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Financing Your Film: Avoiding Pitfalls From Development to Distribution


Friday, March 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM - Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM (PDT)

Financing Your Film: Avoiding Pitfalls From...

Registration Information

Registration Type Remaining Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Seminar and Pitch Session (Fri 2-5 & Sat 10-4)   more info 63 Registrations Ended $75.00 $2.49
Seminar Only (Fri 2-5)
Seminar Only 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
111 Registrations Ended $25.00 $1.49
Pitch Session Only (Sat 10-4)   more info 75 Registrations Ended $85.00 $2.69
PGA or WIF Members (Seminar & Pitch) 29 Registrations Ended $67.50 $2.34

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Event Details

Financing Your Film: Avoiding Pitfalls From Development to Distribution

Seminar & Pitch Session with Cash Awards for Best Pitch


Event Location:

Showbiz Store & Café – 500 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, CA  90049 


Friday, March 29, 2013, 2:00pm – 5:00pm                                               Cost:  $25

(120 maximum registrants)



Louise Levison, President of Business Strategies (moviemoney.com)

Hal “Corky” Kessler, Entertainment Attorney, DL&E

Todd Hein, Senior Manager Federal Tax Unit, Crowe Horwath

Ronnie Yeskel, Casting Director

Gil Aglaure, Executive Producer & President of Koan Distribution

David McDonald, Phaz2

John Corser, Producer

Moderator:  Marshall Bear 


You may be fortunate enough to have your film funded by your “rich uncle,” but if you want to approach investors and/or financiers and get your film to the theaters, you’ll need to avoid the many pitfalls of the process and execute an effective business plan.

This seminar is a must for anyone in the development stage of their project. Industry experts in the key positions will offer their own experiences and expertise regarding the filmmaking process and answer your specific questions.  The seminar will provide a comprehensive explanation of how the business looks at a film project and explains the need for a business plan, the necessary contracts that need to be in place, the subtleties of comparing various state incentives, the development pitfalls to avoid and how it all effects the financing and distribution deals.

The topics to be covered:

  • How and where to look for funding.
  • How to protect the material through Copyright and “chain of title.”
  • How to assess your film’s “marketability” using low cost tips/resources.
  • How to build/present your pitch to your business & creative team.
  • When do you need an attorney, an accountant and a line producer.
  • How to budget and schedule production costs.
  • How to attach actors working with a Casting Director.
  • How to attach above the line talent (Director, DP, Production Designer).
  • How to prepare a convincing business plan with financial projections.
  • When to talk to a distributor to learn about audience appeal and distribution deals.
  • Pre-sales and how to navigate through those waters.
  • What is a “Producer’s Package” and how is it different from a business plan.
  • How to monetize the tax rebates and credits.
  • How to qualify investors and recognize scams.


Pitch Session

Saturday, March 30, 2013, 10:00am – 4:00pm                                       Cost:  $85

(75 maximum registrants)


Best Pitch Award:  $1,500

Plus services discounted by 50% (valued at more than $200,000)

2nd Best Pitch Award:    $750

3rd Best Pitch Award:    $500



Louise Levison, President of Business Strategies (moviemoney.com)

Hal “Corky” Kessler, Entertainment Attorney, DL&E

Tamara Aglaure, Koan Distribution

Ronnie Yeskel, Casting Director

Gil Aglaure, Executive Producer & President of Koan Distribution

David McDonald, Phaz2

John Corser, Producer

Bill Duke, Director/Actor

Tony Eldridge, Producer of THE EQUALIZER to star Denzel Washington


Each person registered will have five minutes to pitch one feature length film to our team of experts.  Be ready for our experts to ask questions about the script, production budget, talent attachments, market appeal, investor offer and more.  Our judges love to be impressed, so bring your game!

Round 1

Pitching will start at 10:00am and in the order of your arrival.  Our judges will be split into three groups and you will have five minutes to pitch to one of those groups.  At then end of Round 1, six finalists will be chosen.

Round 2

The six finalists will have 10 minutes to re-pitch their films, but this time to the entire panel of judges.  The judges will chose three winners for the three awards.

Keep in mind that this will all happen during the allotted time.  So plan on sticking around to see if you are chosen for the final six… and then the final three.  Participants must be present to win.  Cash awards will be handed out in person at the end of the session on Saturday, March 30, 2013.

Seminar & Pitch Session Purchased Together                                  Cost:  $75



Gil Aglaure

Gil Aglaure started his career in the film industry in Paris, France in 1987. As Director of Sales for a distribution company he was also heavily involved in production and helped develop and produce “Adventure”, a 40-episode   series hosted by Christopher Reeve which aired in 112 countries around the world.  In 1993, Gil founded Koan, a distribution company focused primarily on feature films. Quickly, Koan became a front-runner in the worldwide distribution arena and an important resource for buyers in over 150 countries worldwide.  A combination of quality programming and rare business ethics sets Koan head and shoulders above its competitors in the US and international markets.  Since 2009, Gil has been focusing on development and production.  He Executive Produced titles such as Age of the Dragons with Danny Glover and Vinnie Jones which sold to 120 countries and ranked in the top three best ratings in 2011 on the SyFy Channel and Saints & Soldiers – Airborne Creed which has sold in 95 countries so far.

Tamara Bell

As Vice President of Koan, Tamara Bell oversees all acquisitions of theatrical and television products for the domestic and worldwide markets. With over twenty years in the entertainment industry her experience ranges from the acquisition of catalogues of 20+ films to the sale of stock shot footage for award-winning documentaries. Tamara oversees Koan’s catalogue of over 100 films in genres ranging from sci-fi and action to comedy and religious. Her focus is on building long-term relationships with talented filmmakers and finding a home for their productions, whatever the size of the screen and audience. She is currently acquiring and developing film projects for a film fund and is also developing an interactive multiplatform branded entertainment project.

John Corser

John Corser is an award-winning producer of commercials, promotional films, music videos, feature films, television productions and educational films. His productions have spanned 20 countries and 5 continents.  He has produced in a variety of settings, from Arctic tundra, tropical rainforest to war zones. John has extensive experience managing productions both from 150+ million dollar feature film to $10K music video. John is an expert in digital media production including the technologies in stereoscopic(3D) production and exhibition.  He has earned numerous awards and distinctions, including: Image Award Nomination, Emmy Award, Academy Award Nomination; Gold, Silver and, Bronze Cindy Awards; US Industrial Film and Video Festival - Gold Camera Award; Gold, Silver and Bronze Telly Awards; Silver Screen Award and more.

Bill Duke

Bill Duke is an African American actor, director, producer and writer who received his dramatic arts training at Boston University, New York University's Tisch School of Arts and at the American Film Institute.  Duke first broke into TV in the early eighties directing episodes of well-known TV shows including "Miami Vice" (1984),"Cagney & Lacey" (1981) and "Hill Street Blues" (1981).  Additionally, he directed several made for TV movies that received wide critical acclaim including "American Playhouse"(1981) (The Killing Floor) and "American Playhouse: A Raisin in the Sun (#8.1)" (1989).  Big Bill Duke's face then became known to movie goers following his appearance in several high octane action movies of the mid 1980s including fighting (and losing) to Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando (1985), as unlucky mercenary "Mac", in Predator (1987) and as Carl Weathers fiery police chief in Action Jackson (1988).  After cutting his directorial teeth on the small screen, Duke directed his first feature film with the crime drama, A Rage in Harlem (1991).  This was followed by another impressive crime film Deep Cover (1992), then the, The Cemetery Club (1993), and the comedy sequel, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (1993).  Most recently, Duke directed Dark Girls (2011), a documentary exploring the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color --- particularly dark skinned women, outside of and within the Black American culture.  Duke has since continued to divide his time between appearing both in front of the camera and behind it, and remains a dynamic, stimulating and creative talent in Hollywood.

Tony Eldridge

Tony Eldridge is President of Lonetree Entertainment. A producer, writer and director, Eldridge began his career in the entertainment business as an actor appearing in dozens of commercials and a number of feature films.  As a producer, he has been developing and producing feature films, television movies and reality based programs for over a decade.  He is currently a producer on Denzel Washington’s next movie, “The Equalizer” at Sony Pictures.  Eldridge has a number of projects in development at HBO, Lionsgate, Relativity Real and Landscape Entertainment.  Lonetree Entertainment currently controls or manages the rights to over 50 literary properties that include original screenplays, bestselling books and true-life stories.

Todd Hein

Todd is a senior manager in the federal tax unit in the Los Angeles office of Crowe Horwath, LLP, a national public accounting firm based in South Bend, Indiana, with offices located throughout the United States.  He has practiced in public accounting for over 20 years, specializing in income tax compliance and planning for entertainment industry clients and related service businesses.   Todd received his undergraduate degree in Economics from UCLA and earned a Master of Science in Taxation from Golden Gate University.

Hal "Corky" Kessler

Corky has extensive experience in the entertainment industry on a worldwide basis. Corky regularly speaks on the business and legal aspects of feature film development, including tax incentives.  He has participated in seminars and conducted speaking engagements throughout the United States and Canada on legal issues impacting the entertainment industry. He has been a lead speaker for many years at various film festivals throughout the country, including the Sundance Film Festival, where he has conducted seminars on "Funding" and "Legal and Business Pitfalls, Screenplays through Distribution." Corky has been the attorney on numerous film projects across the country. He has represented and served as executive producer on feature films and theatre projects. Oct 2012 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with private investors in China for a 200 million dollar 10 picture co production deal


Louise Levison

Louise Levison is President of Business Strategies (moviemoney.com), a consulting firm that specializes in writing business plans for film and other entertainment-related companies. She is the author of Filmmakers & Financing: Business Plans for Independents (Seventh Edition, January 2013) and publisher/editor of The Film Entrepreneur: A Newsletter for the Independent Filmmaker and Investors. Levison’s clients have raised money for low-budget films such as The Blair Witch Project, the most profitable independent film in history, and for companies raising as much as $300 million. 


David McDonald

A skilled and experienced entertainment marketer, David heads up P2 Entertainment (a division of Phaz2).  During his exceptional career, he has created and implemented marketing campaigns for major and independent movie studios alike.  David served as Co-President at Allied Advertising, Public Relations, a company he helped build through a joint venture in 2005.  David is also attributed with conceiving and developing gofobo.com – an online community for the distribution of advance screening passes for film studios.  David has received countless awards for his forward-thinking approach to entertainment marketing.  His prior awards include Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Hot 100 Companies,” “Media Agency of the Year” by Variety International and “Advertising Person of the Year” by the NAA.

Ronnie Yeskel

Ronnie Yeskel began her career in the entertainment industry at The Folger Theatre, in Washington, D.C. where she helped to build costumes. She studied acting, worked in theatre production, from props to associate producer to stage-managing. After years of casting theatre in NYC, Ronnie made her way to LA where she became the casting director for THE LOS ANGELES THEATRE CENTER..  Some of her favorite Films and TV projects have included THE SESSIONS with John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and W.H. Macy, PULP FICTION, RESERVOIR DOGS, L.A. LAW, WAKING THE DEAD, BEAN, ORPHAN, BREAD AND ROSES, PERMANENT MIDNIGHT, THINGS TO DO IN DENVER WHEN YOUR DEAD. HOPE FLOATS, IGBY GOES DOWN, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM. She just completed two features with her partner Sharon Howard-Field, ELSA AND FRED with Shirley MacLaine and Christopher Plummer and RETURN TO ZERO with Minnie Driver. We are currently working on a number of cool projects. 




Have questions about Financing Your Film: Avoiding Pitfalls From Development to Distribution? Contact FilmUtah

When & Where

500 South Sepulveda Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Friday, March 29, 2013 at 2:00 PM - Saturday, March 30, 2013 at 5:00 PM (PDT)

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FilmUtah is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization and publishes "FilmUtah Magazine" FilmUtah is a strategic partner to the Utah Film Commission.

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