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Aspiring hollywood

before the glitz & glamour

TM

 
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Jeff Lewis, TDN Artists

Clips from films produced by Luciano Saber

PLACEBO EFFECT - This espionage thriller was shot on location in Chicago and had a limited theatrical release.

SCARED - This upbeat feature film was shot on the Sony lot on 35mm Kodak film.

AH! Vision

(c) 2009 LUCIANO SABER, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

DEVELOPMENT HELL!


“As crazy as it may sound, to be in ‘development hell’ is actually a very satisfying feeling.”


By L. Saber


They call it “development hell” for a reason. Show me a successful filmmaker and I’ll show you a person who will say that development was the most difficult part of the filmmaking process. Why should anyone believe that? Because money is involved, not to mention egos. One would think that titles should be passed around like hot-cakes, but believe it or not, even titles are hot commodities. Studio business affairs executives will hold on to titles as much as they can and will use them as bargaining chips. The other issues involve percentages and development fees. God forbid you have a situation where multiple agencies are involved. Be prepared for a fight over packaging fees, back-end for producers and if it’s a television project, per episode fees and so on. It’s a war zone but the battle can still be won and MOST people involved will be happy.


Let’s assume for a moment that all of the bickering has come to an end and you got your crumb of the pie, the agents got their packaging fee and the writer(s) are on board with their deals in place. Now what? Now the work begins. If you’re not the writer, then you send your writers off to write the screenplay and hope that they’ll execute it based on your pitch. Once the first draft comes back, it gets passed around to several people from the producers to the executives, agents and so on and hopefully everyone likes it. If they don’t, guess what? The projects can and will get killed.


Let’s say that everyone likes the script; but don’t rush to the sound-stage just yet. Even if the script is brilliant, there will still be notes from every reader. Everyone will want their two cents thrown on the page. At this point, get on your knees and pray that the writers won’t butt-heads with the studio execs, or as a producer you’re not caught in the middle.


FINALLY, after the fifth or sixth or seventeenth set of notes and drafts are exchanged, and if the project still has the green-light, everyone agrees on the script, then off you go to the sound-stage, flip the lights on and call action, right? WRONG AGAIN! Now you have to start your pre-production. Break-down the script, start fighting for the right talent (actors) and so on and so on. Disappointed yet? Don’t be. As crazy as it may sound, to be in development hell is actually a very satisfying feeling. Development means that someone believes in your idea. It means that someone is willing to put up the money to produce your indie project. It also means that you might actually have a chance to make your dreams into reality. So enjoy, absorb the good and the bad, don’t get a big head and make it a great experience for everyone involved in the process. §

PRODUCERS, DIRECTORS & BELOW THE LINE