“Getting the money is not the hard part; getting the money BACK is the hard part”
Most first and time filmmakers make the same typical mistakes. Some of these mistakes can be viewed as “learning curves” while others can be classified as career suicide. Despite this many survive to make another film however just as many do not. The two most common mistakes include trying to do too much the first time out and/or not educating oneself on how the financing and distribution aspects work thus ignoring the investors’ point of view. My goal is to educate filmmakers to approach projects from a position of strength and knowledge rather than ignorance and what I call the “Please help me” mindset.
In this day and age where virtually anyone can shoot a movie on their iPhone, edit it on their iMac and self distribute it through platforms such as “Distribber” and “Reelhouse” it would be a gross understatement to say that the independent feature film market has experienced a seismic paradigm shift over the past decade.
Although there once was a time when a writer/producer/director could and would pitch a script or story idea to potential funding source and get a check, those days are essentially over. In this new age, investors are savvier than ever and expect filmmakers to understand the financing and distribution models. Contrary to popular belief, for the most part, investors do not exist in order to help you get your project off the ground or launch your career; they exist to make money!
Therefore, it is your responsibility to present them with a logical, well thought out strategy for not only recouping their investment but to also make a significant profit. I know this sounds like common sense however the truth is, most first and second time filmmakers spend 100% of their time and energy trying to figure out how much they need, how they are going to spend it and where they are going to get it and 0% time trying to figure out how to get it back!
The key to successful film financing is to spend the appropriate amount of time, money and resources properly developing your project into an “Investable” Property not just a great story.
After a decade of successful filmmaking, over 25 film credits and after making a zillion mistakes of his own, Executive Producer Franco Sama will share his wealth of experience, knowledge and expertise with you and will help to put you in the driver’s seat of your own destiny as a filmmaker.
Franco Sama Bio:
Independent feature film producer Franco Sama boasts a remarkable and extensive history in public speaking, public relations and a decade of independent film development, production and financing.
Sama has Executive Produced an impressive array of over twenty (20) independent feature films including most recently, “Guns, Girls and Gambling” starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater and Dane Cook which is quickly becoming a cult favorite; this film was released into theatres on December of 2012 and, in January 2013, acquired a worldwide distribution deal from Universal Pictures Home Video.
Other films Sama has produced include; “Black Limousine” starring David Arquette, Vivica Fox and Bijou Phillips, “Tooth and Nail” starring Michael Madsen and Vinnie Jones, “The Penitent Man,” starring Lance Henriksen and Andrew Keegan and "Paid," starring Corbin Bernsen and Tom Conti.
Sama also serves as Executive Producer on the recent film festival darling “Petunia” starring Thora Birch, Brittany Snow and Academy Award winner Christine Lahti.
Samaco Films released two films in 2015, the first, “The Livingston Gardner” stars James Kyson the beloved “Ando” from the NBC television hit series “HEROS” and the second, “3 Days in Havana” starring Ally McBeal alum, Gil Bellows; both films have been released through Samaco Films’ sister company, Synergetic Distribution and have been released via all digital and Video on Demand (VOD) platforms worldwide.
His shingle “Samaco Films” is currently producing a slate of several independent feature films, including “Bless Me Father” starring John Turturro, Michael Rapaport and Christopher Walken.
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