies, studios, and other organizations and what their differing expectations might be. He’ll delve into what roles read your script at what point in the process, focusing on the verticals at production companies and studios. He’ll explain the roles of interns and assistants, coordinators, story analysts, and finally executives, and what each role looks for when reading scripts. Gabriel will teach you the common formatting errors that knock scripts out of the running before people even start reading for content, including title page expectations, font and spacing, dialogue formatting, and other issues. He will share real examples of scripts that exhibit these errors to share what they look like on the page. Next he will go over narrative issues that can also sideline a submitted script. Finally, he’ll share other strategies that can make your script stand out to readers in these positions. Through demystifying the process of script reading and coverage as well as the people behind it, Gabriel will leave you with a concrete sense of how to get your script in front of the people you want to read it, and practical ways to help your chances.   Praise for Gabriel's Stage 32 Webinar:   I was very pleased with the webinar. The speaker got right to the point and explained exactly how the screenplay selling process works. Steven W.   I loved how Gabriel didn't pull any punches and gave a realistic assessment of the realities of breaking into the industry as a writer. -Peter M.   I loved this webinar because Gabriel talked about a variety of things from how to approach agents/managers/producers, to what not to do in a script. I learned a lot! -Melissa P.   Amazing. I liked the "no sugar coating" approach. -Candice E.

An Indie Producer's Guide on How to Keep a Project on Track Through Production

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Adapting IP: How Do I Know if My Idea Should Be Written as a Film, TV Series or Podcast?

Over the past few years, studios, independent production companies, networks and streamers have been turning to stories based on IP (Intellectual Property). Often times screenwriters, filmmakers and producers find great source material based on a book, article, life or public domain and the next part is struggling to figure out how to adapt it. You want to make sure that you are able to tell your story in the best possible way. Could it make a good movie? Or, do you have more elements that could make it extend longer into a full TV show? Or, what about creating a podcast that could sell? Making this crucial decision on how to adapt your story can help accelerate your path toward success.    When embarking on a strategy to figure out how to adapt your IP, it's important to understand the potential and the limitations within the material. This includes considering many variables including the genre, budget, and story beats. Although you may have begun with a specific format in mind, sometimes you may find that your material may inherently lend itself to one format or another. So, how do you truncate a story into a 110 page script? Should you include more characters and write a pilot that can serve multiple seasons? Could you write a podcast to help your characters come to life?  Understanding your audience and where that audience consumes content today might alter your thinking. And, most importantly, you must be paying attention to the marketplace - what's selling, who it sold to, where it will live - so that you don't waste time and navigate the landscape in a productive, more successful manner.   Jim Young of Animus Films is a leading independent non-fiction producer, with almost two dozen films under his belt. Jim has created a successful career producing true-story films such as THE CATCHER WAS A SPY with Paul Rudd, LIFE OF A KING with Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jr., THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY with Oscar-nominee Dev Patel, LOVELACE with Oscar-nominee James Franco and Amanda Seyfried, and the upcoming film, THE PEOPLE VS. VEGAS DAVE. Jim has a long history of producing critically acclaimed features and documentaries including YEAR OF THE BULL at Showtime, THE WORDS with Oscar-nominee Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. Almost all of Jim's projects are based off of IP and he has a clear grip on what adapts best to what medium and what the marketplace is currently looking for.    Jim will go over how determine your objective for your project whether you're a director, writer, actor or a hybrid. He'll go over what is important to you in the overall process in order to help you be clear on what you want to get out of adapting your IP into a film, television pilot or podcast - whether it be creative satisfaction, financial gain or proof of concept. He'll go over what the flow of your story is - open ended or single climax, event vs. character driven and visual vs. storytelling. He'll help you determine your writing style to help cater to which format will work best for your project, discussing comparisons between X-FILES, DIE HARD, STAR WARS and STAR TREK. You'll learn how different genres and budgets play into a project based off of IP. And, most helpful, Jim will go over the current marketplace in terms of popularity of projects based on IP, and break down the pros and cons of working in each medium - film, television and podcast. You will have a clear direction on which format will work best for your project.    Like what you heard from Jim from during this webcast? Send your script to Jim and speak with him for an hour by clicking here.     Praise for Jim's Stage 32 Webinars:   "This was my first webinar and I learned so much. I thought Jim was thorough in his descriptions of what each medium has to offer regarding IP" -Marietta K.   "Jim opened up new avenues for our IP that I didn't realize existed. He was a great presenter and shared his own experience with relevant info. It was really motivating." -Ricki L.   "Thoughtful way of exploring options. Using podcasts was inspirational." -JoAnne E.   "Tons of new information. Thanks!" -Jacqueline L.

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