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Old 02-26-2015, 12:27 AM   #1
Bizzlefluff
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Where in the Hell Does ANYONE Get $150 Million??

Okay, so I'll admit, I'm pretty new to this whole film making industry. And I've got a rather fundamental question.

All of those HUGE movie productions, with the $100 million+ budgets? Where do they get that???

"Ever heard of Universal? 20th Century Fox? That's where."

Okay. So then, say I've got a screenplay. And I want to direct it. And I don't want it to be some low-end indie thing. I want good actors, good equipment, good sets, etc. Is there ANY way to get one of those major production companies to throw me a couple million?

How do the guys that direct the huge box-office hits get the money? Are they just hired by the studios? Or do the studios give them money in exchange for a profit percentage?

And then say I don't have any reputation. What route should I go then? Private investors, maybe?

... Help.
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:53 AM   #2
Sweetie
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You only want a couple of million? Is that all? Shouldn't be too hard. It's not like that's a lot of money

I'll check under the couch cushion later tonight and get back to you.... /wink
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:13 AM   #3
SkyCopeland
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Yea.... your route is private investors.... I'd pray on Sweetie's couch giving a good turnout.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:22 AM   #4
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizzlefluff View Post
Okay. So then, say I've got a screenplay. And I want to direct it. And I don't want it to be some low-end indie thing. I want good actors, good equipment, good sets, etc. Is there ANY way to get one of those major production companies to throw me a couple million?
Yes. You make a very low budget movie - one of those "low-end indie"
things you don't want to make. It's accepted by one of the top film
festivals. It gets great reviews. You are called "the next big thing in
film". People love it. One of those major prodCo's wants to be in
business with you so a representative asks you, "What is your next
project? Do you have a screenplay?" You show them your screenplay
and they agree to finance it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizzlefluff View Post
How do the guys that direct the huge box-office hits get the money? Are they just hired by the studios? Or do the studios give them money in exchange for a profit percentage?
Some are hired by the studios. They work for a salary. Some work for
a salary and a peofit percentage.

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Originally Posted by Bizzlefluff View Post
And then say I don't have any reputation. What route should I go then? Private investors, maybe?
Yes. It is unlikely a major studio will hire a director with no "reputation"
no track record. Not impossible - unlikely. If the screenplay you have is
excellent and several studios want it bad enough you could use that
interest to leverage a directing job.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:51 AM   #5
SkyCopeland
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Originally Posted by directorik View Post
Yes. It is unlikely a major studio will hire a director with no "reputation"
no track record. Not impossible - unlikely. If the screenplay you have is
excellent and several studios want it bad enough you could use that
interest to leverage a directing job.
Which is how some directors got their job! Darren Bousman sent in a script to the studio that did Saw. They thought of it when thinking they could do a sequel, the original director couldn't return. Thought the script could work if modified to fit the plot of Jigsaw. When approached he would only sell the script if they let him direct it.

Bam. Directing major picture plus the following two sequels.


It's a happy coincidence that will lead you to that circumstance. Don't expect it.
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:08 AM   #6
Sweetie
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I'd pray on Sweetie's couch giving a good turnout.
The result of the couch: Some lint, a part of dinner from a few months back and 2 bucks. I'm ready to invest!
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:52 AM   #7
Blade_Jones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizzlefluff View Post
I'm pretty new to this whole film making industry.
I've got a screenplay. And I want to direct it.
I don't have any reputation.
There's only a zillion people with the same dream as you. No legitimate company or experienced private film investor is gonna give a no name with no experience and no credits that kind of money or anything close. You would need to find some really stupid rich person with money to burn and have to be a great salesman / bullshitter. I would look to shoot something for 250K or less and that's a long-shot trying to find that kind of money. Maybe hang out at some wealthy country clubs and golf courses and start schmoozing!
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:54 AM   #8
Sweetie
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Maybe hang out at some wealthy country clubs and golf courses and start schmoozing!
Wait... I got my 2 bucks... no one's schmoozing me!
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Old 02-26-2015, 10:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizzlefluff View Post
All of those HUGE movie productions, with the $100 million+ budgets? Where do they get that??? "Ever heard of Universal? 20th Century Fox? That's where."
Well that's the simple answer and as with pretty much all over simplified answers the act of oversimplification looses a lot of the truth! In practise the major studios use a wide array of complex financial instruments and structures to fund their blockbusters. They do this to maximise the tax and other financial incentives available in different regions/countries. In practise a major studio may only put up half of the $150m budget out of their own pocket but the percentages vary enormously and sometimes the studio may directly fund very little of the production budget, relying instead on some combination of pre-sales, loans and/or third party investors. The studios use deliberately convoluted financial structures and as far as I'm aware, it's usually not obvious exactly where all the funding has come from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizzlefluff View Post
So then, say I've got a screenplay. And I want to direct it. And I don't want it to be some low-end indie thing. I want good actors, good equipment, good sets, etc. Is there ANY way to get one of those major production companies to throw me a couple million?
Given a sublime screenplay which also provides a good opportunity for low production costs and high returns (IE. The potential for a serious profit) then yes, there is a chance but it's a pretty slim chance with no directing track record and of course those circumstances are extremely rare in the first place. So, not impossible but highly improbable.

There are several potential roads to achieving what you are after but barring essentially a miracle, they are all long roads, IE. Many years or even a decade or more.

G
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Old 02-26-2015, 11:55 AM   #10
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Where in the hell?
Somewhere between 3rd and 4th ring maybe.
Ask Dante, he's been there
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:31 PM   #11
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Ask Neill Blomkamp. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0088955
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Old 02-27-2015, 06:07 AM   #12
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One-on-one time with a studio head and a very eager mouth
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Old 03-22-2015, 09:54 PM   #13
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Studios do not finance individual films, from my limited understanding. They go to film finance companies with a slate of films and get a large block of financing ($100-$500 Million). That way the films "hedge" one another, most lose money, a couple break even and 1-2 hit. In other words, they don't put their eggs in one basket. I almost got a screenplay in one of these "blocks" a couple years ago with 4-5 other films, but there's a million reasons things don't come together. The screenplay needs to be a tentpole to even be considered, and it of course cannot be too original - since the decision-makers are accountants, not filmmakers, they only care what similar films have done. In fact, the first two questions on the application are: Who is the attached talent? and Who is the director? If you can't put Tom Cruise and Steven Speilberg on those lines, no need to apply.
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