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September 29 at 10:30am

The 99 Recommended Steps For Making Good Movies

By Ted Hope

This is how I do it, generally speaking.

Or rather, this is how I try to do it. There really is no template; I have to adjust the plan for each project. And it doesn’t always work. Sometimes I fail (at least to some degree).

And yes, I have left out the details. After all, that is where the art, experience, & innovation is. And of course as this is a collaborative endeavor, there is always — and thankfully — that “other” factor.

1. Maintain wonder & love for the world & most/some of the people.
2. Recognize the barriers & be empowered by my desire for change.
3. Find an inspiring idea & the correct collaborator for it.
4. Maintain love & respect for the film industry.
5. Develop script.
6. Fall in love with project.
7. Get non-financier, non-buyer industry types to give feedback on script.
8. Maintain wonder & love for the process.
9. Further develop script.
10. Maintain respect for collaborator(s).
11. Identify audience & market for project.
12. Enhance my enthusiasm for potential of the results of audience engagement with ambitious cinema.
13. Develop additional materials to properly contextualize project, like image books (aka look books), reference material, blog posts, etc.
14. Try to locate audience and key influencers for the project.
15. Develop transmedia extensions (I know I should do this earlier).
16. Encourage Filmmaker to engage with True Fans (i.e. build community).
17. Strategize production process.
18. Ballpark budget.
19. Evaluate potential cast for project.
20. Consider possible shooting locations.
21. Introduce Writer/Director to US Talent Agencies if necessary.
22. Have Director meet wide range of actors.
23. Strategize financing.
24. Strategize casting process.
25. Develop financing plan.
26. Execute casting process strategy.
27. Attach lead actor.
28. Attach another actor (or two).
29. Revise financing plan as necessary.
30. Revise script as necessary.
31. Estimate possible profit & losses.
32. Revise financing plan as necessary.
33. Approach sales agents.
34. Get foreign sales estimates & foreign sales deal terms.
35. Revise financing plan.
36. Budget, ideally in multiple variations.
37. Approach private equity.
38. Revise financing plan.
39. Revise script as necessary.
40. Get verbal commitments from private equity.
41. Determine most appropriate & then secure sales agent.
42. Continue to source additional financing.
43. Revise financing plan.
44. Revise script as necessary.
45. Develop initial outreach, engagement, awareness strategy.
46. Consider and possibly secure a presale or three.
47. Revise financing plan.
48. Revise script as necessary.
49. Revise Budget.
50. Consider and possibly secure gap & mezzanine financing if necessary.
51. Finalize financing structure & partners
52. Consider & secure key crew collaborators.
53. Scout primary location.
54. Revise script as necessary.
55. Revise Budget.
56. Secure tax credit/rebate.
57. Lock all financing.
58. Lock talent deals.
59. Lock Location.
60. Revise script as necessary.
61. Revise & Lock Budget.
62. Revise initial outreach, engagement, & awareness strategies.
63. Prep.
64. Revise script as necessary.
65. Initiate initial outreach, engagement, & awareness strategies.
66. Shoot.
67. Celebrate completion of shoot.
68. Wrap production.
69. Ponder the big picture.
70. Edit.
71. Revise outreach, engagement, & awareness strategies.
72. Initiate revised outreach, engagement, & awareness strategies.
73. Build awareness.
74. Ponder the big picture.
75. Complete “Movie”.
76. Wrap post.
77. Further revise outreach, engagement, & awareness strategies.
78. Take to festivals.
79. Win awards.
80. Celebrate.
81. Further revise & implement outreach, engagement, & awareness strategies.
82. Sell & license “movie”.
83. Celebrate some more.
84. Deliver “movie” to licensors.
85. Further revise & implement outreach, engagement, & awareness strategies.
86. Market some more.
87. Screen, screen, screen.
88. Publicize.
89. Market some more.
90. Distribute.
91. Harvest, aggregate, & analyze, data.
92. Ponder the big picture.
93. Share the knowledge with the community.
94. Win more awards.
95. Collect profits.
96. Share the wealth the partners.
97. Ponder the big picture.
98. Plan the next one.
99. Do it all over again, but do it a little bit differently.


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