As an entertainment lover, you’ve probably thought “Hey, I can do this”.
Making a movie, in particular, seems so easy these days. Just grab your camera and shoot!
But it’s not nearly that simple, and Movie Money CONFIDENTIAL explains the importance of merging your vision with good business sense.
Once you watch the credits of any movie (or TV show, for that matter), you see the many roles you need to pull off a successful — and, frankly, unsuccessful — production.
Movie Money CONFIDENTIAL is a documentary inspired by Louise Levison’s best-selling Filmkakers & Financing.
Levison taught film financing at UCLA, and she has more than one successful business plan for independent films up her sleeve.
Specifically, Levison created the business plan for the Blair Witch Project, which was the most successful independent film ever made.
Watching Levison discuss his plan for this movie doesn’t sound like entertainment at all, and that’s the point.
Filmmakers may have a creative vision imperative to the success of a film, but you can’t achieve that vision without a business plan and investors to back it up.
Writer-director Rick Pamplin is one of Levison’s clients and is the head of Movie Money CONFIDENTIAL.
Pamplin has confidence to spare, and part of that is due to Levison’s involvement in his projects. Luckily for budding filmmakers, Pamplin saw the benefit of sharing Levison’s ideas via an independent film.
Like any other film, Movie Money CONFIDENTIAL started on the ground floor, and Pamplin and his producer, Scott DuPont, ran into quite a few problems during production. If you think asking for money is hard, talking about investing your money is even harder.
Pamplin used over 60 industry interviews with people eager to share their thoughts on the film’s financing and a wider range of topics to create the film.
Among those he has spoken to are Salma Hayek, one of Levison’s clients for The Prophet, and superstar and theater owner, Burt Reynolds, in one of his final interviews.
While Hayek’s segment was short, the in-depth discussions with Reynolds have been bittersweet since he filmed his final appearance just six months before his death.
He showcases a side of Reynolds that very few people know about, and his insight is invaluable.
Most movies feature investors you’ve never heard of and probably never would’ve heard of, but for this movie their main points seem like common sense, but hearing someone say it and actually getting it right do are two different things.
Interview after interview, the evidence is obvious. If you have the vision to create movies, you have to pick up the camera. You also need a solid business plan to secure investors.
The last part is the focus of this movie, and the biggest takeaway is to not take anyone for granted and use every opportunity you have to get funding.
You don’t know who has the money or who is ready to invest, from your best friend to a stranger on the street – discussing your vision and looking for investors should be part of every conversation.
Levison, Pamplin, and DuPont took their show on the road, catering to students and insiders, and the film hinges on the people they interviewed, the reactions they received, and what they shared.
If there was a sticking point for me, it was the music Pamplin used throughout. Most played like an infomercial. And while this film was, essentially, a long infomercial promoting the financing of the film, the music made it a bit of a chore to go through.
But if you can put that aside, the subject and the way it’s covered is well worth your time. Who knows, maybe the next movie I review will be yours.
Carissa Pavlica is the editor and a writer and reviewer for TV Fanatic. She is a member of the Critics’ Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who wants to listen. Follow her on Twitter and email him here at TV Fanatic.