Tag Archives: Distribution

Climbing The Media Production Ladder

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Filed under Chicago Actors, Chicago film, Chicago filmmakers, Chicago International Film Festival, Cinespace, Crowdfunding, Danny McCarthy, Documentary, Film, Film Financing, Film Production, filmmakers networking, Illinois Film Office, Independent Film, indie film, indie music, mini-series, PMD, television

Winding down a week in #filmmaking

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Filed under Chicago Actors, Chicago film, Chicago filmmakers, Christine Dudley, Crowdfunding, Film, Film Financing, Film Production, Illinois Film Office, Independent Film, indie film, indie music, mini-series, PMD, television

Ok then…the hits keep comin’


In an attempt to rid himself of the self-inflicted distinction of being a 25 year-old man-child, Zach Hutton, junior menswear buyer for a large legacy department store, makes an unauthorized purchase of a container load of neckties. In doing so he loses his job, his girl and his bank account.

In a last ditch effort for redemption and to stay solvent, Zach tries to sell the ties on his own. As tie sales sputter and his luck runs out, Zach employs the talents of a lovable pole dancer to redirect the focus of potential buyers of his ties. Add devious family members, corrupt politicians, mobsters, new found love and hot-buttered popcorn to the mix, Zach finds more than a kernel of truth in the saying, “one climbs the ladder of success one rung at a time”.

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The 23rd Psalm…

how-to-draw-a-shepherd-step-6_1_000000037067_5As an indie film producer ……one_legged_man_arse_kicking_contest I continually remind myself that I am shepherding my investor’s funds to a profitable end. This responsibility shares top priority with getting the film made. I requires a steadfastness in reaching one’s goal and often times tough decisions. But I have been entrusted with capital, and my job is to grow that wealth.
Subsequently, I am becoming more like the shepherd in the Taviani brothers’ 1977 film Padre Padrone,


as opposed to the gentle sheep herder depicted in the illustration above. (at least the character was a Sardinian). To clarify…. things gotta get done. And they need to get done right and on time.


And, speaking of the Shepherd/23rd Psalm ……It was recommended to a Georgia cotton farmer to avoid taking the shortcut across his neighbor Seth’s field. as Seth’s crop has become infested with cotton eating beetles. And this particular bug was so voracious it would even attack humans. The farmer replied, “Yea, though I’ll walk through the valley of Seth, I fear no weevil.”

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Filed under Film, Film Financing, Film Production, Independent Film

The Pre-Game Show


In five days, we are launching Phase II of the fundraising for our film – Anita. This initiative is being done through a Crowdsourcing/Crowdfunding campaign. I have hired a group of global professionals. The project itself is being spearheaded by Producer of Marketing & Distribution,  Brian Briskey of PMD Partners out of Austin, Texas. Coordinating with him is Social Strategy consultant,  Naomi Assraf from San Francisco. The Social Media ground troops consist of Mary Losey as Social Media manager, Cristiana Neves-Miller our Portuguese/Spanish Soc. Media expert and, long-time team-member and marketing professional, Jessica Orlandino spearheading the Italian online reach out

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Filed under Crowdfunding, Film, Film Financing, Independent Film

Niche Markets

Target markets and getting pigeon holed. I met with some filmmakers this weekend who invited me to tell them how to produce (read: get funding for) their project. If I knew that I wouldn’t be sitting here typing blog posts. It is an elusive, amorphous thing this “getting funded”. Finding the interested people is key at this level. Film projects under $40 million without big stars and a healthy, $25 million P&A budget are not investment vehicles for the players looking to make a killing on the back-end. The type of  investors these filmmakers would need will be concerned about getting the story told – and getting a decent return on their money. So, that was my advice to them; you’ve got a great, captive niche market for your story; work that market with a vengeance.  Keep the costs down and go find some Angels. They’re out there.

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What I am saying is, we have now what we have always needed, real partnership…

I’ll have my bond; speak not against my bond;
I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond; Shylock, Scene III – the Merchant of Venice

I can do wheelin’, I can do dealin’ (yes you can!!) But I don’t do no damn
squealin’…The brother get ready!! Thats a fact!! Get ready you Mother,
For the big payback (The big Payback!!) Let me hit ’em hit’em!! Hey Hey!! WOOOOOOOOOOOO                                                                                                            James Brown – The Big Payback

This blog is about producing a feature film. The process is a full time, day-to-day juggling act that never ceases, requires, thought, time, life-changing decisions, a boat-load of money and working capital that vanishes as quickly as it appears. Climbing a mountain step by step. Nevertheless, films get made and released every day. In 2010 there were approximately 615 films released from North American production companies. Based on a 200 business-day calendar year that’s a bit over 3 films per day. About half were indies and about 90% of the overall total stunk up the joint. Working with these numbers I am focused on reaching those investors that can see an opportunity when it presents itself. Obviously, these people are out there. My challenge is finding them and getting them to love this project. From that point, the position where we have our total production budget in place, my job is to deliver a polished, engaging, profitable film. It’s going to happen. As James Jaeger from Matrixx Films put it, “A movie is the best investment one can make for the up-side potential vs. the risk. There simply is no business with manufacturing capital entry requirements as low as motion pictures where the potential return can be as unlimited over the short, medium and long terms.”

And to this…to the actors, the crew the investors and yes…to myself – I have my bond. We can make each other happy.

Or as JB would say, “I need those hits, hit me!! “

PS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It’s okay. It’s okay. Thank you. Thank you. JumpIntoTheFire is my middle name. And, don’t try this at home, folks. I’m a professional in training. There’s me, and there’s Harvey Weinstein.

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Filed under Film, Film Financing, Film Production, Independent Film, Uncategorized