Major Hollywood Studio, Independent, HBO, Film Producer, Executive Producer, Line Producer, DGA UPM & Film Finance Executive FilmBudget.com Founder Jack Binder

Major Hollywood Studio, Independent, HBO Producer, Executive Producer, Line Producer, DGA UPM & Film Finance Executive, FilmBudget.com Founder Jack Binder

I began my career producing comedy concerts in Detroit with my brother, then stand-up comedian and now successful Writer/Director of feature films and television, Mike Binder. Following a slew of successful comedy concerts around Michigan, we raised financing to film the concert at the Fisher Theater in Detroit and eventually sold it to HBO with the help of comedian George Carlin.

Moving to Los Angeles, I started from the bottom and worked my way up on several HBO shows including “Robin Williams Live at The Met”, “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “Not Necessarily the News”.

I went to work on ‘Coupe de Ville’ as PA and then Assistant UPM which Mike wrote and was directed by Joe Roth (former Chairman of Twentieth Century Fox & Disney.)

Answering an ad in Variety I became the Assistant to Academy Award Oscar Winning Producer Michael Phillips (‘The Sting’, ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’) rising to Vice President of Creative Affairs for his production company while producing feature films for the film arm of HBO.

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Setting off into independent production I joined back with my brother Mike again Co-Producing ‘Crossing the Bridge’ (Josh Charles, Jason Gedrick, Stephen Baldwin) which was picked-up by Disney’s Touchstone Pictures. There we scored an On-the-Lot deal, engaged to Produce and Mike to direct ‘Indian Summer’ starring Alan Arkin, Diane Lane, Kevin Pollak, Julie Warner, Elizabeth Perkins and Bill Paxton.

Damon Wayans contacted us to make ‘Blankman’ and we moved over to Columbia Pictures to make that film with a $30 million film budget and substantial vfx for the time. (The animated opening title sequence was something we were really happy with – a throwback to the ‘Batman’ tv series opening.) This began a long relationship with Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Following this stage in our career we launched back into the indie film world, raising film finance to fund the comedy film ‘The Sex Monster’ (Mariel Hemingway, Mike Binder), ‘Londinium’ (Colin Firth, Stephen Fry), ‘The Search for John Gissing’ (Alan Rickman, Alan Corduner, Juliet Stevenson). These were all shot in London and began a long term relationship with British film, England and London filmmaking.

Partial Cast of Films Produced by Jack Binder, FilmBudget.com Founder

Partial Cast of Films Produced by Jack Binder, FilmBudget.com Founder

I then Produced and Mike created, wrote and directed ‘The Mind of the Married Man’ (Mike Binder, Sonya Walger, Kate Walsh, Jake Webber, Taylor Nichols) for HBO which ran for two seasons (they balked and then wished to make a third season but we were off back into feature film.)

This lead to our raising film financing for ‘Man About Town’ (Ben Affleck, John Cleese, Rebecca Romijn) and ‘The Upside of Anger’ (Kevin Costner, Joan Allen, Kerri Russell, Even Rachel Wood, Erica Christensen) which New Line Cinema picked-up.

Returning to Sony / Columbia Pictures I Produced ‘Reign Over Me’ starring Adam Sandler in a dramatic role, Don Cheadle, Liv Tyler and Donald Sutherland. The film shot in New York and Los Angeles.

Following this I helped write the Michigan Film Tax Incentive with the Governor of Michigan and the Legislature. I created Michigan Film Production Company and brought films from around the world and the country to shoot in Michigan until the current Governor shut down the program which launched thousands of film careers and the revitalized the industry in Michigan, making the state one of the leaders in US filmmaking for a short period.

Moving on I Executive Produced ‘Tomorrow’ with Martin Scorsese which is in post-production. I continue producing films worldwide with several movies in finance and casting stages at this writing.

I am currently Producing ‘Dionne’ – the story of Dionne Warwick during her period as the voice of Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

I founded FilmBudget.com in the late 90s to assist fellow filmmakers in obtaining film finance by creating a real, accurate film budget and Film Finance Plans to help make my colleagues investor ready. After seeing so many productions fail at the finance level, I determined that having a quality film budget was key to getting the green light so many films require to move into production.

I created the film budget and schedule for all of my movies and have always been on budget and on schedule, working with studio executives and creatives alike to obtain the highest quality at the lowest cost. I put all of this knowledge into every budget I create. Likewise I provide film production consulting services for select filmmakers interested in my experience and expertise in film production, film tax credits, budgeting and film finance plans.

I continue to Produce and consult via my international production company Greentrees Films.

Additionally I am a film finance and production consultant for several companies and individuals, including the former Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers Structured Finance, Omeira Studio Partners (for which I am the Producer Strategic Partner) and Rockwood Financial for which I am a Strategic Film & Entertainment Partner.

Contact me via FilmBudget.com to obtain a quote on services for real film budgeting on your movie or tv series, special or film.

Good luck in filmmaking!

All the best,

Jack

Jack Binder

Producer

Founder of FilmBudget.com

Founder of FilmBudget.com

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What Do Film Financiers & Investors Look for When Deciding What Movie to Finance?

Film Financiers Look For Projects With All Elements In Place

In today’s challenging film finance market investors and financiers have a wide selection of projects to choose from. Invariably they look for ones with all the elements in place that would lead them to choose to invest in a particular film. These elements include an outstanding script, cast, team, finance plan and film budget which must all be first rate.

The Screenplay

Fundamentally, a film must have an amazing screenplay. There is no question that a great film can only be made from a great screenplay. There is no fixing this in post.

The Cast

Secondly, financiers look for an outstanding and marketable cast. The cast must be well known, drivers of international sales, with a known value to the world market for theatrical feature films.

Partial Cast of Films Produced by Jack Binder, FilmBudget.com Founder

Partial Cast of Films Produced by Jack Binder, FilmBudget.com Founder

The Team

Then there is the team. A solid team of experienced individuals, or at least one or two knowledgeable producers onboard who know the ins and outs of production is a critical factor. In order to invest their money to fund a film budget financiers want to know capable people are managing the movie production and can deliver, on budget and on schedule.

The Presentation

All of these elements are presented to the capital source, the financiers, investors, distributors, foreign sales company, agents and others. This presentation is expected to be top notch and reflective of the filmmaker’s understanding of the market, the production and the priority given to responsibility for results.

The Film Finance Business Plan & the Film Budget & Schedule Package

This presentation is the Film Finance Business Plan and the Film Budget & Schedule Package. Extremely important to qualified investors and the above money sources is the detailed and accurate nature of these documents. They are the determinant factor for the team and the project in its value as an investment along with all the other factors. Filmmakers should never skimp on these elements as they only get one shot most often with a source of backing for the movie.

Hire an experienced and knowledgeable line producer and executive producer to create your film budget and your movie finance plan. This work and these documents are a reflection on the filmmakers and the strength of the overall package.

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Jack Binder is an executive producer, producer, line producer and Directors Guild of America Unit Production Manager (DGA UPM) with over 25 years experience as an “on the lot” major studio and independent film producer. Binder formed FILMBUDGET.COM to provide fellow filmmakers the tools to obtain financing with accurate, proven, real film budget and schedule packages. He likewise creates custom, detailed Film Finance Business Plans which are used to finance his and clients productions and convey the true nature of the production, team and potential return to investors.

Contact Jack via info @ filmbudget.com CONTACT    Twitter   Facebook   LinkedIn

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The 5 Steps To Creating a Professional Film Budget for Your Movie | FilmBudget.com Worldwide

5 Steps to Creating a Professional Film Budget for Your Movie

Creating a film budget for a feature film or a television show is a time honored tradition and craft of the Line Producer or Unit Production Manager. Using extensive experience in making films over many years the process draws on skills learned during these years of production and filmmaking.

To create a film or tv budget Line Producers and Production Managers apply their knowledge and process to create a real film budget and schedule which is used by financiers, investor, banks, film tax credit authorities, foreign sales companies and distributors to evaluate and execute the vision of the screenwriter and the director in coordination with the goals of the producer.

Here are the steps undertaken in creating a professional film budget & schedule:

1. Screenplay Reading – Creative Pass

The screenplay or teleplay is read for creative value and consideration first in order to take on the story, characters, dialogue and plot of the script.

The stars involved in productions Produced by Jack Binder

The stars involved in productions Produced by Jack Binder

2. Screenplay Reading – Production Pass

A second reading is undertaken to evaluate the script from a production viewpoint. Attention is paid to the overall elements, setting and style of the work.

3. Screenplay Breakdown

The next step is a complete breakdown of the total production and creative elements in the screenplay which are required to bring the production to life. Key considerations include bringing experience to bear to determine what the budget level for the picture will fall into: big budget major studio, indie film budget, low-budget or micro budget.

Cast – What level of cast does the story and production call for? How many? Will the highest level of stars be required or a variety of talent levels.

Setting/Locations – Using the Setting as a guide, location considerations are analyzed. Are there multiple countries? Multiple cities? Are there a large amount of locations or is the screenplay contained in its requirement?

Set Dressing – Is it Period? Will it require extensive Set Dressing components or will existing decorations be utilized and sufficient to achieve the vision?

Costumes/Wardrobe: Again, Period? Large Cast and various time periods which will affect the scope and amount of wardrobe required?

Special Effects: Are there needs for extensive Practical Effects (SFX)? Stunts? Pyro-technics? Mechanical rigging?

Transportation – Are there specific Transportation requirements? Travel? Picture Vehicles? Animals? to consider?

Post Production – Is the film, movie or television series heavy in VFX and CGI? Where will post production take place?

The list goes on to include all the departments and which are required to fulfill to requirements of the production. These are a few of the many, many considerations and preliminary decisions which must be analyzed during the screenplay breakdown process.

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4. Create the Shooting Schedule

Based upon the Breakdown and the analysis of the screenplay elements a Shooting Schedule is then created. A veteran and seasoned Line Producer or Production Manager will have great experience in creating and delivering productions based upon their Shooting Schedules which they have created over the course of time and which they have consulted and executed with the First Assistant Director and Director of their films.

  • Each day is scheduled according to the scene work balance of the overall schedule.
  • Best practices and knowledge gained over years of experience guide the creation of a realistic and efficient plan for the work to be done.
  • Scene descriptions are included in the Stripboard Shooting Schedule to guide the crew.
  • Character Identifications are included to advise what Cast members are working each day

Using the above information a Cast Schedule can be created indicating the amount and which days the Cast work. Likewise Locations Schedule and all unique equipment (cranes, rigs, steadicam, etc.) days are included in the Master Shooting Schedule.

5. Creating the Film Budget

Once these processes are undertaken we are ready to commence with the actual film budgeting for the movie. With the above information in hand realistic budgets can then be created.

Knowing the scope and scale of the production will guide this step. Is it a big budget requirement, low budget or micro-budget or somewhere in between? Is this a Major Studio movie or an independent film production? These are critical factors in the creation of the budget.

Based upon the Setting and Locations envisioned for the picture then the best production center is chosen to shoot the film. The budget will consider these factors in selecting the ideal location to base the production.

Creative consideration is the top priority: can we shoot what the screenplay calls for in this particular region, country and city?

Production viability is then determined. Is there a sufficient film production crew base at this location? Will crew members need to be transported to this location? Is there adequate production support for equipment, materials and services? Hotels?, etc.

Next, finance consideration is analyzed. Assuming the best location is chosen for the creative and production value, what local film tax credit or production incentive is offered by this geographical area?

Countries worldwide offer film tax credits and incentives to film in their region. U.S. States likewise offer lucrative film tax incentives to draw production dollars and generate economic impact in their locales. Your film financier will most definitely consider and insist upon this as a key factor in choosing a location to shoot the movie or tv program.

Based upon these factors, with the right location chosen to shoot, the costs are then calculated.

What are the local crew rates?

What are the local materials and services needed and how much do they cost?

What are the costs of getting the cast and crew to the location?

All of these decisions are evaluated and the studio or indie film budget process gets down to the nitty-gritty of evaluating the costs of each element involved in the production. Cast fees, location expenses, production crew, logistics, travel, permits, etc. are included.

All productions are unique and each must be analyzed individually. The overriding goal is the create the greatest production value for the most efficient price.

Once these matters are analyzed and included based upon extensive experience the final step is to ensure inclusion of all expenses, including: Completion Bond, Insurance, Contingency, Finance Costs, Union and Guild Health & Pension costs, Cast Perks, etc. to create a realistic budget for the movie production.

While this is a summary of the work and knowledge that goes into the film budget process it is certainly not complete but should give an approximate overview of the process.

Financiers, Producers, investors, government institutions, production companies and sales companies rely on the accuracy of the work of the Line Producer or Production Manager to effectively and precisely understand and present the true cost of bringing the film to the screen. Small errors can compound to create enormous gaps in the overall financing of the film which can seriously impact the completion and delivery to distributors and therefore returns to investors.

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Contact FilmBudget.com to obtain an instant quote on your film for a professional film budget and schedule, film tax credits and production incentives analysis and Film Finance Plans for your production.

Film Budget Inc. has created hundreds of budget and schedule packages for individuals, the Major Hollywood Studios, Mini Majors and independent production companies, financiers, investors and banks in addition to all of those of our own projects.

Jack Binder is Major Studio and Indie Film Producer with over 25 years of experience and the Founder of FilmBudget.com

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Jack has served as an On-the-Lot Producer at The Walt Disney Company and Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures Entertainment) and as the responsible Producer on productions for those Studios as well as New Line Cinema, Lionsgate Films, HBO, Sunlight Productions and many more major and independent film and tv production companies.

Binder’s international film production company is Greentrees Films

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FilmBudget.com Founder & Producer Jack Binder Producer Credits

Producer Credits for Producer Jack Binder Founder of FilmBudget.com & Greentrees Films

Producer Credits for Producer Jack Binder Founder of FilmBudget.com & Greentrees Films

Actress Keri Russell, one of the stars of the new comedic drama film "The Upside of Anger," poses as she arrives for the film''s premiere in Los Angeles, March 3, 2005. The film stars Joan Allen who plays a suburban housewife with four young adult daughters who is left to raise them on her own, but soon falls in love with a neighbor played by Kevin Costner. The film opens in Los Angeles and New York March 11. REUTERS/Fred Prouser PREMIERE

Actress Keri Russell, one of the stars of the new comedic drama film “The Upside of Anger,” poses as she arrives for the film”s premiere in Los Angeles. The film stars Joan Allen who plays a suburban housewife with four young adult daughters who is left to raise them on her own, but soon falls in love with a neighbor played by Kevin Costner. The film opens in Los Angeles and New York March 11. REUTERS/Fred Prouser PREMIERE

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Entertainment, Movie Box Office, and the Film Budget | Film Budget Inc. | Filmbudget.com

A Great Year for Movies

2013 was a great year for movies. You can’t walk down the street anymore without hearing someone arguing with their neighbor over who’s going to win best director. More importantly, people are conversing about films in a way much deeper than just entertainment. While ‘12 Year’s a Slave‘ got people discussing our nation’s painful past, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street‘ and ‘The Great Gatsby‘ showed greed is just as pressing of a topic as it was in the 1920s.

But what about the numbers? After all, it takes money – often a lot of money – to make movies, and without profits there are less films going into production. The good news is people are still going to see movies. In an enlightening inforgraphic form Superscholar.org, the economics behind what they call ‘our obsession’ is broken down in comparatives. The infographic reads,

“Despite claims of piracy hurting profits, movies remain one of the most popular & profitable entertainment venues in the US”

When compared to other entertainment venues, movies are still selling a staggering number of tickets, in addition to having a low average cost by event. For instance, movies sold 1.36 billion tickets and maintained a low average event cost of only $31.84. On the other hand, the NFL sold 17.2 million tickets with $313.52 as the cost of the event. Though, the NFL does charge a much higher price for those 17.2 million tickets, but it only does so for part of the year – 17 weeks not counting playoffs.

movie-theaterA Side Note – These numbers are from 2012. According to The Numbers website, 2013 saw a drop in tickets sold to 1.16 billion, and a revenue of $9.45 billion. But with immense hype for this year’s Oscars, I predict many of 2013s top films continue to make large profits.

The infographic also reveals that while revenues have been historically rising, so have ticket prices. For instance, in 2002 the average ticket price was $5.81, which has grown to $7.96 in 2012. Why are movie ticket prices rising? In terms of exhibition, many theaters are upgrading to a more luxurious experience, including bars, comfortable seats, and the latest sound and projection technology. Also, the onslaught of 3D movies and Blockbusters with gigantic movie budgets tend to force prices up every year.

The Winners

2013 wasn’t an all-time record setting year, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t winners. To name a few,

Iron Man 3 Grossed: $1.22 Billion with a movie budget of $375 million

Despicable Me 2 Grossed: $919 million with a movie budget of (estimated) $76 million

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $840 million with a movie budget of $130 million

Fast & Furious 6 $789 million with a movie budget of (estimated) $160 million

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug $757 Million with a movie budget of $250 million

Iron-Man-3It’s obvious Hollywood loves a good blockbuster, particularly one involving super heroes, but not all are a success. For example, this summer saw some major flops in ‘R.I.P.D’ and ‘The Lone Ranger’, which only grossed $261 million on a film budget of $275 million.

Star Power
The info-graph goes on to show star power is still Hollywood’s greatest draw. With the number one grossing movie of the year, Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. took in $75 million. Surprisingly, Channing Tatum, Hugh Jackman, Mark Wahlberg, and Dwayne Johnson placed higher than Leonardo DiCaprio, who made $39 million.

As for actresses, Angelina Jolie is still at the top with $33 million. Further, with hits such as ‘The Hunger Games’ and ‘American Hustle’, it’s no surprise to find Jennifer Lawrence in the number two spot with $26 million (a number that wouldn’t even place her on the men’s list).

Jennifer-lawrence-Dior-dress-Golden-Globes-2014-deWhether it’s from international sales, higher ticket prices, or star power, the movie business still remains the most lucrative in the entertainment industry. Despite 2013 sales being down, hopes are at an all time high for quality’s sake, as this year’s Oscars is highly anticipated. In other words, you know things are promising when all nine of the candidates for Best Picture are worthy of winning.

Want the latest movie industry news, as well as insights from producer Jack Binder? Follow us on twitter: @FilmBudget  

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BFI London Film Festival 2014 Dates | Film Budget Inc. | Filmbudget.com

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BFI London Film Festival Announces 2014 Dates

It’s never too soon to look ahead in the exciting world of cinema. Coming off a successful 2013 run, London looks to 2014 for a pinnacle year in the festival’s history.  Clare Stewart, chief of LFF, is already working on making London a force for any film interested in a major awards run. The Hollywood Reporter states,

“The fest chief, Clare Stewart, is attending the Berlinale with colleagues Tricia Tuttle, deputy head of festivals, Michael Blyth, festival programmer, and Andrea Bigger, industry manager, as they begin their search for films for this year’s edition.”

57th BFI London Film FestivalFall can’t come soon enough, as the BFI announces this year’s festival will take place the 8-19th of October. As you may recall, last year’s fall erupted with excitement, as incredible film after incredible film picked up steam at Tiff, and other fall festivals, before opening to eager audiences around the world. That’s why LFF believes it can play an even bigger role come autumn. From projects with large movie budgets, to smaller ones with independent film budgets, 2014 promises to showcase a wide range of pictures.

Though October may seem a ways away, submission deadlines are creeping in like a London fog. The deadline for short films (40 minutes or less) is listed for 13th of June, while features (more than 40 minutes) have until the 20th. For more info, including the submission regulations, click here.

bfi-london-film-festivalThe best news, if you’re a UK filmmaker, is that it’s free. As for foreign films, there is a fee, but if you act fast – submit by 5pm, Friday May 5th – it’s only £45.

Stay updated on all the latest LFF news by subscribing to our blog and LIKE our Facebook page.

Have a script, project, etc. you need financed? A professional budget is the first step. Visit our website for more information!

Have a short movie budget question? Tweet us: @FilmBudget

Sundance Follow-Up | Film Budget Inc. | Filmbudget.com

2014 Sundance Film Festival

Another year, another exciting festival. As the catalyst of the independent film world ends, industry insiders, fans, distributors, and, of course, sponsors, brush the snow of their jackets as they now prepare for Europe. So, what’s the condition of the indie-movie world? Is there a new ‘Fruitivale Station’ on the map? Damien Chazelle would certainly like to think so. As his film gave audiences and distributors alike a welcomed ‘whiplash’ of creativity, many other movies followed suit – wrapping up tons of deals. That being said, here’s a rundown of Robert Redford’s brilliant festival.

Park-City-Sundance-2014Damien Chazelle’s Incredible Debut

If you aren’t familiar with the name Damien Chazelle, then you may want to reconsider. His first feature, ‘Whiplash’, just took home the Grand Jury and Top audience awards in the U.S. dramatic competition. The film, about an aspiring jazz drummer, opened the festival with rave reviews. Though a movie about Jazz may seem appealing to only a niche audience, many claim it strikes chord with the human spirit, though be it, a painful one.

“Anyone who’s ever had a high school or college teacher make it a point to manipulate or mess with students’ lives will no doubt have relatable, and possibly painful, memories revived by this vivid portrait of a music school at which the program, run by its star instructor, closely resembles the boot camp presided over by R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket.” – Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

The top two prizes weren’t the only thing the Film took away from Sundance. After its successful debut, ‘Whiplash’, made with an indie movie budget of $3.3 Million, was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics. The deal included the rights for North America, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand.

Whiplash-2014-3Based on a Damien Chazelle’s own short film by the same name, ‘Whiplash’ delves deep into the struggles of an artists, and lets his stellar cast come alive. The stand out performances by J. K. Simmons and Miles Teller are what made this film a favorite. For instance, in a review on The Daily Beast, Marlow Stern claims, “In the case of Chazelle’s film, it’s best to throw logic out the door and give in to the riveting performances and compelling underdog story.” It should be interesting to see if Damien’s talented directorship, and the casts’ brilliant performances, are enough to sell jazz to major audiences.

Other Winners

‘Rich Hill,’ a documentary about a family from Missouri hit hard by poor financial times, took home Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary. The film was directed by Tracy Droz Tragos & Andrew Droz Palermo.

Upstart Brooklyn Media company, Vice Media, made waves at the festival with its film ‘Fishing Without Nets.’ The director of the Somali Highjacking movie, Cutter Hodierne, won the directing award in U.S. Dramatic.

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Collecting the World Cinema dramatic grand jury prize was director Alejandro Fernandez Almendras’ ‘To Kill a Man.’ As for world cinema documentary grand jury prize went to Talal Derki’s tale about a soccer star and activist – ‘Return to Homs.’

A final thought, an article in the LA Times on  Sundance Winners claims success at Sundance, particularly in the awards department, does not always spell box-office gold. The article mentioned past winners, ‘Fruitival Station’ and ‘Beast of the Southern Wild,’ as being large critical hits, while only creating minor stirs at the box office.

Other Notable Sales

Focus Features: Zach Braff’s ‘Wish I Was Here’ sells for $2.75 million despite its flat reception and “stale jokes.” The film was made on a movie budget of $3.1 million, raised on Kickstarter.

‘Happy Christmas’, starring Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick sells to Magnolia and Paramount. According to TheWrap.com, “Under the pact, Magnolia Pictures is handling U.S. theatrical and VOD distribution, while Paramount Home Media Distribution will manage U.S. physical home entertainment and all international rights. Magnolia is planning a summer 2014 release.”

‘Dinosaur 13’ – CNN Films and Lionsgate purchased this documentary about a lost T Rex Skeleton. The deal was for $1 million dollars, what Daniel Miller of the LA Times called, “a robust price for a festival documentary.”

‘Laggies’ – A much talked about performance by the lovely Keira Knightley sells this film’s North American rights to A24 for $2 million.

Parties and Events

“An Artist at the Table” held at the stein Erikson Lodge, saw a  320-person dinner of donors, celebrities, and board members. In attendance was Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul, promoting his new film “Hellion”

AATTBlog_3Grey Goose was the sponsor of choice for premiere parties, playing host to “Wish I were Here” and “Laggies” events.

Amongst the many film parties, tailgaters for the NFL playoffs, including the cast of ‘Cooties,’ cheered on their favorite teams.

A more interesting celebration was for Perri Peltz and Geeta Gandbhir’s new documentary ‘Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro Sr.’ The doc captures the life of legendary actor Robert De Niro’s father, who was a figurative painter. Bradley Cooper and De Niro were in attendance.

Corporate sponsors, including SoulCycle and Eddie Bauer, offered a chance for fitness between the eating and drinking. It wasn’t uncommon to see a celebrity taking on the Eddie Bauer Adventure House’s rock climbing wall.

Crowd-funding the Future of Indie Cinema

445510006_640Zach Braff wasn’t the only product of Kickstarter and Indiegogo. In The Hollywood Reporter’s Sundance Trend: Kickstarting the Homestretch the struggle for up-and-coming filmmakers wasn’t just getting into the festival, it was finishing their project in time for Sundance. Many films, including ‘The Foxy Merkins’, relied on crowd funding to cover expensive post-production costs in order to complete their films. “Twenty selections for this year’s festival raised money on Kickstarter, the largest number to date.” – Chris O’Falt. Crowd-funding is the more attractive alternative to bringing in another equity investor. It seems movies made on an indie film budget are getting back to the roots of what being independent is all about.

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Berlin International Film Festival | Film Budget Inc. | Filmbudget.com

Berlinale: 64th Berlin International Film Festival

As the 2014 movie season kicks off in Park City, Utah, exciting things promise to continue as Berlin hosts its 64th International Film festival shortly after. Always an international hub for the arts and culture, the historic German city is set to draw much attention this year. With big names premiering even bigger movies, cinema fans will find much to discover and discuss. As any high-profile festival should, Berlin will screen films spanning all genres, languages, and movie budgets. In addition to the films themselves, the European Film Market and Co-Production Market are guaranteed to generate many exciting deals.

Berlinale-film-festivalWhere: Berlin, Germany.

When: 6th (Thursday) – 16th (Sunday) February, 2014.

Venues: This year’s venues are yet to be announced. Last year’s festival’s events took place at the Marriott Hotel, MGB, Gropius Mirror Restaurant; movie screenings were held at Cinema Arsenal, Cubix, Colosseum, just to name a few.

Where to Stay: According to the official website, the festival has partnered with local hotels to offer a limited number of rooms to accredited professionals. These hotels range from one to five stars, which can be viewed here. Prices vary amongst the hotels; for instance, five-star hotel Hilton Berlin can be upwards of $500 a night (for a king guestroom). Other partner hotels include:

Hotel ADLON Kempinski (*****)

Crown Plaza Berlin City Centre (****)

Hotel Gat Point Charlie (***)

Motel One Berlin Tiergarten (**)

 

Tickets: As usual, tickets will be available through the festival’s website, as well as box/ticket offices. Advanced ticket sales will begin one week after the official programme is published at the end of January.

Special Presentations: With a goal to “open up new perspectives” on how film and other creative disciplines intersect, the festival has two special presentations planned. These include, “Berlinale Goes Kiez” and “Native – A Journey Into Indigenous Cinema.”

Awards: Films will be competing for a slew of amazing prizes and honors. Selected by a prestigious international jury, Silver bear awards will be presented for best director, actor, actress, outstanding artistic contribution, script, and the jury grand prix, as well as the illustrious Golden bear for best film. Romanian film Child’s Pose, made with an indie movie budget of only 850,000 euros, took home the award last year.

George Clooney headlines High Profile Debuts

George Clooney’s first project in the director’s chair since The Ides of March, The Monuments Men has officially announced it will make its international debut in Berlin. The film, starring Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, and many others, tells the story of a motley crew platoon that must go behind enemy lines to rescue stolen works of art.

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The universe seems to be in Clooney’s favor these days, as a coincidental nazi-art loot discovered in Munich times nicely with the release of the film. The Wall Street Journal reports Sony Pictures Spokesman Steve Elzer as saying “You could not ask for a more timely, topical or relevant discovery that corresponds to the events depicted in our upcoming film.” With a film budget of $70 to $80 million, a successful Berlin debut will play a large part in the movie turning a profit.

A Grand Opening

Internationally admired auteur Wes Anderson will open the festival with his latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel. Causing much buzz with its trailer, the film seems to posses the same likable qualities of Anderson’s previous films, making it a smart choice as the opener. According to ropeofsilicon.com, the movie recently received an R rating, suggesting it is more mature than his previous film, the light-hearted Moonrise Kingdom. The rating shouldn’t signal any box-office troubles, since his previous R-Rated films, such as The Royal Tenenbaums, grossed over $71 million internationally on a movie budget of $21 Million. This is the first of Anderson’s films solely written by himself, utilizing collaborations with Roman Coppola and Owen Wilson in the past.

the-grand-budapest-hotel-owen-wilson-636-380European Film Market

In addition to the festival, Berlin will also host an international film market. Similar to the AFM, the European Film Market will work as the business center of the festival; allowing producers, distributors, and other professionals to network and make deals. The official page describes it, “as a barometer for the upcoming year in film.” The market will take place at the Martin-Gropius-Bau renaissance hall. Projects with large and small film budgets will be given equal opportunity to pitch their movies to industry elites. In addition to the Film market, a co-production market will take place from the ninth to the eleventh. According to the website, “The Berlinale Co-Production Market is a two-and-a-half-day event for about 450 international producers, sales agents, distributors as well as broadcasting and funding representatives active in the field of co-production.”

Berlin World Premieres

With such classics as Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959) and Last Year at Marienbad (1961) on his resume, it’s no surprise Berlin is excited to have the french director Alain Resnais’ new film as part of its official selection. The new film titled Aimer, Boire et Chanter, starring Sandrine Kiberlain, marks the french director’s fiftieth director credit, according to IMDB, and will have its world premiere in Berlin.

Other exciting Berlinale news includes, the world premieres of director Yann Demange’s ’71, starring Jack O’ Connell, Yannis Economides’ Stratos (an international co-production between Greece, Germany, and Cyprus), German Dominik Graf‘s Die geliebten Schwestern, and Claudia Llosa’s Aloft, starring Jennifer Connelly. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Aloft is the Peruvian director’s English-Language debut. Her second feature, The Milk of Sorrow, won the Golden Bear back in 2009.

Outside of the competition, Pascal Chaumeil’s A Long Way Down, starring Pierce Brosnan and Aaron Paul, will make its world premiere. The film, an adaptation of Nick Hornby’s novel, is about four people forming a surrogate family in order to deal with their own personal problems.

Screen Shot 2013-12-17 at 10.29.25 AMAustralia’s The Turning, a collection of short films based on stories by Tim Winston, will also have a special screening. The movie has eighteen director credits including, Tony Ayres, Jub Clerc, and Ian Meadows. With an incredible cast, starring Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, and Rose Byrne, the omnibus film is sure to cause a buzz at the festival.

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Toronto International Film Festival 2013 | Film Budget Inc. | filmbudget.com

 Compiled by:   FilmBudget.com  – the global leader in worldwide film budget and schedule production services for the motion picture industry. By Jack Binder

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Toronto International Film Festival | TIFF 2013

As any good Indie/Holllywood filmmaker should know, the Toronto International Film Festival is an incredibly important event in the world of cinema. As the summer blockbusters wind down, TIFF works as a solid launching pad for fall release, big budget and independent alike. If successful, good press garnered at TIFF vitalizes a film’s momentum into awards season. Here’s a preview/guide to TIFF 2013.

 

When: Sept. 5th– 13th  2013 (Thursday through following Friday)

Registration: Visit TIFF’s official website to learn more about specific passes (Industry Pass, Conference Pass, etc.). Early Bird registration ends June 12.

Where: Toronto, Ontario Canada.

Toronto Film Festival Map - Film Budget Inc.

For a great interactive map of the ten venues, check out the Locations tab on the TIFF website.

Don’t go in unprepared! Here’s a great list of 51 Hot Spots come September:

http://www.torontolife.com/51-must-know-tiff-hotspots/

 

Programmes: From mainstream movies such as Looper (Director: Rian Johnson) to independent/art cinema, Laurence Anyways (Director: Xavier Dolan), 2012 saw some incredible films. With just announced film Visitors by renowned Koyaanisqatsi director Godfrey Reggio, featuring a score by Philip Glass, 2013 promises to be no different. Also, notable directors and actors such as Paul Thomas Anderson and Ryan Gosling have new projects in production; it should be interesting to see what is ready in time for the festival.

How are they chosen? This year, the eighteen programmers that chose the films represent six continents.

Awards: Last year ten films received awards, including Silver Linings Playbook (Directed by David O. Russell) that won BlackBerry People’s Choice Award.

17 Progammes: Seventeen different programmes will make up the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

TIFF Programs - Film Budget Inc

Read: http://tiff.net/thefestival/filmprogramming/programmes to see the other nine programmes.

Can’t stand the wait? Luckily, TIFF offers year round events and screenings. If you find yourself in Toronto before September, make sure you allow some time to see a film from their summer series A Century of Chinese Cinema with many films including a special introduction. In addition, many other films are released or screened through tiff. all summer long.

toronto film festival

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Produced By Conference 2012

The Produced By Conference 2012 kicks of this weekend June 8-10 at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, CA

When:  Friday June 8, 2012 Kickoff Pre-Event

Where:   Sony Pictures Entertainment 10202 W. Washington Blvd.  Culvery City, CA 90232    Click here for a Map

Moving over from the Walt Disney Studios lot in Burbank to the westside lot of Columbia Pictures, Tristar Pictures and all the Sony Pictures Entertainment divisions (the famed MGM studios) the conference has grown to be the largest collection of film producers under one roof.   The weekend boasts the biggest name producers and studio executives.

Last years event attracted 1200 participants  The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is a major supporter this time out.

Speakers and panelists for the Produced By event, which is put on by the PGA (Producers Guild of America) include:

Produced By Conference 2012

Nina Jacobson (‘Hunger Games’)

Brian Grazer (‘A Beautiful Mind’, ‘Apollo 13’)

Graham King (‘Hugo’, ‘The Aviator’)

Mark Cuban (Partner ASX TV

Michael Burns (Vice Chairman, Lionsgate)

Michael De Luca (‘Moneyball’)

Lorenzo di Bonaventura

 

Mentor sessions included small groups with such high profile producers, directors and executives as:  Tim Shey (Youtube), Tracy Edmonds, Mark Gordon (Criminal Minds), Michael Shamberg, Jason Katims and many more.

Speakers also include:  Chris Nolan, Emma Thomas, Doug Wick, Shonda Rhimes, Walter Parkes and Chris McGurk

 

Nina Jacobson

 

Emma Thomas

Michael De Luca

Tracey Edmonds

James Cameron @ 2009 Produced By Conference

 

Topics will include the challenges of global film production, growing a new film company, creating tentpole movies, working within your film budget and getting independent films made.   A conversation with Chris Nolan will draw the Batman fans as well as big budget minded producers and directors.   The event is a major networking opportunity to rub elbows and actually have conversations and pitches with the movers and shakers in the film and television industry.

 

Visit the Produced By Conference website

 

Video Highlights from last years Produced By Conference

Produced By Conference video highlights from last year

 

Additional sponsors of the esteemed event include: Entertainment Partners, Quebec Film & Television Council, Raleigh Studios, Cinedigm, Dreamworks, Hulu,Youtube and Kodak.

 

the international leader in worldwide film budget services

FilmBudget.com | Film Budget Inc.

How Do I Make My Movie? Do I Need a Movie Budget For Film Financing?

 

 

How Do I Make My Movie?  I think one of the most common questions any filmmaker would ask is “how do I make my movie”?  As a seasoned film producer I can only imagine the immense frustration of a novice movie producer contemplating this question.

 

Even with years of experience the question remains the most fundamental.   You would not be alone in wondering what is the pragmatic answer to this complex problem.   Millions and more to come will ponder this question.   As a film producer with twenty-five years of experience I have a unique perspective on this question.

Do I Need a Movie Budget? The key in my opinion is to focus on the obvious.  Money.  We need financing to make our films and finance is the profession which generates the funding.

 

So yes, you need a movie budget.   When we talk about a movie budget or a film budget we are referring to the document detailing the costs.  Often people discuss the budget of a movie in general terms.   When filmmakers talk budgets they are referring to the paper budget in most cases I would think.  The answer is a certain yes of course.

 

  

Without a movie budget at your disposal the filmmaker is at a loss.  Accurate, custom made budgets are what a financier looks at.    Of course they should be real film budget documentation from a professional line producer.

 

So How Do I Make My Film?  Here is the secret sauce:  in order to get your film financed you need money.  In order to obtain money you need a plan.

To have a plan you need a budget and a schedule.

 

With these elements you can get financing for your film.   Most filmmakers do not quite have that clarity.  That is the issue and why I created filmbudget.com to help everyone on this issue.

 

It may seem basic once someone has advised you however the most difficult task is the one contemplated in an apparent absence of understanding of the basic mechanics required to achieve results.

 

My name is Jack Binder and I am a producer of feature films including ‘Reign Over Me’ with Adam Sandler and ‘The Upside of Anger’ with Kevin Costner.

 

I founded Film Budget Inc.  and the website http://filmbudget.com to solve this divide in a fun way that lets me meet a great deal of movie directors, producers, writers, actors, studio executives and creative people of all types worldwide.

 

My budgets are accurate and proven, by myself for the major studios, independent film companies and international film finance providers.   I have been using film tax credits since the early nineties and helped write the Michigan film tax incentive (where I am from although I am based in Los Angeles and operate worldwide.)

 

Please feel free to contact me at http://filmbudget.com/contact.shtml regarding your film production, film budgeting, incentives, film finance plans or if you need a production consultant or advisor for your film or television production.

 

My Producer Credits can be found here

Thank you,

 

Jack Binder

Producer/Founder

FilmBudget.com

 

 

FilmBudget.com