Get your movie funded, made and seen
At a glance
- learn how to create the paperwork and marketing assets to get your film funded and sold
- each class is taught by a different leading film industry professional
- 5 evening classes – take them all or take individual classes
You’ve found a script, scoured fringe theatres for hot but undiscovered talent, you have assembled a crew, but all you now need is the money.
This 5-evening film Producers Foundation Certificate answers specific questions in key areas of producing, and explores the opportunities producers have today to develop, finance, budget and market a film, as well as deal with legal and business affairs.
During each class you’ll learn skills essential to getting your movie made.
To receive a certificate, attend all 5 evenings and save. You can also purchase individual topic evenings.
Who should attend the Producers Foundation?
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.
Week 1: Creating a Business Plan – Saturday 20th February, 1pm – 4pm EST
Week 1 is presented by Raindance Founder, Elliot Grove, on Zoom from London.
Few people have known more filmmakers and projects than Elliot. Elliot outlines how to prepare your project for presentation to private investors and to industry funding sources.
Once you have scoured film festivals looking for new talent, 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.
It was a great evening and provided not only myself but the whole room with information that could get their projects made and change their lives. What more could you ask!
This evening workshop will run through the basic essentials you’ll need, both to present your project to both industry and private investors.
- Choosing and targeting investors
- Structure of a business plan
- Using visual aids
- Preparing sales estimates and income streams
- Money flow explained
- Profit participation
You’ll also discover a unique way to pool your talents and quit the day job.
*Register for this information-packed evening class on its own HERE.
Week 2: Budgeting, Scheduling and Resourcefulness – Saturday 27th February, 1pm – 4pm EST
Week 2 is presented by George D’Amato.
A producer foundation starts with the schedule and budget. These provide the critical backbone of your film — a film budget is a list of all the resources and people you need to make your film. A schedule is when and where you need them. This session runs through the essentials, conventions and details required in assembling a budget and scheduling your shooting days.
All classes were informative and the tutors were really one of the best, and though I know there’s a lot more I need to learn, I left feeling a lot more confident about handling the role of a Producer and should be back for more!
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
A professional budget and schedule are an essential part of a business plan.
*Register for this Budgeting and Scheduling class on its own HERE.
Week 3:Movie Money – Saturday 6th March, 1pm – 4pm EST
Week 3 is presented by Ali Mashayekhi.
You have a great idea for a movie. You’ve met your writer and had meeting after meeting about the script. Now you need some cash to make your short or feature.
The Movie Money segment of Producers Foundation was excellent. Ignited huge interest.
This evening workshop will run through the basic financing tools available for any business, not just the film business. These tax-efficient finance structures make Canada one of the most attractive places to raise money for film production. Find out how they work and how to utilize them.
- Canadian tax-efficient finance vehicles
- Enterprise Investment Schemes
- Profit participation
This evening class outlines the basics of film finance and will provide you with the various elements needed for a plan to finance your movie.
*Register for this Movie Money class on its own HERE.
Week 4:Marketing and Selling Your Film – Saturday March 13th, 1pm – 4pm EST
Week 4 is presented by Ali Mashayekhi.
The essential task for filmmakers is creating a marketing plan for your film. Learn how to utilize the trade press, consumer press and film festivals to turn your film (and yourself) into this year’s cult classic.
A great intro into the film industry. I found all the instructors inspiring and so glad I took part.`
Learn how to navigate the film marketing and distribution arenas in order to position your film for success.
- Film festivals and distribution strategies explained
- The role of film markets
- How sales agents work
- Creating the marketing assets you need to sell your film
- How the money works
*Register for this Marketing and Selling Your Film class on its own HERE.
Week 5: Basic Legal Contracts – Saturday 20th March, 1pm – 4pm EST
Week 5 is presented by Dan Pollack.
A film producers foundation needs a basic understanding of the legal contracts prospective investors and potential distributors will want to see. 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.
As an older student, I found the entire Producers Foundation Certificate very worth while. Five days after finishing the course I am now in the process of producing my first two projects.
In this evening crash course, the basic talent (i.e., writer, director, actors) contracts are explained.
- Key negotiation points explained
- Preparing and maintaining your contracts
This class is designed to answer basic questions about film contracts.
*Register for this Basic Legal Contracts class on its own HERE.
Creating a Business Plan | Budgeting and Scheduling | Movie Money | Marketing and Selling | Basic Legal Contracts
About the Instructors
Few people know more filmmakers and screenwriters in Europe than Raindance founder Elliot Grove. He has presided over the launch of some of this country’s most interesting filmmakers. Edgar Wright was his first intern, Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn met at a Raindance course in the mid 1990’s, Christopher Nolan and Gareth Edwards (Monsters) all launched their careers following film training courses at Raindance.
Elliot founded Raindance Film Festival in 1993 and the British Independent Film Awards in 1998. He’s produced over 7000 short films, and 5 feature films. He has written eight scripts, one of which is currently in pre-production. His first feature film, TABLE 5 was shot on 35mm and completed for a total of $511.40. He teaches writers and producers in the UK, Europe, Cuba, Mexico, Japan and North America.
As an author his three books have become industry standards: RAINDANCE WRITERS’ LAB: WRITE & SELL THE HOT SCREENPLAY(Focal Press 2008), RAINDANCE PRODUCER’S LAB: LO-TO-NO BUDGET FILMMAKING (Focal Press 2004) and 130 PROJECTS TO GET YOU INTO FILMMAKING (Barrons 2009). His first novel THE BANDIT QUEEN is scheduled for publication next year. Open University awarded Elliot an Honorary Doctorate for services to film education in 2009. Elliot developed the content for the Producers Foundation in London, England. Christian Colson took this class and applied Elliot’s principals making Slumdog Millionaire and Battle of the Sexes.
George D’Amato is a feature film, television and commercial filmmaker. Informed by global travel, his unique visual style has garnered television clients such as the National Broadcast Company (NBC), National Geographic, The History Channel, and Discovery.
“BLUR”, released in 2016, is D’Amato’s feature indie film debut as director, producer and co-writer. It premiered at the 2016 Raindance Film Festival in London, England.
A notable commercial director and producer, as well, he has had a roster of Fortune 500 clients: Apple Computers, General Motors, AT&T, The Ford Motor Company, IBM, Volvo, Hyundai, Budweiser Brewing Company, Molson Brewing Company, Nestles, Drug-Free America, and ESPN.
George is currently directing “ART or WAR”, the documentary features social commentary artist Viktor Medic. Also, in pre-production, “Swipe Right” is a feature film that explores the world of online dating via Tinder, the downloadable dating app.
George is a multiple-award-winning director. His directing awards include the Gold Cleo, the One Show, Gold Bessie, Bronze Bessie, and Craft Award for Directing, Directors Guild of America, Golden Marble, and Two commercials in the Museum of Modern Art permanent collection
NYU Film School – MFA / The Actors Studio – NYC / Second City Improv / Stand-up comedy
Specialties: A stunning visual artist.
Since starting in 2003 with a self-funded short film, Ali Mashayekhi has produced Japanese music videos, multiple short films and two features. His most recent film is Let’s Rap (2015), starring Jason Priestley. Mashayekhi is currently in post-production on the comedic TV pilot, Day Players, starring Kristian Bruun and Ashley Leggat. His current slate includes the fashion expose The Style Atlas, the travel show Japan Drift, and the feature film The Dwelling. He completed the Producers’ Lab at the Canadian Film Centre in 2016. Ali brings is marketing and distribution experience to the Producers Foundation Certificate.
- New Media
Education & Admissions
- 2008 – Call to the Law Society of Ontario
- 2002 – State Bar of California
- 2002 – JD, University of California, Hastings College of the Law
- 1992 – BA (Hons.) History, McGill University
Dan’s practice is based on one primary objective: to help creators and start-ups share their work with the world. Through his 15+ years of experience at leading law firms in the United States and Canada and his own private practice, along with key in-house counsel roles in the media industry, including acting as General Counsel for an international image licensing agency and as Legal Counsel for the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN), Dan has developed a deep understanding of the complex legal issues that confront creatives.
Dan often works with creators and creative agencies – photographers, filmmakers, musicians and writers – to protect and maximize the value of their work. Additionally, Dan has had extensive experience as legal counsel for the leading associations of professional image creators in Canada.
In his extensive private practice, Dan advises both emerging and established clients on a variety of issues, including copyright acquisition, enforcement and litigation strategy, contracts, licensing agreements, and releases. He also regularly advises his clients on legal issues relating to marketing, social media, litigation, privacy, and corporate law.
In addition to creatives, Dan also advises start-ups and emerging companies that rely heavily on intellectual capital. Our clients look to Dan for guidance on all facets of their ventures to establish a solid legal foundation upon which to grow.
Dan’s commitment to the creative community continues with his service on the legal committee for the Digital Media Licensing Association (DMLA) and as a frequent contributor to The Lawyer’s Daily on copyright and intellectual property issues. As well, Dan often speaks at events and seminars about important legal issues for photographers and other creators.