business How to create an independent film production company?

Hi Stephane,

Wow thats quite a question. I'm in the UK, but I'd say that the answer really depends on the purpose of the company? ie. Is it a hobby platform for making your own hobby type films and then marketing them? Is it intended to support just one film or one TV-series that generates income or is sold to a distributor or studio? Is it for the production of shorts where crew, actors, etc are not being paid? Is it for the production of a long line of projects (films, TV, shorts, ads etc) where its generating income and/or generating expenses?

The implications of your answer presents a whole bunch of different paths and ways to go?

Suffice to say that if you're serious then its worth your time and effort with investigating further by way of networking (in person) with folk that have done this before and made a success of it. Doubtless there are going to be members of this forum (and many others) that can give you tips and pointers etc based on experience, but ultimately I'd recommend connecting with people in the business side of the industry. Raindance Film Festival might be a good place to start. I think they have monthly networking events in Toronto (as well as L.A, London and Berlin etc). There was talk of setting up a Raindance networking event somewhere else in Canada but not sure where - maybe Vancouver. Also worth getting along to any local business networking events, if you can, to learn about what's involved in setting up a company in your location. By company I mean a legally structured entity that satisfies the various IRS and governmental requirements where you are, in order to create and operate a company. Your profile suggests you are located in Canada, so if you want to set up a company (Limited, LLP LLC, sole trader etc), then you'll at least need to retain a good (ie. recommended) certified accountant. Where there's money involved and any type of contracts (especially staff, crew, actors etc) then you'll need a good certified lawyer with a background in Canadian company or corporate law ideally with experience of the relevant industry etc.

Raising money - well that's a whole different can of worms!! Friends and family are always the best source of a loan etc as they don't tend to sell your house if you can't make the repayments! Other sources include: banks, private equity, venture capital (all have rigourous criteria that have to be met, and you'll need a business plan to demonstrate how your income is generated, where your expenses are going, and how you'll be mitigating any risks such as changes to minimum wage, competition, etc etc). Government funds and charities, and private investors might be another source, and again you'll need a business plan which will need to show where their money is going and how it is being used to generate income to fuel your company's growth and pay them back. Most lenders will want a say in how you run your business to ensure they will get their money back.

Anyway, take a look at Raindance.org

My last thought - if you are just starting out then maybe start as a 'hobby' type of entity. ie. A personal website and social media presence (such as a Facebook page, Instagram account etc) that can be used to attract the skills and talent you need to develop and produce a slate of productions over time, paying for productions (ie. paying crew, actors etc) from your own pockets. Then, when your productions / films etc start to get noticed (via film festivals, distributors, etc) and generates income then create a formalised production company (LLC, LLP, Limited, etc etc) so that you can pay staff and look professional etc).


Good luck!!
 
Hi Stephane,

Wow thats quite a question. I'm in the UK, but I'd say that the answer really depends on the purpose of the company? ie. Is it a hobby platform for making your own hobby type films and then marketing them? Is it intended to support just one film or one TV-series that generates income or is sold to a distributor or studio? Is it for the production of shorts where crew, actors, etc are not being paid? Is it for the production of a long line of projects (films, TV, shorts, ads etc) where its generating income and/or generating expenses?

The implications of your answer presents a whole bunch of different paths and ways to go?

Suffice to say that if you're serious then its worth your time and effort with investigating further by way of networking (in person) with folk that have done this before and made a success of it. Doubtless there are going to be members of this forum (and many others) that can give you tips and pointers etc based on experience, but ultimately I'd recommend connecting with people in the business side of the industry. Raindance Film Festival might be a good place to start. I think they have monthly networking events in Toronto (as well as L.A, London and Berlin etc). There was talk of setting up a Raindance networking event somewhere else in Canada but not sure where - maybe Vancouver. Also worth getting along to any local business networking events, if you can, to learn about what's involved in setting up a company in your location. By company I mean a legally structured entity that satisfies the various IRS and governmental requirements where you are, in order to create and operate a company. Your profile suggests you are located in Canada, so if you want to set up a company (Limited, LLP LLC, sole trader etc), then you'll at least need to retain a good (ie. recommended) certified accountant. Where there's money involved and any type of contracts (especially staff, crew, actors etc) then you'll need a good certified lawyer with a background in Canadian company or corporate law ideally with experience of the relevant industry etc.

Raising money - well that's a whole different can of worms!! Friends and family are always the best source of a loan etc as they don't tend to sell your house if you can't make the repayments! Other sources include: banks, private equity, venture capital (all have rigourous criteria that have to be met, and you'll need a business plan to demonstrate how your income is generated, where your expenses are going, and how you'll be mitigating any risks such as changes to minimum wage, competition, etc etc). Government funds and charities, and private investors might be another source, and again you'll need a business plan which will need to show where their money is going and how it is being used to generate income to fuel your company's growth and pay them back. Most lenders will want a say in how you run your business to ensure they will get their money back.

Anyway, take a look at Raindance.org

My last thought - if you are just starting out then maybe start as a 'hobby' type of entity. ie. A personal website and social media presence (such as a Facebook page, Instagram account etc) that can be used to attract the skills and talent you need to develop and produce a slate of productions over time, paying for productions (ie. paying crew, actors etc) from your own pockets. Then, when your productions / films etc start to get noticed (via film festivals, distributors, etc) and generates income then create a formalised production company (LLC, LLP, Limited, etc etc) so that you can pay staff and look professional etc).


Good luck!!
Thanks my friend for your reply
My goal is to create an independent film production company to produce my own scary movie which I believe has a very commercial potentiel. After than, the company will grow bigger.
Thanks again
 
Does anyone knows the steps to follow to create an independent film production company?

A production company is no different than any company. A manufacturing
company buys or rents a building and makes a product. An auto repair
company buys or rents a building and fixes cars. A "production company"
make movies. And they are all started in the same way.

There is a "small business association" in most cities - they can help you
with legal matters. Typically a business is an LLC, but many people start
their business as a Sole Proprietorship, a General Partnership or a Joint
Venture. The short version: You will fill out the paperwork, make the required
legal declarations and get to work.

You need to know clearly what your goals are. Do you just want to put a
name on the credits of your movie? Do you need to open a bank account
using the company name? Do you have partners? Will you work out of you
home? Will you open an office and hire employees? Have you though about
the legal liability of starting a business?
 
A production company is no different than any company. A manufacturing
company buys or rents a building and makes a product. An auto repair
company buys or rents a building and fixes cars. A "production company"
make movies. And they are all started in the same way.

There is a "small business association" in most cities - they can help you
with legal matters. Typically a business is an LLC, but many people start
their business as a Sole Proprietorship, a General Partnership or a Joint
Venture. The short version: You will fill out the paperwork, make the required
legal declarations and get to work.

You need to know clearly what your goals are. Do you just want to put a
name on the credits of your movie? Do you need to open a bank account
using the company name? Do you have partners? Will you work out of you
home? Will you open an office and hire employees? Have you though about
the legal liability of starting a business?
I basically want to follow the same path that Robert Shaye with New Line Cinema.
Produce and distribute a scary movie. He did with Nightmare on elm street in 1984.
Regards
 
I basically want to follow the same path that Robert Shaye with New Line Cinema.
Produce and distribute a scary movie. He did with Nightmare on elm street in 1984.
Regards

An excellent path; start in distribution, then secure funding for low budget,
high concept movies and use their success to make bigger movies. Then
sell to a huge entertainment company for millions.

When will you start the process?
 
An excellent path; start in distribution, then secure funding for low budget,
high concept movies and use their success to make bigger movies. Then
sell to a huge entertainment company for millions.

When will you start the process?
I already have a strong script registered with us copyright (wich is the best way to protect yourself in my opinion) stay away from WGA to register screenplay (look screenshot below)
When will I start the process? In the next few months. I am gathering all the informations then I will do the necessary things. I will shot the feature movie next fall after I raises 4 millions. That's the goal for now.

Regards
 

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I know you've spent a long time on this script. I'm glad you
have gotten it to a version that is going to work.

I always wondered about you and what happened. You were
so enthusiastic about it and then stopped posting here. I hope
we helped a little. And that we can help on your path making
the film happen.
 
I know you've spent a long time on this script. I'm glad you
have gotten it to a version that is going to work.

I always wondered about you and what happened. You were
so enthusiastic about it and then stopped posting here. I hope
we helped a little. And that we can help on your path making

I know you've spent a long time on this script. I'm glad you
have gotten it to a version that is going to work.

I always wondered about you and what happened. You were
so enthusiastic about it and then stopped posting here. I hope
we helped a little. And that we can help on your path making
the film happen.
We can always improve a sceenplay, a song, a story but the process will never end because the evolution is infinite. Sometimes you just have to let it go as it is and go to the next project. I'd rather make one succes film than 6 just okay quick release.
 
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