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Entertainment: So you want to get into the movie business...

Recently in the group Independent Filmmakers and Screenwriters, the question was asked about how to get access to agents and actors for their project.  Here is what I wrote...


Back to topic, you may want to try working backwards - start collecting contacts with distributors. This is where your work is going to end up anyhow. There are tons of distributors looking for something to sell. Distributors might point you in the direction of someone willing to be an executive producer. The qualifications to be an executive producer? Knowing where to find the money.

In the past I have been an "angel investor" (don't send requests please - out of that now) and if someone came to me with a great script - nice. Someone came to me with a plan on how I get my money back other than "It'll be a great movie" - well, lets talk more. We all know profitable movies don't need to be great movies - but they might fund and legitimize what you really want to make.

It comes down to money - people who make a living at this are like anyone else - they don't do what they get paid to do - for free. A known actor knows that not only are they delivering a performance to the production, but also lending credibility to the project. They are going to want to get paid for both. They are not going to commit to someone who doesn't have any money.

You don't have to make the whole movie at one time. Put together a trailer and stir up investment.

Put together some webisodes and count viewers as proof of market interest. If people like it, they will forward it around (especially if you ask them to!) It may bootstrap it's self and you could find advertisers to help fund it completely outside of the "apparatus." Pull this off and people might be beating at your door!

Coming to someone with some brass tack bound script in hand isn't as legitimate as someone with a DVD trailer in hand asking "Think you can sell this?" to distributors, "Is this doable" to agents or actors, "Think you can fund this?" to executive producers. Get letters of intent, memorandums of understanding, or discussion sheet if possible. They are not binding, but having one in hand and waving it around might wake someone up enough to pay attention.