Many years ago, when I decided to enter my father’s field (making movies), I read every book on the subject, and spoke with dozens of professionals.
In fact, in my first big meeting with a pro producer, I told him I could direct, and he asked, “What do you want to make?” I realized that the then-studio chiefs were no longer dictating which pictures would be made. Rather, they would leave the subject matter up to those making the pitches. The heads did maintain the power to green-light projects, but were no longer the sources of them. So, your commitment to your own project would become a primary factor in gaining its approval.
Every idea and property would find its own unique path to being realized.
How could you find yours?
I began a study of everyone I knew who had achieved success. There were as many routes as there were projects.
One man I knew received the production funds from a family member who felt that by his not continuing with college, he was saving that amount of money on education. The picture, by the way, became a success!
Another man had done his duty for a company, directing numerous corporate-sponsored films. He finally told the parent company that he’d had enough, and they agreed to back his feature if he’d then commit to another year of corporate work. He did!
Still another man had stayed around a film company’s management for years. Nothing was happening, but he hung in there. Finally, when everyone else had left in frustration, the money arrived, and, thus, it became much easier to get his own projects approved!
In each case above, none of them followed an existing pattern. They were all created by the owner (a) deciding it should be made; (b) the owner’s finding of a resource that could see the mutual benefit.
So, when I consult with someone on the financial aspect of getting a film made, I start with (a) assessing the project; then (b) evolving a winning strategy to get it made; (c) finding one or more backers who could see the movie’s value, and then (d) negotiating to achieve the best possible alignment between owners and backers.
I like to do this! If any of it applies to you, give me a call.
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