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The Director's Chair Issue #68 – July 18, 2006 (INDIE Film Financing)

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THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

July 18, 2006          Scene 7 – Take 7
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Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Web Site: http://www.actioncutprint.com

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Dear Friend,

You are receiving The Director’s Chair because you (or
someone using your email address) requested a subscription.
Subscribe and Unsubscribe instructions are at the end of
this Ezine.

PRIVACY STATEMENT: This Subscriber List is a private mailing
list and will not be made available to other companies or
individuals. I value every Subscriber and respect your privacy.

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CONTENTS
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1.  Introduction
2.  Film Directing Blog
3.  “Outtakes” – Film and TV Humour Ezine
4.  201 Things You Wouldn’t Know Without Movies or TV
5.  Subscriber Shameless Self-Promotion
6.  Subscriber Links of Interest
7.  Feature Article – INDIE Financing
8.  Monthly Business and Entertainment Law Tips
9.  Links to Great Video Websites
10.  Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
11.  Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
12.  Copyright Information

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1. INTRODUCTION
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Welcome to Issue #68 of The Director’s Chair (July 18, 2006)

1) FILMMAKERS IN 82 COUNTRIES READ THIS EZINE – I would like
to say hello to all my subscribers from 82 countries around
the world.

Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Barbados, Belgium,
Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China,
Cocos(Keeling)Islands, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Faroe
Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Haiti,
Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran,
Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Republic of
Korea, Kuwait, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia,
Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Nambia, Nepal, Netherlands, New
Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines,
Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi
Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan,
Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad and
Tabago, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United
Kingdom, USA, Uruguay, Yugoslavia, Zambia, Zimbabwe

NOTE: If your country is not represented here, please let me
know and I will add it to this ever growing list.

2) FEATURE ARTICLE – This month’s Feature Article is called
“INDIE Financing” by Wolfgang Wagenknecht. “The holy grail
of INDIE movie making has always been financing because
without money “nothing goes”. So how should one do it? What
Wolfgang is talking about in this article are INDIE
productions with up $2.5 million dollar budgets. (see below
to read entire article…)

3) BUSINESS AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW TIPS – This month’s
Business and Entertainment Law Tips by Jindra Rajwans is
called “Directors’ Agreements – Some Legal Details.” This
article points out some of the common elements found in a
director’s agreement that would be useful to think about
prior to negotiating such an agreement.

4) FILMMAKING WORKSHOPS AND PRODUCT PROMOTION – From time
to time I will contact you by email to inform you of certain
filmmaking workshops or film products that I feel are
beneficial to filmmakers like yourself. Of course, you are
under no obligation to purchase anything. I only offer this
information as a service to subscribers of this free ezine.

5) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – If you would like to contribute
articles, tips, links of interest, industry news,
interviews, special event dates or other resources to The
Director’s Chair please email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

6) SHARE THIS EZINE – Share this Ezine by email and forward
it to your friends and associates.

7) SUGGESTIONS & COMMENTS – Send any comments, suggestions,
questions or advice to: mailto:comments@actioncutprint.com

8) REPRINT THIS EZINE – This Ezine may be reprinted with
permission. Email me at: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

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Enjoy.

Peter D. Marshall

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2. FILM DIRECTING BLOG
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Do you have film directing questions?

If you do, check out this new blog of mine where you can
post your film directing questions and I will answer them as
soon as I can. It is also an online discussion forum for
filmmakers so we can keep in touch and share information.

http://actioncutprint.wordpress.com/

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3. “OUTTAKES” – Free Weekly(?) Film and TV Humour Ezine!
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Did you know that the second most visited page on my website
for the past 5 years has been the film humour and movie joke
page? http://www.actioncutprint.com/outtakes.html.

Which just goes to show you how important a sense of humour
is in this business:-)

So to celebrate this fact, I created a NEW weekly film and
television humour ezine called, “Outtakes.”
http://www.actioncutprint.com/outtakes-ezine.html

“Outtakes” is a free weekly (mostly) humour ezine that is
full of movie jokes, television bloopers, film quotes, video
clips, movie cliches, film cartoons, movie mistakes, spoofs
& goofs and…a whole lot more stuff I can’t mention here!

Every Monday (well…most Monday’s) you will receive this
film humour ezine in your INBOX. (I think Monday is the best
day of week to get a little smile…or a grin…or even a
groan!)

In each issue, you will get to chuckle at a film or TV
related joke, cartoon, quote, cliche, or mistake. You might
even get a chance to laugh at a funny video clip, television
blooper or commercial.

Oh…and I even have a contest where you can win real money!

So what are you waiting for? Read some back issues and Sign
Up now for this weekly humour ezine at:
http://www.actioncutprint.com/outtakes-ezine.html

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4. 201 THINGS YOU WOULDN’T KNOW WITHOUT THE MOVIES OR TV
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http://www.actioncutprint.com/files/201Things.pdf

Grab your Free copy of this humorous pdf ebook, “201 Things
You Wouldn’t Know Without Movies or Television.” I have also
included 4 additional BONUS lists for you enjoyment:

1 – Actual English Subtitles Used in Hong Kong Films
2 – A Dictionary of Hollywood Terms
3 – The Top 28 Movie Lies
4 – The Hot Air Balloon (a very good film joke)

And don’t forget to pass this ebook on to your friends.
Putting a smile on someone’s face is one of the most
gratifying things in life.

So please, FORWARD this ebook to a friend, family member or
associate. It could be the highlight of their day – as long
as they have the same sense of humor you do! 🙂

http://www.actioncutprint.com/files/201Things.pdf

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5. SUBSCRIBER SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION
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Each month, I give two subscribers an opportunity to promote
themselves, their company or their productions in this
section. If you are interested, send an email to
mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com.

Please limit your promotion to less than 200 words. I also
reserve the right to edit the promotion for length, spelling
and formatting.

1) Brad Richard Seminars (Brad Richard)

Brad has an energy and enthusiasm that few can match and all
find contagious! He is a dynamic public speaker with a
life-changing message! His delivery is entertaining and
engaging. His high energy and thought provoking message will
grab your attention and keep you hanging on EVERY word! Brad
also hosts an Internet talk radio show, “Alivewiredu.”

http://www.bradrichard.com/

2) (Y.A.F.I) Underground (Cole McDonald)

Started in 1987 as a music production company for a few
friends, YAFI:Underground Records has become a media
inclusive production company under which we release any of
our creative pursuits. We tend to like to share our learning
as well and have a How-To make your own movie section. I’ve
also added a camera side checklist for you to print. This is
the workflow that we’ve developed through trial and error.
It just happens to match what I’ve learned is the correct
way to do this sort of thing.

http://www.yafiunderground.com/

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6. SUBSCRIBER LINKS OF INTEREST
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“Subscriber Links of Interest” is where you can further
promote yourself, your company or your productions by having
your information displayed on a special links page at:
http://www.actioncutprint.com/tdc-subscriberlinks.html

If you are a subscriber to this ezine and you want me to put
your self-promotion on this page, just send an email to:
mailto:links@actioncutprint.com

Again, I also reserve the right to edit the promotion for
length and formatting.

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7. FEATURE ARTICLE – INDIE Financing
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“INDIE Financing” by Wolfgang Wagenknecht

The holy grail of INDIE movie making has always been
financing because without money “nothing goes”. So how
should one do it? What I am talking about in this article
are INDIE productions with up $2.5 million dollar budgets,
please keep that in mind.

First, and that may disappoint some of you, there is no one
hard and fast rule, unless you live e.g. in Europe where
Governments have grants and will fund low budget movies.

There are a few considerations when undertaking the stormy
waters seeking money from private investors for your
production. When I made my first feature film I started out
with nothing but my script and the burning desire to get it
made.

We had my friend to produce, we had a reputable Line
Producer, myself to direct, and the “package”. With that we
started to contact people we knew, or have been told, wanted
to invest into an INDIE movie. It was a trial and error
process and sometimes frustrating, but eventually we found
our two investors and the production was financed within a
couple weeks. What did we learn, and what should you do
before approaching a serious investor:

It all starts with the script, a solid professional package,
your team, and talent attachments if you have any. The more
you have done your home work on the package the easier it
will be for an investor or production company to say “yes.”

Try to surround yourself with more experienced people and
create momentum “positive energy”. Have your production
attorney available to take calls from investors if needed,
he is one more piece in the puzzle to make investors feel
comfortable if they want to talk to him. The key word here
is to anticipate, and be ready for what investors might ask
from you. Make a check list prior a meeting so you wont get
“caught with your pants down”. You only have one shot, first
impressions count. Be over prepared and know about the movie
business so you can talk with confidence.

Your goal must be to make the investor(s) feel comfortable
to entrust you with their money!

Don’t talk art and artists fighting the evil powers of
commerce. Talk dollars and sense. Network and find out who
might be a potential investor(s) and pursue the leads. Many
of them will turn out not to come through. It’s a numbers
game, read up on the the “Colonel Sanders story”. Always
have a package ready to send out, or show if needed, “strike
the iron when it’s hot”.

Be professional when meeting a potential investor, remember,
for them it’s in investment opportunity, they are looking
for a safe and reasonable ROI, you are using other peoples
money. Investors lend you money to make more money, simple
as that. Be conservative when you give projections and let
them know.

Be realistic when budgeting, meaning, the script must fit
the budget. Always be conservative. There is nothing worse
to find out later that the budget doesn’t fit the script and
you need to go back to your investor.

If you are a first time director be polite and patient with
investors asking you questions, some may want to replace
you, stand your ground, and don’t get discouraged…
preservere. You are being entrusted with a lot of money and
investors have the right to bombard you with questions.

Wolfgang Wagenknecht
Wolfpack Pictures LLC.

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Wolfgang has written several screenplays, one of which he
has directed and helped produce. He is presently finalizing
domestic and foreign distribution with two very reputable
distributors for that project. He is also currently
packaging another script of his for funding, which he is
attached as director and producer. Wolfgang is available for
the right project to direct, or produce. Wolfpack Pictures
is based in LA, USA mailto:wolfpackprodla@aol.com.

Wolfpack Pictures LLC. has distribution contacts for U.S.
domestic & International territories. We can act as sales
agents for productions we feel are suitable for the
distributors we are dealing with. Producers with completed
feature length movies and/or documentaries, including
trailers, please contact us with synopsis and nature of
production.  mailto:wolfpackprodla@aol.com.

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8. MONTHLY BUSINESS AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW TIPS
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“Directors’ Agreements – Some Legal Details”
by Jindra Rajwans B.A. (Hons.), M.A., LL.B., M.B.A., LL.M.

NOTE: The information in this article is not intended to be
legal advice and is of a general nature. Consult a lawyer
for advice for any specific situation.

The purpose of this article is to point out some of the
common elements found in a director’s agreement that would
be useful to think about prior to negotiating such an
agreement.

When directors are hired, they can be employed directly;
however, it is often beneficial that a loan-out structure is
used.  A loan-out structure essentially allows the director
to use a corporation to enter into the agreement with the
producer, and the corporation will loan-out the services of
the director.  This kind of structure has the advantage,
amongst others, of shielding the director from personal
liability.

One issue that directors should consider is whether they
wish to offer their services on a “pay-or-play” basis. The
pay-or-play commitment generally means that the director
will be compensated regardless of whether the production is
completed, or whether the services of the director are
terminated or replaced.  This provision serves as a useful
incentive for the producer to use the services of the
director, and it provides the director with a certain amount
of security that they will be compensated.

A director’s agreement will often specify that the
director’s services will be required on an exclusive basis
for pre-production, production, and post-production.  A
number of other important issues that should be considered
include the following:

– How important is final cutting authority? Will this affect
the director’s vision?

– What is the compensation package? What part is fixed,
deferred, and is the director entitled to participate in the
profits? How are profits defined?

– What is the term of the agreement? Does any part of the
term interfere with other commitments?

– How are transportation and other expenses dealt with?

– How is the director’s credit accorded? Is it a separate
card? What about teasers, trailers and other ads? What about
the right to use the director’s name and likeness to exploit
the picture?

– What happens if the director becomes incapacitated due to
mental or physical disability?

– How much control and authority does the director have in
hiring people for the production?

– Is the director assigning and transferring his or her
rights in all the results of the director’s services?

– What does the agreement say about termination?

– Does the producer require the director to become or remain
a member in good standing with the various guilds and
unions?

– What laws will govern the agreement? The laws of the State
of California or somewhere else?

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Jindra Rajwans is a business and entertainment lawyer in
Toronto, Canada. The entertainment area of his practice
focuses on providing legal services to writers, directors,
producers, actors, musicians or other professionals, and
companies in the entertainment industry.
http://www.rajwans.com
mailto:jrajwans@rajwans.com
416.323.5777
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9.  LINKS TO GREAT VIDEO WEBSITES
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Dave Watson, a writer for the “Georgia Straight” in
Vancouver has a good article on a few of the best video
websites available today.

Check out this article and the links at:

http://www.straight.com/content.cfm?id=18829

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10.  BACK ISSUES OF “THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR”
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To read back issues of The Director’s Chair, visit:
http://www.actioncutprint.com/ezine.html

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11. SUBSCRIBE & UNSUBSCRIBE INFORMATION
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To SUBSCRIBE to this Ezine, send a blank email to:
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To UNSUBSCRIBE to this Ezine, send a blank email to:
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email address to mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

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12. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
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Copyright (c) 2000-2006
www.actioncutprint.com
Peter D. Marshall
All Rights Reserved

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