Independent Film Producing How to Produce a Low-Budget Feature Film

ISBN-10: 162153264X

ISBN-13: 9781621532644

Edition: 2013

Authors: Paul Battista

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The number of independent films released each year has almost doubled in the past decade, yet only a fraction will succeed. If, like many filmmakers, you have no industry connections, little to no experience, and a budget of $5,000 or less, this outsider’s guide will teach you what you need to know to produce a standout, high-quality film and get it into the right hands. Written by an entertainment lawyer and experienced director and producer, this handbook covers all the most essential business, legal, and practical aspects of producing on a low budget, including:Scripts Business plansCopyright issuesEquity and non-equity financingFund-raisingTax considerationsTalent recruitingSchedulingDistribution Securities laws Film festivals And more Also discussed are the new crowd funding laws covered by the JOBS Act, making this book a must-read for every indie producer in today’s economy. If you want to produce a film that gets attention, pick up the book that is recommended required reading at film, business, and law schools from UCLA to NYU. Whether you’re a recent film school graduate or just a Hollywood outsider, Independent Film Producing will be like having a best friend who is an experienced, well-connected insider.
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Book details

List price: $19.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/1/2013
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 312
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Paul Battista is a Los Angeles-based entertainment attorney who has provided legal services to more than 125 feature film, documentary, and television projects. He has been a guest speaker at many film festivals and conferences, including Slamdance Film Festival and Film Independent's Filmmaker Forum, in addition to lecturing at film and law schools in the Los Angeles area. He also wrote, directed, and produced the low-budget independent feature film Crooks (2002), which has been released by Warner Home Video. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Developing the Film
Feature Films
Deal Making versus Filmmaking
Filmmaker's Control Over the Filmmaking Process
Very Brief History of the Independent Film
The Initial Stages in Making an Independent Film
When Is a Filmmaker Ready to Make a Low-Budget Feature Film?
Building the Core Team
Synergy and the Core Team
Working with a Writer
Hiring a Lawyer
Partnering with a Producer
Selecting the Script and Evaluating Actors
Selection Issues
Researching Distributor Input
Selecting a Genre
The Story
The Scale of a Film
Filmmaker-Written Script
Co-Writing a Script
Registering the Script with the United States Copyright Office
Obtaining the Script
Option/Purchase Agreement for a Completed Script
Obtaining the Film Rights to a Book
Considering the Types of Films Distributors Are Distributing and Festival Are Screening
Producing the Film
Equity Financing of Independent Films "Outside the System"
Studio Financing
Private Equity
Securities Laws
"Securities" Registration and Exemption from Registration
Antifraud Provisions Applicable to All Offers and Sales of Securities
Nonequity Financing of Independent Films "Outside the System"
Nonequity Crowdfunding
Credit Cards
Nonstudio Distributors
Tax Subsidies
Tax-Exempt Status & Fiscal Sponsorship
Financing Independent Films "Inside the System"
Production-Financing-Distribution Agreement
Negative Pick-Up
Presales and the Basic Elements of a Film Package
Bank Loans Based on Presale Commitments
Gap Loans and Bridge Loans
Completion Guarantees
Reasons for Creating an Entity
Costs of Creating an Entity
The State Where Entity Should Be Formed and State and Local Taxes
Choosing an Entity When Producing an Independent Film
The Sole Proprietorship
The Partnership
Limited Partnership
Rules for Creating an S Corporation
Limited Liability Company
Advantages of a Limited Liability Company
Creating a Limited Liability Company
Major Issues in Establishing a Limited Liability Company
Tax Trap When Obtaining LLC Ownership in Exchange for "Sweat Equity"
A Scenario Illustrating the Importance of Proper Formation of an Entity
The Business Plan
Introduction and Definitions
Executive Summary
The Filmmakers
Film Project
Information on Budgets of Independent Films
The Motion Picture Industry
The Market and Marketing
The Private Placement Memorandum
The Summary of the Offering
Risk Factors
The Offering
Investor Suitability
Tax Considerations
The Company
Management of the Company
Financing: Return of Capital and the Share of Profits
Conflicts of Interest
Financial Statements
The Project
Additional Information
Subscription Agreement and Purchaser Questionnaire
The Interaction of the Business Plan and the PPM
Underlying Purpose of Securities Laws
Relationship Between a PPM and a Business Plan
Who Will the Filmmaker Approach as a Potential Investor?
Inclusion of Return on Investment ("ROI") Analysis and Financial Projections
Making the Film
When Is the Film Ready to Be Made?
Setting the Date for Principal Photography
Expanding the Team
Guilds: Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists; Writers Guild of America; Directors Guild of America
Hiring a Lawyer
Actors, Crew, and Vendors
Miscellaneous Contracts
Accounting, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services
Independent Contractor or Employee?
Distributing the Film
When Should a Filmmaker Approach Distributors?
Classification of Distributors
Studio Distribution
Independent Distributors
"Other" Distributors
Distribution Contracts
Advances and Minimum Guarantees
Distribution Fee
Marketing and Distribution Obligations
The Filmmaker's Right to Be Involved in the Process
Accounting Statements and the Right to Audit
Preparing for Distribution
The Challenge to Achieve Distribution
Film Festivals
Producer Representation
Foreign Sales Agents
Summary of Delivery Items
Cost of Delivery
Careful Review of the Delivery Language
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