Film Producer | Pointers

Producer

See also General Filmmaker page. Sunglasses smiley


CONTENTS:

  1. Useful Websites for Producers
  2. Film Funding
    1. Advice
    2. Grants (national and international)
    3. Investors
    4. Crowd-funding
  3. Producer Software
  4. Sales & Distribution
    1. Self-distribution
    2. London-based Film Sales Agents
  5. Books

I. Useful Websites for Producers

Boords

Filmmakers’ Blog:
https://boords.com/blog

Pre-production Process:
https://boords.com/blog/pre-production-guide

Crew Birmingham
https://www.crewbirmingham.co.uk

FatLlama (equipment hire)
https://fatllama.com

Filming in England (crew database)
https://england.reel-scout.com/crew_directorylist.aspx

Hertfordshire Film Office
https://www.hertfordshirefilmoffice.co.uk

Nu Boyana Studios (Bulgaria) – favourable overheads
https://nuboyana.com

Pathway – Virtual Production Studio run by Nathan Newman
https://www.pathwayxr.studio

Post Factory Group: Digital Cinema Package (DCP)
https://www.postfactory.co.uk/dcp-digital-cinema-package

The Police Advisor
Andy Oldham’s police advisory service for UK filming
https://www.thepoliceadvisor.com

PrimeTime (crewing)
https://primetime.network

Production Hub
https://www.productionhub.com
Crewing

Screening Room Map, The
https://screeningroommap.com
Screening rooms directory

Shortverse
https://www.shortverse.com/about
Social hub for makers of short films

Staff Me Up
https://staffmeup.com
Crewing

Studio Map, The
https://thestudiomap.com
Studio facilities directory for film production

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Getting Reviews:

Reddit:

Ask for Movie Review
Movie Review Exchange


II. Film Funding

Luck is the residue of design.
Spike Lee‘s favourite quote

1. Advice

Baseline Intelligence
http://www.baselineintel.com
Service providing reports on popular (finance) topics for producers

BFI: Sources of Funding for UK Film Makers
https://www.bfi.org.uk/sources-funding-uk-filmmaker

The Business
https://www.kcrw.com/culture/shows/the-business
Filmmaking business podcast by Kim Manners, editor at The Hollywood Reporter, & guests

Creative England, UK
https://www.filminginengland.co.uk

Field of Vision: Virtual Mentorship & Consultation Service for the Documentary Community
https://mailchi.mp/fieldofvision/fov-virtual-consult

Film Courage: Interview with Glen Reynolds (YouTube)
(advice on film selling & distribution)

Film Daily – How to Fund Your Film
https://www.filmdaily.tv/grants/list-best-feature-film-grants-funding

From the Heart Productions: List of Film Grants (International)
https://fromtheheartproductions.com/list-of-film-grants

Greenlight My Movie
https://www.greenlightmymovie.com
Funding sources and screenplay portal to US production companies

Independent Horror Society: How to Finance Your Film
https://independenthorrorsociety.com/how-to-finance-your-film

IndieFilmTO
https://indiefilmto.com

Guide to Grant Writing:
https://indiefilmto.com/ultimate-guide-to-grant-writing

Funding & Distribution Videos:
https://www.youtube.com/@indiefilmto3715/videos

StudioBinder: A Guide to Funding Your Film (YouTube)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0W0JLP7Eow

UK Tax Relief (Advice from BFI):


2. Grants

If applying for a film grant, remember:

  1. Get the application in at least a few hours before the deadline.
  2. Include a ‘proof’ of concept or mini trailer (sizzle reel) even if just 30 secs long. If you don’t have one, use recce footage, or example of your previous work.
  3. Applying for grants should be free. If you’re asked for a fee, is it worth it?
  4. Mention long-term goals as well as short-term accomplishments. Supporting artistic evolution bodes well on grant-awarding bodies.
  5. Get your proposal proofread by other filmmakers well before submission.
  6. Read and re-read the application guidelines. Get every aspect right.

British:

National

Actors’ Benevolent Fund
https://www.actorsbenevolentfund.co.uk/apply

BFI:

Network: BAFTA Crew Mentoring
http://www.bafta.org/supporting-talent/bafta-crew/bfi-network-x-bafta-crew-mentoring

Documentary Features Funding
https://www.docsociety.org/bfi-doc-features

Documentary Society Fund
https://bfi.docsociety.org

BFI: New Production & Development Funds for Live Action & Animation Features
https://www.bfi.org.uk/news/bfi-national-lottery-filmmaking-fund-opens

Creative Debut: Black Artist’s Grant
https://creativedebuts.co.uk/bag

Creatve UK
https://www.wearecreative.uk/support/film-tv

Disability Arts Online: New Commissions for Disabled Artists
https://disabilityarts.online/magazine/news/disability-arts-online-announces-new-commissions-for-disabled-artists

Enter the Pitch
https://www.enterthepitch.com

Enterprise Initiative Scheme
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/venture-capital-schemes-apply-for-the-enterprise-investment-scheme

FFolio
http://ffilmcymruwales.com/funding-and-training

The Film & TV Charity
https://filmtvcharity.org.uk

Iris Prize (funding, distribution & promotion of LGBTQ+ film)
https://irisprize.org/about-iris

Network: Early Development Funding
https://network.bfi.org.uk/funding-available

OKRE Fund
https://okre.org/okre-fund

Satellite: Skip/Intro Scheme
https://www.satellitefilms.org/projects#/skip-intro

ShootingPeople’s Film Funding Database
https://shootingpeople.org/funds

The Uncertain Kingdom – Development Fund
https://www.theuncertainkingdom.co.uk

Wahala Film Fund
https://wahalafilmfund.com

The Whickers – Documentary Fund
https://www.whickerawards.com


Local

England
Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Screen
https://www.northernirelandscreen.co.uk

Scotland
Wales

International:

European

Eurimages
https://www.coe.int/en/web/eurimages

European Film Promotion – Film Sales Support
https://www.efp-online.com/en/fss/fss-films.php

IBF Europe: Regulations for Distribution Support
https://www.idfa.nl/en/info/ibf-europe-regulations-for-distribution-support

MEDIA – European Film Funding
https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/creative-europe-media

CountryOrganisationNational Film Agency
1.AlbaniaAlbanian Center of Cinematographyhttp://www.nationalfilmcenter.gov.al
2.AustriaAFC - Austrian Filmshttp://www.austrianfilms.com
3.BelgiumFlanders Imagehttp://www.flandersimage.com
4.BelgiumWallonie Bruxelles Imageshttp://www.wbimages.be
5.Bosnia & HerzegovinaAssociation of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovinahttp://www.bhfilm.ba
6.BulgariaBulgarian National Film Centerhttp://www.nfc.bg
7.CroatiaCroatian Audiovisual Centrehttp://www.havc.hr
8.CyprusCultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprushttp://www.filmingincyprus.gov.cy
9.Czech RepublicCzech Film Centerhttp://www.filmcenter.cz
10DenmarkDanish Film Institutehttps://www.dfi.dk/en
11.EstoniaEstonian Film Institutehttp://www.filmi.ee
12.FinlandFinnish Film Foundationhttp://www.ses.fi
13.FranceUniFrancehttp://www.unifrance.org
14.GeorgiaGeorgian National Film Centerhttp://www.gnfc.ge/eng
15.GermanyGerman Filmshttp://www.german-films.de
16.GreeceGreek Film Centrehttp://www.gfc.gr
17.HungaryNational Film Institute Hungaryhttp://www.filmalap.hu
18.IcelandIcelandic Film Centrehttp://www.icelandicfilmcentre.is
19.IrelandScreen Ireland / Fís Éireannhttp://www.screenireland.ie
20.ItalyIstituto Luce Cinecittà (Italy)http://www.filmitalia.org
21.KosovoKosovo Cinematography Centerhttp://www.qkk-rks.com
22.LatviaNational Film Centre of Latviahttp://www.nkc.gov.lv
23.LithuaniaLithuanian Film Centrehttp://www.lkc.lt/en
24.LuxembourgFilm Fund Luxembourghttp://www.filmfund.lu
25.MacedoniaNorth Macedonia Film Agencyhttp://www.filmagency.gov.mk
26.MontenegroFilm Centre of Montenegrohttp://www.fccg.me
27.NetherlandsSEE NL (The Netherlands)http://international.eyefilm.nl
28.NorwayNorwegian Film Institute
http://www.nfi.no
29.PolandPolish Film Institutexxhttps://pisf.pl/enx
30.PortugalInstituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual I.P. / ICA (Portugal)
http://www.ica-ip.pt
31.RomaniaRomanian Film Developmenthttp://www.romfilmdevelopment.org
32.SerbiaFilm Center Serbiahttp://www.fcs.rs
33.SlovakiaSlovak Film Institutehttp://www.sfu.sk
34.SloveniaSlovenian Film Centrehttp://www.film-center.si
35.SpainInstituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales / ICAA (Spain)http://www.icaa.es
36.SwedenSwedish Film Institute
http://www.sfi.se
37.SwitzerlandSwiss Filmshttp://www.swissfilms.ch
38.United KingdomBritish Councilhttp://www.britishcouncil.org/film

Rest of the World

Ford Foundation: Just Films
https://www.fordfoundation.org/work/our-grants/justfilms/justfilms-inquiry


3. Investors

As Dov Simens says:

  1. Make a profitable £2000 film to get investment for a £20,000 film.
  2. Make a profitable £20,000 film to get investment for a £200,000 film.
  3. Make a profitable £200,000 film to get investment for a £2M film.
  4. Make a profitable £2M film to get investment for a £20M film etc.

Types of Investor:

  1. major studio looking to finance big-budget film;
  2. investor looking for an executive producer credit. – Will donate funds to filmmaker already on upward trajectory, for a film that’s already set to feature at prestigious film festivals;
  3. online platform that distributes films;
  4. small /local businesses (e.g. for product placement /their signage in your film). Be creative in how their business can profit from funding/co-funding your film (e.g. footage they can show their employees).

Scope for profit comes from your having access to the audience that wants to see your film. Investors invest for profit and/or personal interest.


4. Crowdfunding

Film Crowdfunding Sites

Tips

If you’ve an established audience, offset platform fees by considering a self-hosted campaign.

Crowdfunding is usually for funding your first, initial, passion project. It’s not really a sustainable way to get repeat funding; donors may tire of funding the same person/crew.

The film is marketed before it’s made. To crowd-fund, you must first have the crowd. Audience-build throughout your career. Find the strangers and tell them where you are. You have to have a relationship with your audience that matters. Let your fans school you on crowdfunding. The crowd is going to make you a more attentive, empathic artist. Remember that your audience is at least as smart as you think you are! Show, don’t tell.

Have a 90-second pitch video which resonates with your crowd. Do not ask for ‘help’ with a donation. Ask them to join what you are offering with a contribution, because, together, you are making something relevant. That tone has to permeate everything in your crowdfunding campaign.

Show the project, not the makers. E.g. a dramatic scene from the film; then demonstrate what your cinematographer is capable of + collation of things your actors have been in. Demonstrate you are capable of making the thing you are promising. Use a preview of your crowdfunding campaign to get feedback from your audience, before launch.

The first day of your campaign should be a big day for donations: build to that, because donors are more likely to support a campaign which has already almost reached its target. Send a personalized preview of your campaign to your biggest backers, asking them to donate early, to give your campaign the momentum it needs to succeed. Send a personalized reminder email to them on the first day of the campaign.

  1. Who is your audience? (There will be different demographics including a core group.)
  2. Where do they hang out?
  3. How do they like to be spoken to? ⇒
  4. How do you reach them?
  5. Dedicate yourself actively to engaging your audience (hard work & patience).

Personalized emails will be more effective. Post continuous updates while the campaign is live (crew, locations, gear, excitement). Ask initial donors to increase their donations if they can and to share campaign details with their friends.

*Kickstarter’s model only charges donors if you reach your target goal. Donors usually prefer this, as it ensures they’ll be supporting a properly-funded project.

More Tips:


III. Producer Software


IV. Sales & Distribution

Self-distribution

Interview with Marcus Markou

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London-based Film Sales Agents

Sales agents bridge the gap between filmmakers and potential distributors, for a % cut.

CineCircle advice on sales agents:
https://www.cinecircle.co.uk/post/list-of-20-london-film-sales-agents

  1. cardinalreleasing.com
  2. celciusentertainment.com
  3. coffeeandcigarettes.co.uk
  4. avpictures.co.uk
  5. bankside-films.com
  6. contentmediacorp.com
  7. dogwoof.com
  8. embankmentfilms.com
  9. highpointfilms.co.uk
  10. k5international.com
  11. manifestfilmsales.com
  12. meridianafilms.com
  13. metro-films.com
  14. moviehouseent.com
  15. parkentertainment.com
  16. protagonistpictures.com
  17. salt-co.com
  18. scfilmsinternational.com
  19. theworksfilmgroup.com
  20. film-seekers.com

V. Books

d’ADAMO, Amadeo:
Producing for the Screen
(Routledge, 2020)

ABUSHWESHA, Farah:
A Guide to Low Budget Filmmaking
(Creative Essentials, 2019)

AUSTEN, Sue:
Producing for Film & Television
(The Crowood Press, 2019)

CLEVE, Bastian:
Film Production Management
(Routledge, 2017)

ERICKSON, Gunnar:
The Independent Film Producer’s Survival Guide
(Schirmer, 2011)

FOLLOWS, Stephen:
Crowd Funding for Film Makers
(Creative Essentials, 2018)

FRUMKES, Roy & SMONELLI, Rocco:
Shoot Me: Independent Filmmaking from Concept to Rousing Release
(Allworth Press, 2002)

GAINES, Philip & RHODES, David:
Hollywood on 5,000, 10,000 or 25,000 Dollars a Day: Survival Guide for Low-Budget Film Makers
(Sillman-James, 1994)

GASPARD, John & NEWTON, Dale:
Persistence of Vision: Impractical Guide to Producing a Feature Film for Under $30,000
(Michael Wiese Productions, 1995)

GOODELL, Gregory:
Independent Feature Film Production: A Complete Guide from Concept Through Distribution
(St Martin’s Press, 2003)

GROVE, Elliot:
Raindance Producers’ Lab. Lo-to-no Budget Filmmaking
(Focal Press, 2013)

HARMON, Renée:
Film Producing Low Budget Films That Sell
(Samuel French, 1988) – Dated but still useful

HONTHANER, Eve:
The Complete Film Production Handbook
(Elsevier /Focal Press, 2010)

LEE, John:
The Producer’s Business Handbook
(Routledge, 2017)

LYONS, Sarah:
Indie Film Producing
(Routledge, 2012)

MORRIS, Tony:
The Filmmakers’ Legal Guide
(Grantham Books, 2024 – ensure to check for latest edition)

PATZ, Deborah:
Film Production Management 101
(Michael Wiese Productions, 2011)

RINZLER, J. W.:
Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life
(Cameron Books, 2021)

RODRIGUEZ, Roberto:
Rebel Without a Crew: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker with $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player
(Penguin, 1996)

RUSSO, John & VINCENT, Gary:
How to Make Exciting Money-Making Movies
(Burning Bulb Publishing, 2015)

RYAN, Maureen:
Producer to Producer: A Step-by-Step Guide to Low-budget Independent Film Producing
(Michael Wiese Productions, 2017)

SCHMIDT, Rick:
Feature Filmmaking at Used-Car Prices: How to Write, Produce, Direct, Shoot, Edit, and Promote a Feature Length Movie for Less Than $15,000
(Penguin Books, 1988)

STERN, Bret:
How to Shoot a Feature Film for Under $10,000: And Not Go to Jail
(William Morrow & Co., 2002)

STRADLING, Linda:
Production Management for TV & Film
(Methuen Drama, 2010)

STUBBS, Liz & RODRIGUEZ, Roberto:
Making Independent Films
(Allworth Press, 2000)

TRIGONIS, John:
Crowdfunding for Filmmakers: The Way to a Successful Film Campaign
(Michael Wiese Productions, 2016)

TURMAN, Lawrence:
So You Want to Be a Producer
(Methuen, 2006)

VACHON, Christine & BUNN, Austin:
A Killer Life: How an Independent Film Producer Survives Deals & Disasters in Hollywood & Beyond
(Limelight Editions, 2007)