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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Helpful
I recommend this for every new independent filmmaker and even the more experienced as it has a lot to offer. Not only does it teach you how to create a solid business plan, but it also gives excellent overviews of marketing, distribution, investors, financing options and more. This will be staying in my library permanently so that I can refer to it again and again.
Published on January 21, 2010 by Emma Wellington

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Filmmakers and Financing: A great reference guide, but not a business plan for independents. A Critical Review
*First Impression
**What this book is and what it isn't
***A Reference Book?
****Conclusion

*This is the second copy of Filmmakers and Financing that I own. I bought the 1st ed. fifteen years ago and, at the time, there weren't many books available and the internet was still relatively underground.

What I liked about the 1st ed. is...
Published on December 6, 2009 by Andre Lawrence


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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Filmmakers and Financing: A great reference guide, but not a business plan for independents. A Critical Review, December 6, 2009
This review is from: Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
*First Impression
**What this book is and what it isn't
***A Reference Book?
****Conclusion

*This is the second copy of Filmmakers and Financing that I own. I bought the 1st ed. fifteen years ago and, at the time, there weren't many books available and the internet was still relatively underground.

What I liked about the 1st ed. is that it served my initial need of needing to know about the many different aspects of the business side of filmmaking. This is by no means a book about how to write a business plan, neither the 1st ed. nor this 6th edition.

**This book is essentially a reference book that explains the many, many terms and conditions involved with the film industry and dealing with the various entities that do business under this umbrella.

As a business major, one of the things we were taught is that a business plan is a structured proposal that has several key ingredients.

-An introduction--where the company introduces itself and speaks of the nature of its business.

-The Goal(s)--both short-term and long-term. How the company will pursue its goals. When the goals will start, finish. The cost and the expected revenue(s) from such ventures.

-Ancillary Markets--These are possible partnerships or peripheral opportunities that may arise from the undertaking of the venture.

-The Budget--This includes charts and supporting evidence to justify the expenditures.

-Conclusion or Closing Statement.

This book has toward the ending chapters a fictional company and some vague charts.

***Brief explanations are presented for the following categories:

The Executive Summary
The Company
The Films
The Industry
The Markets
Distribution
Risk Factors, etc.

10 pages of tables from an imaginary company.

****This book, nevertheless, is an important book because it explains in the most simple manner the terminology of this industry. It also answers general questions pertaining to the marketing and negotiating of contracts.

Not much has changed since the 1st ed and I would have liked for Ms. Levison to use at least one concrete example: show the budget of the feature. Let me see the salaries of the actors. What were the terms that this independent film company negotiated with a major studio. How much profit was made through ancillary (dvd) markets. What is the cost of film processing. Show some typical expenditure reports.

With the exception of the actual business plan another Focal Press book addresses the very questions that is missing from Filmmakers and Financing: I would suggest a more comprehensive look can be found here, The Business of Media Distribution: Monetizing Film, TV and Video Content in an Online World, by Jeffrey C. Ulin.

This book has not kept pace with the needs of independents.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Helpful, January 21, 2010
This review is from: Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I recommend this for every new independent filmmaker and even the more experienced as it has a lot to offer. Not only does it teach you how to create a solid business plan, but it also gives excellent overviews of marketing, distribution, investors, financing options and more. This will be staying in my library permanently so that I can refer to it again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good place to start when trying to focus your energies on a film project, February 18, 2010
By 
Wildness (Colorado Plateau) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Paperback)
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Louise Levison's Filmmakers and Financing is a good resource for the up and coming independent filmmaker. Having a great idea for film is not enough and YouTube exposure can only get you so far. What you need is a plan; and not just any plan, but one that considers not only how you are going to finance your film, but also how you are going to sell and market it as well. And, that can be some very confusing - and crowded - waters.

That is where this book comes in. Filmmakers and Financing will give you a focused overview of your options and potential resources that will help you narrow down a game plan - and a business plan - for your first film project.

Good luck.

>>>>>>><<<<<<<

A Guide to my Book Rating System:

1 star = The wood pulp would have been better utilized as toilet paper.
2 stars = Don't bother, clean your bathroom instead.
3 stars = Wasn't a waste of time, but it was time wasted.
4 stars = Good book, but not life altering.
5 stars = This book changed my world in at least some small way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for those seeking financing as well as those needing marketing help, January 1, 2010
This review is from: Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I opened this book, I expected it to be a dull, boring textbook on how to put a business plan together that would optimize your chances of obtaining financing for a film project. The book does discuss financing a film, but it is so much more. Written in an interesting, communicative style, the author is street smart and savvy when it comes to getting the money that will put your film out there to an audience. Levison gives out advice that will help the inexperienced as well as the experienced filmmaker develop business plans, marketing strategy, and turning weaknesses into strengths. Her advice is spot on in terms of what you need to do to have a chance to get your film financed and distributed. In addition to forms, an online (passcode needed)support and supplemental feature, Levison provides a twenty page index that is incredibly detailed and helpful when you want to go back and check on something. As a radio-television-film major who dabbled in shorter filmmaking, I really wish this book had been available back when I needed financing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong stand-alone reference on film financing, November 30, 2009
This review is from: Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you are an independent filmmaker and you don't have infinite financial resources, read this book. You'll find plenty of material to help you write or improve your next film proposal/business plan.

Essentially a "How to write a business plan" book for filmmakers, this book digs deeply into each section of the plan, particularly the financials. There's plenty to learn here about Hollywood accounting, fund raising, and film financing in general. You'll also get a good education about the various categories of film projects, how they are produced, and how they are viewed in the minds of industry players. This insight is quite valuable.

I found very little to criticize. The book is quite complete...except for one thing. The author is so experienced, and has been involved with financing films for so long, that I felt the book could have benefited from a few case studies. The author mentions so many film projects that I am quite certain she knows the inside details of how many of them got financed. One case study per chapter would make this book a must read for literally everyone involved with independent films. However, this is not sufficient grounds to deduct a whole star from my rating, so it gets five stars for providing complete, current, competent coverage of its topic. Strongly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful, January 9, 2013
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This review is from: Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Paperback)
A very helpful book helping independents begin the process of the business plan. Should be read alongside other books on the business plan such as "The Art of Film Funding" by Carole Reed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting book, October 11, 2012
By 
Efraim Landa (Livingston, NJ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Paperback)
This is a very interesting book that lends insight into how movies get funded. This is a great read for those who are looking to get their film funded as well as for the rest of us who watch films and would like to know more about the film making process.
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3.0 out of 5 stars If you just got out of film school, this book is worth your dollars..., July 8, 2012
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This review is from: Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Paperback)
This is a general book for new filmmakers or first-timers in some fashion because it does not guide you into the technical steps for you to build you film business plan.
There is a lot of lecturing and blablabla, although this blablabla is certainly accurate, the skilled and experienced filmmakers will most probably get anoyed like I've been : it does tap us on our shoulders telling us "good little children : this is what the industry is like' or 'this is what your job is"...
The blablabla could still be useful to feed your "live" pitch in front of your investors. If you are a beginner in indie film producing and distributing, like you just got out of film school, this book is worth your dollars : buy it, it is necessary, but not alone: you'll need another book to go deeper into the financing and financial techniques...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice overview, January 28, 2010
By 
Gina Miller (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I make animated films so I am interested in how to finance and market my films, thus my purchase of this book. First off it is impressive that it is presented by "Variety" the industry standard magazine and the author also created the business plan for the Blair Witch Project.
In between the pages itself the book aims to be a guide on how to develop your own business plan as an independent film maker.
There are interviews with filmmakers who have gone through the process of trying to get an investor. There are in depth explanations of the different types of ways to get funding, there are strategies and warning, there are sections on distribution and motion picture production. All in all it is a very well rounded read. It's also nicely written and easily understood.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Important Money Information that Every Filmmaker Should Know..., January 27, 2010
This review is from: Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Business plans, budgeting and financing a film are often the last thing a creative person wants to think about. But Louise Levinson speaks from experience and explains exactly why all three are not only important but indespensible.

The business plan is the heart of the book--and she makes the important point that it is written to impress your investors, more than anything. There are useful charts with sample budgets. There are several useful discussions of distribution and marketing and some good ideas for getting funding--whether short film or full length.

The information is clear and concise. It is not a very engrossing read (and, as others have suggested, case studies might help with readability), but it is extremely important to do--and to remember that a film (regardless of length) needs to be viewed as a marketable commodity, an investment, and not just as a artistic or creative personal statement.

In that sense, Levinson provides a good service with "Filmmakers and Financing" as this book could definitely make the difference between success and failure for many. Recommended.
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Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents
Filmmakers and Financing: Business Plans for Independents by Louise Levison (Paperback - October 7, 2009)
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