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Post by spot »

I'm building a company. I've had it in mind for quite a while, I've a good idea what I want to do and how to go about it. I thought I'd put up a thread to bounce some ideas in though, and any feedback or discussion I can generate will be very welcome.

I dislike the idea of tagging a Vision Statement onto the end of a company as though it's an afterthought. Mine is the first bit I've put effort into because if I don't express what I intend the company to be for then I might as well not write one. Here it is:





Vision StatementOur directors, staff, contractors, their iterated agents and anyone else performing work on our behalf will by self-constraint operate entirely within the legal framework of the countries in which we operate both to avoid legal penalty and to retain our good name, regardless of whatever additional cost we might incur.

We aspire to provide a fulfilling and improving workplace for all those we associate with.

We aspire to excellence and to recognition for excellence.

We aspire to perpetual independence of action.

We recognize that the quality of our products and processes are better measures of excellence than turnover, profit or dividend.

We also have, and accept, an obligation to maximize long-term shareholder benefit while expressing these values.

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Post by spot »

I've created a handout to be given to every shareholder before every shareholder meeting and it might end up as a poster in the boardroom as well:Don't be dazzled by investor chequebooks. Don't sign away the company. Don't believe anything that's not signed and witnessed and even then - don't sign away the company. If we don't end up owning it then we've been mugged.

Until we've done it we know nothing about it.
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Post by spot »

And, since I'm invariably anxious that everyone in the company should employ a common vocabulary about essentials, I wrote this graphic and table to nail down the bookkeeping.



Bank accounts only have an actual balance and are only affected by payment, period accounts only have a nominal balance and are only affected by invoices. The firms and individuals we purchase from and sell to, and the budget and target accounts, have both an actual and a nominal balance.

Two transactions are posted for each event. One's a nominal transaction and the other an actual transaction. Each transaction credits one account and debits another.

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Post by Ahso! »

What sort of feedback are you soliciting? It looks like Double Entry Accounting with some different terms.
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Post by spot »

Ahso!;1360583 wrote: What sort of feedback are you soliciting? It looks like Double Entry Accounting with some different terms.


That's a good hook to start on. They're the terms I'm familiar with but if I can conform to some standard practice I'd be overjoyed. How would you reword what's there so far?
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Post by Ahso! »

That's not necessary if your terminology is familiar to you and the book-keeper. Generally used accounting terms may be slightly different in the UK than what I'm familiar with, but I'm not an accountant either.

Here in the US, any terminology may be adopted provided the accounting procedure meets what's called "Generally Accepted Accounting Principles", and from what little I know, yours meets those principles.

Unless your business is financial in nature, accounting terminology is not important in my view.

What category of business is this?
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”

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Post by spot »

Ahso!;1360590 wrote: What category of business is this?This is a new start-up self-funded independent media production company.

Does the Vision Statement make sense, do you think?
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Post by Lon »

spot;1360575 wrote: I'm building a company. I've had it in mind for quite a while, I've a good idea what I want to do and how to go about it. I thought I'd put up a thread to bounce some ideas in though, and any feedback or discussion I can generate will be very welcome.

I dislike the idea of tagging a Vision Statement onto the end of a company as though it's an afterthought. Mine is the first bit I've put effort into because if I don't express what I intend the company to be for then I might as well not write one. Here it is:





Vision StatementOur directors, staff, contractors, their iterated agents and anyone else performing work on our behalf will by self-constraint operate entirely within the legal framework of the countries in which we operate both to avoid legal penalty and to retain our good name, regardless of whatever additional cost we might incur.

We aspire to provide a fulfilling and improving workplace for all those we associate with.

We aspire to excellence and to recognition for excellence.

We aspire to perpetual independence of action.

We recognize that the quality of our products and processes are better measures of excellence than turnover, profit or dividend.

We also have, and accept, an obligation to maximize long-term shareholder benefit while expressing these values.




If I were a shareholder I might have a problem with #5 & #6-----------they seem to conflict with one another.
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Post by Ahso! »

spot;1360595 wrote: This is a new start-up self-funded independent media production company.

Does the Vision Statement make sense, do you think?Yes, the statement makes sense.
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Post by Ahso! »

Lon;1360597 wrote: If I were a shareholder I might have a problem with #5 & #6-----------they seem to conflict with one another.At first glance I thought the same thing.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities,”

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Post by spot »

Lon;1360597 wrote: If I were a shareholder I might have a problem with #5 & #6-----------they seem to conflict with one another.


It's a matter of short-term or long-term profit, surely. Long term shareholder benefit is guaranteed by excellence. Short term shareholder value is what happens when, say, a corporation asset-strips itself to go lean, mean, employee-free, research-free money-heavy and pays out the fire-sale profits as dividends[1]. I don't want to set up that sort of environment. I want to nurture a generation of film creators who take pride in what they make. People will only buy stock if they embrace the vision, they've been warned what to expect.





[1] - I draw the thread's attention to Nokia, which used to be an asset and source of pride to Finland.
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Post by koan »

spot;1360575 wrote: I'm building a company. I've had it in mind for quite a while, I've a good idea what I want to do and how to go about it. I thought I'd put up a thread to bounce some ideas in though, and any feedback or discussion I can generate will be very welcome.

I dislike the idea of tagging a Vision Statement onto the end of a company as though it's an afterthought. Mine is the first bit I've put effort into because if I don't express what I intend the company to be for then I might as well not write one. Here it is:





Vision StatementOur directors, staff, contractors, their iterated agents and anyone else performing work on our behalf will by self-constraint operate entirely within the legal framework of the countries in which we operate both to avoid legal penalty and to retain our good name, regardless of whatever additional cost we might incur.

We aspire to provide a fulfilling and improving workplace for all those we associate with.

We aspire to excellence and to recognition for excellence.

We aspire to perpetual independence of action.

We recognize that the quality of our products and processes are better measures of excellence than turnover, profit or dividend.

We also have, and accept, an obligation to maximize long-term shareholder benefit while expressing these values.


1) delete as it sounds alarming

2) remove "and improving" as it sounds like you're starting out insufficiently

3) good enough

4) threatening to investors. Only keep it if it's something you're willing to lose work over.

5) threatening to investors. Profit has to happen or you are worse than worthless to them.

6) See above re "long-term" since it's true that you're only as good as your last show.



I'd replace the items I've marked for deletion with something about being innovative and market accurate.
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Post by spot »

Is there not a difference between a company shareholder and an investor in a particular project? I'm aware of my obligation to provide an investor with the return offered when he invested. I'd have thought a shareholder was more interested in an investment of longer duration. This is a closed company, not a floatation on a stock exchange.

As for how good you get, "you're only as good as your last show" ignores the learning process and it is, if you'll pardon the observation, a peculiarly dismissive and shallow American notion. The point of building this company in the first place is to develop a corporate style. It certainly doesn't exist from the outset, all that's there at the outset is untested ideas which need forging into practical form.

We've seen these plonkers coming onto FG virally advertising stuff like "Shrooms". I'd sooner not start than go down their production route. This isn't about making a living, it's about creating a legacy.
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Post by koan »

You don't think buying shares is an investment?

I've never seen a production company get shareholders without first proving their ability to produce. Have you done that yet?
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Post by spot »

koan;1360653 wrote: You don't think buying shares is an investment?

I've never seen a production company get shareholders without first proving their ability to produce. Have you done that yet?


Obviously not but, you'll notice, neither am I seeking shareholders or investors, not in the company nor in any production (I have it in mind that each production company runs as a subsidiary, to keep the finances and investment ring-fenced). It does make sense, to me, to refer to investors in a specific production as shareholders in that production, but they're certainly not shareholders in the company I'm formulating in this thread. This thread's about the one company at the top which doesn't do production, what it does is spawns production companies and lets each get on with it. It's an enabling company.

You're obviously correct that it has to bootstrap itself with its own resources, that there's no point asking for finance from outside because there's no track record. I'm happy with that. Shares in the enabling company are for long-term growth prospects and they're not sold, they're exchanged for commitment. That's how every start-from-scratch company I've heard of came into existence, if you exclude the ones where the would-be owners discovered they were mere employees. No financing agent is taking any share at this enabling level.
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Post by koan »

I think you are the only one who currently knows what it is you are trying to accomplish. Until such a time as you can divulge the details of your operation you're not likely to get the best advice.
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Post by spot »

Seeing what I'm trying to construct is dead easy - read the posts I've made into this thread. They're coherent, they tell a tale, there's nothing inaccurate in them. I'm looking for criticism of what I write, and I'm getting it. That's all useful feedback, it allows me to fix, adapt and adopt.

What I'm picking up so far is that responders to the thread think I'll find it hard to raise finance. That's fine, I don't want or need finance. Anyone coming at me with a fistful of money is going to be a wolf in a camel-hair coat. I used to wear one, I know about people like that. Absolutely nothing in my game-plan requires cash beyond what I can raise myself. Absolutely nothing in my game-plan is for sale. Nobody is going to buy a percentage of me. On the other hand, if anyone wants to climb on board and have fun firing up the engine and pulling the whistle they're welcome to a stake, that's a very different matter. That's a collaborative action, it's not wage slavery.

Have you any idea how much experience went into writing that Accounting Ring out of my head, for example? If I do get anyone improving it I'll be over the moon.
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Post by Ahso! »

I think this is probably a worthwhile endeavor, Spot.

I don't see anywhere else to critique. It's your start-up and I'd say you've done well to this point. The accounting graph and outline is impressive as is the rest.

What drove you to decide on this venture?
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Post by spot »

Why am I doing it? Because I want my scripts turning into products, nobody else is going to do that for me. The sort of scripts I want producing are so far off the Hollywood map you'd not believe it. They tend, for one thing, to end miserably (in that I feel films should retain a sense of reality), and there aren't any heroic good guys or villainous bad guys (in that I feel films should retain a sense of reality), and nobody kills or even punches anyone in them (in that I feel films should retain a sense of reality), and there's certainly no music track (in that I feel films should retain a sense of reality). People should emerge from watching one of my films feeling as if they're coming round from an operation.

Here's another snippet that I've not managed to find on the Internet or in a book so I had to make it up. What's a feasible structure of a film script? There's a hundred descriptions of layout but sod all descriptions of structure. I'm hoping that someone passing by might point out an error or refinement.

It matters to me because this company has to be modelled before any production happens. Once it's modelled, production will be potentially more efficient. I need that efficiency. I need to be able to ask what-if questions and get sensible answers. I need one person to be able to manage an entire production. If there's an adequate computer model then one person can do exactly that.

script { titlepage (title, author, contact details)

FADE IN

iterate scenes { scene heading/slug ({INT or EXT}, location, time of day)

iterate { optional action

if there is any character action...{ character name

parenthetical action or dialogue

iterate without an immediate duplicate type { parenthetical action or dialogue

} } }

for marked-up shooting scripts only: { iterate resources

iterate shots { iterate takes { iterate clips

} } } }

FADE OUT }

To clarify a bit, one scene represents a requirement for a bunch of people and things to congregate at the same time at one location. Several shots are taken, each of an arbitrary portion of the scene. Each shot consists of a number of takes. Several recording devices may be active during a single take, each recording is called a clip. A clip may be a file, or it may be a portion of a file between two marks.

Nothing in that format collates shots with scene portions, that's dealt with on the day by the production team. I can't see any rational way of attempting it inside the model, and I can't see that modelling it adds any value.
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Post by koan »

I was kind of thrown off by the mention of investors and shareholders and the subsequent statement that you're not wanting any.

My apologies. I'm not in the right frame of mind at the moment to think of the corporate side of film-making. Is there a particular indy director/producer that you admire? Tarantino or Kevin Smith? I know Smith pretty much got his script, picked up a camera and started making Clerks. He's also known for being very dialogue oriented with no real "action." Both are cult successes. Then there are the big guys of little action like Robert Altman and Woody Allen.
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Post by spot »

Clerks was amazing, it felt like the script existed on the back of a napkin somewhere and the actors were told to ad-lib. Which, I reckon, is pretty well perfect for that feel of film, you just need actors who don't know how to shut up. Woody Allen's the polar opposite, every syllable not a hair's whatsit out of place, I wouldn't aspire to such heights. On the other hand, if I can include ten minutes without a word said but the action advancing I'll be quite pleased with myself.

My declaration regarding the technology is that there's enough there, now, for the lack of perfection not to get in the way of the storytelling, and that's good enough for me. So I'll not be using 4k, so what. I want to entertain those few people who currently lack entertainment.

Oh - and Altman. He made the only film to have made it onto my profile, that's how much I admire him.

I don't want investors. There's no company if there's no shareholders though. They're different animals. If and when I put out a call for investors I'll do what I can to make them a profit but I'm not going to invite them home for a meal.
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Post by koan »

It seems that in today's do-it-yourself society with the cost of film equipment so low, editing software available to all, and the internet providing billions of home theatres in which to screen your product, becoming a filmmaker is not nearly as daunting as it used to be.
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Post by spot »

Here we are - if I have a role-model to whom I'd look up it would be Harmony Korine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Those are solid punches, those films. They're what film making ought to involve. They teach.

I notice the article mentions Werner Herzog too. There you go.
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Post by koan »

I've only seen Kids by Korine. It was a spectacular film that's on a short list of things teens should watch to scare them into safer choices. I was supposed to rent Gummo but it was hard to find and the name kind of throws me off. I keep thinking of a toothless old man stuck to the bottom of a shoe. Or something.
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Post by spot »

Gummo, of the two, is the one which carries the shock. Kids says what you already knew in a way you'll never forget.

We're getting very formal with these italics.
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Post by spot »

I've had it hammered into me over the last 24 hours that you can't get investment without a successful track record, and I note that various of my ideas cater for the possible need to raise investment. I ought to say very clearly and early on that nothing in what I've written which relates to investment (and I've covered the handling of investment money very thoroughly) implies that it's a start-up requirement. On the contrary, I'd not want it in the early stages when the company is worth very little. I think one can only handle investors successfully from a position of strength, and even then I'm wary of them.

So, the bootstrapping of this company is investment-free because all the profits are needed for growth. I simply can't afford to divert any proceeds into profit, not for the principals nor for any investor, and since an investor is only going to invest for profit that rules out even discussing it with them. Bootstrapping involves the creation of a media product out of thin air and making money with it. That money then goes into creating more profitable media products which in turn bring in further financial reward. Eventually, some time down that track, I might invite investment if I'm about to tackle something I can't afford to complete from internal resources. It will be a cold day in hell before I want to take that option though.
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Post by spot »

It strikes me that one of the major headaches of a film set is capturing sound of sufficient quality and consistency that it can provide the audio track to the finished product. Mikes on booms, virile muscle straining to keep some huge inertial weight from straying into shot, more muffling than King Kong in an Astrakhan overcoat to stop the wind from howling. Cobblers. Whatever twerp thinks a system from pre-transistor days is still relevant to film-making is hanging onto a fantasy.

So, radio mikes? I think not. Central capture is the mirage in all of this. Let's cut it loose.

I'm putting one of those half-ounce $20 mp3 recorders into each actor's pocket, and identical invisible $80 button mikes on their persons where they won't obtrude. The recorder can capture an entire day's worth of WAV 320kb perfect sound quality, we can turn off the squelch and level control, someone can change the batteries each morning before they get deployed, the WAV timeline won't stray so there's no need for synchronising pulses other than the old-style clapperboard (which is needed anyway, the speed of sound being so slow compared to digital timelines).

Will it work? I don't know, but I aim to find out.
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Post by spot »

Let me define an ideal film camera.

The current best-quality view you can manage outside of a cinema is called 1080p. It's 1920×1080 pixel resolution at 24 frames per second. That's the most information you can cram onto a Bluray disk.

I need close-up and long lenses, both capable of zoom. I need to be able to record several hours a day at maximum resolution. I have to be able to preset aperture, sensitivity, depth of field, I need a manual focus bar with touch-feel preset limits and a manual zoom bar with the same option. If I have an anti-shake selector it might increase the ways I'd deploy the camera through I'm not a fan of hand-held work. The lighter the camera the easier it will be to construct rigs to make it fly. This camera, as I've described it, is so close in quality to what used to be achieved with 35mm movie stock that I can't tell the difference. I know there's a nominal difference and that 35mm, on a very bright day with a locked-down camera and a static scene, could manage twice the resolution and if I could wait for 4k to fit my budget I'd love to use 4k but seriously, what I just described is what I've dreamed of.

Because I can buy all of it, exactly as described, on Whiteladies Road for £700. Jessops has five in stock. I will, admittedly, blow another couple of thousand on a batch of super-SD memory cards.

Do you know what four 2TB external hard drives cost, because that's precisely what I'll need for post-production of a feature film? £300, delivered. One in a bank vault, three on a rotating archive basis in the post-production suite.

This isn't about money, this start-up. It's about getting the process right.
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Post by Ahso! »

spot;1360740 wrote: I've had it hammered into me over the last 24 hours that you can't get investment without a successful track record, and I note that various of my ideas cater for the possible need to raise investment. I ought to say very clearly and early on that nothing in what I've written which relates to investment (and I've covered the handling of investment money very thoroughly) implies that it's a start-up requirement. On the contrary, I'd not want it in the early stages when the company is worth very little. I think one can only handle investors successfully from a position of strength, and even then I'm wary of them.

So, the bootstrapping of this company is investment-free because all the profits are needed for growth. I simply can't afford to divert any proceeds into profit, not for the principals nor for any investor, and since an investor is only going to invest for profit that rules out even discussing it with them. Bootstrapping involves the creation of a media product out of thin air and making money with it. That money them goes into creating more profitable media products which in turn bring in further financial reward. Eventually, some time down that track, I might invite investment if I'm about to tackle something I can't afford to complete from internal resources. It will be a cold day in hell before I want to take that option though.For what it's worth: I recognized this from the outset.
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Post by Ahso! »

spot;1360742 wrote:

This isn't about money, this start-up. It's about getting the process right.That much is obvious. I'm enjoying watching your thought process unfold.
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Post by koan »

I'm not enjoying it.

I spent 15 years in the film industry and this is making no sense to me.

From what I understand you have two things you're doing. 1) software that will "change the way movies are made" 2) movies you will then make after the computer spits them out into human hands.

Whether or not the mission statement applies to both endeavors I'm not sure.

For the first part, the software, I have nothing to say as I know nothing about software development, the marketing of it, etc. Everything you've written for a venture in the world of computer programming is beyond my ability to assess.

For the second part. Be ready to pay everyone you employ. You may not want investors but cast and crew don't volunteer for businessmen. They volunteer for artists. I had assumed you thought of your cast and crew as investors. You've stomped and declared you want none. So if you plan on making this movie single handedly... knock yourself out.
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Post by spot »

Good lord, have I really been so self-obsessed as to say I was going to "change the way movies are made"? That was a major faux pas if I did. I don't recall the occasion.

The Vision Statement is a declaration of intent regarding the company and how it interacts with those who work with it.

I've no idea why you think I'm seeking volunteers. Of course I'm paying cast and crew. They may, if they feel inclined, accept some promised portion of the profit in lieu of salary.

Can I try to distinguish these two words, investors and shareholders, since there's two words and conveniently there's also two groups we could apply them to. Investors are outsiders who give money in the hope of increase. Shareholders are the insider people who own the company. Some are long-term shareholders in the enabling company, some are shareholders in a specific project. Some of those might be cast and crew, if they ask for that as part of their contract.

Here's my note so far on profit distribution, it says the same thing. "MPC" is the specific project, "HC" the enabling company.The profit distribution formula
  • All the income taken together is the gross income.

    From that, all the production costs are paid (by clearing down the bank and investment accounts).

    From what's left, any periodic MPC costs are paid (though those will be trivially small).

    From what's left, investor profits are paid. That's like handing back interest on money loaned.

    The remainder is the net income. I suggest that for a typical MPC, a profit share would form part of the payment terms for those of the contracted people (actors, crew, director, writer, back office staff) who negotiated it in lieu of up-front salaries. It might perhaps distribute 70% of the net income, with 30% being the only immediate benefit from the MPC to the HC.

    All these agreements, investor and profit-share, terminate after ten years. All the MPC assets become the property of the HC. This saves the labour of keeping the MPC operational indefinitely and leaves open the possibility of further profits to HC in subsequent years.
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Post by spot »

Here's a brief description of the computer package I'm building.

It's based on my own lossless CRUD engine. That's a phrase which needs explaining. Normal CRUD is having a database into which the user can Create, Read, Update and Delete records. When you Delete you lose information. When you Update you lose the previous state of the record. Lossless CRUD marks old records obsolete instead of removing them and instead of doing an Update it then does a fresh Create based on previous values plus modifications. It's like a wiki for data.

Anyway. With a general engine like this, once the company analysis is performed there's several lists which get entered as setup information: the objects within the scope of the company, the actions that can be performed by the staff and the permissions each staff position has over the data.

And that's all there is, really. The engine then presents validated users with menus of what they're allowed to do, the user selects an action and does it, the affected instances of each object become CRUD with the stuff the user typed. Really complicated actions have an associated process, and the associated process is hand-crafted to provide the complex function needed, but most actions don't need that level of definition.

Once it's all tested and working I think I'm going to open-source both the engine and the company structure, to try to encourage other companies to adopt the same process. It's not going to damage my own financial well-being to have others using the software to manage media production. Assume for a moment that you've invented a company which makes films. If you make your corporate model public and it's excitingly good then perhaps dozens of company clones will spring up fairly quickly out of nowhere.

Developing the company model and open sourcing it doesn't mean an obligation to accept each and every change others might want to make to it. What it does give is scrutiny, correction, improvement and visibility.

One problem with going it alone is that a single firm doing it their own way will just be shunned. A school of firms taking up a similar approach has credibility. And besides, anything in the model that's too out of line can be brought back in by those who know the business. I have very little idea of how things are done, I've only read books. I can see the attraction of my initial model but I'm fully aware it can be improved on. External oversight can only be a benefit.
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Post by spot »

A key aspect to starting this particular business from scratch is that all the investment has to be made up front, one film is an integer quantity, there's no income from just producing a fraction of a film.

Every offer of funding, after a track record of profit can be shown, will be on the basis of so much cash in exchange for a share of the company. I have not the slightest interest in making any such arrangement. When capital becomes available in exchange for a proportion of the profit after deducting costs, that might interest me. That will not happen for the first production.

If, eventually, capital is offered in exchange for a share of that particular MPC then maybe, possibly, yes. That is, in effect, much the same thing as a proportion of the profit after deducting costs. What's not on offer is a shareholding in HC. What I dislike about "a share of that particular MPC" is that you can be certain any investor will want a controlling interest. It's all about ownership and direction and who takes the decisions even if the sharks aren't going to say out loud that their deal turns the original owners into employees.

Regardless, those arrangements can only be for subsequent productions. The first is entirely a bootstrapped operation, it will only happen if it's self-funded. What that means, of course, is that it has to be done on comparatively no money at all and that nobody's going to get any more than subsistence for it until, if it makes a profit, it makes a profit. In order to gain momentum, the profit distribution has to have built into it the potential for primarily HC funding the next MPC too, preferably with a larger budget than the first.

The company can, by all means, import more than one script and budget all of them and see what lies within the bounds of possibility. If we've built up a head of steam then for the next outing we may even be able to attract finance agents to tout on our behalf. Going out asking for money isn't, in my opinion, likely to bring home the bacon. I suspect nobody associated with this start-up, first time out, would avoid a scalping.

The hardware costs for film one are trivial. Generating involvement from talented beginners will, I think, be pretty simple too. What's essential is a blazingly good script, a tight achievable production schedule and a great deal of hard work and planning. Any team owning a two hour product which is clearing post-production, and which appeals to everyone who views it, is solidly on course for making all the films they want to.
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Post by koan »

Good luck.

I wish you well.

I'm not going to argue with you.
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Post by spot »

There are constraints, that's all. Financially I can't afford traditional production techniques, that's a constraint. I refuse to just bunk around with a camera and some mates and remake Blair Witch, if I can't have high production values I want nothing. How can I reconcile both sides and still get a result? I can apply my own production process, that's how.
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Post by koan »

spot;1360781 wrote: There are constraints, that's all. Financially I can't afford traditional production techniques, that's a constraint. I refuse to just bunk around with a camera and some mates and remake Blair Witch, if I can't have high production values I want nothing. How can I reconcile both sides and still get a result? I can apply my own production process, that's how.


You're contradicting yourself and insisting you aren't. That's why I don't want to argue.

You want to cut costs but you insist on paying actors instead of winning them over with your artistic passion.

You want to reinvent the wheel because you haven't researched how people are making movies now but want to do it differently.

You think you can make a brilliant film cheaply by replacing a Production Manager with a computer and apparently fast schedules are better than schedules prepared by an experienced human being.

Like I said, good luck.

If you decide someone who has worked in the film industry might know something a person who has not worked in it does not... let me know.
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Post by spot »

It's slightly worse than that. I very particularly don't want actors at all. I very particularly want to find non-actors who can fit the parts, and I'd feel sick as a parrot if I didn't pay them for their effort.

The crew is a different matter. If I can't enthuse a roomful of competent drama school graduates that this would provide a shop front for their skills then I may well be sunk.
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Post by koan »

What's actually the worst thing here is that there's not a single thing you've said about the kind of film you want to make that hasn't already been done yet you insist I don't know what you're talking about.
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Post by spot »

I've said nothing of the sort! Obviously you know far more about this than I do, nobody's disputing that. I simply can't adopt a conventional approach to production, because of the costs involved. Neither am I claiming novelty. I'm merely describing my approach to getting this start-up company off the ground. There may well be a hundred other companies that have adopted the same process I'm considering too, even though I've not heard of them. What I am sure of is that the cost of the equipment I need was out of my reach three years ago and now it's affordable, so it's a very recent development if others are doing what I'm proposing here.
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Post by koan »

Fine.

What's your budget for the first film? A minimum and a maximum.
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Post by koan »

As a guideline...

Blair Witch Project, which is a crappier film than you want to do, spent $25,000 for 9 days of shooting. The final budget including marketing was between $500, 000 and $750, 000

The low budget films that I worked on and usually went straight to video were $2-2.5 million and shot an average of 4 weeks.
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Post by spot »

$60,000 is a basement figure to reach an edited release version. I've not the least desire to go over that, I'm not going to get it done for any less so we can take it as close to what it'll come to. Two thirds of that is wages, none at any union rate. I've no problem building in union rates when I'm up and running, but I can't do it out of my own pocket.

The difference between what I can raise and the millions needed for a conventional production is why the software is a requirement.
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Post by koan »

Ok. So it's a micro-budget/guerrilla film.

Let me assure you, everyone has a "great script" and tells people that the cast and crew are working for next to nothing because the script is "so great." So come up with another appeal.

How big a crew do you plan on having?
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Post by spot »

koan;1360793 wrote: Ok. So it's a micro-budget/guerrilla film.

Let me assure you, everyone has a "great script" and tells people that the cast and crew are working for next to nothing because the script is "so great." So come up with another appeal.

How big a crew do you plan on having?
I don't know where you're getting this "appeal" notion from. I'm making no appeal, neither in the thread or out of it. I'm describing a company start-up.

Ten.

I have no intention of having the cast or crew working for next to nothing, I expect to increase their disposable income along with their experience. I'm fairly sure I'm never going to produce a "great script" too, I'm just writing a set of stories I need to tell. You're reading a lot of things into my approach which are coming out of your head but don't exist in mine.

I have no desire to make a film costing $1m. I have every intention of making a dozen that cost a lot less. I have two which might get into seven figures, but they're going to have to wait for funding until the earlier ones have generated that sort of return and I need to do a lot of learning before I tackle that degree of coordination. One portrays the American War of Independence.
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Post by spot »

Besides, all my funding constraints are at an end...date 2 June 2011 09:28

subject 8,500, 000.00Euro UNWILLED

I was authorized by the below Legal Officer

to contact you regarding (8,500, 000.00Euro)

UNWILLED to anyone and belonging to his late client

who died couple of years ago and deposited in a Spanish Bank.

All Legal details to actualize the project will

be made known to you upon your acceptance and response

to the legal Solicitor with below details.

Contact Email: antony.craggs@yahoo.com.hk

Antony Craggs
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Post by koan »

Ok. Crew of 10

A UK film permit will cost, for a two hour permit:

Lightweight equipment only

£300 plus VAT

Monday to Friday 10:00-15:30 only

A third of your budget gives you 12 days of 10hrs each. (A normal shooting day is 12 hours)

Though presumably you don't want to spend your whole budget on permits.

You're planning on shooting this somewhere that doesn't require permits then, right?
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Post by koan »

oh, my bad, that's the cost if your crew is only 5 people. Presumably you get a deal for a day permit but it would probably average out to the same. But it might be more. Maybe you don't need them at all.
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Post by spot »

I am as likely to apply and pay for a film permit as I am to wake up tomorrow speaking fluent Mandarin.
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Post by koan »

In that case, plan to film only on private property or take a crew of less than five who are mobile and ready to run away.

The average crew person makes $2000/wk on low budget. Department heads make more and don't have prenegotiated wages. The DP will be your most expensive. So your 40, 000 will probably cover wages for a month with the cast included. If you pay less you'll have to have that appeal thing I mentioned earlier.

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