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Each year From the Heart gives four grants. In judging these, we read proposals from scores of creative, intelligent filmmakers. The biggest reason people are denied funding is they have not developed their film enough to fund it. That is the reason for this class.

Learning how to produce and develop your film is critical to your success as a filmmaker. This class will give you the information, guidance, and support to develop your project and give you great ideas for funding. Each class has an important element for producing and funding your film.

We will study from the book, Producer to Producer by Maureen A. Ryan. 

This is the Bible for learning to develop & produce in the film industry.

One of the most asked questions is, “What do Producers do?” Maureen Ryan says, “They make it happen.” 

This is what you are learning, how to “make it happen” with developing and funding.

Each class has an alternating guest producer. Our first four classes Lorenzo DeStefano, Producer/director/writer will join us to answer production questions.

We intently study every chapter in Producer to Producer. We have a class every other Saturday, totaling 24 classes a year. You can join the class anytime as we will cover each chapter in the book and start over. We want you to join for a minimum of 4 classes. We are charging $98.00 for 4 classes and $80.00 for fiscally sponsored filmmakers. (Plus give some free classes)

 

THIS CLASS IS EVERY OTHER SATURDAY at 9am PT.

Outline of The Producing Class: How to Develop and Fund your Film

  • Carole Dean reads from Producer to Producer and answers questions from the class. In each class, she introduces you to one of our Roy Dean grant donors who give great prices to our filmmakers. Time: 15 Minutes
  • We will have an expert on each subject. They will give us their personal experience with the subject matter we cover. Time: 20 minutes
  • Then take questions: 15 minutes
  • We ask students to bring us production questions. We will have a producer on each class to answer these. This covers an hour.

Course Syllabus

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CLASS 1 – April 1, 2023

Producer to Producer book, pgs. 1-6

Carole shares from Producer to Producer how this book works and whom it is for. She explains what the various producers do from the book and chapter one, entitled Development.

 

We cover:

  • Finding the idea or the material
  • Learning to say no
  • Studying scripts
  • Development process
  • Rights acquisition of script and or underlying material

Our Guest speaker is Alexis Krasilovsky who shares information from her book, Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling. It is the Second Place Winner in the 2019 International Writers Awards!

A vast majority of Academy Award-winning Best Pictures, television movies of the week, and mini-series are adaptations, watched by millions of people globally. Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling examines the technical methods of adapting novels, short stories, plays, life stories, magazine articles, blogs, comic books, graphic novels and video games from one medium to another, focusing on the screenplay. Written in a clear and succinct style, perfect for intermediate and advanced screenwriting students

Close class with production questions. Introduce students to industry people who give good discounts to our FTH filmmakers and who are donors of FTH grants

Homework: Please read Screenplay Creation and Revision and Screenwriting Software for next class in Producer to Producer. You can listen to an interview with Christopher and Kathy Riley from their book The Defining Moment on how defining moments build characters. https://d1at8ppinvdju8.cloudfront.net/1/215/show_12159396_2022_10_24_16_54_35.mp3

Read Unleashing the power of the film crew blog here: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/carole-dean-blog

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CLASS 2 – April 15, 2023

Producer to Producer book, pgs. 6-18

Screenplay Creation and Revision

 

Discuss the interview the interview with producer Ben Odell in the book. Ask questions of the students.

Interview a successful screenplay writer. Jacob Krueger is a screenwriter and teaches online classes in screenplay writing. https://www.writeyourscreenplay.com

Close class with production questions. Introduce students to industry people who give good discounts to our FTH filmmakers and who are donors of FTH grants.

Homework: Start working on your log line. See this page for help: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/film-financing-and-fundraising

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CLASS 3 – April 29, 2023

Getting Feedback on the Script

 

We will cover why coverage on your script is most important.

Guest Speaker: Tom Malloy’s script reader on what is coverage and how it can benefit you.

Close class with production questions. Introduce students to industry people who give good discounts to our FTH filmmakers and who are donors of FTH grants

 

Homework: Finalize your log line and bring to next class

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CLASS 4 – May 13, 2023

Producer to Producer book, pgs. 16-18

Log Line, how to create and why you need it. We will read and critique log lines with Kara’s help.

 

Guest: Kara Williamson from Meeting Street Productions, South Carolina. Twenty-year history above and below the line.

 

We Cover:

  • Writing a feature synopsis.
  • Creating your deck using Tom Malloy’s outline for a deck as all the legal information is current and it is what he is using daily.
  • Bios of your key people
  • Finding Comparison projects
  • How important is your budget?

Close class with production questions. Introduce students to industry people who give good discounts to our FTH filmmakers and who are donors of FTH grants.

 

Homework: Read: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/film-financing-and-fundraising How to write a documentary proposal. Decks and proposals will be covered in next classes.

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CLASS 5 – May 27, 2023

Producer to Producer book, pgs. 19-21, 35-44

Creating a proposal for a documentary.

 

CD reviews chapter 3 from her book, The Art of Film Funding, on how to create a proposal and gives that to the students. Important elements of a synopsis are covered.

Guest Speaker, the Grant writer for MJ Land who has won many grants. She explains what needs to go in a documentary proposal.

Close class with production questions. Introduce students to industry people who give good discounts to our FTH filmmakers and who are donors of FTH grants.

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CLASS 6 – May 10, 2023

Carole covers pitching HNI and how to open conversations and close investors.

 

We Cover:

  • The financing plan.
  • Terms of investment.
  • Profit split waterfall of return of investment. DPA website has a great waterfall document – https://www.documentaryproducersalliance.org/_files/ugd/446e61_82c56abb0eec4cc59c0a62aa6b59ddb4.pdf
  • Schedule of time needed to complete a film.

Guest speaker TBA

Close class with production questions. Introduce students to industry people who give good discounts to our FTH filmmakers and who are donors of FTH grants. 

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CLASS 7 – July 8, 2023

Carole covers distribution plans for docs & features.

 

Guest speaker (TBA) covers streamers and other current distribution information.

What deliverables do you need?

 

Close class with Production questions. Introduce students to industry people who give good discounts to our FTH filmmakers and who are donors of FTH grants.

 

Homework: Listen to interview on The Perfect Pitch https://d1at8ppinvdju8.cloudfront.net/1/018/show_10180537_2017_08_23_03_11_41.mp3

To learn how to create your pitch, read the sticky story information on this page: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/film-financing-and-fundraising

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CLASS 8 – July 22, 2023

Carole covers the art of the pitch.

 

We cover the body language and what is says to your donor, how to go into your meeting with confidence. You are judged on your body language. How to meet all criteria for pitching. It is important to know that your voice, your eye contact, your body language, are all part of the pitch. This needs to be created before you even learn the pitch. These physical elements are 93% of the pitch.

Crafting the 2-minute pitch and moving to the next meeting.

 

In this class we will choose 4 to 6 students who pitch their films and hear feedback.

Guest speaker: Catherine Gray from Girls Just Gotta Have Funds

 

For those of you who want to pitch, Carole Joyce and Carole Dean will take personal, private sessions to hear more pitches. Everyone in the class needs to pitch their film. We will set a time for a pitch class.

Close class with production questions. Introduce students to industry people who give good discounts to our FTH filmmakers and who are donors of FTH grants.

 

Homework: See the Everything class with Karen Everett when she shows how to edit trailers on this page: https://fromtheheartproductions.com/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-film-funding

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CLASS 9 – Aug 5, 2023

Producing a Fundraising Trailer

 

We Cover:

  • How to shoot interviews to get the answers you need for your trailer.
  • How music plays an important role in the trailer.
  • Why funding trailers are a major necessity for docs.
  • Making trailers for your feature.
  • Editing your fundraising trailer.

Carole shares the different types of trailers you can make. How long they should be and tips on testing trailers. This is a major source of income for documentaries, webisodes and TV series.

 

Guest speaker: Karen Everett, New Doc Editing

Close class with production questions

 

Homework: Read the blog: Wizard of Oz on my interview with top color correction artist Sam Dlugach.

https://fromtheheartproductions.com/a-good-colorist-is-the-wizard-of-oz/

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CLASS 10 – August 19, 2023

Color correction sets the mood of the film.

 

Finding the right person early in production can benefit you in many ways. Color correction artists advice should be included in choosing and using cameras, setting a mood for each act and much more. Bring your questions for Sam to answer.

 

Guest speaker: Sam Dlugach

 

 

Close class with production questions. Introduce students to industry people who give good discounts to our FTH filmmakers and who are donors of FTH grants.

 

 

Homework: Read chapter 2 on script breakdown.

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CLASS 11 – Sept 2, 2023

Producer to Producer book, pgs. 50-55

Learning script breakdown.

 

Carole covers going over the final check list for you to decide if you want to make this film. And what is a script breakdown? Go over the nuts-and-bolts information.

 

Guest Speaker: TBA

Close class with production questions Introduce students to industry people who give good discounts to our FTH filmmakers and who are donors of FTH grants.

 

Homework: continue to study script breakdown in chapter 2

Future Class Schedule

Guests and Class Information TBA

CLASS 12 – Sept 16, 2023 – Budgeting

CLASS 13 – Sept 30, 2023 – Film Funding

CLASS 14 – Oct 14, 2023 – Casting

CLASS 15 – Oct 28, 2023 – Preproduction and hiring crew

CLASS 16 – Nov. 11, 2023 – Legal 

CLASS 17 – Nov 18, 2023 (thanksgiving is on the normal day) – Insurance 

CLASS 18 – Dec 9th, 2023 (last class of year) – Scheduling

CLASS 19 – Jan 6, 2024 – Production

CLASS 20 – Jan 20, 2024 – Safety & Wrap

CLASS 21 – Feb 3, 2024 – Postproduction

CLASS 22 – Feb 17, 2024 – Audio

CLASS 23 – March 2, 2024 – Music

CLASS 24 – March 16, 2024 – Archives

CLASS 25 – March 30, 2024 – Marketing & Film Festivals

CLASS 26 – April 13, 2024 – Distribution