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guide.

2012 - 2013
how to produce your independent lm & actually make money.
contents.
development.
I. Breakdown
II. Attach
III. Pitch
IV. Finance
V. Market
pre-production.
VI. Organize
VII. Hire
VIII. Cast
IX. Scout
X. Rent
XI. Actualize
XII. Checklist
production.
XII. Shoot
XIII. Manage
XIV. Wrap
post-production.
XV. Edit
XVI. Sound
XVII. Score
XVIII. Color
XIX. Schedule
XX. Delivery
sales.
XXI. Agents
XXII. Markets
XXIII. Festivals
tips.
XXIV. Checklist
appendix. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! Attachments
statement.
So youre taking the big step and producing your lm - now what?
With this guide youll be able to steer your project through a strong
development period, organize the necessary elements during pre-production,
facilitate a creative and successful production period, head in to post-
production with a methodical work ow and align the nal project for its best
potential in the sales market.
As technology has democratized the lmmaking process, the market has
become over-saturated with content. In order to successfully produce, sell and
have your lm viewed by audiences there are three principle steps to follow:
1. Overhead is everything - producing your lm between $200,000 - $625,000 is
ideal for the low budget range because it allows limited union interference,
minimal investment risk and the ability to recoup your investment with quicker
sales. Producing your lm between $1M - $1.5M again allows for a different
level of limited union interference, strong talent attachments, a more relaxed
production schedule and high production value with overhead minimal enough
to recoup. For many years it was thought that $3M - $7M was too risky of a
budget level because the investment exposure requires a theatrical release in
order to recoup invested equity. However, recent releases have proven that this
budget level can result in Hollywood studio level production value for wide
theatrical released lms. Your investor needs to see youve done your homework
and are wisely seeking to return their investment.
2. Negotiating is everything - its no secret that independent lm relies heavily
on negotiating deals for equipment, crew and location rates - but take that
several steps further. Cast attachments will help drive the lms back end prot
margin and by negotiating low up front rates it once again allows you to keep
your overhead limited. Create relationships with vendors, agents, managers and
fellow producers months in advance so that when it comes time to negotiate a
bottom line deal youve established a working dialogue with your vendor. Be
fair, up front and transparent - give accurate estimates for the budget range
youre shooting at to signal to the vendor that youre paying to the scale of your
budget as much as youre able. Do not be surprised if many vendors back away
from negotiations if they get too low - but remember that the economy is weak
for everyone and thus everything is negotiable.
3. Hiring is everything - a great team can make or break your lm and you need
to be militant in your hiring process. Do not simply hire someone because they
are a friend, were recommended or you like some of their previous work. Set up
interviews, informal meetings and discussions to vet your options. There are
literally thousands of capable crew members for every position and you need to
nd the perfect t for your specic project. Find that DP (director of
photography) who is excited about your vision, creative and collaborative and a
true master of their craft. Find that PD (production designer) who can stretch
every dollar on to the screen to give the audience an immersive experience. And
nd that AD (assistant director) who calmly walks the ne line between
intensity and likability - this is the leader of your set and you need to have trust
in their abilities. In the end you need to create a working team of people that
respect one another, understand each departments work ow and have the
ability to take your communicated ideas and turn them in to a cinematic work
of art.
The road ahead is a difcult course and youll often nd yourself exhausted and
overwhelmed - so stay focused, willing to compromise and ready to problem
solve all day every day!

- Matthew Helderman& Luke Taylor
development.
I.Breakdown - Your rst step in moving your project towards pre-production is
breaking down the script into a production schedule and line item budget.
MovieMagic Scheduling & Budgeting are the industry standard software
applications. If unfamiliar or you do not have the software, hire an experienced
line producer or production company to break down the script - expect to pay
between $500 - $1000 for a professional breakdown. This breakdown is 100%
necessary to provide the feasibility of producing your project at a specic
budget range and to prove to your investor that the project is legitimate and
possible.
II. Attach - With breakdown in hand you are now ready to begin attaching
talent, both above the line (actors, director, writer, producers) and below the line
(crew) to your project. LOIs (letter of intent) are industry standard for proof of
attachment to your package to show an investor, producer or distributor that
you lm has immediate value. A few strong attachments from known talent will
give your project viability to an investor.
III. Pitch - You are now ready to pitch your project as a professional business
endeavor to your investors. Keep in mind, that investor see multiple projects on
a daily basis and also remember to approach the pitch stage with the same
professional demeanor of any other business venture. Your pitch should be
clean, concise, captivating but not overwritten and include a budget, schedule,
sales, marketing, attachments and the unique nature of your project that makes
it more valuable than other pitches.
IV. Finance - There are several methods for nancing a lm and your
understanding of each approach is key to choosing the best suited for your
project.
i. Equity - hard cash investments made to your project by single investors,
groups of investors, personal investments, colleagues/family and crowd
funding. Equity investments require that the investor own a stake in the lm
and must be paid back before prot is seen.
ii. Pre-Sales - sales agreements made with distributors before the lm is
produced, based on the strength of the projects marketability and sales
potential. A distributor will generate a value for your project given the script,
attached talent and crew as well as marketing approach and then enable you
to take out a bank loan using the pre-sales deal as collateral. Pre-sales
investments require that the producer pay back the bank its loaned capital
before proting.
iii. Mezzanine Gap - with partial equity raised you are then able to procure a
loan from a bank on the unsold territories of the lm. Typically, banks will
only grant loans based on non-North American unsold territories with strong
name attachments. Mezzanine gap nancing requires that the producer pay
back the bank loan before proting.
iv. Tax credit - individual state and country legislation enables producer to
subsidize spent costs for production. Tax incentives require producer to hire a
certain number of local crew employees, rent from local vendors and run
payroll through local services. Tax credits are based on an application process
and are often lengthy & difcult to procure. Certain credits are sell-able,
transferable and even trade-able based on the local legislation.
v. Deferred - producers are able to avoid nearly all costs on a project if able to
negotiate a strong deferred deal. Deferred agreements basically state that
crew, cast, vendors, locations and services are all rendered up front at no cost
until the lm generates money upon release. Deferred nancing is difcult
because experienced cast and crew are unwilling to work under these types of
restrictions.
V. Market - Now youve developed, packaged, and nanced your lm - but
before youre ready to shoot you need to start spreading the word. Meet with
sales agents, PR representatives and media outlets to begin discussing the
unique nature of your project. Find a specic selling point and market
accordingly - if youre making a horror lm with an interesting approach on the
genre, utilize that. A sales agent can help structure the release calendar and
discuss taking the lms to the appropriate markets. Do not wait until you wrap
your lm to begin marketing - you need to get it out there before you even head
in to pre-production.
pre-production.
VI. Organize - Youre now ready to run your production entity - think of this
like creating a small business that youre running temporarily.
i. Entity - The rst step is setting up your LLC, INC or CORP - its wise to
discuss this decision with a tax accountant or business attorney before making
your choice. LegalZoom allows you to create any of these entities within an
hour for roughly $500-$1000. Once registered make sure to have handy your
FED ID #, TAX ID and IRS contact. This typically takes about one month to
process so be sure to le your entity well in advance of pre-production.
ii. Financial - The second step is opening a business banking and checking
account for your LLC, INC or CORP. Make sure to apply for a reasonable
credit limit (rentals, vendor accounts, location fees), a business check book
(crew payments, cast payments, various production costs) and be mindful of
how many signers are on the account as time is often wasted dealing with
nancial issues that could have be avoided. This typically takes about three
weeks to process so be sure to plan accordingly for your payment schedule.
iii. Union - SAG, IATSE, DGA, WGA, Teamsters all require signatory paperwork
be lled out weeks prior to production beginning. Consult with your Line
Producer or UPM on which union fringes and signatories are necessary for
your project. Make sure to form a relationship with a representative from each
union to have a reference when contacting. Production often puts off union
regulation paperwork until the last minute, do not let this small but necessary step
threaten your production.
iv. Production Box - In order to run an efcient production it is crucial to
properly le and store all production documents as they come in. This
includes deal memos for cast and crew, location agreements, vendor accounts,
invoices and quotes, weekly payroll, union and government forms along with
contact information for all cast, crew, vendors, locations and production
representatives. This physical box will travel through pre-production, into
production and become your wrap binder to be turned over to your
accountant, attorney or business rep. Keeping a digital le of all incoming and
outgoing paperwork is necessary to do as you go - retracing your steps is a
huge waste of time and often impossible again threatening your production.
VII. Hire - Once your up and operational its time to begin the hiring process.
Its important to view this as a process - take your time, dont hire someone
simply because theyre a friend or a referral, check their references, their
past work and chose the best people for your specic project needs. You
want to hire people who are respectful, responsible and have a strong
creative energy while working with other departments. One wrong hire can
derail your entire production!
i. Line Producer/UPM - This is the rst person that you hire - he or she is the
oversight of your entire production. A Line Producer/UPM needs to have a
working knowledge of every department. They will perform the script
breakdown and arrange a production schedule and budget and continue to
oversee the execution of the plan through production. They often hire all key
positions and will be a good reference for position referrals. This person
should be highly organized, responsible and extremely knowledgable. On
larger production these two positions are often split in to two separate hire
but for lower budget productions a single position will sufce.
ii. Assistant Director - This is the captain of physical production - he or she is the
voice, guiding hand and facilitator of the set. They will perform the ofcial
production scheduling based off the preliminary from the Line Producer/
UPM. They will facilitate all information to cast, crew and production on a
daily basis assuring that production stays on schedule. They often hire their
2nd AD - responsible for call sheets, production communication, distribution
and outgoing information and cast oversight. They also typically hire their 2nd
2nd AD - responsible for background handling, production report creation
and ling and management of the PAs. On smaller productions these
positions can be simplied down to a 1st AD and 2nd AD with a few key PAs.
iii. Script Supervisor - This is the person who oversees all continuity from the
script during actual shooting - logging times, adjustments, camera angeles and
various production elements. He or she distributes this information to
production so that the post production team is able to decipher all necessary
information during the edit. This person is 100% necessary and should not be
neglected during low budget shoots.
iv. Director of Photography -This is the technical, camera style and creative and
lighting director during pre-production and production. They will perform a
shoot listing breakdown of the script with the director based on the vision of
the script and the tech scout. They are responsible for camera, lighting, grip
and electric package oversight and rental communication. They typically hire
a full camera crew (1st AC, 2nd AC, DIT, Camera PA) along with Grip &
Electric departments (Gaffer, Best Boy Electric, Labor Electric, Key Grip, Best
Boy Grip and Labor Grip). This person needs to be the most technically
experienced, resourceful and artistically creative person you hire. Check
references, watch reels and interview based on scenarios and looks youre
hoping for.
v. Production Designer - This is the person who oversees the aesthetic design
execution of the lm. They will perform a script breakdown with the director,
director of photography and assistant director to assure that the creative
elements of the art department builds match stylistically, come in on budget
and are achievable based on the production schedule. They typically hire a
full crew including an Art Director, Set Builders, Prop Masters, Set Decorators
and Art PAs. On smaller productions these roles can be combined and often
times the Production Designer will work hand in hand with the team. This
person needs to be extremely resourceful, extensive relationships with rental
houses and the ability to adjust quickly with unforeseen events.
vi. Sound Mixer -This is the person who records and mixes all of the on set
sound for your lm. They will supply, whether personal or rented, the
necessary equipment to record all sound variables during production. Make
sure they are brought along to all location scouts, production meetings and
tech discussions - they need to be looped in all necessary department
scheduling that may conict with optimal sound. Typically they provide a
boom operator, however on lower budget production there are ways of
combining the roles in to a single position. This person should be technically
knowledgeable, friendly and capable of working with multiple departments to
achieve strong sound results.
vii. Key Wardrobe - This is the person who outts the entire cast with their
wardrobe for each given scene. They will t, measure, make, rent, buy or
supply the necessary materials for the cast to be outtted. Often times on
lower budget productions there are ways around high wardrobe costs by
having cast come in personally owned clothing - however, SAG does charge
an additional fee for having cast provide wardrobe. This person should have
great relationships with rental houses, designers and fabric/material vendors.
Make sure this person is capable of handling your specic genre as wardrobe
artists are often geared towards specic looks.
viii. Key Make Up - This is the person who oversees the make up styling for all
featured and background talent during production. They will provide and
create looks, pricing and options for production to audition during
preparation. They should be specically hired from a lm production
background as the job requires the ability to oversee many looks and
individuals on a large scale basis. Typically an assistant will be provided
should the production require a large amount of make up work. It is
important to coordinate with make up, wardrobe and hair departments so that
all three are working in unison on a singular look for specic characters.
ix. Key Hair - This is the person who oversees the hairstyling of all featured
talent during production. They will provide options, coordinate styles/looks/
genres for the hair styling as well as performing the actual styling itself.
Working closely with the Make Up department and Wardrobe department,
Key Hair is crucial in the overall styling of your characters. Hiring a specic
production hair stylist is necessary due to the stress, time crunch and
difculty of the job often required. This person will typically provide an
assistant if needed and should have a working past in feature lm production
- as short, commercial and music video styling is quite different.
x. Location Manager - This is the person who oversees the scout scheduling,
location options, agreement signing and all communication with the physical
location representatives. They will break down the script with the Assistant
Director and Director to determine the locations needed before building a
location list. Once a list is built the Location Manager will arrange for a scout
day to include all necessary department heads. When hiring a Location
Manager it is crucial to nd someone extremely resourceful, who knows the
city/area you are shooting inside and out and can call in favors to achieve the
difcult.
VII. Cast - from day one youve been putting together a casting wish list and
rening as you go - or at least you should be. Begin preparing a breakdown
of who youd like for each specic role and give several options. The casting
process, much like crew hiring, requires that you be very specic and make
sure to match the correct choices to your nal casting sessions.
i. Casting Director - expect to hire this person as one of your rst three crew
hires (along with your UPM/Line Producer & Producer) to begin putting
together your cast. Interview and hire according to your specic production
needs - for example, a Casting Director who typically works on high budget
commercials would not be a good t to cast your lower budget feature.
Independent Casting Directors who operate outside of an agency are better
choices for smaller productions as they are more exclusively focused on your
production.
ii. Breakdown - with your chosen Casting Director you will create a character
breakdown and begin making offers, setting up auditions and reviewing
interested talent for the project. Expect the Casting Director to handle the day
to day operations of the process, negotiations with agents and managers as
well putting together a cast list once the roles are locked. Several sites such as
Actors Access, Breakdown Express and Model Mayhem are typically used for
professional casting services.
iii. Signing - when it comes time to sign talent contracts make sure that each
cast member is invested in your project. A bad attitude can ruin your set and
derail the rest of your contracted talent. Make sure to sit with each cast
member and make them aware of the production difculties, limited nances
and overall expectations for the shoot so that there can be limited surprises.
iv. Casting up - your lm will have a much better time for survival if you are able
to cast at least one role to a fairly well known actor/actress. Think of talent like
stocks, they have rising, declining or inated values and when casting you
need to be aware of their value for your project.
VIII. Scout - nding the best locations for your project is crucial - both from a
creative and logistical standpoint. A common mistake lm producers and
directors make is choosing locations that they think look perfect, but in
reality are a logistical nightmare. To avoid straining your production, it is
imperative to separate location scouting into three phases - producer
scout, location scout, and tech scout.
i. Producer Scout - before diving head rst into your full-edged location scout,
it is important to perform a soft scout or producer scout to get the heads
of production on the same page for the overall look and feel of the lm. This
also provides the line producer with a better of idea of how much to allocate
for locations. This scout should only include producers and director.
ii. Location Scout - this phase places more emphasis on exact locations for each
scene of the script. When scouting, it is important to bring your line
producer/UPM or assistant director to ensure that your favorite locations can
cater towards a large production. When scouting it is NECESSARY to take
note of the following:
i. What is the site rental fee? - Can this be negotiated?
ii. Where will wardrobe be stationed - do we have changing rooms for
talent?
iii. Where will my hair and makeup station be held? - Access to power?
iv. Do I have access to house power? - Limit?
v. If no power, where can I station my generator? - How much cable will I
need to run?
vi.Where will my P.O. (production ofce) be stationed?
vii. Do I have access to Internet?
viii. Where will the crew break for lunch? Tables? Chairs?
ix. Sound issues? - Noisy neighborhood? Generator too close? Barking
dogs? Next door bar with a live band opens at 5pm? - thats my call
time!
x.Where will my crew park?
xi. Restrooms?
xii. Do I need trailers for talent, P.O. (production ofce), and restrooms? -
This can drastically increase the budget.
Finding locations that can serve as multiple locations in your script is key. This
will reduce company moves which waste an inordinate amount of time on a
tight schedule. Be resourceful. Be creative. Make a compromise.
iii. Tech Scout - this is the nal phase of your scouting. The purpose is to sort out
any and all kinks that can potentially cause problems or delays. It is 100%
necessary for the following crew to attend: director, producers, line
producer, assistant directors, director of photography, production designer,
gaffer, key grip, sound mixer, and location manager. Having all key
department heads together on location to block scenes and resolve issues in
advance will reduce the risk of massive time delays that can kill your
production on the day. Key departments will also be able to offer accurate
budget tweaks and and adjustments to the line producer/UPM.
iv. Practical vs. Studio - practical locations seem appealing for rst time directors
and producers but in truth studio locations are a much better investment.
Practical locations are necessary for establishing shots, exteriors and if
production has major control over the elements then interiors as well.
Studio locations are much more equipped to facilitate production needs
including parking, power, hair & make up areas, talent holding, power,
internet, bathrooms and most importantly time.
v. Shot listing - a shot list session will provide a backbone for each day of the
shoot and will esh out the visual feel of the lm. The meeting should
include: director, director of photography, and 1st AD. The 1st AD will use
the shot list to tweak his schedule accordingly.
X. Rent - when renting equipment the rst thing to remember is that
everything is negotiable to a certain point. Bigger rental houses in the major
production areas typically have a variance to which they can discount rentals
- usually 10% - 30%. In general, it is best practice to let the rental house know
that your production has a low budget, that your production company will be
producing content in the area for the upcoming months and that youd be
interesting in teaming with them for best pricing options.
i. Independent Owner/Operators - a smart choice in saving money, focusing on
customer service and attention to detail is using smaller rental companies or
owner/operators. The pricing typically has greater discount variance and the
operators often crew up on projects giving you the ability to combine their
day rate and their equipment rentals.
ii. Rental Houses - a great option when budget is not an issue but the ability to
negotiate the fees is much more difcult. Large rental houses do not need to
rent out at lower costs because the demand for their gear is so much higher
than the independent contractors. It is however wise to form relationships
with bigger houses because their inventories are very large and often time you
will be forced to procure something from them during production.
XI. Actualize - during this stage of pre-production it is most important to focus
on communication. There are several steps you should be following through
with during this phase:
i. Tweak working budget - as pre-production gears up you will continue tweaking
your budget as invoices, quotes and estimates continue to change. Be diligent
with this as youll want your gures to be accurate each day as things continue
to get more complex.
ii. Distribute packets - your 1st and 2nd ADs should be working throughout pre-
production to prepare production packets including schedules, call sheets,
cast lists, crew lists and any other pertinent materials needed. These packets
are denoted by color in sequential order from white, to blue, to pink, to
yellow, to green as the materials are updated - forcing the previous color to
become obsolete.
iii. Production meeting - it is best practice to have several production meetings
during preparation. As you hire, make sure each department head is in
contact with the others regarding their work ow. Production meetings
should allow each department to discuss their issues, aesthetics and rentals -
resulting in open lines of communication that enable production to avoid
massive issues.
iv. Table Read - during the nal week before production, it is common to have
cast members in for a formal table read. This gives the director time to meet
and discuss the story, minimal character elements and hear the full lm play
out in real time. Actors also benet from these readings as it enables them to
get in sync with the other performers.
v.Fittings - wardrobe department needs to bring cast members in for formal
tting sessions for director approval. Rental houses typically require an
account to be opened in order to pull from studio wardrobes, so plan
accordingly. It is also crucial to give your wardrobe department specic looks,
styles and aesthetic overview so that they have a starting point.
production.
XII. Shoot - you made it this far and should feel condent, comfortable and
capable to steer the lm the rest of the way. The most important thing to
remember is that you will be troubleshooting everything. Each day will
present new problems, require you to adjust, compromise and think quickly
on your feet. Create a professional atmosphere, with a calm leadership
presence, and earn the respect of the experienced crew by proving yourself.
Also remember this may be your dream job, but to every one else on set it
just another day of work. Do not expect people to be as invested in the
project as you are - its a jaded industry, driven by competitive artistry (or
lack thereof at times) and you need rely on your vision, drive and passion to
get it to the screen. Shooting physical production doesnt really lend itself to
clear cut steps - be ready for physical, emotional and stressful battle unlike
anything youve been through.
XIII. Manage - during production you will be troubleshooting ever problem
that arises but its important to remember that there are a number of
management tasks necessary to facilitate a proper shoot and wrap out.
i. Deal Memos - make sure to collect all executed deal memos from cast and crew
before they begin working. Each employee needs to be covered under the
policy insurance, Workers Compensation and have clearly stated hours of
work and pay for overtime, double time and other stipulations.
ii. Government Forms - your accountant will require that you have i9, W4, W9 &
1099 forms. i9s are the IRS employment eligibility form that gives proof of
citizenship for employment. W4s are the IRS tax withholding form - both the
employee and the employer le this form at the end of year. W9s are for loan
out and independent contractors ling their taxes under corporations - you
will le their W9s at the end of the tax year upon which they will receive a
1099 and claim their earnings.
iii. Union Paperwork - prior to production you will have led all necessary
signatory paperwork with the applicable unions for your production. During
shooting, the producers or UPM will be required to le weekly union
paperwork. This includes:
i. SAG Exhibit Gs - essentially gloried time cards for performers.
ii.SAG performer contracts - every SAG principal must sign one before
stepping on set. These will be led with your exhibit Gs weekly.
iii.DGA/IATSE/Teamsters timecards & contracts - your payroll company
will distribute these to you. File them each week with your payroll
company and they will le with respective unions.
iv. Call Sheets - this is perhaps the most important document on set. The call
sheet details all information about what will be shot for the day, call times for
every performer, extra, and crew member and their contact information. Your
2nd AD is responsible for the daily creation and distribution of the call
sheet. The sheet should include: call times, date, location(s), moves, day of
shoot, weather, sunrise/sunset, production ofce information, nearest
hospital, script/schedule color, parking, lunch, shooting call, scene numbers,
scene descriptions, pages shot, key elements for each department (picture
cars, props, etc.), and a brief advanced schedule for what will be shot the next
day. Example in appendix.
v. Production Reports - legal documents tracking the progress, events and issues
that arise on set daily. These are created by the 2nd or 2nd 2nd AD
depending on the size of the production and are then led to the Line
Producer and Producers for review. Being diligent with your production
reports is necessary because it allows the Producers, post team, nanciers
and others to review all progress and updates from the physical production
months later if necessary.
vi. Payroll - service necessary for paying SAG actors, Union crew and for
Workers Compensation if the policy is not led independently. The
advantage of a payroll service is that they handle the processing and mailing
of the actual checks to the crew members. It is also important to assure that
all government fringes are taken care of for crew - including Federal
Unemployment, Federal Medicare, Federal Medicaid and miscellaneous state
fringes. Expect to spend a 2-5% handling and servicing fee for the payroll
service.
vii. Petty Cash - make sure to have a decent amount of cash handy on set at all
times. Each department will request a certain amount of petty cash during
pre-production and it will then be up to each department head to track the
spending and accounting for the cash. Petty cash is typically given to
production, art, hair and make up and wardrobe departments while the grip,
electric and camera departments have expendable budgets, meaning that
they will purchase items that they will later discard.
viii. L&D - during production you will most certainly experience loss and
damage to the location, art rentals, camera, grip, electric, wardrobe or other
department gear. When this occurs, it is vital that you oversee how the loss
and damage is tracked and reported. Building in a contingency to your
budget along with specic L&D per department will enable you to have
more variance if you end up with major damages.
ix. Overtime - professional crew, whether union or not, will require that they be
paid overtime after 12 hours. SAG-AFTRA has specic rules based upon the
budget level and signatory agreement signed regarding what you will be
paying your talent overtime. Assume that crew overtime will be time and half
for each hour after 12 and then double time for hours after 14. Your AD,
UPM and Line Producers should be cognoscente of these charges well in
advance and structure the deal memos, production schedule and nancial
oversights accordingly.
XIV.Wrap - you may think youre over the hurdle and in many ways the most
difcult part is over but the wrap out phase is extremely important in
keeping things under control. Wrap typically takes about 2-3 weeks
depending on the size of the production and its wise to keep your ADs,
UPM, Line Producer, Production Coordinator and PAs on payroll for at
least a week to wrap out properly.
i. Returns - as soon production is nalized the set is torn down by the
departments and the returns need to be made as soon as possible. Most rental
houses operate on weekly rental periods and returning quickly will help
eliminate costs. It is also wise to schedule your production around these
rental periods so that you can minimize overall overhead. PAs are a great
option for return days as they make signicantly less money than other
employees.
ii. Finalize Accounts - with returns now in progress you can then generate the
nal invoices from the various rental houses and close out the accounts.
Getting these accounts closed is a major step in nalizing your budget and
getting things closer to working with the accurate post-production budget
that has been changing rapidly during production.
iii. Actualize - now that youve returned and closed the accounts its time to
actualize the budget and see where you landed. During production you have
been keeping a close eye on petty cash, loss and damage and overtime charges
so you now have to simply update your cost report to gure out where you
stand. When you actualize, you need to be accurate down to the cent - it is
crucial to have as close to nancial perfection as possible for accounting
purposes as it will save you time and headache if the spending is questioned.
iv. Lists - crew, cast and vendors all need to be listed according to who actually
worked on the project - so that a credit list can be created and delivered to
post production. These lists should provide name, work dates and contact
information for future reference should issues arise.
v. Binder - with the budget actualized, accounts closed and the production box
bustling with documents (in an organized fashion) you are now able to create
the wrap binder. This is typically a 3 or 5 inch binder that accounts for all of
the paperwork collected during production.
post - production.
XV. Edit - now that youve got your lm in the can it is time for the editing
phase. Your editor will assemble your footage and shape the story. Hiring an
editor early on will allow for creative vision to be focused while working out
proper workow. An ideal editor is technically savvy, creative, understands
all post production elements, and has a keen understanding of story and
lm. The editor will work very closely with the director, so they must share
similar vision. Hiring a great editor can improve actor performances, alter
the feel of a lm, and bring out creative aspects you had never intended.
There are two options to begin this phase - on set vs. off site.
i. On Set - Your editor will work on set of your production from day 1. He
will serve as your digital imaging technician (DIT), dumping the footage
each day to free card space and begin assembling. Having an editor on
set allows for playback of the lm as a work in progress and lends to
creative problem solving in advance - rather than waiting until principal
photography is completed. Some directors prefer to be involved with
editing from day 1, so this would not be ideal.
ii. Off Site - Your editor will receive the drives upon picture wrap from
your DIT, and will assemble off site. If you have the ability to edit on
set it will save assembly time.
Workow - organizing post production workow in advance will save time and
avoid confusion. If you are editing on set, connect your editor with your
director of photography, DIT, and sound mixer during pre-production. For
larger productions, it is standard to have a post production supervisor, who will
oversee and facilitating deliverables. This will ensure your workow will
be organized and all appropriate equipment will be utilized and prepared. If
editing after picture wrap, connect these departments during the production
phase to keep organized early on.
XVI. Sound - having poor sound on a lm will break the seam and disconnect
the audience from the engrossing cinematic experience. Sound is broken into
four main stages: mixing, ADR, foley, design. Larger budget productions will go
through a post house and each stage will have its key person or team. On a
lower budget, it is advisable to hire one talented and reliable sound professional
to perform all roles.
i. Mixing - your mix will create a balanced atmosphere. An on set mixer
begins this process when recording dialogue. A post sound mixer will
clean up all weak points in dialogue and will mix ADR, foley, effects,
sound design, and music together for the nal delivery.
ii. ADR - or Automated Dialogue Replacement is used to dub over
unusable dialogue. It is common during production that sound
recording will not work due to various factors such as wind, sirens, or
general city atmosphere. Actors will re-record these segments and the
sound mixer or editor will sync the dubs to the picture. This is an
incredibly common practice - the lm, The Lord of the Rings was 85%
ADR.
iii. Foley - rarely are the sounds heard in a lm actually recorded on set. A
foley artist is an sound professional that records all key noises at a
separate studio during post. Dubbing noises using experiment
techniques to record elements such as shoes walking, knocking on
wood, gun handling, snow crunching or any other key atmospheric
noise - is all considered foley work. Foley is part of the overall sound
design of the lm - discussed in further detail below.
iv. Sound Design - diving further into the soundscape of the lm is the
design. The sound design creates the atmosphere of the lm.
Coinciding with foley work, sound designers experiment with noises
and create the auditory world for each scene. For a busy diner, they will
use stock recordings or foley recordings of clattering plates and
conversation to create the feeling of realism. Sound designers also work
with underlying tones and noises to add effects, such as suspense. These
tones are separate from the score.
XVII.Color Correction - working with the color palette of your lm
manipulates the world and feeling you are creating. Altering hues and
contrasting shades are stylized choices that the director will make to
enhance his/her vision. Color correction also matches every scene in the
lm to create visual continuity throughout. Sound and color can be done
simultaneously in separate houses for timely delivery and nal mix.
XVIII. Music - music in lm is broken into two categories - score and
soundtrack.
i. Score - this is music that is written specically for a lm by a lm
composer. A lm composer typically has a specialized skill for writing
music that matches (or contrasts) the emotional tone of the scene. The
score has the ability to transform a scene into an entirely different feel.
Sifting through several composers to nd the musician who is most
suited for the needs of your lm is absolutely necessary as it will up
your production value indenitely and create the emotions. On smaller
budgets, a composer will simply record from his digital instruments in a
home studio. Larger scale productions involve composing the music
and brining conductors, arrangers, and potentially hundreds of
musicians together to record at a lm composing studio.
ii. Soundtrack - this is pre-recorded music, perhaps a known pop song,
that the producer will purchase the rights to use in the lm. The rights
are usually held by two separate entities, the music publisher and
record company - so it can be tricky to navigate and depending on the
artist, can be costly. If you plan to have a famous song in your lm -
prepare for at least a ve gure number.
XIX.Visual Effects - your animation, 3D modeling, digital enhancements, and
computer-generated imagery (CGI) are all your VFX. This is a costly
endeavor and should be accounted for during your preliminary budget
stages. Have your line producer reach out to animation houses for accurate
quotes to ensure proper budget allocation. This process can take a week to
several months depending on how heavy the effects are - schedule
accordingly!
XX. Schedule - you have a clear understanding of what each stage of post
production is. Now it is time to organize the schedule for proper delivery.
To ensure solid workow, it is wise to connect the editor, colorist, sound
mixer/designer, composer, and VFX together on an email chain. This will
create a sense of team and most importantly, keep everyone on the same
page in terms of schedule and delivery. Follow the schedule below to avoid
confusion, delays, and mishaps:
i. Assembly - Editor should have a rst pass assembly that he/she has
completed within roughly 2 weeks for producer/director viewing. This is
to to watch a cut of the lm in its simplest form and work out story
kinks/performance kinks. Director/producer will always have several
notes.
ii. Director cutting - depending on the director, he/she may want to be
extremely hand-on during the editing phase. From then on, the director
will sit in with the editor to cut the lm together. They will continue
working together until nal delivery.
iii. Fine cutting - every week the editor should have a another cut of the
picture with tweaks for producer screenings. This will continue for
however many weeks the editor is contracted for.
iv. Picture lock - this is the nal cut of the lm. This cut will be delivered
to the rest of the post team to perform their individual work from. It is
essential that all parties are as satised with this version as possible -
its not changing.
v. Sound/color - your editor or post supervisor will then deliver the
completed picture lock to sound mixer and colorist. They can each do
their work simultaneously from their respective studios. Depending on
the length of the lm, budget, and how much work is necessary for the
directors vision, each process can take anywhere from 3-7 weeks.
vi. VFX - the visual effects team should be working separately from the
picture lock as well. They may need more or less time than the sound or
color, again depending on the nature of the lm.
vii. Score - The composer can also be writing to the picture for the weeks
of color correction and sound design. He should send cuts and ideas
each week for listening and will implement changes when necessary.
viii. Delivery - Each member of your post team will deliver the necessary
reels and exported les to your editor for nal assembly. Your editor will
put all elements together and should deliver the completed lm as a
Final Cut/Avid le, DVD, and high res le.
sales.
XX. Agents - there are countless sales agencies and doing your homework early,
opening up discussions with several agents and forming relationships with specic
agents that are well suited for your project is a great route to take. The agent is
essentially a broker, they bring completed lms to the major lm markets (Cannes,
Berlin, AFM, Toronto) and match the content buyers with their represented
projects. Agents typically collect fees of 15-20% of the executed sales and also often
require that the producer pay for travel and spending costs. Again, it cannot be
stated enough that you need to do your homework on these agencies - check out the
libraries, meet with the staff and see how invested they are in bringing your lm to
the market. This is truly the business side of the entertainment world and in being
diligent, its crucial to be careful when making decisions on who will represent your
picture.
XXI. Markets - sometimes included at major lm festivals, markets are essential for
the actual selling of your lms territories and rights. Once again, it is important that
you do your research on the markets themselves - what kind of lms have sold in
the past, what kind of projects are they looking for and do you have the necessary
elements to execute a sale. Cannes, Berlin, Toronto, Hong Kong, AFM and Venice are
the major markets - and each has a specialty. Sitting down with your chosen sales
agent and discussing the best case and realistic scenarios for your lm will give you
a strong starting point for your market outlook.
XXII. Festivals - a major misconception in the lm world is that a screening at a
festival will make you an auteur director overnight. Film is like any other industry in
that it requires dedication, passion and time to succeed. We have all heard the
success stories of the independent lm boom of the early to mid 1990s, but those
days have been replaced by an over saturated marketplace and decreasing audience
attention spans for character driven dramas. Festivals are valuable assets for your
lm, but there are literally thousands of festivals and very few of them will generate
the necessary buss for your lm to add revenue return. Major festivals like
Sundance, Cannes and even Tribeca require high name talent, a strong director and
story - and as in all things, a political guiding hand from the inside will never hurt.
When applying for festivals, the industry standard is the website WithoutABox.com
- however with the increasing number of festivals popping up each year, this is
becoming more and more of a money generating platform than anything else. Talk
with your agent early about festivals and research your options before submitting.
Wasting money, time and energy is a frustrating reality that many independent lms
experience but you can avoid with the proper preparation.
production checklist. production checklist. production checklist.
Lock your script Wardrobe tting Producers edit
Create production entity Table read Lock edit
Create your schedule Withdraw petty cash Spotting session
Create your budget Deliver to Color
Create calendar Distribute lists Deliver to Sound
Create contract templates Discuss post production
work ow
Deliver to VFX
Begin hiring Lock crew deal memos Deliver to Composer
Union signatories Lock cast deal memos Final mix
Scout locations Collect government forms Reassemble
Begin casting Tweak budget Test screen for producers
Bind insurance Actualize budget Personal screening
Lock locations Oversee petty cash Festival submissions
File permits Process returns Sales agents discussions
Lock crew Close accounts Attend markets
Lock cast Oversee payroll service Press & marketing materials
Tech scout Actualize crew list Oversee sales
Open rental accounts Actualize cast list File accounting/tax
information
Schedule pick ups Build binder Second marketing push
Schedule art build Deliver to editor Submit deliverables
Production meeting Directors edit Start your next project!
tips.
appendix.
3
EXT FANCY HOTEL
Day 2/8 The contestants wait outside of the hotel.
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
3
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
17
EXT LARGE ABANDONED BUILDING
Day 2/8 Contestants arrive at destination.
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29
17
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
4
INT LIMO
Day 1 Devin attempts to get converation going among the contestants.
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29
4
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
6
INT LIMO
Day 5/8 The contestants continue to introduce themselves.
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29
6
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
8
INT LIMO
Day 6/8 Contestants continue to get to know each other - Devin reveals his act is for the cameras.
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29
8
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
10
INT LIMO
Day 1/8 Susan introuces herself.
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29
10
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
12
INT LIMO
Day 5/8 Harmon itroduces himself.
1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29
12
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
16
INT LIMO
Day 1 5/8 Tally gets a phone call while on the limo.
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29
16
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
14
INT LIMO
Day 5/8 Contestants discuss how they got on the show.
1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29
14
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
End of Shooting Day 1 -- Monday, March 4, 2013 -- 5 7/8 Pages -- Time Estimate: 0:00
18
INT SAFE ROOM, FLOOR ONE
Day 4 3/8 Jasper introduces himself and the challenge.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
18
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
88
INT SAFE ROOM
Day 2 Devin is voted off continued.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
20a
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
End of Shooting Day 2 -- Tuesday, March 5, 2013 -- 6 3/8 Pages -- Time Estimate: 0:00
20
INT SAFE ROOM
Day 7 2/8 They enter the safe room. Devin is voted off and the game turns real when he is fatally shot.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
20
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
End of Shooting Day 3 -- Wednesday, March 6, 2013 -- 7 2/8 Pages -- Time Estimate: 0:00
26
INT SAFE ROOM, FLOOR THREE
Day 3 They enter the safe room. Susan reveals herself to the cameras and Jasper taunts them to to enter the third floor.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10
26
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
28
INT SAFE ROOM, FLOOR THREE
Day 7/8 Harmon almost gives up, but Susan convinces him to keep moving.
1, 3, 4, 5, 6
28
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
39
INT JASPER'S CONTROL ROOM
Day 3/8 Jasper and his team look for the group on their monitors. They find them.
2, 9, 10, 36
39
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
60
INT JASPER'S CONTROL ROOM
Day 1/8 Jasper decides to let the fight play out with no interference.
2
60
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
56
INT JASPER'S CONTROL ROOM
Day 1/8 Jasper is enraged and screams for someone to kill them.
2
56
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
63
INT JASPER'S CONTROL ROOM
Day 1/8 Jasper watches the Chucky fight and likes what he sees.
2
63
pgs
Scenes: Sheet #: Est. Time
End of Shooting Day 4 -- Thursday, March 7, 2013 -- 4 5/8 Pages -- Time Estimate: 0:00
strip board schedule
MR. MONSTER
- Preliminary Top Sheet 10/13/12 -
PREPARED BY BUFFALO 8 PRODUCTIONS
- MATTHEW HELDERMAN -
Acct# Category Description Page Total
12-00 PRODUCERS UNIT 1 $46,650
13-00 DIRECTION 2 $64,237
14-00 CAST 3 $145,328
15-00 ATL TRAVEL & LIVING 3 $8,965
TOTAL ABOVE THE LINE COSTS $265,180
20-00 PRODUCTION STAFF 5 $136,256
21-00 EXTRA TALENT 9 $29,619
22-00 SET DESIGN 11 $56,175
23-00 SET CONSTRUCTION 12 $27,144
25-00 SET OPERATION 12 $69,696
26-00 SPECIAL EFFECTS 16 $57,993
27-00 SET DRESSING 16 $48,186
28-00 PROPERTY 18 $22,074
29-00 PICTURE VEHICLES & ANIMALS 19 $10,100
30-00 WARDROBE 20 $40,366
31-00 MAKE-UP & HAIRDRESSING 21 $57,676
32-00 LIGHTING 24 $23,258
33-00 CAMERA 26 $83,442
34-00 PRODUCTION SOUND 29 $16,435
35-00 TRANSPORTATION 30 $83,946
36-00 LOCATION 33 $92,523
37-00 FILM & LAB 35 $1,920
TOTAL PRODUCTION COSTS $856,807
44-00 SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS 37 $100,000
45-00 EDITING 37 $33,905
46-00 MUSIC 37 $8,900
47-00 POST PRODUCTION SOUND 38 $10,000
48-00 DELIVERY 38 $1,863
TOTAL POST PRODUCTION COSTS $154,668
65-00 PUBLICITY 40 $10,000
67-00 PRODUCTION INSURANCE 40 $22,718
68-00 GENERAL EXPENSES 40 $9,603
TOTAL OTHER COSTS $42,321
CONTINGENCY : 3.0% $39,569
Oct 13, 2012 06:06:16 PM
line item budget top sheet
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notes
2no Meal Cut
2no Meal ln
Camera Wrap 6:30
1o 8e 1aken 14 13 3/8
Crew Call 7:00A
Shootlng Call 8:30A
llrst Shot 9:40A
1st Meal Cut
Scenes ages M|nutes Setups A Cam 8 Cam
21,29,A29,829,C29,1
C Cam D Cam Sound
Scr|pt 89 91 3/8
rev|ous 68
1:00
1st Meal ln
67 6/8 1:23:30 208 24 16 37 0
1oday 7 10 0:09:30 16 4 3
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Ahead
8eh|nd
Monday, November S, 2012
Day 10 of 11
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Cctober 23, 2012
november 6, 2012
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3316 Motor Ave
Los Angeles CA 90034
(323) 231-0392
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rooucer ?aron kaplan
roouctlon Supervlsor nlcole Lttlnger
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2no 2no A.u. !ack L. Powlett
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CASL8- Sllver / Clson / Wllllams 2012
production report
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exhibit g
Dec 7, 2012 Page 1 of 4
1:06 PM Day Out of Days Report for Cast Members
Month/Day 12/04 12/05 12/06 12/07 12/08 12/09 12/10 12/11 12/12
Day of Week Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Mon Tue Wed
Shooting Day 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1. Tally Bridaring SW W W W W W W W W
3. Harmon SW W W W W W W W W
4. Roxanne SW W W W W W W W
5. Susan SW W W W W W W W
6. Donny SW W W W W W W W
9. Floyd SW W W W W W W
2. Jasper SW W W W W
7. Julia SW W W W W WF
10. Eve SW W W W W W W
8. Devin SW W W W WF
11. Peter
29. Cameraman SW
12. Clark
13. Zeke
14. Jay
15. Nate
16. Shotgun Transvestite SW
24. Another Chucky
21. Zombie SW
22. Chucky 1
23. Chucky 2
20. Lumberjack
27. Chucky 5
26. Chucky 4
18. Transvestite
19. Vampire Nun
17. Granny (werewolf)
28. Erica
31. Mannequin Person
34. Wolf 2
25. Chucky 3
38. Interviewer SWF
37. Young Tally Bridaring
33. Wolf 1
30. Knocked out Chucky
35. Nurse SWF
36. Technician SWF
32. Mannequin
day out of day schedule
storyboards
SCENE # : 31/32 INT . MORRIS LOFT - DAY
TALENT: Morris, Delilah.
SHOTS #: 9

SHOTS:
31-A CLOSE UP DELILAH WAKING UP IN MORRIS BED, MORRIS NOT THERE.
32-A EXRTRENE WIDE MASTER FACING CHALCKBOARD, DELILAH WALKS
IN FRAME(chalkboard reveal)
32-B CLOSE UP MORRIS LOOKING OF CAMERA TO 2 SHOT MORRIS + DELILAH TO
SINGLE MEDIUM MORRIS PICKING UP CLOTHES
32-C CLOSE UP PROFILE DELILAH LOOKING AT THE CHALCKBOARD
32-D MEDIUM DELILAH AT THE CHALKBOARD PAN TO CLOSE UP CLOSER TO MORRIS
32-E CLOSE UP MORRIS
32-F MEDIUM CLOSE UP 2 SHOT DELILAH AND MORRIS
32-G OVS MEDIUM MORRIS ON DELILAH AT THE DOOR
32-H OVS MEDIUM DELILAH ON MORRIS AT THE DOOR





DESCRIPTION: Morris explain to Delilah about his chalckboard.
32-A
M 1
M 2
D
1
D
3
D
4
32-B
32-C
D
3
M
3
D
5
door
bed
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w
w
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window window window
bathroom
elevator
hallway
chalkboard
table
d
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s
k
Kitchen
couch
32-D
32-E
32-H
32-G
32-H
33-A
shot list
Matthew Helderman is a media entrepreneur and lm producer based in Los Angeles.
Overseeing projects ranging from micro-budgets to multi-million dollar productions,
Helderman has produced feature, television, commercial & music video productions.
Educated at Lake Forest College in lm, philosophy, & economics - Helderman brings a
wealth of academic, practical and business knowledge to each project.
In 2010, Helderman formed Buffalo 8 Productions to produce his feature lm The Alumni
Chapter which sold its international rights to a boutique distributor and can be found on sale
at Walmart, Target, Amazon and Best Buy.
From there Helderman & Buffalo 8 oversaw feature productions while developing unique
distribution strategies directly with sales agents.
During this time Helderman joined Suzanne DeLaurentiis Productions at Paramount Studios
as a co-producer while continuing producing a slate of independent lms under Buffalo 8.
With a background in nance, technologies and entertainment - Helderman fosters
development and perfected productions on a regular basis.
Luke Taylor is a Los Angeles based lm producer and co-founder of Buffalo 8 Productions.
Taylor began his lm career in 2005, at New York based Mannic Media, before moving to Los
Angeles to study business, music, and lm at the University of Southern California.
Having also spent time in the corporate entertainment industry at Columbia Records and
Interscope Records - Taylor brings both a creative and practical approach to business.
In 2010, Taylor focused his energies to the independent lm world and joined forces with
Matthew Helderman to produce the feature The Alumni Chapter under the Buffalo 8
Productions banner, and oversaw the nal distribution sale in Los Angeles.
Taylor then shifted his focus to physical production as an Assistant Director and Production
Manager for independent feature lms. This production track enabled him to build a rm
platform of practical set knowledge leading to superior management tactics and
communication skills.
Taylors efcient, organized and passionate approach is crucial to building and maintaining
innovative business models for Buffalo 8.
Overseeing projects from development through sales, Taylor continues to manage company
operations and sales outreach.
please visit www.buffalo8.com for further information on independent lm
production
feel free to contact us at MatthewHelderman@Buffalo8.com
& at LukeTaylor@Buffalo8.com
all rights reserved
Buffalo 8 Productions
9247 Alden Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
this document is the copy-written property of Buffalo 8 Productions, LLC
end.