2018.10.20 Indie Film Producing – Vancouver


Raindance members get 20% off this course
Date: Saturday October 20th, 10.00am – 6.00pm

Location: Brightside Cinema Studio – 1193 Grant Street, Vancouver BC V6A 2J7
Duration: One day

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This fourth round of the Indie Film Producing course is for independent producers, writers and directors making movies today – or wanting to make movies – in the independent film landscape.

About Indie Film Producing
– an intensive one day course.

In this intense and interactive one-day course, Paul Armstrong, Producer of numerous award-winning independent short & feature films, walks you through what you need – and what it takes – to be an indie film producer in today’s market.  This is indie film producing experience from the trenches – not the stuff they teach in film school. Special Guest: Melanie Friesen – the Pitching Guru in Vancouver.

The course provides:

    • Tools and information to produce your movie
    • A pitching forum to bring your movie ideas and receive direct feedback on your screenplay, treatment or synopsis
    • Experience and practical advice from an industry veteran with nearly 20 years’ experience making movies and supporting independent filmmakers
    • A reality check and tips from the forefront of indie filmmaking on what is achievable as an independent filmmaker


What you will learn:

10:00 – 11:45 am: The Pitch

Paul and guest Melanie Friesen give their candid feedback in this first segment, where participants pitch their film project. Pitching is where it all starts – and you need to know if:

a) your pitch gets a producer’s attention
b) your film idea has a market and
c) the pitfalls and traps to watch out for when producing your film

Participants who choose to, can pitch* their project in 2 MINUTES or LESS and get direct feedback from Paul on the spot. Those not pitching learn a ton from the feedback – about what the film industry wants and what are the pitfalls and traps of producing your film project.

* Submit synopsis or treatment in advance of the course to Nadia DiMofte – nadia.dimofte@raindance.org

10:45 am – 11:00 am  BREAK

12:00 am – 2:00 pm: The Product

Paul shares his 20 years’ experience in the A-Z of producing low-budget independent films in Canada, from the various roles he’s had in film production. An overview of producing is provided, from sourcing material to pre-and-post production, with Q & A throughout.

Learn the tricks and traps of low-budget film producing – this is the stuff they DON’T teach you in film school!

Includes a 10 min break at around 1:00pm.

Producing Seminar:  Navigating the Pitfalls of Canadian Independent Film

      • The Material – Finding a script; Getting book rights
      • Development – Developing an existing script; Finding a writer
      • Director – What to look for in a Director – and where; The Producer / Director relationship
      • Casting – Hiring a Casting Director; Star Casting
      • Crewing- Hiring Key Crew (DOP, PM, Production Designer, 1st AD, Editor, etc); Unsung Heroes on Crew; Chemistry, Chemistry, Chemistry
      • Budgeting – How to determine what the budget will be for your film; Budgeting Tips
      • Production – How long is the shoot; Cost of shooting
      • Post Production – Editing Process; Various cuts; Locking picture; Music; Picture Post; Sound Post; VFX; Deliverables

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: LUNCH 

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm: The Money

This is the hard part:  Paul shares his considerable experience in financing films to help you understand where, how and how much money you can get to make your film. Be prepared for a reality check!

      • Various ways to finance your film: (Private Investors, Gov’t Funding, Crowd Sourcing)
      • Tax Credits / Bank Financing
      • Raindance Raw Talent

4:15 pm 4:30 pm BREAK

4:30 pm – 6:00 pm: The Promotion

Promoting your Canadian Independent Film

      • Festivals and Markets – Why & what type of Film Festivals; Your Festival Goal
      • Distribution – Plan from day 1; Self Distribute or not? Typical Deal:  Theatrical, DVD, Netflix, VOD ;
      • Co-Pros – Finding the right partner


After 6:00 pm – THE PUB

This is the important bit 🙂 Join Paul and the Raindance Vancouver Team at a nearby pub for a chill after class chat & drink.

Paul will be available for one-to-one discussion and to set up individual consultations and trouble-shooting on your project.

Who Should Take this Course

Canadian independent producers, writers, directors, actors, technicians making movies today – or wanting to make movies – in the Canadian independent film landscape; New and emerging Canadian filmmakers who need a broad but practical intro and understanding of the Canadian independent film landscape; Film Fans.

About the Instructor – Paul Armstrong

Paul Armstrong is an award-winning Vancouver film, television and theatre producer with over 35 film producing credits including both feature and short form. 

Recent feature film credits include ‘Lawrence & Holloman’ based on the play by Morris Panych, written by Daniel Arnold & Matthew Kowalchuk, and directed by Kowalchuk; ‘Moving Malcolm’ by Benjamin Ratner starring Elizabeth Berkley (‘Showgirls’); the Genie Award-nominated ‘See Grace Fly’ by Pete McCormack (‘Facing Ali’) and ‘Ill-Fated’ by Mark A Lewis which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and in the US at Slamdance. He is currently in post-production on the documentary ‘Cool Daddy’ with the CBC Documentary Channel directed by Roger Larry featuring Kenny Colman and Chase Colman.

Short film credits include the record breaking 13 Leo Award winning ‘Anxious Oswald Greene’ by Marshall Axani, ‘The Money Pet’ featuring Alan Cumming (‘The Good Wife’), ‘Monster’ & ‘Everything’s Coming up Rosie’ starring Jodelle Ferland (‘Twilight’) & Ian Tracey, ‘The Bar’ starring Peter Deluise (’21 Jump Street’), ‘Break a Leg, Rosie’ starring Carly Pope (‘Popular’) & Ian Tracey, and ‘Mon amour mon parapluie’ with cameos by William Gibson & Douglas Coupland, and 24 Crazy8s short films.

He is the Executive Director of Crazy8s, Vancouver biggest short film competition, now in its 18th year. Paul is also the founder, programmer and producer of The Celluloid Social Club, a monthly screening of short films running since 1997. Through the Celluloid Social Club, he operated the Hot Shot Shorts Contest for 10 years whose most recent film is ‘Send Us Smokes’.

Paul has also produced a TV episode for Red Bull, produced TV commercials with Adplay Media for WirelessWave, web videos for Nintendo, Electronic Arts and Molson Canada and the talk show ‘Daytime’ with Fiona Forbes and Michael Eckford. He has also produced music videos for Bif Naked, Jim Byrnes, Jessie Farrell and Jeff Martin of the Tea Party and produced 20 plays, from Shakespeare to Ibsen to Mamet.

What they’re saying:

“The raindance course with Paul Armstrong was immensely valuable! From advice on how to get started, to pitching your idea, and how to achieve success upon completion, the information was helpful and clearly based on learned experience. I was able to apply action steps right away! I hope for more courses like this in the future”.

Var Bhalla

Did you know?

  • Raindance members save 20% on this course? You can join online >HERE< and start saving immediately
  • The Raindance Guarantee: If this course fails to meet your expectations, let us know at lunchtime on the first day and we will make a full, 100% no-questions-asked refund

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