Why take the Film Producer’s Foundation Certificate?
Producers have control over almost every aspect of a film’s production. They initiate and drive the movie forward, bringing together a production team, including the director, director of photography, production designer and major cast members. The producer’s primary responsibility is to guide a project from beginning to the audience, building an environment where the project, film’s cast and crew can thrive. They lead the film from conception to script, from script to producing the film, into distribution, marketing and beyond
About the Producer’s Foundation Certificate
The Producer’s Foundation Certificate is a five-part series of classes, each presenting a specific aspect, process, or skill involved in producing films. These courses are for anyone interested in the film producing process, whether you have any experience in producing or filmmaking.
What will it cover?
Week 1: Creating a Business Plan
Once you’ve found a great script and selected the right director to bring it to life, you need to prepare a plan to make your film. The business plan relates how you will get the money you need to make the film, and your process going forward. The business plan is a tool to share your vision and process with investors and partners.
This class will explore the essentials you will need to present your project, it’s process, and your vision, to both industry and private investors. Investors will want to know your plan, how you’ll use the money, and their ROI – return on investment.
You will learn approaches to:
- Choosing and approaching investors
- Structuring a business plan
- Creating your finance plan
- Preparing sales estimates and income streams
- Profit participation
Week 2: Marketing and Selling Your Film
It is key for producers to know from the outset of their project who the target audience for a film is, where they are and how to market the film to them effectively.
This class will cover how to create and execute an effective marketing and PR plan specific to any particular film, including utilizing the trade and consumer press, as well as film festivals to create a fan favorite. You will also learn how to approach film festivals and film markets with a strong press kit to enhance the commercial potential of your film. The class will also include a segment on using social media to create buzz with examples. Topics include:
- Writing an effective synopsis and getting high quality photos
- Writing press releases
- Film festivals explained
- The role of film markets
- Sales agents, distribution companies, contract basics
- Creating the marketing assets you need to sell your film
Week 3: 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, however, preparation of these documents must be started when you start your film. Failure to do this will prevent you from being able to sell your film.
This class is designed to answer fundamental questions about the rights attaching to a film and its component parts and the contracts required to acquire, clear and protect those rights. View it as health insurance for filmmakers!
This crash course:
- Explains basics of copyright
- The rights of creatives and performers
- Clarifies key elements of a contract
- Provides practical guidance on negotiating film contracts
- Demystifies legal terminology used in film
Week 4: Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film
For a producer, a professional budget and schedule are arguably the most important parts of planning your film aside from your script. A film budget is a list of all the stuff and people you need to make your film and their costs, while a schedule is when and where you need them. If you get the budget wrong, your film will stall half-finished without cash. Get the schedule wrong and your film will suffer – either from loss of quality or remain unfinished because you have run out of time, money or both.
This class explains how scripts are broken down into components to produce a realistic schedule and budget. You will learn:
- The script breakdown process
- Scheduling how-to’s
- Finding, assessing and comparing prices
- Union vs. nonunion
- Tools to help
Week 5: Movie Money
This class will explain basic financing tools available for films, providing students with resources and strategies to plan financing for your film. With a rise in online platforms, more flexibility in crowdfunding, and vibrant film production incentives in many states, film producers need to understand all of their options, and the best options. This class outlines the basics of film finance and should provide you with the elements of a plan to finance your film and get your movie money.
Students will understand
- Company structure
- Sources for financing and how to approach them
- Production incentives
- Crowd funding
- Profit participation
What will you achieve?
Upon completion of the Producer’s Foundation Certificate, students will have acquired the skills, knowledge and confidence to then undertake their first producing projects.
How will you be taught?
A mix of lecture style and demonstration with opportunities for students to ask the tutor questions.
Who should attend?
The Producer’s Foundation Certificate is suitable for beginner producers, as well as those interested in finding out more about what is required to get films made. It is also suitable for those seeking to refresh their existing knowledge.
5 Consecutive Tuesdays: October 16,23 & 30 and November 06 & 13, 2018 from 7 to 9 PM.
About the tutor
Producer Paula Landry, MBA is an author and award- winning writer/producer. Recent ﬁlm projects include VR ﬁlm Abracadabra!, feature ﬁlm A Cat’s Tale, and projects in development include the Irish- themed dark comedy Last Pint, as well as The Entitled, based on best- selling author Frank Deford’s novel of the same name. Ms. Landry creates budgets, schedules, business and marketing plans, and has conducted ﬁlm and television library valuations in association with G&H Media for the Truman Capote Estate, and the Australian Government. Ms. Landry teaches media in NYC to MBA graduate students in NYC; also conducting seminars at NYU, NYWIFT, SVA, and worldwide at seminars in Cuba, Haifa, Paris, and London. She is the author of Scheduling and Budgeting Your Film: A Panic- Free Guide, 2nd ed. (Focal Press) and co-author of The Business of Film, 2nd ed. (Focal Press). Landry’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, creative entrepreneurs and non- proﬁts, from Forbes, Deutsche Bank, Christie’s, Pearson Television, Entertainment Weekly, The Game Show Channel, Tribe Pictures, Fit TV to The Actors Fund, Smile Train, and individual media makers. Her ﬁlms have debuted at Sundance, Chelsea Film Festival, CineVegas, winning awards from the Best Actors Film Fest, Columbia Pictures Screen Gems, Time Warner Showtime Audience Award, and WorldFest Houston Film Festival; her writing has won the Lugnut Award, 2nd rounder at Austin Film Festival, and a semi-finalist at Made in NY Writer’s Room. Ms. Landry is a creative coach, mentoring entrepreneurs, writers, ﬁlmmakers. She has a column on Script Magazine and can be found online @paulalandry and www.aflickchick.com