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#1 Trif Ovidiu

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:47 PM

Hy all :) .

I have some questions relating filmmaking.
We (Moonera) are preparing to shoot our film, at least we are saying so, but before we want to know some critical facts.

We intend to sell our movie, but unfortunately :( we don't know what we are needing to bring our movie to the commercial world, I don't know what might can help, maybe a book :), but what book, maybe something about the business part of filmmaking; any suggestions are welcome.
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#2 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 12:52 AM

Well, OK, first of all EVERYONE is hoping to sell their movie SO let's get a little more specific here, First of all, were are you located and are you looking to get it distributed in your own country (I'm assumong by your name and speech pattern your not in the US, but if you are, we need to know that) and are you near a large city? What kind of movie are you making, who will it appeal to, what's the genra ect ? GENEALLY speaking, films a shown in film festivals or shopped around to various distributors in hopes of making a deal. SURPRINGLY, if direct to video distribution is what you're looking to get, the poster and box cover is more important that content to destributors, a star or name also helps. These are just general rules. There are books out there so just do a search, but they will generally refer to distribution in the US.
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#3 Trif Ovidiu

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Posted 30 May 2007 - 08:32 AM

James Steven Beverly - Thank you :).
I'm living in Madrid, Spain at the moment . I'm not necessary intending to distribute the movie only in Spain.
I want to find what needs to be done in order to publish the film on the big screen, and any help is gladly welcome. I suppose that we need a contract with a distributor, if that's so this questions arise : How can we contact one ? And what do they require to sign a contract?


About the movie, it is called "Bound to War" with an epic story, about a prehistorical time, with many special effects ;).
it appeals to almost everyone as it is about ancient times, with some monsters, gods talking to humans, and as much memorable scenes as possible.
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#4 Trif Ovidiu

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 01:26 PM

Well, as I didn't got any answers, I decided to refine the question a little more, and i come with this one :
How can oneself distribute a movie ?
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#5 Michael Collier

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 03:20 PM

Check out the book 'reel to deal' by dov s. simens. Good book, and will probably give you a great starting point for further research. I got it on amazon for around 10 bucks including shipping (to usa) so you can get it cheap. Its 400 pages, but I found it so interesting and insightful I breazed through it in a night.
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#6 George White

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Posted 31 May 2007 - 10:06 PM

Make a great movie and make sure you get all the rights and authorizations needed from your actors, collaborators and particulary music rights.

You might look at:

"$30 Film School: How to write, direct, produce, shoot, edit, distribute, tour with, and sell your own no-budget DIGITAL movie"
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#7 Chris Durham

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 12:33 PM

Check out the book 'reel to deal' by dov s. simens. Good book, and will probably give you a great starting point for further research. I got it on amazon for around 10 bucks including shipping (to usa) so you can get it cheap. Its 400 pages, but I found it so interesting and insightful I breazed through it in a night.


I agree. Great primer on the economics and finances of making movies. Not everything in any book, forum, class, whatever, will apply to everybody; but this will at least give you some perspective and realistic expectations of the way things work.
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#8 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 06:33 AM

James Steven Beverly - Thank you :).
I'm living in Madrid, Spain at the moment . I'm not necessary intending to distribute the movie only in Spain.
I want to find what needs to be done in order to publish the film on the big screen, and any help is gladly welcome. I suppose that we need a contract with a distributor, if that's so this questions arise : How can we contact one ? And what do they require to sign a contract?
About the movie, it is called "Bound to War" with an epic story, about a prehistorical time, with many special effects ;).
it appeals to almost everyone as it is about ancient times, with some monsters, gods talking to humans, and as much memorable scenes as possible.


Well, it sounds interesting, kinda a sword and sandel thing, could work without a star especially coming from Spain. The European maket eats that s**t up. Troy actually made the bulk of it's money in Europe, not the US. What was it shot on, I'm going to assume MiniDV which will make it hard to sell (again in general terms) because EVERY swingin' d*ck with a video camera is trying to make some shlock they think is Pulp Fiction only shot on mini DV so unless it's REALLY good or there are a LOT of naked girls in it, you got a hell of a road ahead of you pushin' that rock up the hill. IF the production values are good, the effects are good, the script is good, the acting is good, then maybe.... and that's a BIG maybe.

Have you sent this thing out to any film festivals to get some reactions? BEFORE you approch a distributor, it might be a good idea to find out what someone else besides you sister, uncle and cousin think of it. That way you got a chance to re-cut it if there are any slow parts that that sort of thing. And NO it does NOT appeal to almost everyone, NO movie appeals to almost everyone. YOUR movie will appeal to a certain demographic, I would say depending on the amount of violence, langage, sexual content, ect the it would appeal to the 14 to 35 white male demographic which actually is good because that's the highest paying demographic but that's also bad because that's who the big boys are going after as well so you'll have to get noticed when movies with the same production values as 300, Gladiator and Lord of the Rings are playing against yours. If you DID shoot this on DV, have a graphic artist, someone who's GOOD and is being PAID, do you poster and box cover, then figure you're PROBABLY going to end up having to go the straight to video route IF you get someone interested in it at all so shoot for the moon but just be thankful if you get ANY distribution at all. Sorry if it sounds discouraging but I'm not gonna surar coat it for you, distribution is a bitch and aside from money you nrgotiate up front, chances are VERY good you won't see a DIME on the backend. Welcome to the wonderful world of independent film. B) PS you REALLY need to do a LOT more studying and learning about the business because otherwise when you DO go to make a deal, you're gonna lose your ass.
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#9 Trif Ovidiu

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 12:00 PM

PS you REALLY need to do a LOT more studying and learning about the business because otherwise when you DO go to make a deal, you're gonna lose your ass.

Right, you got it B) .

Thanks to the others for suggestions. The books are interesting, I'll order Reel to Deal
James Steven - Actually I'm the VFX editor too. My first passion is VFX ;).

Sorry if it sounds discouraging but I'm not gonna surar coat it for you, distribution is a bitch and aside from money you nrgotiate up front, chances are VERY good you won't see a DIME on the backend. Welcome to the wonderful world of independent film.

This world annoys you ? :P

The movie is just in pre-production :unsure: .

So the most important the is the quality, isn't it ? A good movie means more chances ?

Edited by Trif Ovidiu, 02 June 2007 - 12:01 PM.

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#10 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 12:00 AM

Let me be brutally frank with you, what's most important is LUCK. If the movie god smiles apon you, no matter what you do, it's gonna work out, if he happens to be looking the other way, NOTHING you do will make your movie a hit. BUT those who do good work often find favor with the movie god and he grants his blessings on you in the form of a lucrative movie deal so make the movie for yourself, do the best you can with what you've got and never settle for second best when it comes to your work, but also never forget that this is a business and business is gonna come first with distributors, so make sure your hype is great and THEN make SURE your movie lives up to the hype. B)
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#11 Trif Ovidiu

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 11:37 AM

Looks to me that the first movie does not guarantee any success at all, and that the first thing is to make it, and only then begins the trip of dealing a contract with distributors, Right ?

Edited by Trif Ovidiu, 03 June 2007 - 11:37 AM.

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#12 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 03 June 2007 - 07:17 PM

You got it, Ace. Once you get a track record, you can maybe pre-sell the movie to distributors based on the idea or the script, but that's down the road, the first one YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN unless you manage to sell a script to a studio who puts up the cash, takes most of the profit and pretty much runs the show AND, unless you got an "in" is highly unlikely. If it's any consolation, it's not just your first movie, it's any movie you make. There's an old Hollywood bit of wisdom expressed by Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Goldman, that goes "Nobody knows anything". And it's true. If people in the movie industry knew what was going to be a hit before hand, all they'd make were hits. That's why you gotta make movies for yourself, because there is no way in Heaven or on Earth you can guarantee a hit and in the end your only satisfaction maybe that you made a movie YOU really like.

I saw a doctumentary where I THINK, it was William Freidkin, was relating an expirence he had while taking with some Japanese investors about the movie business and he told them that I think it was like if they made 10 movies over the course of a year, 2 would be certifiable hits, 3 would do modest business, 3 would break even and 2 would be bombs and lose money. One of the Japanese investors put his hand up and asked "Mr. Freidkins-san, why we have to make the bombs?" Well the corperate giants that now own the studios asked the same question which is why we have remake after remake after remake, movies made from popular TV shows, sequiel after sequiel after sequiel, comic book movies and children's fare ALL loaded with the same stars over and over again. It increases the chances of them making a profit, plain and simple. To quote Micheal Corleone from the Godfather, "It's business, Sonny, It's not personal." B)
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Opal