The Film Business


Ten Reasons to Go to Film School


Ten Reasons to Go to Film School The following is an excerpt from Film School: A Practical Guide to an Impractical Decision. This book is an extended inquiry into film school, its value, and how to benefit most from your time there. This question has become more acute in our current era, when many film…


Ten Tricks and Traps of Producing


Producing feature films is an occupation fraught with danger, mishaps and misfortune. As Shakespeare said: many a slip twixt cup and lip. Here are the ten areas where new producers trip up. 1. Measure Success by More Than a Theatrical Release The times are a-changin’. The costs and associated risk factor of releasing a film…


Understanding the Business of Entertainment – Some Thoughts About Development Hell


Once a project finds its way to a studio, network, cable channel or other major production company, the development process moves forward as scripts are written, analyzed, commented on (called notes) and rewritten. Executives give notes and either the original writer or a new writer continues work on the script. These days in film, it’s…


Independent Film Financing – The Options


DEVELOPMENT For those who want to make independent films, the beginning of development is comparatively easy–you do it yourself. Someone has an idea worth writing. That idea could be original, or perhaps based on a work in the public domain, or based on a pre-existing work. If the latter, the work will need to be…


Press Kits to Die for


Press kits are promotional booklets for a film to be submitted to the festival with your entry form, or upon their request. It’s like a sales brochure promoting and informing people about your project. This can be done as a traditional hard copy press kit, or an electronic press kit (also known as an EPK),…

Photo by Tax Credit

How to Approach a Film Budget


I always make at least a simple budget to forecast expected expenses, no matter what size the project is. The more complicated the project, the greater the detail I put into the budget. This also helps tremendously when you are working with a partner or outside funding source. All parties can then see what needs…

Photo by Kevin Dooley

Can I have a dollar…or $50,000?


When you approach someone to invest in your film, you are really asking them to invest in you. Of course they should feel great about the project, and they will note that you somehow persuaded a known actor to play your lead, but ultimately it’s about whether they are convinced that you are the one…


Filmmakers & Financing – Why Bother with a Business Plan?


WHY BOTHER WITH A BUSINESS PLAN? Art Versus Profit Lately, this topic has been in heated discussions on social networking and entertainment industry sites. Such activity is often the result of any film festival or market. At the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival, James Stern, CEO of Endgame, stated three rules when making a film:…


What Does a TV Producer Really Do?


The definition of a producer: An idealist, a realist, a practical dreamer, a sophisticated gambler, and a stage-struck child. – Oscar Hammerstein THE PRODUCER’S DOMAIN Television has affected—and reflected—the culture of global communications for over a half-century. And now, the explosion of new media is demonstrating a similar impact, as it bursts onto the scene…


Rent-a-Distributor: When a Producer Rises to Studio-Like Clout


The rent-a-distributor model is rarely used and limited to producers with enough of a checkbook and a track record that they can pay for production costs and bargain for reduced distribution fees. The most famous example of this model is Lucasfilm’s deal with 20th Century Fox for the three Star Wars prequels, The Phantom Menace,…

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about MasteringFilm

MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Routledge authors and industry experts, features tips, advice, articles, video tutorials, interviews, and other resources for aspiring and current filmmakers. No matter what your filmmaking interest is, including directing, screenwriting, postproduction, cinematography, producing, or the film business, MasteringFilm has you covered. You’ll learn from professionals at the forefront of filmmaking, allowing you to take your skills to the next level.