Archive for September, 2005

IIFF Demystifying Film Financing Workshop

Last Friday, Sept. 23rd, I met Thomas Trenker in San Francisco to go over PHP coding I’m doing on his website, the Institute for International Film Financing. But first we headed over to the E&O Trading Co. where he and an associate are talking to Scott Rosenfelt.

Scott Rosenfelt is known for independently producing “Teen Wolf“, “Mystic Pizza” (Julia Roberts initial recognizeable role), “Home Alone” and “Smoke Signals“. He currently has “Valley of the Heart’s Delight” in post-production and “Mustang Sally” in development.

Thomas presented the Institute for International Film Financing (IIFF) rationale and work for presenting independent films to Silicon Valley investors and venture capitalists through the Film Angels meetings. Scott listened attentively. It appeared that Mr. Rosenfelt has had decades of experience with the uncertainty of film financing and would not take a potential funding source as definitely certain either way.

Afterwards Thomas and I went to Lori’s Diner on Powell Street. There I had a hamburger and showed where I was at in coding features into the website. Thomas invited me to go the next day to the IIFF’s Demystifying Film Financing Workshop at the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking. The school opened about a year ago on Third Street below Potrero Hill.

That night I went to the Webzine2005 Kick-Off Party and the next day I had a choice between Webzine2005 and the IIFF Workshop. Since Webzine2005 continued to Sunday, I spent most of my time in the Workshop.
The focus of the workshop was understanding the information investors looked for, needed and appreciated. This was combined with practical advise. For example, the role of a lawyer is as an advisor, not the generators of the business plan. A business plan is a considered action by the principals (producer(s), writer(s), director(s), etc.) Not a generalized product the lawyer constructs.
In his work at Film Profit, Jeffrey Hardy studies in detail the specific markets for each film as a unique product — the sushi cutter approach. So the emphasis was on a deep and detailed research and comprehension of the markets your film goes into. So when the business plan is presented to investors, their questions can be answered clearly rather than indistinct and deferred.
The audience was mostly mostly writers, directors and producers with focus on expressing a personal voice whether individual or community. So there were a good number of questions raised to clarify confusion on business plans, research, investment options and such. Jeffrey, since he focuses on detailed work, answered many of the questions specifically reaching for clarity.
Jeffrey asked two attendees to pitch their projects in the morning and a second set in the afternoon. The other audience members were asked to consider themselves investors and critique their performance. Ending with Jeffrey pointing out corrections and lessons from their presentations

At the end of the day there was a much information, tips, methods, plans and structure imparted. Two packets were handed out at the beginning of the day: 1) a copy of the slides and 2) sample business plans and market analysis for factious films. I don’t think I was alone in feeling a somewhat overwhelmed with the new and varied information. There was much to put into practice for researching and planning one’s project for financing.

The one complaint I have is that there were no breaks from 10 am to 5 pm outside of lunch. This was due to the amount of information to cover, the number of questions to answer and the detail Jeffrey went into responding. But this is minor complaint considering the value of the material and since filmmaking by it’s nature is demanding at any point in the process.

Webzine2005 Sunday

Sunday at Webzine2005

Video Blogging Panel #6

Sunday Conferences at Webzine2005

Taylor and Zadi
Video Blogging Panel #6
Video Blogging Panel #1
Video Blogging Panel #2
Video Blogging Panel #9
Video Blogging Panel #7
Video Blogging Panel #8
Video Blogging Panel #16
Video Blogging Panel #14
Video Blogging Panel #13
Video Blogging Panel #15
You Are The Media - Markus #2
You Are The Media - Audience #2
You Are The Media - Audience #1
You Are The Media - Being the Media #1
You Are The Media - Being the Media #2
You Are The Media - Markus #1
Video Badges

Photographs taken from the Sunday September 25th Webzine2005 conferences. There was plentiful mingling, share information back and forth and getting to know.


Webzine2005 Kick-Off Party

Webzine2005 Kick-Off Party

Josh Kinberg, Josh Wolf

webzine2005 Kick-Off Party, Friday September 23rd.

Cafe DuNord Entrance #1
Cafe DuNord Entrance #2
Cafe DuNord Entrance #4
Cafe DuNord Entrance #5
Logos #2
Logos #1
Josh Wolf
Josh Kinberg, Josh Wolf
Josh Kinberg
Schlomo Schmooz

These are the photos I took from the Webzine2005 Kick-Off Party at Cafe DuNord. It was pleasant and fun to meet the zinesters!


Bay Area Film Financing

I met Thomas Trenker when he did his film financing presentation at the San Francisco Indie Club July 16th meeting. Thomas showed compeling data in Excel graphs of film budgets to profit ratios garnered from films made from the present to the eary 1980. What I found eye opening was the conclusion from the graphs that the highest return is from low budget PG films. If I recall correctly, PG film budgeted at 10 million or less. Thomas Trenker and his associates hed up the Institute for Internationl Film Financing. Three days later Thomas and his group did a presentation to a standing room audience at the Film Arts Foundation.

Last Friday, Sept 9th, the San Jose Mercury reported on Thomas film angel work in the article Valley backers playing angel to indie films. Article excerpt:

Art and commerce will converge tonight at the Silicon Valley Capital Club in San Jose for the first FilmAngels Meeting and Dinner. Five projects at various stages of development, including a Stephen King horror film being developed by Steve Wozniak, will be pitched to a roomful of accredited investors. Entry fee: a “suggested donation” of $150.

Besides the Wozniak project (“Gotham Café”), filmmakers from San Jose and points north will pitch: “Skin City,” a documentary on the new Las Vegas; “Two Moon,” a drama about a teenager battling a hometown casino; “Quality of Life,” a completed drama about graffiti artists; and “Becoming Buddha,” a fantasy-biopic by Marin’s Ron Fricke (“Koyaanisqatsi”).

Crawl Space – Start

Watch Movie

Crawl Space

I just started actively VideoBlogging. So I saw a a vlogging opportunity when my associate in scriptwriting class, Mae, proudly informed us her daughter is reading from her new Novel, “Crawl Space“.

This is Edie Meidav second novel after “The Far Field” and it has received good reviews. Edie’s website is Edie teaches writing at the New College of California. One of her students, David A. Dzurick, an accomplished musician, produced a soundtrack to “Crawl Space” which is in this vlog.

This vlog entry introduces the reading when I come into the bookstore, A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books, meet people. Then two of her students do a performance as mimes.

As time opens up, I’ll make the other sections of this event.

Katrina Response

In 1977 during college Summer break, I stopped in New Orleans on the way back home from a road trip to Savanna, Georgia. On a just right, warm day I laid next to the river watching a river boat. From where I was, I fell in love with the beauty of the city, water and area.

When I saw the news reports of the unconscionable length in responding by federal agencies, in particular FEMA, I am outraged. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin rightfully called the federal government to task.

At the same time, it’s disconcerting when some apply this catastrophe for their political views. In a more recent video interview on CNN, Mayor Nagin called on the irresponsibility of democratic Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco; excerpted below with only audio:

The entire CNN video piece should be here.

While the main cause, levee breaks, currently resulted from inattention and improper funded by the Republican led House and Senate. This problem goes back to prior administrations both Democratic and Republicans.

The problem of incompetence is not held by a particular party or group. It is an individual problem and needs to be handled at the individual level, case by case. Those that directly contributed to this disaster need to be held accountable whether liberal or conservative. A rational understanding of who is best for the job should apply — not a promotion of those by political affiliation.

I hope the best for the people displaced from their homes. That they find hope, achievement and prosperity whether in other cities from where their damaged homes are or if they choose to go back and rebuild.

   With Respect,