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Producer’s Foundation Certificate
February 27 @ 6:00 pm - March 27 @ 8:00 pm
This course is available IN-PERSON, LIVE ONLINE, and on VIDEO-ON-DEMAND.
Taught by producer Julia Verdin, who has produced 30 feature films including Merchant of Venice starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and most recently 2 Jacks starring Sienna Miller, Danny Huston and Jack Huston, and her Guest Speakers from the industry this 5-part evening course on Producing is comprised of classes which answer specific questions and explores the opportunities producers have. It gives participants an insider view of the film industry by providing the essential skills and knowledge required for both creative and physical production. Courses each week emphasizes financing, marketing, budgeting and scheduling, talent attachments and legal contracts.
Week 1: Creating A Business Plan
Once you have created your potential cast list, settled on the next hot director and found that absolutely terrific script, you need to prepare a plan of attack to get the money to shoot your film.
This evening workshop will run through the basic essentials you will need, both to present your project to industry investors, as well as how to present your project to private investors.
- What do you need for your project to be financeable?
- Structure of a business plan
- Using visual aids
- Understanding sales estimates and income streams
- Money flow explained
- Profit participation
Week 2: Marketing And Selling Your Film
The essential task for filmmakers is creating a marketing plan for your film. Learn how to utilise the trade press, consumer press and film festivals to turn your film (and yourself) into this year's cult classic.
Learn how to approach film festivals and film markets with a strong press kit that will enhance the commercial potential of your film.
A special feature will be the use of social media to create interest in your film, with live demonstration.
- Creating the marketing assets you need to sell your film
- Writing a good logline / synopsis and getting good photos
- Creating a press kit
- Film festivals explained
- The role of film markets
- How to approach sales agents
- Finding the best distribution
- Protecting yourself and your money from shady distribution deals
Week 3: Budgeting and Scheduling
Simply put, a film budget is a list of all the stuff and people you need to make your film, and a schedule is when and where you need it.
Always considered the boring bit by film producers and directors, the budget and schedule are the spine of any production. If you get the budget (the money part) wrong, your film will stall half-finished without cash. Get the schedule (the time) wrong, and your film will suffer – either from loss of quality, or remain unfinished because you have run out of time (and budget!)
This evening explains how scripts are analyzed and whipped into shape budget-wise and schedule-wise.
- Script breakdown
- Assessing prices
- Union vs non-union
- Creating a do-able schedule
Guest Speaker: Charles Berg, Line Producer
Week 4: Basic Legal Contracts
Once your film is finished and ready to be sold, you will have to show the “chain of title” to any prospective film buyer. If you fail to do this you will never be able to sell your film.
In this evening crash course, the basic talents' (ie. writer, director, actors) contracts are explained. View it as health insurance for filmmakers!
- Key negotiation points explained
- Understanding chain of title
- Who and what should you have contracts with
Guest Speaker: Lorraine D'Alessio, Attorney
Week 5: Film Financing
You need some cash to make your short or feature.
This evening crash course will run through the basic financing tools available for any business, not just the film business. These tax-efficient finance structures make certain states in the US and certain countries very attractive places to raise money for film production. Find out how they work and how to utilise them.
- State/government funding and tax credits
- Private investors
- Pre-sales and co-productions
- Product placement
- New financing options
Guest Speaker: Jason Piette, Financier / Sales Agent (bio below)
"The Raindance producer's class taught by Julia Verdin is one of the best courses I've ever taken as she teaches from a myriad levels of experience. She gets down to the nuts and bolts immediately with details of what it takes to produce a movie including, but not limited to, finding financial film incentives, bond insurance, dealing with sales agents in a savvy way, the promo pak with guest speakers also with many years behind them. I took a lot of notes which I refer back to and she's very personable and open to questions. A producer with a heart ❤️ of gold."
Elizabeth Rockett, Writer"I want to thank Julia Verdin for her support. I took Producer's Foundation Certificate course with Julia, and her guest speakers.It made me feel like I could do this. And, voila! Here's my film, ANGELITO IN YOUR EYE, starting the festival circuit!"Judy Sandra, Writer/Director"You deserve a big applause for connecting creativity to passion by your awesome productive curriculum, classes and support to your students and alumni all over USA and world. Julia Verdin's Producing course was a big boost to my career. I had no background in filmmaking and this is where Raindance stepped in by offering me their best support and constantly mentoring me during this course. My first short film, Arranged to Love, a multi cultural twist made it to FOG Movie Fest San Francisco in August 2016 and we won the best film award. I highly recommend the classes by Raindance for both first timers and established filmmakers to update their knowledge. I dedicate our award to Ms Verdin and Raindance LA. Thank you so much Julia and Raindance!"Ranu Sinha, Director
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
Writers, directors, producers, actors, filmmakers, cinema lovers, anyone with an interest in how movies are made and who seek a basic introduction to the filmmaking process.
Julia Verdin is a British film producer and founder of Rough Diamond Productions, established in 1994. She has established herself as one of Hollywood’s leading producers with over 30 feature films. She is best known for producing the Sony Classics release The Merchant of Venice, directed by Michael Radford, and starring Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Joseph Fiennes, the Newmarket release Stander, directed by Bronwen Hughes, and starring Tom Jane, Deborah Unger, Dexter Fletcher and David O’Hara, and the Breaking Glass release 2 Jacks, based on Leo Tolstoy short story “Two Hussars,” directed by Bernard Rose, and starring Danny Huston, Jack Huston, Sienna Miller, Jacqueline Bisset and Billy Zane.
Verdin has recently executive produced Lionsgate release Born of War, directed by Vicky Jewson, and starring James Frain and Sophia Black D’Elia. This year she has just directed her first film Lost Girls staring Bar Paly, Marisol Nichols and Jamie Harris, and produced The Unwilling directed by Academy Award nominated director Jonathan Heap, and starring Dina Meyer, Jake Thomas and Lance Henriksen.
She is currently developing various projects with writers and directors including Academy Award and Palme d’Or nominated writer/director James Dearden; acclaimed festival award winning writer/director Éva Gárdos; Academy Award Nominated director Jonathan Heap; WGA Autumn Stories 2010 winner screenwriter Cynthia Riddle, and director Vincenzo Natali.
Verdin is a top film consultant having provided consulting services on development and production. She also wrote the critically acclaimed book, Success in Film, a detailed guide to funding, making and finishing independent films.
Verdin currently serves on the board of BAFTA LA. She is based in Los Angeles, and still maintains a base in London.
JASON PIETTE (Week of "Film Financing")
Jason Piette is a producer and film financier with over 50 movies and TV series to his name, including the $25M The Merchant Of Venice starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons; Head In The Clouds ($20M) starring Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz, (both for Sony Pictures Classics); the $33M Napoleon TV series for A & E in the United States; Perfect Creatures ($11M) for Twentieth Century Fox; independent American features such as Mark Pellington’s I Melt With You for Magnolia Pictures and cult classic, part crowdfunded Iron Sky
for Entertainment One. Before co-founding Disrupting Influence Jason also worked on the $300 million Movision Film Fund. Jason is a graduate of Cambridge University.
LORRAINE D'ALESSIO (Week of "Basic Legal Contracts")
A Toronto native, Lorraine D’Alessio earned her bachelor’s with honors from the University of Toronto before attaining her U.S. law degree at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. Recently named the 2016 Century City Bar Association Lawyer of the Year, Lorraine spearheads DLG’s business and employment-related immigration efforts. She is widely regarded as an industry expert, and has been quoted in The Hollywood Reporter and other leading outlets. Having navigated the process firsthand, Mrs. D’Alessio is especially dedicated to educating her fellow Canadians on immigration, regularly presenting at locations like the Vancouver Film School and Second City Toronto.
CHARLES BERG (Week of "Budgeting and Scheduling")
Charles Berg has been in the entertainment industry for the past 15 years. He has produced over 50 full length including “Unconscious” directed by Michael Polish and starring Kate Bosworth. He line produced the Jean-Claude Van Damme action film, “Swelter.” "Green Street Hooligans 2," was a successful sequel to the highly acclaimed, “Green Street Hooligans” that Charles executive produced. "American Virgin," starring Jenna Dewan and Rob Schneider he lined produced. He produced, "The Barry Minkow Project" with James Caan and Ving Rhames and the original king of ponzi schemes Barry Minkow himself. Charles also line produced the mafia film, "For the Love of Money." And critically acclaimed “Wristcutters: A Love Story.”
Charles also has a several projects in development. He is set to direct his first feature film in 2014, "Signs and Revelations." Other projects in development are "Out of the Ashes", "Raising Baby," "Quest for Vengeance" and "Street Talk."
How to attend In Person In Los Angeles or Live Online or watch on Video-On-Demand (VOD)?
Registrants are free to attend Raindance LA classes In Person or Live Online. There is also an additional option to catch up on missed classes by watching VOD links.
We do not require registrants to make any prior selection on how they will attend the classes.
Registrants are free to make their own choice of attendance. For example, in the event that 15 filmmakers register for a class, (1) we ensure that a classroom is prepared to seat 15 people, (2) we ensure email invitation to join the class Live Online to all registrants, and (3) we ensure that emails are sent out with VOD links - again - to all registrants.
For Live Online courses, Raindance LA uses an easy-to-use software. We email each registrant a link to the virtual classroom 30 minutes prior the session begins. All they need to do is click the link provided in the email and enjoy the class! Please have a look at the Online Courses FAQ if you have more questions.
A VOD link on Vimeo is emailed to every registrant 24-48 hours after the end of each class.