We’ve been talking a lot about financing and packaging lately but one thing is for sure when you’re in the thick of those things and that’s at some point you’ll be sitting there asking yourself – What Can I Do Next? What can I do now that all my irons are in the fire and I’m waiting to hear back from people (both on the talent and financing fronts)?
Look, I hate the waiting game as much as the next person but it’s a part of the process I’ve learned to tolerate (begrudgingly of course!) so I wanted to share with you a few of the things I do during the inevitable waiting period to keep being proactive and see if maybe it can help you at all.
So here’s the situation – let’s say you have a script and you’re going out to talent to try and attach someone for the lead role. Congratulations you got past the gatekeepers… they are going to read the script, pass it on to their client, and get back to you. So what do you do in the mean time then? Here’s a few suggestions:
1. Go out to other talent for the same role – I never just go out to my first choice for a role, I go out to 3 or 4 actors simultaneously. Remember, renegade producers do things simultaneously, NOT sequentially!
2. Go out to talent for other roles – most of the projects I’m working on have 3-5 key roles each and I pursue all of them at once. What’s great about this approach is that if I get interest from one of the roles, then I can leverage that to get others interested too.
3. Start researching Distribution companies you’re going to approach once you have your package in place – one of the things you can do while you’re out to 5 or 10 actors and no one is getting back to you yet is to start planning your next moves. Meaning, once you get your talent attached you’re probably going to want to approach distributors for pre-sales…. so why not do all that leg work now and get it out of the way so you’re ready to pounce once your talent is in place.
4. Get a budget done if you haven’t already – ideally you will have gotten a budget done for your film before you go out to talent, but I’ll be honest that it doesn’t always work out like that. So in that case, while you’re waiting to hear back from your talent it’s a good time to find a line producer or UPM in the state or country where you’re planning on shooting, and pay to get a budget done. In fact, I would get 2-3 budgets done for different states/countries that you’re considering so you can see where your biggest cost savings are going to be.
5. Start researching potential sponsors (if applicable) – Like I said in a previous post about Financing Micro Budgets, many producers these days are utilizing sponsorship dollars to fund part of their budgets. One producer in the Film Specific Forums said he followed my advice on packaging and was already making headway with casting (yay!) and was now researching companies he’s going to approach for sponsorship dollars once his talent is in place.
6. Look for more projects – savvy producers are always on the hunt for new material. So while you’ve got all your irons in the fire on project #1, go find another project to get started on, and then another. I like to have at least 3-5 things on my slate at all times at various stages so that even if one project is lagging, there may be momentum with another one, and therefore something’s always moving forward.
What about you? What ways do you find you can be productive during the waiting game?
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