SELECTED WRITING

Learn how to build a film prospectus that will have your investors asking "where do I sign?"

We've all heard that magical story of the prodigious young director whose short film festival premiere lands them an enthusiastic pre-sale from the day's hottest distributor. While we all dream of that scenario, it's likely that financing will not always be so easy. In the seemingly endless search for capital, a little business sense can go a long way. 

When pitching to private equity investors, there's no question that the quality of your script is the most important thing. However, a strong prospectus is a crucial component that many first-time filmmakers don't have as firm a grasp on. In fact, a well researched, comprehensive prospectus—or business plan—can be the deciding factor in securing the funding for your next feature.

You've got potential investors to agree to a meeting, you've pitched your film. What comes next? Follow up with a detailed prospectus that complements and expands upon your pitch. If all goes well, the next step is answering the question, "where do I sign?"

Writing out your business plan can also be extremely helpful for you in synthesizing exactly how your film will get made. A good prospectus necessitates an understanding of where your project exists in the larger context of the industry. It can be so easy to get caught up in your "vision" and only consider your film in a bubble. But writing out your strategies and intent will force that bubble to pop, in a good way. 

Below are 10 important tips to writing the perfect prospectus.....[click for more]

 


PROFILE OF Indie Rocker Emily Danger

It’s one of the first truly miserable nights of fall. Rain washes the streets with the swamp-like odor of Manhattan’s Chinatown, pedestrians assert their umbrellas and tighten their peacoats, and the only happy people in sight are those in line for The Slipper Room. Eager CMJ concertgoers pour, wet and shivering, into the modest venue entrance on Orchard Street. Upstairs awaits a lush burlesque hall with floor-to-ceiling red velvet curtains and gold-painted mahogany woodwork. We huddle together and clutch our drinks as the lights go down. A drum-beat kicks, a synthesizer swells, and a woman stands center stage wearing an animal-print muumuu of pink silk and a necklace made of bones; into the microphone she shouts, “We’re Emily Danger and it’s my goddamn birthday!”.....[click for more]

NOTE: Originally published with CRETUS Magazine


INTERVIEW: ‘PARTISAN’ DIRECTOR ARIEL KLEIMAN DISCUSSES “THE MAKINGS OF AN INCREDIBLY GRAND TRAGEDY”

Ariel Kleiman is an Australian filmmaker whose short films have won prizes at both Sundance and Cannes. His feature debut, Partisan, starring Vincent Cassel, is a richly textured, deeply chilling story of a child assassin who dares to question his circumstances. Kleiman’s voice is steady and powerful-a rare trait in first features. We recently sat down to talk to him about his experiences making the film.... [click for more]


Review: White God

Kornél Mundruczó pushes surrealist parable to the nth degree with White God. A simple story of a girl and her lost dog, Hagen, rises to a Dantean fever pitch when Hagen is mercilessly abused and eventually assembles a battalion of rejected dogs to exact revenge on the humans who tossed them out. The film is set in Hungary where the government has strict rules against "mixed-breed" dogs. 13-year-old Lili (Zsófia Psotta) struggles with her father in a heart-wrenching performance as he throws Hagen to the side of the road and refuses to go back. While Psotta does a wonderful job, the true star power in White God comes from the dogs, particularly Luke and Body who together play the soulful and heroic chestnut-mut lead....[click for more]


TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW: THE WOLFPACK

“Sometimes we would go out 9 times in a year, sometimes once, and in one particular year, we didn’t leave the apartment at all,” explains Govinda Angulo, “our father was the only one with keys.” Director Crystal Moselle felt a documentarian’s itch right away when she saw the six Angulo brothers on a LES sidewalk in 2010, and quickly befriended them. It just so happened to have been their first week of claimed freedom; freedom to socialize and explore outside of the apartment in which they had spent the first 15-20 years of their lives....[click for more]

 


Reviews: 17th Annual Animation Show of Shows

The Annual Animation Show of Shows is the place to find the best, most acclaimed animated shorts of the year and it often includes at least one of the year's Oscar nominees. The show will screen in Los Angeles at Arclight Cinema Hollywood from September 24-October 1 and in other parts of the country in the upcoming months.  Here is a rundown of this year's shorts, our favorites, and which filmmakers you should keep an eye on....[click for more]


Interview: Drugs and Motherhood with Gregory Kohn and Eléonore Hendricks of ‘Come Down Molly’

Meeting with the director and lead actress of Come Down Molly is a delight. When I arrive in the interview space, director Gregory Kohn sits in the waiting room with everyone else, watching a Naomi Watts film. As we wait, he tells me about the experience of premiering the film and about his generally “pessimistic but in a positive way” attitude towards life. “Like Camus.” “Exactly,” he says, “The Stranger was actually my favorite book for a long time.”....[click for more]


Perfect Nonsense: Harmony Korine and the Uncanny Valley

I am one of the many many fans eagerly awaiting the March release of Harmony Korine’s new film, Spring Breakers. In anticipation, and as a long time admirer, I decided to jot down some thoughts on his previous works. [beware spoilers]

In the field of 3D animation and robotics, there is something called the “uncanny valley” hypothesis. It states that as an animated figure or robot becomes more and more life-like the human response is increasingly empathetic. Until, that is, a certain point where the figure is almost but not perfectly human. Here, the response turns to revulsion. This point is called the valley, or drop off. Accidental prodigy and bad-boy visionary Harmony Korine seems to elicit the same sort of revulsion with his films....[click for more]


Blue is the Warmest Color: Sexuality, Cinema, & Forget About Sochi

I’ve just returned from seeing Blue is the Warmest Color for the second time. Before my first viewing, I was not aware of the enormous controversy that surrounds the film nor had I received word of its extremely explicit sex scenes — I had only heard from a friend that it was the most honest movie they had seen in years. And it is. I don’t believe that I have ever seen a film that expresses the complexity and raw emotion of first love as successfully. But it’s not the writing that’s causing a stir, it’s the sex, and I have to admit that it’s hard to ignore. Tonight, I saw it with my mother, and sitting together through the nearly 20 minutes (all told) of uncensored, unscored, uncropped lovemaking was a little hard to handle.....[click for more]


I AM WONDERING HOW TO MAKE GOOD ART

Let me begin by saying that I have nothing figured out. Really. Nothing. Someone threw a cigarette at me today, so let that serve as an example of how successful I am right now. But I am a person trying to be an artist, and when you’re trying to be an artist, your observations, thoughts and feelings are all you really have. So I’m going to explore some of those things here; primarily those thoughts about how to make good art and some about how to make a good life (note: I am aspiring towards both)....[click for more]


For more, see my personal blog and my Stagebuddy author page.