Making a Film For Under $1MM & How to Come Out Ahead

Hosted by Blake Goza (Judge)

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Blake Goza (Judge)

Webinar hosted by: Blake Goza (Judge)

Development Executive at Dark Trick Films & TV

Blake Goza has spent the last seven years as the development executive for Ryan Reynolds’ production shingle, Dark Trick Films / TV, where he is in charge of new material acquisition and project development. Blake worked on such films as Buried, The Change Up, RIPD, and Deadpool, and now serves as the company’s VP, managing their first look TV deal at Universal Cable Productions. At the beginning of 2014, Blake took a sabbatical from Dark Trick to produce The Escort, with friend and writer Michael Doneger, which premiered at the LA Film Festival and was distributed by The Orchard. Goza graduated from the University of Southern California School of Theatre where he studied acting and playwriting as a National Merit Scholar. Full Bio »

Webinar Summary

Learn directly from the Director of Development for Ryan Reynolds' Dark Trick Films!

Creating an independent film from scratch is daunting, but immensely rewarding, and can be done with any level of resources. Films under $1MM are especially a sweet spot for many independent filmmakers but certainly come with their sets of challenges. 

Stage 32 is excited to bring in the development executive for Ryan Reynold's production company Dark Trick Films & TV, Blake Goza, who has spent the last 7 years working projects such as Deadpool, Buried, The Change Up and RIPD. 

Even though Blake works on some of the most popular films & television of today, it's his personal project - a film entitled Escort - which he made independently for under $1MM that fuels his passion for being a creative.

With this webinar, Blake will give you a producer’s perspective on building an independently financed movie, from start to finish, for under one million dollars. Using The Escort as a case study, he will walk you through each stage of the independent process: finding a script, packaging talent, determining a budget, acquiring financing, shooting, post production, and ultimately, distribution.

Blake will discuss process specifics, like his decision to attach a sales agent in the early stages of development; what financing options he prefers - the benefits and risks of private equity versus foreign pre-sales; what talent he chose to attach first – the argument for finding your director before making offers to actors; and how to build a release strategy for your film that allows for success as you define it – whether your goal is critical acclaim, commercial exposure, or financial reward, begin with the end in mind, and build a platform that allows you to achieve that goal.

If you’ve wanted to produce a film outside of the studio system on a responsible budget, then this class if for you!

What You'll Learn

Blake will go over very specific examples, resources and decisions he made with The Escort as a case study throughout the webinar. 

Case Study: The Escort

  • How I got involved
  • Expectations vs. Reality
  • Accepting the risk of the venture
  • Beginning with the end in mind

Raising Funds

  • The freedom and pressures of private investors
  • The benefits and limitations of foreign pre-sales
  • Spending only what you can make back 

Packaging Talent

  • Director first
  • Incentivizing name actors – Deferments vs. Points
  • Creative involvement vs. empty credits
  • Find an actor who wants to say what you want to say
  • What to do when actors drop out

Pre-Production

  • Legal – Why we didn’t hire a lawyer
  • Contracts – Keeping the autonomy you need (limit oversight and approvals)
  • CAM Agreements
  • Unions – SAG and IATSE

Shooting

  • Why we shot in Los Angeles
  • Managing your footprint
  • Problems (there will be many) and problem solving
  • Put out the fire closest to the house
  • The importance of risk vs. reward

Post-Production

  • Unforeseen Costs
  • ADR
  • Reshoots
  • Deliverables
    • MPAA Rating
    • Separate Mixes for Foreign Territories
    • Copyright Search Report and Registration

Sales & Distribution

  • Finding a sales agent who works for you
  • When to hire a PR person
  • What festival is right for you / why we chose LAFF
  • Sales Platform vs. Marking Platform
  • Find the creative fit
  • Digital / VOD / SVOD vs. Theatrical – Cost vs. Benefit

Conclusion

  • Leverage your success - we'll talk about my deal with MTV & Amazon

Q&A With Blake

About Your Instructor

Blake Goza has spent the last seven years as the development executive for Ryan Reynolds’ production shingle, Dark Trick Films / TV, where he is in charge of new material acquisition and project development. Blake worked on such films as Buried, The Change Up, RIPD, and Deadpool, and now serves as the company’s VP, managing their first look TV deal at Universal Cable Productions.

At the beginning of 2014, Blake took a sabbatical from Dark Trick to produce The Escort, with friend and writer Michael Doneger, which premiered at the LA Film Festival and was distributed by The Orchard.

Goza graduated from the University of Southern California School of Theatre where he studied acting and playwriting as a National Merit Scholar.

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