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Making a Movie is a lot of hard work.   You need money like any other business. And as a Producer, you are trying to get Actors and/or Financing attached to your Project. 

Are you Dealing with?...

Wealthy Investors who have the money, but are wasting your time wanting to tell their friends they are making a film so they can get a young, hot chick who isn't a Call Girl to do It with them.  And then never writing the check. 

Been There...Done That.

Family members and friends who want to help, but who don't have the money to risk or who have zero interest in the Movie Business.

Been There...Done That.

Your girlfriend's father who has the money and says he loves the script and loved the Staged Reading you held with 40 actors with him in mind (which you should have videotaped) and he starts taking action to help in minor ways as long as he doesn't have to give you any money to make the Movie saying he's interested in making your movie and is considering investing and then throws away $350,000 into a bankrupt business, and then has the unbelievable nerve to expect you to take care of his daughter financially and asks you how it's going when everyone else you're speaking to doesn't have a vested interest in her or your combined health and happiness and doesn't realize that for someone to invest in your project they have to have a vested interest or some other emotional reason that feeds into their own ego like having a well known actor attached when the reality is if you had a well known actor attached you wouldn't need their money - a distributor would give you a deal so you could get money from the bank. 

Been There...Done That.

Get the Screenplay to a Distributor who says they love the Screenplay (normally several years after you finished writing it) and will consider moving the project forward IF you come back to them with well known Actors attached to the project, but while they might suggest a couple orally that they are not bound to, they won't give you a letter saying what Actors they will approve of, to give to the Actor's Agent and get the Actor to read the Screenplay knowing that if they say they're interested, the Distributor will do it and they can have their fee at that point.

Been There...Done That.

Agents who tell you to make an offer for the Actor's asking price with money in an escrow account to back your offer before they will even give your screenplay to the Actor so you can know whether the Actor is interested and perhaps in your greatest fantasy get a letter saying that contingent on xy&z the Actor is interested, so you can get a distributor to make the deal with this Actor attached so you can go to the bank for financing and don't have to deal with bullshit independent investors who get some psychic pleasure out of wasting your time.

Been There...Done That.

Get the Yes from an Investor who has the money just to have his lawyer or accountant blow the deal because they had another client who invested in a film deal that went sour 20 years ago not mentioning to the Investor that the people involved with the making of that film had no prior experience while you have tons.


Submit it to the MSRG and get it read and videotaped and put on DVD/VHS where you have a chance that some Celebrity Actors or Excellent Actors who are about to be known and are still affordable are involved in the Reading and all this other marketing going on for you, so you could take it to a Distributor and get the money from a Bank or if you want to make more money take it to some independent investor who can't wait to make a movie with this Actor, so you can make the movie and sell it when it's completed and not keep repeating your mistakes of the past (the ironic thing is that even though this approach works, most people who are in the film business realize that the Actor won't guarantee the picture's success or return on investment once the Movie is released.  It's all about people dealing with years of rejection and needing a well known actor in order to finance your movie so that they can feel better about themselves.  In fact, many independent movies where the actors win Academy Awards later after the movie was made independently could never have attracted one penny for the making of the movie at the time the movie was made.  This includes, Stephen Rea, The Crying Game, Geoffrey Rush, Shine, Sylvester Stallone, Rocky, etc., etc.).

We worked with Brad Pitt on his first leading role before anyone knew him.  Same for James Gandolfini, Ed Burns, Michael Imperioli, Sandra Bullock, Jeremy Northam, Steve Buscemi, Catherine Keener, Vin Diesel, Parker Posey, Bob Balaban, etc. etc.  What if they had done your Reading before they hit and you were still trying to get your Movie Made, but you had them on DVD/VHS which you could submit to a Distributor.  You figure it out.

SUBMIT your optioned screenplay (You've already spent all this time, energy and money developing the movie without getting it made.  At least here, you can show everyone the videotaped reading since no one in Hollywood reads, and if they like it, then great, and if not, you move on without wasting too much time.  You have a better chance of not repeating your past experiences.  OR WOULD YOU RATHER SPEND $20,000 - $90,000 ON A TRAILOR?  You figure it out.)



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Copyright 2001 The Malibu Screenplay Reading Group (MSRG)
Last modified: June 10, 2002