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.

FilmBudget.com Studios

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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Where I provide timely, up-to-date critical film and television industry information curated from around the world for the benefit of my followers. I welcome your input as well.

Why it is Critical to Obtain a Professional Film Budget & Why Whom Creates Your Film Budget Matters As a Reflection Upon Yourself the Filmmaker & Your Team

Why it is Critical to Obtain a Professional Film Budget and Why Whom Creates Your Film Budget Matters As a Reflection Upon Yourself the Filmmaker & Your Team

Your movie budget is a reflection on you, the filmmaker and your team. A professional film budget is critical to obtaining film finance, production and distribution for your film.

In the world of film finance and movie production the figures are more significant then ever. The details and reliability of the figures created in your movie budget by a veteran line producer are critical to the success of the film you are setting out to make.

What is often not appreciated is the compounding nature of those numbers which can lead to make the financing elements largely in error.

film budget movie stars

As the basis for the funding equation which goes into the packaging of the equity, pre-sales, debt and gap financing elements to finance your film, your movie budget is enormously important in that it be accurate and all inclusive.

Likewise the quality of the line producer’s credentials, associations and experience a filmmaker chooses to engage to create their budget lends significant value to your film stature, finance plan and the funding package overall.

The importance of having a film budget and schedule created for your screenplay for potential buyers is widely known and accepted in sophisticated film finance circles. So much so, that it is the first question asked when a project is submitted: “can you send us your budget?”

FilmBudget.com is the international leader in worldwide film budget and schedule production services, and creates accurate and proven film budgets for filmmakers.

FilmBudget.com

The benefits leading to your script being picked up by someone having already been budgeted and scheduled, the advantages are numerous. For one, putting forth the effort to create a film budget and shooting schedule for your film production immediately sets your script ahead of the ones whom have not taken this key step.

Knowing the cost of producing a film is critical to obtaining financing and distribution. Being able to articulate to an interested party how much funding will be required to produce a film enables them to make multiple decisions which they would not necessarily be bothered nor able to entertain with a screenplay alone, for which one presumes they might receive literally thousands.

Additionally, this effort and resourcefullness demonstrates initiative on the part of the writer/producer/director to ascertain the fundamental fact of the film production: the cost to produce the film.

Further to this point, knowing the cost of the film production overall and where it will be shot, aids in determining what film tax incentive amount the filmmakers might expect to receive from local government institutions, funds, grants, etc. Knowing the budget of the film enables a buyer to be able anticipate what type of foreign sales (advances) they might be able to expect as well.

This all leads to potential purchasers to able to figure what amount of equity, or hard cash, will then be required on their part, or their financiers, to proceed to produce the film.

So knowing your cost of production sets you and your film apart from others submitting only a screenplay, as one which has made the effort to enable the key factors required to make an informed decision. It also conveys your commitment to getting the film made and willingness to  have an understanding of the process of filmmaking, for the budget and schedule is a roadmap to the production.

It is a reflection upon you and your team that you have undertaken to understand how the film will be made by having a professional film budget and schedule created for you by a veteran line producer, for what you will then have, a package, not just a screenplay, to present and they, to investors and financiers.

Contact FilmBudget.com to obtain an immediate quote on our services, which include a finance and camera ready film budget and schedule package, film finance plans and film tax credit analysis and production consulting.

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FilmBudget.com | Worldwide Movie Budget Expert | The Location Manager

 

 

Producer Jack Binder, filmbudget.com founder, takes a look at the role of the location manager and its impact on the production and the movie budget for motion pictures and television programming.

 

The Location Manager is an extremely critical crew member on a feature film and television show production.  As a lead member and department head the location manager has a great deal of responsibility to the project that he or she is engaged upon.  Generally the location manager is hired and brought on at a very early stage in the preparation of a movie or tv program in order to assist the producer and director at the earliest point in time.

 

The responsibilities of the locations department, for which the manager is the Department Head,  HOD or Head of Department (as referred to in international productions) include working with the producer and director to determine what is required in terms of location filming.  Through meetings with the director, producer(s) and their staff they determine what the script calls for in terms of shooting locations (the places where the filming will occur, or the Set) and with the producer for the movie budget impact the choices will present.

 

Overall responsibilities of the location manager include the following:

 

-determine location requirements

-advise on locales which may be beneficial for setting, film tax credits and natural vistas

-research suggested locations to film the movie

-provide initial options for creative discussion with director

-determination of size of the location department crew members

-analyze costs for preliminary reporting to producer on potential location expenses

-obtain feedback from the director to focus creative vision on the setting for the movie

-confer with producer to ensure locations site rental fees adhere to the overall film budget of the production

-continue research and building location shooting photo library and database

-preliminary contact with location owners to determine possibility of filming at the site as required

-further meetings and presentations with director based on preliminary consultation

-selection of best choices from presented option by director

-obtaining permissions from chosen locations

-reporting to the producer on determined costs for site hire

-secondary contact with location owners to verify costs, any potential scheduling conflicts

-securing of locations (the pencil) temporary hold

-confirmation with the producer and the director

-proceeding to contract for location with the production company

-manage the scheduling of the location in coordination with the First Assistant Director

-manage the preparation of the location with all department heads

-allowance for time and space for the set decoration department

-alllowance for time and space for the grip and lighting departments requirements

-consultation with the Director of Photography for specific needs of camera and lighting for the movie

-consultation with Production Sound Mixer regarding impediments to recording quality audio and dialogue

-oversee the shooting of the production

-load in of crew

-liase with owner(s)

-accomodate neighbors, local businesses

-parking requirements for cast, crew and support vehicles

-lunch room set-up for the catering and diningn of the film crew

-utilization of on-site facilities:  restrooms, support rooms (make-up & hair, production office, etc.)

 Once armed with a directive and knowledge of the needs of the screenplay and the vision of the director, the location manager begins sourcing options for the spots to create the movie setting.  Using their own database and liaising with their colleagues options are compiled.  Through careful review of photographs, videos and online databases as well, places are ranked by favorability and detailed by the area which they are situated in.  By combining these factors with the requirements of the production, suitable places to film are narrowed down.

 

Following a preliminary collating of location photos for presentation to the above the line crew members the location manager will schedule a meeting with the producer and director for review of the options available.  These important sessions yield valuable information for the location manager to narrow down the creative vision of the director.  Likewise they will meet with the producer to ensure that the choices being presented comply with the overall film budget for the movie.  Additionally, the producer will advise if the selections presented fit into the departmental budget for locations.

 

Armed with the creative vision, the film budget parameters and available scope of the locations department budget, the location manager continues to source site for filming and potential crew members to support their responsibilities.

 

Locations crew include:

 

First Assistant Location Manager

 

The Assistant Location Manager is the right hand of the department head.  They likewise have extensive experience in sourcing and securing filming sites for productions.

 

Additional First Assistant Location Manager

 

Second Assistant Location Manager

 

Location Scout(s)

 

 © 2012 Film Budget Inc. / FilmBudget.com

A Quick Overview of the Role of the Producer, Executive Producer & the Line Producer

The question often comes up amongst those interested in the film business about what is the difference between an executive producer, producer, co-producer, line producer, etc.  There is a misunderstanding and certain assumptions about what these different roles entail and the responsibilities as such for each job description.  Filmbudget.com decided to shed some light on the topic.

 

Executive Producer

 

The executive producer is generally regarded as the top of the food chain of producers.  While some think of this title as the person who brings the money and they wouldn’t be incorrect in that assumption.  Quite often the executive producer or EP as it is commonly referred to, brings the financing for the film budget of a production.

 

Likewise an EP may bring the top cast or other talent to the motion picture or television program they are involved with.  A growing tradition over the last two decades has been to grant an executive producer credit to the star’s manager.  While this is frowned about by some, the clout these managers generally have who get this can be deemed advantageous for the production, if not critical for obtaining the desired film star.

 

An executive producer may have optioned the material the movie or tv show is based upon.  Obtaining the underlying rights to content which films are made from is a fundamental method for securing a producer credit and often this is granted as an executive producer position.  For example if they bring the rights to a novel that the film is created upon this would be the “underlying rights” of the production without which it could not get made.

 

There are many permutations of the executive producer credit and to whom it is granted.  Often matters of oversight, financial responsibility, access to distribution, talent and foreign sales can impact who receives the credit.

 

Producer

 

The producer of the film is the ultimate film credit that is sought after by filmmakers (or should be.)  The Produced by credit is the most desirable and most often goes to the producer with the most control or importance on the film.  This could be due to the fact that he or she created the story or initiated the project, either by taking an option on a literary property, an outright purchase or by arranging a studio deal for the writer.

 

The producer credit has long be regarded as being earned by the person who brings the project to ether in its entirety, not merely one element (ie. the script, the financing, etc.)  The producer also has the experience to manage the entire production from inception to delivery to distributors of a final project.

 

Likewise, attending to the film budget and ensuring the the production does not go over budget or over schedule is the responsibility of the producer as well.  Dealing with the day to day problems and situations on the movie set is overseen by the producer working in tandem with the line producer to adequately execute the production.

 

 

Line Producer

 

The line producer is the hands on expert charged with delivering the film into the “can”, or what we call today capturing the data.  Line producers are seasoned unit production managers who have been working on film productions for many years and have moved up the ladder of the production tower.

 

This producer oversees all physical production elements from wardrobe to lighting and transportation to catering.  The line producer is generally the most overall knowledgable person on the team who knows how to put together a film production and prepare it for shooting.  They are trained by experience, learning and the hard lessons of production over many years and films.

 

Creating the film budget is the responsibility of the line producer.  In preparation for film financing, production and distribution the movie budget must be generated by a professional line producer with extensive experience in producing films.

 

 

Unit Production Manager

 

The unit production manager, or UPM, is a Director’s Guild of America (DGA) category designation for those members who are skilled at producing film and television productions from a management point of view.

 

Also known as production managers, the upm’s work with the line producer in managing the motion picture crew, the film budget and the shooting schedule.  By working with heads of departments (HODs) to determine their fiscal requirements and limits the upm ascertains from each the state of their budgets in comparison to the overall movie budget for a production.

 

The unit production manager must also be a liaison between the production and the studio, financiers or production company with regard to physical production.

 

 

While certainly not the most profound and detailed explanation for the roles of the producer on a film production, hopefully this article provides a bit of clarity on these critical elements of the production team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.