Tag Archives: five phases of film

Five Phases of Film: Distribution

The last and final stage of film production: distribution. You have your final product and its time to distribute it! But what does that mean for the producer? The producer wants a return on investment. For that to happen they need to get people to know that the movie exists. A marketing plan from the development stage (usually what you used to sell your movie to investors) should already be in the works by this time.  This should include in depth research of your target audience. Include who are they, where do they watch movies (theatres, DVD’s, online), and when are they most likely to watch this movie (Christmas, Easter). This can help with a lot of decisions such as choosing your optimal release window, or appropriate channel and timing used to distribute your film. For more options on release windows, check out our blog post on distribution. By distributing your movie according to the traits of your target audience, you are guaranteed a greater pick up for the film. This is called audience positioning.

Before the release, it is important to create a buzz around the film. A distributor’s job is very competitive as they fight for audience attention amongst hundreds of other produced movies. Some tactics could include press interviews, merchandise, trailers, and film showings at festivals. A separate print and advertising budget set apart since your pre-production would be handy at this time. This includes copies of the film (prints), distribution of prints, and advertising (radio, press, posters, TV).

Features including unique selling points about your film (be it iconic actors, an editing workshop used in your film, or a behind the scenes clip) can get the audience talking. Remember for things like behind-the-scenes it is important to film during the production phase.  As obvious as that may seem, often once we arrive at distribution we realize our need for footage. Even if it is just for documenting purposes, take pictures of your process and journal any learning moments you may have gained. Impress the audience by keeping things short and entertaining.

As the producer, it is important to stay optimistic and proud of your film no matter what the results are. This is a piece of work that you have been a part of since the beginning. You had your hand in the development stage where money was needed to turn an idea into a script and finally into a movie. You were there in the pre-production making schedules and budgets and hiring professional crews to take the baton. You were present in the production stage making sure that the clips were being processed daily and that the on-set crew was following the schedules and budgets you proposed. You supervised the post-production where the magic of the set became a full-blown movie that you no longer had to envision but is now a tangible product. Finally, you handle the distribution with hope and confidence that once your product is released the audience will see your product as you do; with love and hope that it is all that you want it to be, all that you put your hard work in for no matter what the box office numbers were. Here’s to hoping that your movie meets your expectations through every phase of this long and exciting process, both artistically and financially. Success is yours for the taking.

Five Phases of Film: Development

“This phase begins with an idea, and ends with a check. The point of this phase is to convince the investors the movie can be produced financially and conceptually, and to ultimately receive the green light to Pre-Production.”

This post will explain to the independent producer or writer how to navigate the development process and receive the funding necessary to get your film made.

There are two types of people that enter this phase: the Producer with an idea (who needs a writer), or a writer with a script (who needs a producer); both of whom need to find an investor to on-board the rest of the team and start the rest of the production process.

I’s are important

Interest the investor with an idea. Think of the idea as the eye of the film. Eyes need to have clarity, want to see something aesthetically pleasing, and set the direction for the rest of the body.

Your film idea should have these properties. It is important to have clarity in your idea, make sure it is simple and to the point. Analogies are a great way to pitch to investors. For example, a current movie undergoing the development phase at Princebury Productions & Media is Latin Legends: Round 2. In our pitch deck, we ask our investors to picture our movie as a documentary version of “Remember the Titans” for Latin American boxing. This helps your investor associate it to another successful project and visualize the film in their minds. Clarity.

Aesthetically pleasing. While creating your pitch deck, graphic representations keep your investors attention while showing them visual proof of your past capabilities. It also acts as a leeway into showing them your artistic abilities as a filmmaker. But always make sure your visuals tell your story in a more efficient way than text does. Be creative!

Where the eyes go, the heart goes. Make sure your film has direction. To an investor, your film is another investment opportunity alongside many other start-ups, and you will have to convince them why your project is a better investment. Chance Barnett at Forbes describes in detail how to create a pitch deck for a start-up. After going through 11 basic slides of successful pitch decks, Barnett ends the article with the emphasis that your last slide should be for your ask, or return on investment for your financiers.

“Be sure you know your numbers, your financing, have a timeline for your round, and be clear and direct on your asks” (Barnett, 2014).

Make sure to highlight the strengths of your project. If you have additional documents, such as the script or treatment, make sure to have them ready for investors if they would like more information. Make sure you also bring whatever financial documents you need to make an investment (and have them looked over by a lawyer). Remember your presentation skills and be confident of why you need your funding. If you believe in your idea, others will too.

Next week, we will cover our second phase, pre-production!

Five Phases of Film: Introduction

Production may seem like a breeze, but this seamlessness is strung together by a myriad of operations and over a long period of time. Essentially, it is a lot of work to produce.

Princebury Productions & Media is offering a five-week series, with each week covering one phase of the production process in detail. Apart from learning life long skills in filmmaking, we will offer inside-the-industry tips for you to gain a competitive advantage and stand out like we do.

Here is a quick overview of what we will be covering in the following weeks:

  • Development: This phase begins with an idea, and ends with a check.  The point of this phase is to convince the investors the movie can be produced financially and conceptually, and to ultimately receive the green light.
  • Pre-Production: This period of time is used to prepare everything needed before filming. From budgets to storyboards to cast and crew, this phase lays out a timeline and schedule for the future.
  • Production: Time to film! Take the script from the development, and the schedule from the pre-production and turn it into raw footage.
  • Post-Production: Editing is where the magic happens. This phase is used to put on the final touches of the film, and lock it down before duplicating and distributing.
  • Distribution: Marketing, promotion, interviews, trailers and release dates all happen here; this is where you get to share the final project with the world!

Make sure to tune into our “Five-Phased Fridays” to learn more about the blood, sweat and tears that go into to producing the widely known medium of art today, film.