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guide. how to produce your independent film & actually make money. 2012 - 2013

guide.

how to produce your independent film & actually make money.

guide. how to produce your independent film & actually make money. 2012 - 2013

2012 - 2013

guide. how to produce your independent film & actually make money. 2012 - 2013

contents.

development.

I. Breakdown II. Attach III. Pitch IV. Finance V. Market pre-production. VI. Organize VII. Hire
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. !
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Attachments

statement.

So you’re taking the big step and producing your film - now what?

With this guide you’ll 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 flow and align the final project for its best potential in the sales market.

As technology has democratized the filmmaking process, the market has become over-saturated with content. In order to successfully produce, sell and have your film viewed by audiences there are three principle steps to follow:

1. Overhead is everything - producing your film 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 film 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 films. Your investor needs to see you’ve done your homework and are wisely seeking to return their investment.

2. Negotiating is everything - it’s no secret that independent film relies heavily on negotiating deals for equipment, crew and location rates - but take that several steps further. Cast attachments will help drive the films back end profit

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 you’ve established a working dialogue with your vendor. Be fair, up front and transparent - give accurate estimates for the budget range you’re shooting at to signal to the vendor that you’re paying to the scale of your budget as much as you’re 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 film 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 find the perfect fit for your specific 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 find that AD (assistant director) who calmly walks the fine 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 flow and have the ability to take your communicated ideas and turn them in to a cinematic work of art.

The road ahead is a difficult course and you’ll often find 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 first 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 specific 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. LOI’s (letter of intent) are industry standard for proof of attachment to your package to show an investor, producer or distributor that you film 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 financing a film 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 film and must be paid back before profit is seen.

ii. Pre-Sales - sales agreements made with distributors before the film 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 profiting.

iii. Mezzanine Gap - with partial equity raised you are then able to procure a

loan from a bank on the unsold territories of the film. Typically, banks will only grant loans based on non-North American unsold territories with strong name attachments. Mezzanine gap financing requires that the producer pay back the bank loan before profiting. 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 & difficult 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 film generates money upon release. Deferred financing is difficult because experienced cast and crew are unwilling to work under these types of restrictions.

V. Market - Now you’ve developed, packaged, and financed your film - but

before you’re 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 specific selling point and market

accordingly - if you’re making a horror film with an interesting approach on the genre, utilize that. A sales agent can help structure the release calendar and discuss taking the films to the appropriate markets. Do not wait until you wrap your film to begin marketing - you need to get it out there before you even head in to pre-production.

pre-production.

VI. Organize - You’re now ready to run your production entity - think of this

like creating a small business that you’re running temporarily. i. Entity - The first step is setting up your LLC, INC or CORP - it’s 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 file 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 financial 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 filled 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 efficient production it is crucial to

properly file 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 file 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 it’s time to begin the hiring process. It’s important to view this as a process - take your time, don’t hire someone simply because they’re a friend or a referral, check their references, their past work and chose the best people for your specific 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 first 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 suffice. 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 official 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 filing and management of the PA’s. On smaller productions these positions can be simplified down to a 1st AD and 2nd AD with a few key PA’s. 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 you’re hoping for. v. Production Designer - This is the person who oversees the aesthetic design execution of the film. 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 PA’s. 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 film. 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 conflict 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 outfits the entire cast with their wardrobe for each given scene. They will fit, measure, make, rent, buy or supply the necessary materials for the cast to be outfitted. 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 specific genre as wardrobe artists are often geared towards specific 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 specifically hired from a film 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 specific 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 specific production hair stylist is necessary due to the stress, time crunch and difficulty of the job often required. This person will typically provide an assistant if needed and should have a working past in feature film 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 find someone extremely resourceful, who knows the city/area you are shooting inside and out and can call in favors to achieve the difficult.

VII. Cast - from day one you’ve been putting together a casting wish list and refining as you go - or at least you should be. Begin preparing a breakdown of who you’d like for each specific role and give several options. The casting process, much like crew hiring, requires that you be very specific and make sure to match the correct choices to your final casting sessions. i. Casting Director - expect to hire this person as one of your first three crew hires (along with your UPM/Line Producer & Producer) to begin putting together your cast. Interview and hire according to your specific production needs - for example, a Casting Director who typically works on high budget commercials would not be a good fit 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 difficulties, limited finances and overall expectations for the shoot so that there can be limited surprises. iv. Casting up - your film 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 inflated values and when casting you need to be aware of their value for your project.

VIII.Scout - finding the best locations for your project is crucial - both from a creative and logistical standpoint. A common mistake film 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 first into your full-fledged 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 film. 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 office) 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? - that’s my call time! x.Where will my crew park?

xi. Restrooms?

xii. Do I need trailers for talent, P.O. (production office), 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 final 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 first 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 flesh out the visual feel of the film. 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 first 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 you’d 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 difficult. 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 you’ll want your figures to be accurate each day as things continue to get more complex.

ii. Distribute packets - your 1st and 2nd AD’s 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 flow. 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 final 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 film play out in real time. Actors also benefit 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 fitting 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 specific looks, styles and aesthetic overview so that they have a starting point.

production.

XII. Shoot - you made it this far and should feel confident, comfortable and capable to steer the film 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 - it’s 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 doesn’t really lend itself to clear cut steps - be ready for physical, emotional and stressful battle unlike anything you’ve 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. i9‘s are the IRS employment eligibility form that gives proof of

citizenship for employment. W4’s are the IRS tax withholding form - both the

employee and the employer file this form at the end of year. W9’s are for loan out and independent contractors filing their taxes under corporations - you will file their W9’s 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 filed all necessary signatory paperwork with the applicable unions for your production. During shooting, the producers or UPM will be required to file weekly union paperwork. This includes:

i. SAG Exhibit G’s - essentially glorified time cards for performers. ii.SAG performer contracts - every SAG principal must sign one before stepping on set. These will be filed with your exhibit G’s 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 file 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 office 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 filed to the Line Producer and Producers for review. Being diligent with your production reports is necessary because it allows the Producers, post team, financiers 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 filed 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 specific 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 specific 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 financial oversights accordingly.

XIV.Wrap - you may think you’re over the hurdle and in many ways the most difficult 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 AD’s, UPM, Line Producer, Production Coordinator and PA’s on payroll for at least a week to wrap out properly. i. Returns - as soon production is finalized 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. PA’s are a great option for return days as they make significantly less money than other employees.

ii.

Finalize Accounts - with returns now in progress you can then generate the

final invoices from the various rental houses and close out the accounts. Getting these accounts closed is a major step in finalizing 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 you’ve returned and closed the accounts it’s 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 figure out where you stand. When you actualize, you need to be accurate down to the cent - it is crucial to have as close to financial 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 you’ve got your film “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 workflow. An ideal editor is technically savvy, creative, understands all post production elements, and has a keen understanding of story and film. 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 film, 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 film 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.

Workflow - organizing post production workflow 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 workflow 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 film 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 it’s 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 final 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 film, “The Lord of the Rings” was 85% ADR.

iii. Foley - rarely are the sounds heard in a film 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 film - discussed in further detail below.

iv. Sound Design - diving further into the soundscape of the film is the

design. The sound design creates the atmosphere of the film. 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 film 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 film to create visual continuity throughout. Sound and color can be done simultaneously in separate houses for timely delivery and final mix.

XVIII.

Music -

music in

film is

broken into two categories - score and

soundtrack. i. Score - this is music that is written specifically for a film by a film composer. A film 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 find the musician who is most suited for the needs of your film is absolutely necessary as it will up your production value indefinitely 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 film 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 film. 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 film - prepare for at least a five figure 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 workflow, 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 first pass assembly that he/she has completed within roughly 2 weeks for producer/director viewing. This is to to watch a cut of the film in it’s 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 film together. They will continue working together until final 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 final cut of the film. 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 satisfied with this version as possible - it’s 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 film, budget, and how much work is necessary for the director’s 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 film.

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 files to your editor for final assembly. Your editor will put all elements together and should deliver the completed film as a Final Cut/Avid file, DVD, and high res file.

sales.

XX. Agents - there are countless sales agencies and doing your homework early, opening up discussions with several agents and forming relationships with specific agents that are well suited for your project is a great route to take. The agent is essentially a broker, they bring completed films to the major film 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 film 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 film festivals, markets are essential for

the actual selling of your films territories and rights. Once again, it is important that you do your research on the markets themselves - what kind of films 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 film will give you

a strong starting point for your market outlook.

XXII. Festivals - a major misconception in the film 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 film boom of the early to mid 1990’s, 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 film, but there are literally thousands of festivals and very few of them will generate the necessary buss for your film 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 films experience but you can avoid with the proper preparation.

tips.

 

production checklist.

Lock your script

Wardrobe fitting

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 flow

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!

appendix.

strip board schedule

Sheet #:

3

Scenes:

EXT

FANCY HOTEL

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Est. Time

 

2/8

pgs

3

Day

The contestants wait outside of the hotel.

Sheet #:

17

Scenes:

EXT

LARGE ABANDONED BUILDING

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29

Est. Time

 

2/8

pgs

17

Day

Contestants arrive at destination.

Sheet #:

4

Scenes:

INT

LIMO

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29

Est. Time

 

1

pgs

4

Day

Devin attempts to get converation going among th

Sheet #:

6

Scenes:

INT

LIMO

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29

Est. Time

 

5/8

pgs

6

Day

The contestants continue to introduce themselves

Sheet #:

8

Scenes:

INT

LIMO

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29

Est. Time

 

6/8

pgs

8

Day

Contestants continue to get to know each other -

Sheet #:

10

Scenes:

INT

LIMO

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29

Est. Time

 

1/8

pgs

10

Day

Susan introuces herself.

Sheet #:

12

Scenes:

INT

LIMO

1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29

Est. Time

 

5/8

pgs

12

Day

Harmon itroduces himself.

Sheet #:

16

Scenes:

INT

LIMO

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29

Est. Time

1

5/8

pgs

16

Day

Tally gets a phone call while on the limo.

Sheet #:

14

Scenes:

INT

LIMO

1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 29

Est. Time

 

5/8

pgs

14

Day

Contestants discuss how they got on the show.

 

End of Shooting Day 1 -- Monday, March 4, 2013 -- 5 7/8 Pages -- Time Estimate: 0:00

Sheet #:

18

Scenes:

INT

SAFE ROOM, FLOOR ONE

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Est. Time

4

3/8

pgs

18

Day

Jasper introduces himself and the challenge.

Sheet #:

88

Scenes:

INT

SAFE ROOM

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Est. Time

 

2

pgs

20a

Day

Devin is voted off continued.

 

End of Shooting Day 2 -- Tuesday, March 5, 2013 -- 6 3/8 Pages -- Time Estimate: 0:00

Sheet #:

20

Scenes:

INT

SAFE ROOM

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Est. Time

7

2/8

pgs

20

Day

They enter the safe room. Devin is voted off and t

 

End of Shooting Day 3 -- Wednesday, March 6, 2013 -- 7 2/8 Pages -- Time Estimate: 0:00

Sheet #:

26

Scenes:

INT

SAFE ROOM, FLOOR THREE

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10

Est. Time

 

3

pgs

26

Day

They enter the safe room. Susan reveals herself t

Sheet #:

28

Scenes:

INT

SAFE ROOM, FLOOR THREE

1, 3, 4, 5, 6

Est. Time

 

7/8

pgs

28

Day

Harmon almost gives up, but Susan convinces him

Sheet #:

39

Scenes:

INT

JASPER'S CONTROL ROOM

2, 9, 10, 36

Est. Time

 

3/8

pgs

39

Day

Jasper and his team look for the group on their mo

Sheet #:

60

Scenes:

INT

JASPER'S CONTROL ROOM

2

Est. Time

 

1/8

pgs

60

Day

Jasper decides to let the fight play out with no inte

Sheet #:

56

Scenes:

INT

JASPER'S CONTROL ROOM

2

Est. Time

 

1/8

pgs

56

Day

Jasper is enraged and screams for someone to kil

Sheet #:

63

Scenes:

INT

JASPER'S CONTROL ROOM

2

Est. Time

 

1/8

pgs

63

Day

Jasper watches the Chucky fight and likes what h

 

End of Shooting Day 4 -- Thursday, March 7, 2013 -- 4 5/8 Pages -- Time Estimate: 0:00

line item budget top sheet

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

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

call sheet

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production report

   

 

   

 

   
   

   

 

 

 

 

   

   

 

   

 

 

 

 

   

   
 

           

 

 

           

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 
 

 

 

 

       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

           

     

 

 

 

 

   

 

 
 

     

 

 

 

   

           

 

   

 

 

 

 

       

 

 

       

 

 

 

       

 

 

       

 

       

 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

   

 

 

   

       

             

 

   

       

             

 

   

       

             

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 
                               

exhibit g

Picture Title Prod No. Date Contact Phone PERFORMERS PRODUCTION TIME REPORT Shooting Location Is Today
Picture Title
Prod No.
Date
Contact
Phone
PERFORMERS PRODUCTION TIME REPORT
Shooting Location
Is Today a Designated Day Off?
Please complete in ink. Indicate a.m. or p.m.
Meals
In
W
H
Work Time
1st Meal
2nd Meal
Wardrobe
Forced
S
F
Out
Call
R
T
Performers Signature
Report
Rept
Dismiss
Dismiss
Leave
Arrive
Minors
TR
Makeup
on
on
Makeup
for
on
Leave
Arrive
Tutoring
No of.
MPVs
FT**
Cast
Character
Wardrobe
Set
Set
Wardrobe
Location
Location
Location
at Studio
Time
MD Meal
Start
Finish
Start
Finish
Outfits
Minor
Production Time Report Exhibit G 6 14
1 of 1
Adj.Stunt

Dec 7, 2012 1:06 PM

day out of day schedule

Page 1 of 4

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)

</