producer Landing a Producer

Hi there,

I completed the screenplay for my first fiction feature last year and am currently trying to get a producer on board.

I was initially planning to produce it myself, but at the suggestion of a contact who read it, I have been trying to get a producer on board, in order to open the doors to financing, distribution and securing ideal cast and crew.

This process started last July. I don’t have a huge amount of contacts so have been waiting for this one to try the producers that he knows (some of which are ideal). I haven’t had any interest yet, though it seems his progress has been very slow -- he only tried one person (who recently retired so can't do it) before I chased it up at the end of 2019, and since then he has sent it to a few others, but no news yet.

I’ve being growing a bit impatient of late (and it’s also depressing to have to push the potential release back by a year repeatedly, as seasonal aspects are part of the narrative) so have started reaching out to other people I know in the hope that they might know someone appropriate.

Another contact knows a producer who could be ideal, though this guy is perhaps on the side of being too big for the project. I have already been in touch with this producer, as he apparently loved my last film (a documentary) and expressed some interest in distributing it. When he got in touch about my last film, I mentioned the screenplay but have yet to hear back from him (this was a quite a while ago).

I am wondering – is it always best for screenplays to come recommended by someone they know well, or is it best just to contact a producer that I have already been in touch with directly? I was thinking that maybe I could get the guy who knows him really well to read the screenplay and recommend it, though I’m not sure if that’s the best route (it may also take him months to read it, if he ever does it, as he’s so busy). I could just follow up directly, asking if he wants to read the screenplay.

I’m also not sure if, as a general principle, I should try to pinpoint ideal producers and try them one at a time, or broaden the search and cast the net a bit wider?

Perhaps I'm being impatient, but the seven months I've been waiting so far have been pretty disheartening, particularly as I had so much momentum before choosing not to take the guerilla route. I'm also a bit skeptical about the possibility of acquiring funding and an ideal producer, as the project is very "out there", in numerous directions, and part of me just wants to get on with it, lest it never gets funded while it gets held up for years (I'm determined to make it happen one way or another). Of course, landing the ideal producer will make a huge difference if it does happen.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 
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Do you have a track record? Have you produced anything before, like a short film (or several)? Or have you written shorts that have been produced?

What history do you have that you think would attract a producer?
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
You could try AFM and IFP or any "film markets" that are designed for development and not just distribution. Also, crowdsourcing.
 
Do you have a track record? Have you produced anything before, like a short film (or several)? Or have you written shorts that have been produced?

What history do you have that you think would attract a producer?
I made a documentary feature directly after leaving film school, which did fairly well (screened at good festivals and got distribution) -- one of my ideal producers for this project saw it and apparently loved it.

My track record with fiction is basically nil.

Thanks!
 
Instead of looking for a "major" producer perhaps you could look around for an ambitious up-and-comer. Maybe your retired producer contact can recommend someone. Having no track record with narrative projects makes you a tough sell.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
Here's the deal... producers work on points (percentage of the film) where money is projected to made. Otherwise you are going to have to pay them a rate or flat fee. Sure you can get an experienced one, but can you afford it?
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I am wondering – is it always best for screenplays to come recommended by someone they know well, or is it best just to contact a producer that I have already been in touch with directly?
It's always best to get a referral. That doesn't mean you can't or
shouldn't contact a producer you have been in touch with.

I’m also not sure if, as a general principle, I should try to pinpoint ideal producers and try them one at a time, or broaden the search and cast the net a bit wider?
As you have already pointed out, it can take a long time for a
producer to get back to you. If you try them one at a time and
each one takes, say, 4 months to get back to you to say they
aren't interested you will see 3 in a year. What if each takes
seven months? Feeling a little impatient?

Get the ball rolling yourself as if you are producing. Send out
queries to every producer you can. But keep the momentum
going.
 
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