Film Finance Aims: to gain an understanding of how Hollywood studio and independent film gets made....

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Transcript of Film Finance Aims: to gain an understanding of how Hollywood studio and independent film gets made....

  • Slide 1
  • Film Finance Aims: to gain an understanding of how Hollywood studio and independent film gets made. To research the production process of a film.
  • Slide 2
  • Film Finance Film is a medium where creativity and business are forced to meet. There is no such thing as a safe bet because each film is to some extent a one-off prototype. However, Hollywood studios try to reduce the high risks of film production by recombining / repackaging successful elements. This is another way of saying that Hollywood works to a set of generic conventions. Successful formulas make money. Task: in 2 minutes brainstorm all the sequels, remakes and TV/comic book adaptations that you have seen in the last year.
  • Slide 3
  • The Package The film package is put together by the producer. It is presented to potential investors, financers and distributors. It must include the following key elements and selling points: Script Treatment Generic Characteristics. A Proposed Budget. Storyboard of Key Scenes. Established director / writer with proven track record to attract target audience and reassure investors.
  • Slide 4
  • The Pitch Term used for the presentation of the package by the producer to potential financial backers. The producer may say their film is a hybrid of two successful movies. Its Terminator meets Dirty Harry. - Hollywood Producer
  • Slide 5
  • High Concept Films Made famous by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer as a response to high risk film production. The repackaging of previously successful elements, such as big name stars and directors. Remaking past hits or extending franchises (sequels). Often high octane action/disaster movies. Made for a PG or 12 rating so appealing to a mass audience.
  • Slide 6
  • The summer blockbuster For many years Hollywood has made mass market films for the summer. Many of these films will be released with merchandise tie ins and big marketing budgets. The first merchandise led summer blockbuster was Steven Spielbergs Jaws (1975).
  • Slide 7
  • Commitment to Invest Investors will only commit to a package when they have a clear presentation of the target audience for the film. This is done through extensive market research. Which includes? If a return on the investment is possible then the project will be give the green light, meaning that the studio will fund the next stage, which would consist of the writing / finishing off of the screenplay.
  • Slide 8
  • Funding for Independent Films Independent film production is developed and realised outside major studio settings. Sources of finance: - Banks - Investment Companies - Rich Private Investors - The Government: the national lottery.
  • Slide 9
  • Independent filmmakers finance Example: Robert Rodriguez Robert Rodriguez the subsequent director of Sin City and Spy Kids financed his first film El Mariachi by borrowing several family members credit cards. He financed the whole thing for $50,000 with most of the actors working for free. He also made some of his own camera equipment to avoid expensive hiring.
  • Slide 10
  • Financing a film What do producers have to consider when working out the costing of a film? Stars fees Other supporting cast Crew Post production Film stock Travel/shipping and catering Mise-en-scene (set building, hiring props, vehicles etc) Film taxes Hiring/compensating
  • Slide 11
  • Bankability A Select group of stars who can guarantee a films international success on the strength of their name alone. Bankability is the ability of a stars name to: raise money for a film -attract support from major studios -pull in cinemas-goers at the box office -Task: brainstorm a list of the worlds most bankable actors. -How many are women? -How many are black/Asian? -Select two and list 5 of their films? Were they all successful?
  • Slide 12
  • Stars Involvement in Films Production Gives them greater control over their career. Sometimes it is they who get the script first and get to choose who will direct the film. Example: Tom Cruise As well as being a huge bankable star, Cruise is also a producer with the influence to get film made. He co-produced Mission Impossible 2 and Minority Report Cruise chose John Woo as Mi2s director and JJ Abram for Mi3. Stars are now a franchise or a brand rather than actors.
  • Slide 13
  • Film Production Average cost for Hollywood blockbuster, including its marketing, is $100million, so studios are not inclined to take risks. Any studio project made by untried talent or without a big name actor on whom to focus an advertising campaign will face an up hill struggle to be green-lighted. Can you think of any popular, high grossing films without any star names.
  • Slide 14
  • Independent Productions With the advancement of new digital technologies it is easier to make films on a much smaller budget. Such example include The Blair Witch Project. Watch extract. However, it is the major studios that have all the power when it comes to distribution, and without the help of their independent distribution wings (Warner Independent, Miramax, Fox Search Light) many low budget films would never be seen.
  • Slide 15
  • Currently Fashionable Genres What are the currently fashionable genres in Hollywood production: Torture horror the Saw films. Comic book heroes- Iron Man, X- Men etc Broad parody comedies- Epic Movie, Teen Movie. Fantasy Narnia and Ring films, Stardust etc Animation- too many to mention! Task: Why are these genres popular at the moment? Discuss and make notes.
  • Slide 16
  • The Crossover film The crossover film is a relatively low budget independent film without big name actors that does well commercially (makes lots of money). Generally these films begin in fewer cinemas but as word of mouth spreads (and it wins awards) the film becomes a surprise sleeper hit. Read: page 99 Titanic vs The Full Monty. The crossover film is a dream come true to Hollywood or any film industry. Why? Because it makes the biggest profit margin! Task: read the article about Slumdog Millionaire at the box office and answer questions.