Category Archives: sales agent

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with FlyWay Film Festival Director Rick Vaicius Tues 10/21

rickvaicius-by photologic

Rick Vaicius is director and founder of Flyway Film Festival, Wisconsin’s bluff premier destination for independent film as noted by Emmy award-winning blogger Scott W. Smith “ … a festival that should be on your radar”. Founded in 2008 Vaicius has created a standout, intimate and high-quality annual festival.

Over the past four years, Flyway has brought over 80 filmmakers into the local community. In addition to screening remarkable films, it has become a unique venue for filmmakers to network and discuss projects and the “state of the industry” in the film world. Vaicius has already persuaded some top film industry talent to appear.

UPCOMING LIVE: Tuesday October 21st, 2014 11aET 10aCT 8aPT TO LISTEN CLICK THE BOLDED Link Below:

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat chats with FlyWay Film Festival director Rick Vaicius

The 7th Annual Flyway Film Festival in Pepin and Stockholm, Wisconsin promises to be its most exciting to-date. October 23-26, 2014.

For film and panel line up and how to attend visit the Flyway Film Festival Official Website

The Official Flyway Film Festival Website

flyawayfilm1

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

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To Crowdfund Or Not To Crowdfund? Is That The Question? Part 3

“…Consider this: Movies get funded and made every day. I repeat: MOVIES GET FUNDED AND MADE EVERY DAY!Sure, it is tough but it happens. Projects get green lit from the  studios, independent films find their funding, crowdfunded pictures get their money to move forward, and more. These happen all the time.  It all boils down to a simple thought: If others can do it so can you! Keep the faith.”

Crowdfunding Part 3

“In my book the single most important ingredient for hoping to get a project launched IS to have a great movie to make.  It makes it much more likely you will be able to move ahead when you start with something that has incredible value. You should have an excellent script. Top of the line!

First and foremost here is what you need to consider and ask yourself: Do you have a film project worth investing your time, money and energy in? Do you have a film project worth another person investing their time, money and energy in? Do you have a film project worth an audience investing their time, money and energy in? Well, do you? Be honest.

These are important questions. Do you have something great that is worth making? If you can honestly answer yes, you may be on your way. If you cannot, keep looking for a great project.

No one wants mediocre or just okay? Everyone wants to be captivated, they want their attention grabbed and they want to go on a two hour roller coster ride. They want to laugh or cry or both. They want to be involved and live through the characters.

Movies are supposed to be for escape so people can forget the drudgery of their circumstances for a while and be transported somewhere more fun, enjoyable or even terrifying. They want to be entertained and not wonder why they wasted minutes of their life. Make sure your film project is worthy of you, your funders and the people it is intended to please – your audience.

It is true that even with the best script, the best director and the best available cast, the movie still may not get made.  There are many factors in getting a movie produced and all need to line up for it to go. That is the art of juggling a production. There are so many things to work on all at once it IS  like trying to keep a number of balls in the air. Some  productions will make it some will not. This is critical whether crowdfunding or using more traditional methods.

It is important to put together the best possible project so start with. You start with the best script. You seek the best producing team, the best cast and the best crew. You may or may not need any of these ‘attached’ to seek funds but ultimately you want to have the best to work with regardless. Often, you raise seed money first to be able to launch your LLC, set up a bank account and hire on the others.

It is important to have a good entertainment attorney who can advise you when and how to certain things. For example, when DO you launch you LLC,? Some say that should come first, (as I just described) get some money and incorporate.  Others advise that you wait, you don’t need to set up an LLC until you have funds coming from your sources. Investors understand the LLC will follow.

Savvy investors know the all the steps you should too. Seek wise, legitimate, experienced legal counsel. This is not an area you want to skimp on.

Even though some movies do not get made  the money out there for movies is still plentiful.  The proof that there is more than enough money to go around  IS this: even mediocre and terrible movies get funded and released. Haven’t we all wondered, ‘how on earth did this ever get made?’

Whatever  the reasoning behind the financing of a ‘bad movie’, which may have reasons, (often  tax shelters) the movie still got made and released. Most of us like to think that filmmakers don’t set out to make a bad movie but that is simply not the case, there are those who do.

My point is funds can be found! Money is plentiful! Bad movies are part of the  proof that the money is available if the conditions are right.

What are the right conditions that got the movie made regardless of whether  it was a good or bad. It was the ‘deal’,  the tax shelter, a vanity project, it was for any other reasons that some people invested. Apparently, it was to make money or to lose money but it was not to release a great movie. Funny, you wouldn’t think it to be the case but bottom line rules. Good or bad movies are financed because the investors saw fit to invest.

Funds exists. You just have to tap into them.  You are better served if you do everything smart and right from the get-go. Aim high! Make a really good movie. Make a great movie. If you are going to put all this time and work into it you should absolutely love it.

The attitude a filmmaker needs is to maintain is a positive attitude. You should have a great script you are passionate about, that you believe in 1000 per cent.  If you absolutely believe in it and are passionate about it others can jump on board because the believe in you and trust in your commitment. If you have a great script and great package it makes it more likely others will be interested too.

So chose something you will still be passionate about years from now because it could be a long road. It can be easy but it usually isn’t. Raising money is an art and a science that you should learn to do well if you want to produce your own projects.

Once you have  your budget and your producer package together you need to plan how to get financed either by traditional means, crowdfunding, both or by some new novel approach.

The bottom line is that you will have to be dedicated and you will have to know where to look. Fund raising can begin anytime you have a legitimate project to fund raise for.

You will need to know where to look for your money. Perhaps, your investors will be those who are in the field, or interested in the field you movie is about. Perhaps, they are medical people. law enforcement, attorneys, scientists, bankers, who have money and are interested in your topic. Perhaps, they are financial people who have no actual interest in your topic but like a well put together project that has potential.

You could piece them together from all over or it could mostly come from a few or even from one source. You will have to do the leg work to find out who and from what walks of life your investors come from. This is another area where a smart entertainment attorney may be of some help. Sometimes attorneys know people whom they can put you in touch with who are looking for investments. The entertainment attorney may be a useful resource in this area.

Besides a great script/project you REALLY need to know and understand people. You need to understand why and how people invest.  You want to get inside the investor or contributor mindset. You need to understand them to know how to approach them, to pitch them and to sell them. You not only have to know how to do these things you have to know when and how to close them.

Your first thought should be about getting to know these people and understanding their wants and needs. You need to learn how to create rapport with others and how to add value to them.

If you know why they invest and in what they invest you help yourself out in many ways.  As a producer you will spend more of your time raising money than making movies so you ought to understand how the people think that you are trying to get money from. This may be more  important than anything else for you to appreciate and know.

Savvy investors, if they even give you the time of day, will see you coming miles away. They will size you and your project up within seconds of first contact. This is the world of finance! It is not art. This is the world of business. No one cares about you as much as they care about their bottom line. So be prepared. Be professional!  You must have something they want. Be able to speak to them in the language that they speak (finance – not their native tongue) and in the world they understand.

At the very same time understand if you have a great project you may have something of value others will want. YOU also have to qualify investors just as investors will qualify you. Not everyone you approach or who approaches you is worth your time. You will want to learn how to separate the legitimate investor from the person who will waste your time because it makes them feel good to act the big shot around town. Getting legitimate investments is a two-way street.

You have to understand the laws and the rules too. You do not want to violate any in this area. Trust me, you don’t.  Do your homework.

As filmmakers we all want to just make films. In order to do that and make and pay living wages we need to finance our projects. You would be best served to read everything you can. Find someone who will mentor you in the art of financing or fund raising.

Today, filmmakers may be better off getting an MBA and going to business school than going to film school.  At the end of the day it is the business part of show business that rules and that determines who is successful and who isn’t.

Crowdfunding, at least for the time being, may be a way around all the legalities of traditional investing. Still, you have a responsibility to the funding platform, your ‘funders’, your team to be ethical, honest,  and completely above board. Be transparent so people know who you are and what you are all about.

Remember, HOWEVER, you raise funds it takes an enormous amount of energy, planning and working the process.  It is a lot of hard work. The people best suited for it may be the people who already have a passion for it. Perhaps, if this is not an area that you are drawn to you can partner up with someone who is. It requires dedication, passion, know-how and commitment. It requires being both smart and wise.

DO NOT EVER use the funds except as specified and when specified. They should be in escrow or considered escrowed in the case of crowdfunding. You owe perks to you funders always make sure you raise enough for what you intend to do and then some.

So when it comes to getting funded you have to do your homework More about all this next time.” Rex Sikes

Enjoy your day!

(Disclaimer: I do not purport to be an expert in crowdfunding or traditional means of financing. Nor am I able to dispense legal advice. Filmmakers are best served by finding a qualified entertainment attorney to work with and guide them in these areas. I bring up the topic to share a viewpoint and to encourage thinking and discussion).

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS blog.

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site

To Crowdfund Or Not To Crowdfund? Is That The Question? Part 2

money pile

“… reality is more like this, you make your movies and get them honestly funded, however you are  able to, without breaking the bank. Your bank, your parents or relatives bank, or your real life investors bank.”

Part 2  Attitude is Everything!

Crowdfunding takes an inordinate amount of work for most everyone.  Funding of any kind takes massive effort and requires time and care. It is as time consuming (if not more) and as difficult (if not more) than making  and releasing the actual movie.

Some celebrities may have an easier go of it but then, remember, they had a career path to celebrity-hood that they finally are able to utilize. As a celebrity they are now able to cash in and draw attention to charities or projects. I do not begrudge them their success or that they crowd fund. Let them, it brings more attention to the process.

As filmmakers we need to believe there is room for everyone.  We need to believe that there is enough of everything for everyone.

We should not think that what we do is for a select few. Anyone may make movies. Whether they succeed depends on their talent and commitment, the gatekeeping mechanisms and whether or not the public embraces them. Everyone is welcome to try.

We should not think that there is only one correct way to do anything. There are many roads to the same destination. We should not let our thinking limit us from finding new ways and means and forging ahead as pioneers. Only a brave few will forge ahead and create new roads for the rest of us but we should celebrate those who are willing.

We must not think that money or resources are limited. They aren’t. Look around you there is plenty of money. Money is everywhere! You may not have access to it yet but it is out there. There is more than enough money! There is money available for you!

Sadly, some people think they have to divide up the pie. They think there is only so much and they have to fight to get their share. These people  believe  that when it is used up it is all over. They think in terms of finite resources.  They usually have an ‘us against them’ mentality. In actuality, there is enough for all.

This limiting frame of mind comes from focusing on ‘lack’. They concentrate on what they do not have. It is poverty thinking. People with this mindset see resources as scarce instead of as plentiful.  In the midst of the most difficult depressions and recessions millionaires and billionaires are made. It is not that there isn’t money out there, there is tons of it.

You can’t expect to climb up the hill if all your thinking is down hill thoughts. If you are focused on what is broken, or not working, or what you don’t have you will be missing what is actually potentially available. If you are thinking you won’t succeed failure is assured. If your time is spent feeling jealous or criticizing others when they succeed your success is so less likely.

Some people encounter a problem and all of their energy and thoughts go into ‘having a problem’. They think about the problem day and night, they wonder ‘why me’ and resent that there is an issue. This person is focused on the problem so guess what they see most of the time. The problem AND it looms large in their mind.

What a person needs to do is recognize when there is a problem and then focus on the solution. How can I solve this is a better question than why do I have this problem? What can I begin to do to move forward is a better question than remaining stuck. What resources do I have, who do I know who can help me through this, what do I need to learn are all better ways of thinking.

Once we truly realize that there IS plenty of money to fund our project, and that we can find it when we look for it, no matter what it takes, we operate from a position of power. We have a positive mind set and we think positive thoughts which lead to positive actions.

Since many of us already engage in limiting thinking we need to turn our thinking around. We need to free ourselves from what ‘can’t be’, and move into what ‘can be’.  We have to manage our thoughts and our feelings so our energy is freed up to do whatever it takes to get the job done. So we put the poverty, limited, scarcity thoughts out of our minds.

What we really need to do is make more pies. We need to create and keep creating and demonstrate there is enough for everyone. We need to maintain a positive focus and continue to work to make our dreams come true.

Success leaves clues. One way to set yourself up to succeed more readily and easily is to learn from others who have already done what you want to do. Study the successful people to know what they did and what you might do. Study the failed campaigns to know what not to do. You will learn from both.

Seek people who can mentor you and advise you. Learning means gathering useful and accurate information and acting on it appropriately. It means enlisting others who can work with you and help you accomplish your goals. Read whatever you can, talk with others, become an intern, go to work fundraising for charities or other concerns. Learn everything you can about the world of finance and business because that IS what the motion picture ‘business’ is truly about.

Movie making is all based on commerce. It is a commercial venture. It is the creative manufacture of a product for sale in the marketplace. It is about raising money, spending money, making and losing money.

Hey, I get it. You want to make movies. You consider yourself an artist. You don’t want any part of the money side. Yes, I know. All I want to do is make movies too.

Well, if that is ALL you want to do, get your friends and a video camera, film your story and edit it. Show your friends and family. Congratulate yourself for having made a movie. If it is good and you enjoyed making the movie do it again if you like. You are a filmmaker.

If you want to compete in the marketplace of movies and media that is all about business. Movies are made, marketed and positioned in the same way a detergent is so that it ends up eye level on a super market shelf. Product is made and distributed  TO MAKE SOMEONE MONEY!

So your mind set is definitely important! Define yourself and your career. Are you a carefree artist? Would you be happy making movies to show to a few in the desert or a you filmmaker attempting to break into the commercial world of filmmaking? Whichever it is, pursue it. One choice is much easier than the other, unless you decide as an artist, that you need to raise money to make your movie. Then BAM you are back in the world of finance.

When you take money from people, UNLESS it is a NO STRINGS ATTACHED GIFT (rarely if ever IS that the case) YOU have a responsibility to return their money and them some (or at the VERY LEAST make every reasonable attempt to) if they invested  or you have to deliver on the perks and promises of your crowdfunding campaign. Either way you OWE those who supported you.

So mind set and attitude is important. Having the proper confident mindset will see you through the easy times and the difficult times. Having a winning attitude, a can do attitude means you have learned the ability to stay focused on what you want and seek solutions when the going is tough or everything around you is crumbling.

Because raising money, by whatever means, takes a lot of work you have to go into it believing you will succeed. You should be optimistic and expect good results. You should expect it to be tough and take time but you should know that it IS possible and that you can do it. You have to believe in yourself and be confident. If you don’t know what you are doing be assured you can learn how to do it and do it well. One thing about people that is certain is that we can learn to do anything if we will apply ourselves and seek out useful resources.

You want to be certain you put together the right team for your fundraising project. Everyone should be on the same page about what you are attempting to do and this requires excellent communication skills. You need to make certain everyone understands what your plan is and agrees on the plan. It is ok for people to have alternate ideas and  to sort through them.

You want to get positive input from people. You want people to suggest reasonable ways that work. You do want to be able to think outside the box, as well.  You want to put everything on the table and sort it out prior to implementing your plan. Once you come up with a good plan you work the plan. You want everyone understanding what the plan is all along the way and working the exact same plan.  Likewise, you want everyone making the same movie, when it is in production, not the versions they have of it in their heads.

Not all plans work so you may need to adjust along the way. Since raising money is a lot of work you want to make sure your team is loyal and committed and that each does what is required of them so that everything goes smoothly.

If you go into this expecting to divide the work evenly among committee members and then everything ends up on the shoulders of one or two people no one is going to be very happy. You don’t want skirmishes to rip your team apart once you begin so do everything you can in the beginning to make sure you have all the right team members. No one ever actually succeeds alone.

So you want to be careful about the ‘bad apples’. For whatever reason some people can create an awful lot of discord and you want to maintain a positive team and frame of mind. If you have to let someone go, if a person or two is not a fit or a good team player,  let them go respectfully. There is never a reason to create enemies. Keep goodwill.  You may suggest that you work together at another time on a more suitable project for both of you.

Fundraising is tough but if you focus only on how tough it is, it will only be tougher. This is why you need to be dedicated and committed, educated and confident that you are able to succeed. Stay cheerful in both the good times and the not so good times. Keep your eyes on the end goal when times are tough. Attitude is everything so keep your chin up. Investors can tell when you are low or if you don’t fully believe in yourselves or your project. You need to believe your project is worth making and that you can get it made.

Work on developing a powerful positive mindset. There  is more to a positive mindset than a’rah rah’ cheerleading squad type motivational shout up. You should learn what you need to do, learn how to do it, be confident that with the right mentors and practice you will get better and that you will be able to reach your goal.  Remember always that you can do it when you work at it. Work smarter not harder.

As you inch closer and closer to making it happen it is natural and good to be enthusiastic. Don’t lose sight of what you are working to achieve. Make it happen and enjoy it.

A good team leader has the right mindset all the time. A good leader needs to be able to be enthusiastic when times are tough so that the team is not discouraged. A good leader needs to be understanding, compassionate and a great motivator. A truly great leader leads by example not by orders. When people are around someone who walks the talk they want to walk it too. Bottom line, if your goal is to add value to all and be an inspiration to all you will be working well whether the team leader or a team member. Again, attitude IS everything.

Believe that you can do it. Henry Ford said, ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you are right.’ No sea captain starts a voyage thinking they won’t get to their destination and neither should you. It doesn’t matter how difficult it is if you keep at it, if you are open to feedback and adapt your plans as may be necessary, you can make it happen.

Some projects don’t get funded right away, some do and then lose funding. Any number of things can happen that can make the going tougher than one imagined but don’t you quit if this is truly important to you. When you stick with it, with the right attitude, you will find another way. Stay focused on the goal, the solutions and believe in yourself, your project, your team and that you will prevail.

Consider this: Movies get funded and made every day.

I repeat: MOVIES GET FUNDED AND MADE EVERY DAY!

Sure, it is tough but it happens. Projects get green lit from the  studios, independent films find their funding, crowdfunded pictures get their money to move forward, and more.

These happen all the time.  It all boils down to a simple thought: If others can do it so can you! Keep the faith.” Rex Sikes

Next time well will discuss what I believe are some important factors in launching your projects and determining how to move ahead to fund it.

Subscribe and Follow Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Blog!  Visit often & please share with others!

*** Please also visit Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Website.

Stay up to date with the live shows on Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat. You can join us and listen live as the show records. You can hang in chat and ask questions. All shows are recorded and archived at the official site.

Updates will be posted at this blog,  at the official site,  on the RSMB Friends page on FB,  through twitter and elsewhere.  When you can’t join us live you can still  listen to archived show from official site, from blogtalk radio and you can subscribe to the podcast at itunes.

Over 400 hours of professional filmmakers share their expertise and tips and secrets with you. All discussion may be listened to live and archived from the Official Site too! Check the INTERVIEWS

Rex Sikes’ Movie Beat Official Site