Your Questions About Financing Film Project

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George asks…

How can I raise finances to make a feature length film?

I have written a feature length screen play which I intend to make into a film. I intend to direct the movie myself. I am a skilled film maker, who has made short movies, doco’s etc. However, this is my most ambitious project to date. I am looking for ways in which to apply for funding, outside the norm. I am still applying for funding through conventional methods i.e. Film Commision. But, I want to also approach this challenge laterally as well. So I am looking for ways to generate financing outside the square. So if there are any positive suggestions etc out there, they will be appreciated.

Justin answers:

I would highly recommend reading “Rebel Without a Crew: Or How a 23 Year Old Filmmaker with $7000b Became a Hollywood Player” it is an autobiography written by director Robert Rodriguez (desperado, from dusk till dawn, once upon a time in mexico, planet terror) and it chronicles him making his movie “El Mariachi” with 7,000, and about how he originally made it to sell to the spanish video market, but passed it around in hollywood and ended up signing with huge production companies.

Mark asks…

who wants and is able to finance a movie with children?

we have a thrilling and funny story about – how it would be if only children would rule our world! main actors will be children from different countries and dogs. it is fantasy but with a real background.
a common film financing we cannot get because we intent to spent all theexpected incomes for “poor children projects?” under supervision of UNESCO.

Justin answers:

I am serious about this. Go to the UN, as they will benefit from such a venture, and ask them. The have support, public relations and beneficiary departments, as well as individuals, that are ready to assist you. Contact their Public Relations division first (begin with snail mail, as this will establish a contact individual). They’ll be happy to guide you through the maze that is the United Nations. I ought to know, I was an economist their.

John asks…

Anti-Smoking Entertainment Funding?

Hello, I am a student at the University of Arts and I am getting a degree in screenwriting. I’ve written a short script that is intended to be viewed at youtube and myspace by the younger generation. The production was up and running last fall, but, for some reason or other, the clay animator decided he didn’t want to do the project. I’ve talked to some other animators, but it is appearing that the only way that I will get this made and out into the viewing audiences is if I find someone to finance this project – in other words, I need to contract some animator to do this short film project.

I’ve done multiple web searches to see if I could find an organization that funds such products, but so far I’ve come up short. I would really appreciate it if someone could give me contact information of an organization that funds these types of projects.

Justin answers:

You should look in craigslist and advertise in craigs list.

Chris asks…

Based on these early details, what are you expecting from the Coen Brothers’ next project?

If there’s one thing to admire about Joel and Ethan Coen as auteurs (besides… well, just about everything), it’s their ability to bounce around from genre to genre, while always managing to churn out films that are identifiably and uniquely their own.

The Oscar-winning siblings plan to venture into pure horror territory in the future, but their next project – which now has a title, Inside Llewyn Davis – will concern a strikingly different subject matter: the New York folk music scene during the 1960s.

Variety has the lowdown on the film, which reunites the Coens with their No Country for Old Men and True Grit producer Scott Rudin. StudioCanal is co-financing and handling international sales, but the project has not yet secured a distributor. Expect that to change soon.

Inside Llewyn Davis chronicles its namesake’s attempts to make a living as a folk musician “during the genre’s 1960s heyday in New York City.” The main character is said to be partially modeled off real-life musician Dave van Ronk, whose experiences were recorded in the posthumous memoir “The Mayor of MacDougal Street” (in reference to the artist’s nickname).

Quick history lesson: van Ronk worked in a variety of different musical genres (ballards, blues, gospel, jazz, swing), but his main inspiration is said to have been famed blues and gospel guitarist Gary Davis, a.k.a. Reverend/Blind Gary Davis. He was a prominent member of the Greenwich Village coffeehouse folk culture back in the day, and worked alongside the likes of Bob Dylan, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, and Joni Mitchell, among others.

In summation – he’s definitely the sort of colorful real-life inspiration who would be an animated character in the Coens’ hands.

Among the early tidbits of information revealed about Inside Llweyn Davis (tip of the hat to /Film for these) are that it will feature a good amount of live-performance music and also, according to the Coens, resemble Noah Baumbach’s Margot at the Wedding, in terms of its naturalistic atmosphere and dialogue. That description alone also definitely prompts comparisons to the collective work of the late Robert Altman (MASH, Nashville, Gosford Park, etc.).

This sounds like one of the more interesting Coen Brothers projects (isn’t that saying something) simply because the pair are known for being extremely meticulous and planning out everything in their films well in advance – to the point that they always storyboard their scripts before pitching them to studio heads. So a film that feels more on-the-fly and sporadic could be an interesting change of pace. It should also be the most music-oriented Coen production since O Brother, Where Art Thou?, which is good news for those who loved how the filmmaking siblings incorporated old-fashioned tunes into that period comedy.

BQ: Who would you cast?

Justin answers:

The Coens and Rudin returning will definitely equal good things. Another adaptation is ok with me.
Particularly music wise.

BQ: Age considered…Ryan Gosling has got some musical chops.

Steven asks…

Does anyone know the Title of the Documentary spoken of in this Article? “PBS ON GAY FILM BAN”?

Citing rules about who finances the projects it airs, PBS refuses to broadcast a documentary about working-class gays and lesbians.

The article is old, 1997 old, but I am curious and would like to watch the Doc that PBS refused to air.

Thanks for any help!

Justin answers:

It says the name of the documentary in the article: Out at work.

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