Especially when it comes to creating production value on screen within a limited budget and schedule.
Consider the following Frequently Asked Questions and concerns which have been raised in the past:
It's too hard to get real movie stars involved let alone locate some actors with name value who are reclusive. - No. In the past I've signed two Academy Award nominated actors to a low budget film that I was producing and directing. And have successfully tracked down contact information for actors including reclusive ones. That's my job as a producer. I have numerous contacts and resources.
Won't we have to hire someone to deal with their agents, SAG, and ultimately distributors? - No. Again that's my role as a producer. In the past I've successfully negotiated multiple deals with hollywood agents on behalf on films and had pleasant dealings with SAG (Screen Actors Guild). I've even had to contact the agents and negotiate deal memos over using their client's name in a film that wasn't financed yet- so we could attach a name to it. The Hollywood agent later told me that my presentation and professionalism convinced him to believe in what I was telling in him despite us not having the the full budget at the time and I was upfront with him about that. He usually wouldn't have listened to the pitch. His client ended up with the part after financing was completed. I always have a very good professional relationship with any agents/actors representative that I deal with as I consider them a vital part of our team. I've also dealt with numerous distributors through the years including their contracts so I know their tricks. A lot of filmmakers will be excited to publicize that they sold their film to a distributor. What they won't tell you, it's just the rights they sold and the distributor likely paid zero dollars. A very small minority of films might receive a small token initial payment. They will likely never see a substantial check of any amount as the distributor will play the "we have marketing and duplication costs" card throughout the distribution of the film. Once those costs are made back then you'll make money - you will be told. Only problem is, those costs are never made back. That's not good enough. Self distribution in this digital age is the key where you control 100% of the film's distribution and have oversight control on every $ is the future - and that future is here now.
Who do we get to supervise the duplication/replication process for the DVDs/Blu-rays. - We don't need to. I also supervise the duplication/replication process for the DVDs and/or Blu-rays. I do all the disc mastering in house.
Post Production is very expensive so where do we have to go to do that? -I do all the post production on my films in house. There's not an extra cost from me as director/producer. From editing, special effects, color grading, sound editing down to the final soundtrack mix (I even own a fully certified and licensed Sur Code for the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround encoder to create 5.1 Dolby Surround AC3 tracks via THX certified 5.1 surround speakers)
But I'm certain a large part of our budget is going to have to go for music - No. In the past, I created the music for my films from a variety of tools including a large sound and music library (royalty free), and creating original music from a variety of Synthesizers including a Korg Triton with Moss Board, Sequential Prophet V, Arp 2600, Jupiter 8, Mini Moog V, Yamaha CS-80, and Modular Moog V. If we have a large budget where it's affordable then I'm all for going outside and hiring a name composer.
Certain locations are too hard to obtain permission for filming at such as airports, hospitals. Also we have a location scene filled with 10,000 extras in a stadium that's not CG on a limited budget so we will have to cut it from the script - No. I've done it all before with a total cost to production of $0.00 and the amount of effort to set it up - two phone calls. I have extensive experience as a location manager / location scout including negotiating the dates/times that we are allowed to shoot on a property. Finding the perfect locations is a specialty that I enjoy.
Working with children is too hard - No. Easily worked with over 100 children on a film within child labor laws.
Where do we find a production manager to create a schedule and budget - Don't have to. In the past, I've done it on all of my films.
We may go over Budget and over Schedule - No. In the past, I've always come in under budget and on schedule or ahead of schedule on every film I've made. Plus I always build a contingency amount into each budget for the unexpected.
How much will a casting agent cost us? - Nothing. In the past, I always cast the films myself. I have conducted countless auditions through the years where I interviewed potential actors and actresses. I have a great eye for spotting talent and the perfect actor fit for a character.
Educational: University Of Southern California Film school (with time spent at Universal Studios and Paramount Pictures).
Bachelor Of Arts Degree Mass Communications Degree Television Production)- St. Ambrose University Davenport Iowa
Associate Of Arts Degree (Mass Communications Television Production) - Black Hawk College Moline Illinois
Elected President Of Junior Achievement (J.A.) Television Production Company in High School produced weekly 30 minute variety J.A. television show for three years while in High School at local ABC affiliate TV station including selling commercials for the show and running production of it. During my senior year, I was elected President of the JA company and the production team won Best Production Methods/Company of the year at the Quad Cities JA Awards including a personal award of a National JA Delegate status along with a college scholarship. I also received a personal sales award for the number of TV commercials sold to local
Elected President Of College Fraternity (Phi Theta Kappa - Eta Kappa Chapter).
Filmmaking Production Experience includes over 21 feature films and over 200 short films along with numerous film festival awards and nominations for Produced/Directed films. Produced and Optioned Screenwriter.
- Demonstrated leader with strong organizational, prioritizing, analytical, project tracking, and communication skills (written and verbal)
- Pro-active with the ability to problem solve individually, creatively, or as part of a team quickly and efficiently.
- Aptitude for multi-tasking and work on tight deadlines in a fast paced environment.
- Ability to work with multiple departments in a supervisory and supportive role.
- Demonstrated knowledge and experience in all phases of pre-production, production, post-production, visual effects techniques and terminology along with marketing/distribution of films.
- Knowledge and experience with legal Copyright protection on films.
- Outstanding writing skills, editing skills, and strong visual aesthetic including composition, layout, and lighting.
- Ability to adapt and change quickly with ability to drive innovation and creativity into implementation.
- Ability to inspire and motivate.
- Overseeing logistics and general administrative duties including preparing correspondence, travel arrangements and itineraries.
- Enjoys being part of a successful team while seeing and fostering success across departments through collaboration.
- Able to deal with diverse personalities in a professional atmosphere.
- Supervision of delivering all final elements on time and within budget in a timely manner while maintaining the creative vision and highest quality of work.
- Ability to negotiate and sign above the line and below the line talent including dealing directly with individuals or their
representative / agent / SAG union (previous signings include two Academy Award nominated actors)
- Budget and scheduling (breakdown boards)
- Casting Director and auditioning experience.
- Story Development / Creative Executive.
- Project Coordinator, Associate Director, Assistant Director, Production Manager, location manager and scout, personal
assistant/driver to celebrity, boom operator, Assistant to Sound Department providing production support experience.
- Director, Producer, Line Producer, Development Executive, Creative Executive, Screenwriter, Film Editor (Premiere Pro, Avid, FCP, Edius), Cinematography, Sound mixing, Sound Effects Editor, Visual Effects experience (Lightwave / AE / Maya / Photoshop).
- Digital archiving, logging, and maintenance
- Embraces latest technology with working knowledge and experience.
- Ability to maintain the highest level of confidentiality and discretion.
- Ability to exercise resourcefulness and creativity in selecting methods and techniques for solutions during the production process.
- Ability to identify and navigate the team away from B.S. from several miles away saving budget dollars and time.
I understand the whole picture from development and writing of the script to budgeting / scheduling / casting of gifted actors/actresses through production and into distribution. I have you covered with integrity, professionalism, and efficiency while clearly communicating the goals of the film to every member of the talented production team as well as to the wonderful people who will be assisting us in the communities we film in. I fully understand each step in the process of making a film and embrace the latest technology to bring the creative vision to the screen. A passion for creativity and innovation built on trusted experience. I'm not someone who will tell you what you want to hear, but what you need to hear on any given day. My last film which I produced and directed with a talented cast and crew was even nominated for the Home Video Industry's highest honor "Best Direct To Video Title Of The Year" (Celebrity judge legendary Filmmaker Roger Corman).
As the executive producer, if you are in search of a professional filmmaker (director and producer) to create your independent film, please get in touch with me through the contact form below. We can begin to discuss your film, large or small, so we can get it into production. My last film was shot in the Pittsburgh PA area and my next few films will be made in Iowa and Illinois. Let's collaborate, create the best team possible, and have fun in telling a unique story on screen while making a piece of history. Hope to see you on set soon!
It's not something I do as a hobby on the weekend or as a side job or in between making commercials. Motion Picture Production is something I do every day as a professional. I have a large tool box of experience so you won't have to hire multiple people to do several jobs which is a enormous savings. If I'm producing and directing then I'm also the cinematographer and film editor. I have a lifetime of film production experience. Even after completion of our films, I will continue to look after them by monitoring the copyright and supervising legal action when appropriate for Copyright Infringement / Intellectual Property Theft. I do everything within my power to protect the hard work of the cast and crew as well as your interest in the film. If you have spoken to others or looked at their filmmaking web sites, that commitment is something you will rarely find or see listed as sadly most will not attempt to protect their work, which is your work, on independent films. And they certainly lack the real world experience to do so. Even worse, many don't even consider the possibility. As a filmmaker, I'm one of the few who have taken the time and effort to successfully pursue such lawsuits in the courts.
With over 30 years of filmmaking experience, I've been contacted by Executive Producers who are often venture capitalists that are looking for a Producer / Director to make their independent film. They also may have a first time interest in film production with financing already in place on a wide variety of budgets. But may have no knowledge of how to bring their story to cinematic life. If you want your film project professionally packaged and produced with your $ actually spent on screen rather than being part of a magic act where it disappears into pockets please contact me. You'll find out how I can produce and direct your film and turn your creative vision into reality.
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One of the places you will never find me is on Kickstarter or Indiegogo for film crowd funding. It's very simple. For you, the executive producer, most Kickstarter and Indiegogo film crowd funding projects don't want you to share in the potential success of a film other than giving you token gifts, based on various dollar amounts for the rewards you give them, of a t-shirt, dvd, or a ticket to the premiere. They avoid potential profit sharing. That's not good enough when someone backs your film financially and it's not good business. And quite frankly some of the filmmakers on there have no idea of what it really takes to produce a film professionally despite their film crowd funding campaign rhetoric.