Monday, July 7, 2008

Horse in front of cart

Been thinking a lot lately about starting another production company. Researching and writing a business plan for it. Trolling the websites of the AFM and Cannes to glean ideas on the market for film sales. Thinking about writers I know and wondering what they've written lately.

In the past, I've either written stuff myself (shorts) in order to have stuff to produce and direct. Or, I produced a screenplay contest for several years in order to meet more writers. That effort culminated in finding a script I wanted to option (to direct and produce at the time), but ultimately, in short, it wasn't meant to be.

When I moved to Los Angeles in 2005, there were two scripts from two different writers that I wanted to option to produce as indie films. There was also a story idea I had for a thriller that I began working on with a screenwriter who was supposed to write the script. I knew I liked the scripts, the ideas, the writers' abilities. I thought if I had cool content in "my basket," I could go out as a producer/merchant and sell my goods in the marketplace. The whole have-good-script-and-produce-it-on-a- shoestring-then-hustle-for-an-acquisition model.

As I did my homework on the projects for their viability to earn enough money in the marketplace, though, I knew that two of them would be hard sells. For the budgets I was looking at doing them (under $3M each) and their genres (indie comedy/drama and international comedy/drama), I'd have a really hard time recouping the investment it would take to make them on spec.

Even though I loved their stories, and I STILL think about how I could get them made, I bowed out of pursuing options on making them when I learned I was pregnant. I didn't think I could do those projects justice while taking on parenting for the first time. No more "film babies" until I got the hang of our human baby. :)

Well, our daughter is now 14 months old, and I'm itching to get busy again. And, now, I want to do things differently. I want to raise money to make three films over five years, to start. Those films will be within a certain budget range, each (TBD), and they'll fall into one of three genres that interest me: sci-fi/fantasy, action-thriller, or indie drama (maybe comedy). I'm not planning to start with content and then try to sell it to pay for having made it. I want to start with money and find content that meets my creative and financial criteria.

Horse in front of cart; not the other way around.

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