The 5 Secrets to Financing Your Next Indie Film

What Most Filmmakers Do Not Know
Hosted by Anne Marie Gillen

$49

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Anne Marie Gillen

Webinar hosted by: Anne Marie Gillen

CEO at Gillen Group LLC, former COO of Morgan Freeman's Revelations Ent.

Anne Marie Gillen, CEO of Gillen Group LLC is aconsultant and executive coach to independent producers and equity investors advising on script evaluation, business plans, financing, worldwide distribution and single film and/or film company cash flow projections - motto is "Fusing Business & Creativity." She is the co-author of the 3rd edition of The Producer’s Business Handbook – published by Focal Press and co-branded by . Her second book The Business of Show Business for Creatives is coming out November 2013 published by Focal Press and co-branded by American Film Market (AFM). The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance®. Gillen is a lecturer and panelist and gives workshop seminars for such organizations as: American Film Market, Bloomberg BNA, Puerto Rico Film Commission, California Lawyers for the Arts, NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers), Pratt University, UCLA Film School, USC Film School and Chapman University. Prior to launching her own company, Gillen was the Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Freeman’s company, Revelations Entertainment. She led the company in the strategic financing and distribution of Revelations’ projects. During her tenure, Revelations Entertainment produced Along Came a Spider for Paramount; developed and produced Port Chicago Mutiny for NBC Network; and developed, independently financed and produced Under Suspicion starring Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman for Sony. Prior to joining Revelations Entertainment, Gillen was CEO of Electric Shadow Productions. Gillen financed and was Executive Producer of its first feature, Fried Green Tomatoes which was released by Universal and starred Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy. It was nominated for two Academy Awards and three Golden Globes. Gillen began her career at Hemdale where she was Vice President of Acquisitions and Ancillary Sales. During her tenure, Hemdale was one of the leading independent film companies producing such films as: Platoon winner of Best Picture and Best Director, Hoosiers, The Last Emperor winner of nine Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director and Screenplay. Gillen was Chairman of the Board of Living Literature/Colors United for 10 years - a non-profit, multi-racial education-based performing arts society for at-risk students in Watts. She was Executive Producer of the feature-length documentary on Colors United entitled Colors Straight Up, which received an Academy Award nomination. Ms. Gillen is the proud recipient of several Commendations from the City of Los Angeles for her outstanding community efforts to improve opportunities for the youth of Watts. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Learn directly from Anne Marie Gillen, who has over 20 years of experience with independent film financing and has raised over $100M worldwide!

There is no getting around it. If you want to make your own project, if you want to control your own career, you will need financing. In order to secure that financing you will need the necessary tools, language and know-how. Equity is King – and finding and closing it is the key component to funding every project no matter what the budget! This webinar will address 5 key strategies regarding financing that most filmmakers do not know.

  • Are you stressed & overwhelmed with the thought of finding money for your film?
  • Do you know how to talk the language of an equity investor?
  • Entertainment is a high risk investment. Do you know how to mitigate that risk to get investors to a "Yes!"

What You'll Learn

  • Comprehensive understanding of global film financing sources
  • Securing foreign pre-sales
  • Finding and attaching the right international sales agent
  • Creating interest and attaching top talent
  • 3 absolutes of every business plan necessary to raise equity
  • Getting your investor(s) to commit
  • Speaking the language of investors: Senior Debt, Mezzanine, Equity, Soft Money, and more
  • Understanding key risk mitigation factors that protect your investor(s)
  • Standard terms and conditions to offer your equity investor(s)
  • How to prepare financial projections and film comparables

About Your Instructor

Anne Marie Gillen, CEO of Gillen Group LLC is aconsultant and executive coach to independent producers and equity investors advising on script evaluation, business plans, financing, worldwide distribution and single film and/or film company cash flow projections - motto is "Fusing Business & Creativity."

She is the co-author of the 3rd edition of The Producer’s Business Handbook – published by Focal Press and co-branded by . Her second book The Business of Show Business for Creatives is coming out November 2013 published by Focal Press and co-branded by American Film Market (AFM). The AFM is produced by the Independent Film & Television Alliance®.

Gillen is a lecturer and panelist and gives workshop seminars for such organizations as: American Film Market, Bloomberg BNA, Puerto Rico Film Commission, California Lawyers for the Arts, NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers), Pratt University, UCLA Film School, USC Film School and Chapman University.

Prior to launching her own company, Gillen was the Chief Operating Officer of Morgan Freeman’s company, Revelations Entertainment. She led the company in the strategic financing and distribution of Revelations’ projects. During her tenure, Revelations Entertainment produced Along Came a Spider for Paramount; developed and produced Port Chicago Mutiny for NBC Network; and developed, independently financed and produced Under Suspicion starring Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman for Sony.

Prior to joining Revelations Entertainment, Gillen was CEO of Electric Shadow Productions. Gillen financed and was Executive Producer of its first feature, Fried Green Tomatoes which was released by Universal and starred Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy. It was nominated for two Academy Awards and three Golden Globes.

Gillen began her career at Hemdale where she was Vice President of Acquisitions and Ancillary Sales. During her tenure, Hemdale was one of the leading independent film companies producing such films as: Platoon winner of Best Picture and Best Director, Hoosiers, The Last Emperor winner of nine Academy Awards including Best Picture, Director and Screenplay.

Gillen was Chairman of the Board of Living Literature/Colors United for 10 years - a non-profit, multi-racial education-based performing arts society for at-risk students in Watts. She was Executive Producer of the feature-length documentary on Colors United entitled Colors Straight Up, which received an Academy Award nomination. Ms. Gillen is the proud recipient of several Commendations from the City of Los Angeles for her outstanding community efforts to improve opportunities for the youth of Watts.

FAQs

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! 

Testimonials

"Although I have extensive experience as a Line Producer on studio films, Anne Marie Gillen gave me the map of how to successfully negotiate the strange land of independent film production. She showed me which doors to knock on and how to get them to open. In three months, I went from being a clueless indie neophyte to negotiating with foreign sales agents bolstered by the confidence that comes with knowledge." - Robert Latham Brown - S.W.A.T., Charlie's Angels, Spider-Man

"Anne Marie Gillen's captivating personality and unquestionable knowledge of financing films in the digital age were key in providing the vital tools to the Puerto Rico film industry." - Puerto Rico Film Commission

"Anne Marie Gillen is exceptionally knowledgeable about independent producing and film finance. Her seminar on the principles and practices of successful producers is extremely lucid, helpful, and keenly observed, drawing from her many years' experience as an industry professional and broad base of relationships. Her sessions on business plans and financing tools are invaluable for the serious independent content creator: inside information with very current details and examples from the ever-changing funding and distribution marketplace. Spend time with her in one of these seminars if you can!" - Executive Director, NALIP (National Association of Latino Independent Producers)

"In show business, everyone is in love with the show, but it's the business of making significant money that turns on the big boys and girls inside the tent. Learn what they already know..." - Steve Eccelsine - Independent Producer (12 films & over 700 TV episodes)

"Your insight cleared up my eyesight... What a great seminar! The information you provide on the business principles and practices of the entertainment industry is an invaluable tool for producers." - Karen T. Bolt - Development Executive, Carrie Productions (Danny Glover)

"Anne Marie's workshop was the best eight hours I spent for getting comprehensive and practical information. She not only shared a wealth of knowledge but actual documents and worksheets for real-world application. And to top it off, she made the day fun, lively and collaborative. I walked away completely satisfied and, more importantly, energized and enthused about producing my film." - Debra Weeks - TV Producer

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: 4.5 out of 5

  • Much of the information Anne Marie provided was very basic. I am not experienced and knew much of what she shared. Perhaps the subject matter she took on was too broad and therefore, to get through it in an hour, she had to keep the material more general. I also felt she was bored with her material or presentation. This was especially evident in the question and answer section where I felt she could not get off line soon enough. Disappointed.
  • Amazing! Much better than I thought it would be.
  • Insanely awesome! Anne was top-notch in every way imaginable.
  • This is a great intro to film financing.

Other education that may be of interest to you:

How to Finance Your Project with Equity Investors Using the Internet

Learn directly from Anne Marie Gillen, who has over 20 years of experience with independent film financing and has raised over $100M worldwide! Joining Anne Marie are 2 special guests: Gene Massey, CEO of MediaShares and an expert in marketing crowdfunded online stock offerings. Lou Bevilacqua who is the founding member of Bevilacqua PLLC, a boutique transactional corporate and securities law firm. He is also co-founder, President and General Counsel of Digital Offering LLC, a FINRA registered investment bank. There are approximately 9 million officially accredited investors in the United States alone - you can now legally solicit all of them to finance your project. This exclusive Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, How to Finance Your Project with Equity Investors Using the Internet will explain how. Recent legislation has created an opportunity for equity-based crowdfunding as a financing model for indie producers of film, documentaries, series, games, and other creative endeavors. Get INVESTMENTS in your film instead of just DONATIONS. This is NOT another Kickstarter / IndieGoGo webinar! Whether you are a veteran producer or a film student - you need financing! This is a webinar for all level filmmakers, given by experts in the new methods of online film finance, who will show how you can create a powerful online presentation and legally market your project to investors on the Internet. You will walk away with a clear understanding of the new SEC rules and regulations that allow you to raise equity funding online. You will learn from 3 of the industry's top financing and legal experts how to raise equity funding for your own project.  

The Ultimate Step-by-Step Film Pre-Production Guide

Pre-production is the most important time for filmmakers. How you plan and the crucial decisions you make will determine the success of your production and ultimately, your film. No matter what experience level you are at, pre-production can quickly become an overwhelming process. To make the most of this valuable time to prep you'll want to take it step by step to ensure no loose ends come back to derail you while you're on set. Whether you're filming a project for $1 million or a $1,000, pre-production is the foundation to make sure your production goes smoothly. If you're making a digital series, as short or a feature length film it's imperative that you have a clear understanding of your cast and crew and their roles. You need to understand the key hires you need and the obstacles you may face as a filmmaker before you you can ever put together your call sheet for day one.  Rachel Crouch will use her experience as the Director of Development from Cold Iron Pictures to help ensure your pre-production process runs smoothly. Rachel has worked on $1M+ films such as Swiss Army Man, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Don't Think Twice, Time out of Mind, I Do...Until I Don't (among many more!), and in her off time has produced a digital series in the $1k+ range. Through each of these project Rachel has learned the highs and lows filmmakers face during pre-production. Rachel will help you define your film's budget range and go over pros and cons, as well as similarities and differences in a $1M+ production and a $1K production. You will learn the key department heads to hire, how to meet with them to ensure your budget, shooting days, schedule and casting go smoothly. You'll know what to do for your location scout and how to put all the pieces together and avoid any obstacles. You'll get the all important  list of resources to help you through pre-production and a checklist to make sure that you've thought through everything. And, as a bonus, Rachel will take you behind the scenes of pre-production on Swiss Army Man, Don't Think Twice and the digital series she produced to give you a real life look at how, with the right planning, these projects got started on the right foot.    This is the ultimate guide for you to plan your pre-production, no matter your budget!   "Rachel is so knowledgable and approachable about pre-production. You can tell she's seen it all on her productions. The checklists and resources are extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Rachel!" -Tony P.    

How to Structure Financing for your Film and Creatively Approach Investors

It can be the bane of a filmmaker’s existence, but there’s no denying that financing is a critical step in getting that movie made. After all, not even the greatest script can get produced without the money and resources to back it up. But this is never a straightforward endeavor. Securing the funding for your film is almost without question a fraught, complicated ordeal. It can be enough to drive the most optimistic filmmaker away, but if done smartly and successfully, financing can give you the resources you need to not only see your vision through, but perhaps even to elevate it, to gather opportunities and talent to raise your project’s profile and find further success. Finding and dealing with financing for a film can feel like a Sisyphean task, a hunt for treasure without any map to help. After all, we’re not just talking about finding people with deep pockets who believe in your vision (though that definitely helps); you also need to be well versed in tax structure and incentives, legal codes, equity models, sales projections, crafting a pitch to investors—all things you likely didn’t learn along the way or through the process of writing that script. Yet as overwhelming and insurmountable as it seems, there’s always a way through, and there are strategies and skills you can pick up as a producer or filmmaker to find the money and navigate the politics and nuances of this difficult landscape. Aimee Schoof is the co-founder of Intrinsic Value Films and has produced more than 35 feature films. Of those, nine have premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, four at the Tribeca Film Festival, three at SXSW, and one each at LA Film Festival, Toronto, Venice, New York FF, New Directors/New Films, and Berlinale, to name a few. Aimee’s company develops, produces and sells independent films that have been distributed worldwide, have won many awards and been honored with numerous nominations. Accolades include winning a Sloan Sundance Award and a Sundance Special Grand Jury Prize. Aimee’s work has led her to be nominated five times by Film Independent as a producer. She is currently both a Sundance and Film Independent Fellow and has worked in international sales attending all major markets, and regularly lecturing on film finance and production. Aimee’s extensive experience has made her an expert in the art of film financing, and she has developed a slew of skills and lessons learned to more successfully find and manage funding for independent projects, skill and lessons that she’s excited to share with you. Aimee will give you a comprehensive look at how to finance your independent film and the tips and strategies to have in your arsenal to make sure you’re taking advantage of every opportunity available. Aimee will start by discussing how equity models are structured and the benefits that come with starting your own LLC. She will then delve into the legal components of a standard investment deal, including being clear with who owns the rights to the film and how those rights are distributed and paid for. Then, Aimee will go into navigating foreign sales and domestic sales within this quickly changing landscape and how you may be able to find the right sales partner that can give you an advance to make the movie. Aimee will teach you everything you need to know about tax incentives and how best to take advantage of them and earn back what is essentially free money. Next, Aimee will discuss the benefits of crowdfunding and the strategies and tips she has employed in the past to create a successful campaign. She will talk about the rise of the digital streamers and how to target these platforms for possible funding. Aimee will then delve into the art of finding and approaching potential investors, including the research you need to do and how best to pitch them your project. Aimee will even share one of her own pitch decks to illustrate how to craft the perfect pitch deck. She will teach you ways to think outside-the-box and find non-traditional investors or partners that you might not have otherwise encountered. Finally Aimee will teach you strategies to better network, including finding way to get to people you don’t personally know and how to use film festivals and film markets to your advantage. Be prepared to leave this webinar with an expansive and comprehensive view of film funding and the tools you need to get your next project financed.   Like what you heard from Aimee during this webinar? Send her your script and speak with her for an hour by clicking here.   Praise for Aimee’s Webinar:   Clear and efficient! -Dirk B.   I've watched several webinars on film financing and this has been by far my favorite. Thank you for the practical, straightforward advice, and for presenting the info in a way that is not too overwhelming to take in. -Rose M.   Grounded and Practical -Jennifer S.   This webinar was jam packed with so many useful and accessible strategies I can start using today. Thank you! -Brian D.

How To Find Distribution For Your Indie Film

When making an independent film, finishing the film is only half the battle. You need people to actually see the film you’ve worked so hard on. When it comes to distribution, it’s important to know how to get your film into the worldwide marketplace. Once it’s there, you need to know how to generate interest toward it so the film can make its money back for the investors and back-end participants. Distribution comes in all shapes and sizes, but what kind of distribution is right for your indie film? Sometimes it means getting your film distributed by a studio; sometimes it’s creating a self-distribution path. Sometimes —- most typically — the distribution lands somewhere in between. Every film is different and therefore requires a different marketing plan, release strategy, and team behind it that have the passion and drive to get the most out of its release amongst the myriad other movies available. In this on-demand Stage 32 Next Level Webinar, host Tiffany Boyle will get into the details of what the independent distribution process looks like. She will go over how to get the right representative, foreign sales agent, and domestic distribution, and the different options for each based upon the size, genre and execution of a film. She will also discuss what the key points are to look at when reviewing a foreign sales agent and/or domestic distribution deal. Filmmakers should be making an informed decision when choosing who will be handling the licensing of their film for the next 3-25 years, and Tiffany is here exclusively for Stage 32 to help you navigate the ever-evolving world of indie distribution. Tiffany Boyle is the President at Ramo Law and works with producers, financiers and writer clients to bring their new material to life. Having been a Director of Sales at Crystal Sky Pictures, Tiffany has an extensive background in foreign sales. She now works with the attorneys to review, collaborate, develop, submit and supervise creative materials on behalf of clients within the firm. Tiffany has worked on over 100 features including, Stuck In Love, Pawn, Gimme Shelter, Maladies, and I-Lived. She has been to AFM, Berlin, Tribeca, TIFF, Sundance, and Cannes and is constantly expanding her knowledge of how to match films with production and distribution companies.

How to Produce Faith Based and Faith Friendly Films That Will Make it to the Screen

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As a producer or filmmaker wanting to work in this space, it’s your job to understand this world and the different players within it. Having a strong sense of how everything works, what kinds of films succeed in the space, and how to avoid the land mines that come along with this genre is critical. With a proper lay of the land, you’ll be able to better tackle this genre and produce a film that can not only succeed financially, but inspire and uplift viewers at the same time. Brad Wilson is the co-founder of Higher Purpose Entertainment (HPE), a production company dedicated to telling stories in film and TV that encompass truth of character and strive to embrace inspirationally redeeming qualities. While at HPE he's produced a number of films including THREE BLIND SAINTS, CHRISTMAS ON SALVATION STREET, MY MANY SONS, THE MEANEST MAN IN TEXAS, and THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE, which was released last year in 1,100 theaters across the country. 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This is a tricky and very specific part of the film industry, but Brad’s will give you the tools you need to better understand it and succeed within it.   Like what you heard from Brad during this webinar?  Brad will read your script and speak with you for a half-hour if you click here.   Praise for Brad's Stage 32 Webinar   "This was superb! He was very open and helpful. I really appreciated him walking us through his business plan." -Crystal B.   "He was so informational and inspiring with all he presented. Thanks to Brad Wilson and Stage 32 for presenting this." -Ann K.   "Brad Wilson is personable, professional, and knowledgeable. I feel inspired to rework my script and shop it for production" -Darlyn K.   "This was very informative. I have not written in this area, but hearing about how these movies get made is very inspiring. I can now see the steps that are needed. It is so great to get his wisdom and the practical step by step how to." -Mary S.            

The Secret to Cracking Your Script's Second Act

Ask any executive where most screenplays go wrong, and they'll tell you it's in the second act. That's because many screenwriters type FADE IN knowing their opening (Act I) and closing (Act III) inside out, but haven't thought through how to bridge the gap (Act II). Struggling to nail the second act is more common than you might think. After all, how many times have you watched a film and thought that it dragged in the middle? Most writers will agree that the second act is the hardest to nail and usually starts out feeling way too short or way too long. But it’s for this reason that the second act is where you should be spending a lot of your time to ensuring you’re getting it right. Introducing a great concept and fantastic, deeply drawn characters is, of course, a staple of Act I, but the second act is where the heart of the narrative happens and where momentum must be found. Your second act must propel you through to the climactic third act. But this is easier said than done. Writing an effective second act requires many drafts, a solid plan or outline, and some tips and tricks to help get you there. Yet this process is crucial. If your second act stalls, anyone reading your material will likely quit right there and then. But if you can make your second act strong, by this fact alone, your script will be head and shoulders above most scripts that are coming down the pipeline and better your chances of your script getting discovered or even produced. Jason Mirch is a feature film, television, branded entertainment, and digital content producer and executive with over 15 years in the industry. Most recently, he produced a 3D animated feature film starring Jacob Tremblay, Christopher Lloyd, Mel Brooks, Kenan Thompson, and Carol Kane. Mirch was the Head of feature and television development at Image Nation, a finance and production company based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. There, he supervised the Image Nation contributions in the development of FLIGHT, THE HELP, THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, CONTAGION and more. Prior to his work at Image Nation, Mirch was Co-Head of Development at Zadan/Meron Productions (CHICAGO, FOOTLOOSE, THE BUCKET LIST) where he was actively involved in developing a slate of feature film projects for New Line, Paramount, Summit Ent., and CBS/Paramount. He also developed and sold television projects and mini-series to CBS, NBC, Fox, ABC, and Lifetime. Jason will will give you an in depth look into how to successfully navigate the structure of your second act. He will explain the common pitfalls and why so many second acts fail. You will learn techniques for crafting dialogue that moves the narrative forward, while exposing their characters’ flaws. You will learn how to carefully order your scenes in such a way that it creates a series of authentic and escalating obstacles for your characters to overcome. He will identify and explain key plot points that typically exist in a well-written second act, and explain how you can use these as guidelines for their own projects.   Jason will be citing specific examples from films in several different genres as well as providing you tools to apply to your own writing.     Praise for Jason’s Stage 32 Webinar   "Jason had so much good information to share, he did it at a breakneck speed. It was hard to digest it all at once. The good news is we can revisit the webinar after the fact." - Michael G.   "Plan on listening to it again and again!" - Peggy R.   "Jason was great. He answered all questions and presented the information effectively!" - Barbie D.

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