Making Movies Without Losing Money: Practical Lessons in Film Finance

Making Movies Without Losing Money: Practical Lessons in Film Finance

by Daniel Harlow
Making Movies Without Losing Money: Practical Lessons in Film Finance

Making Movies Without Losing Money: Practical Lessons in Film Finance

by Daniel Harlow


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This book is about the practical realities of the film market today and how to make a film while minimizing financial risk. Film is a risky investment and securing that investment is a huge challenge. The best way to get investors is to do everything possible to make the film without losing money.

Featuring interviews with film industry veterans - sales agents, producers, distributors, directors, film investors, film authors and accountants - Daniel Harlow explores some of the biggest obstacles to making a commercially successful film and offers best practice advice on making a good film, that will also be a commercial success. The book explores key topics such as smart financing, casting to add value, understanding the film supply chain, the importance of genre, picking the right producer, negotiating pre-sales and much more. By learning how to break even, this book provides invaluable insight into the film industry that will help filmmakers build a real, continuing career.

A vital resource for filmmakers serious about sustaining a career in the 21st century film industry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781000051308
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 03/09/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook
Pages: 160
File size: 308 KB

About the Author

Daniel Harlow, a Departmental Scholar from UCLA, founded a technology consulting firm in 1993 which grew to 300 employees in six offices around the country. After selling his company, Harlow attended the Independent Film Producer Program at UCLA. He is currently the founder and CEO of a new hi-tech startup, Bunker 15 Films, with the mission to help indie films find their audience through Smart Publicity and Promotional programs. Harlow believes, with good technology and good planning, filmmakers can sustain financially rewarding careers.

Table of Contents


PART 1 One small problem

1 A surprising discovery

2 The journey begins

PART 2 The obstacles

3 The culture of secrecy

4 Fear and loathing: commercial is a dirty word?

5 This stuff is complicated

6 Falling revenues: falling demand for indies

7 The downside of festival culture

8 Trends in film journalism

PART 3 How films make money

9 Rubber, meet road

10 The players

11 Monetization

12 How much to DIY

13 Promotion and publicity – who’s selling this thing, anyway?

PART 4 Making profitable films

14 Sell the sizzle

15 Development: crafting a commercial success

16 Genre

17 Rising above genre

18 More film elements

19 Drafting

20 Casting

21 Producers and producing

22 Financials

23 Raising money the traditional way – beg

24 Before you start begging

25 Reducing the risk when presales don’t work

26 Press – the gift that keeps on giving


Top ten lessons

Appendix: case studies, interviews and producer profiles

Case study: micro- budget filmmaking – Marcus Mizelle

Interview with legendary film school teacher Dov Simens

Case studies: niche moviemaking – Tom Malloy

Case studies: low-risk, low-budget sci fi – Jeffrey Giles

Case study: making 70 films with Daniel Zirilli of PopArt Film Factory

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