$1,000,000-$2,000,000 FEATURE FILM (aka: “Crowd-Funded, Just-Under” Movie)

$1,000,000-$2,000,000 Crowdfunded Movie…

or the… “just-under” $3-5 Million Movie

or the…”just-under” $5-7 Million Movie

or the… “just-under” $7-10 Million Movie


Always remember “Hollywood lies, lies, lies and lies” and way more than things like “da check’s in da mail””.

Well they actually don’t lie they market… they promote…

Why? Because Hollywood is not a filmmaking industry.

QUESTION: Then what is Hollywood?

ANSWER: Hollywood is a Film Marketing industry. And Hollywood believes “the higher the perceived budget. The more incentive a viewer has to watch it out of curiosity of what-does-that-money-look-like”

And, while promoting (aka: marketing) they always Pull-A-Trump (as in The Donald) and embellish, exaggerate or merely inflate the numbers… the budgets of the movie(s) they are about to release between 500%-2,000% to create a higher perceived value.

Now let’s make it relevant to you. So play the game. Join Hollywood, learn how to market (aka: exaggerate, embellish, et.c)  and permit me to show you how to raise only $1-2 Million to make a “just-under” $5-7 Million Movie and, if you are really-really good at marketing, you will call this movie, to be made for $1-2 Million a $7-10 Million Feature Film… and then very quietly, under your breath, mumble…. “just under” $7-10 Million.

“Just-Under”. “Just-Under”. “Just-Under”.

Why am I focusing on the 2 words “Just-Under”?

Because It’s always fascinating to me that after you have made a movie, and actually gotten distribution, and 3-6 months later ask for an accounting, which was part of the deal, the Distributor seems to know where every–penny-in-the-universe is whether or not it pertains to your film or not…

However, when they are raising money to make the movie or marketing the movie they are never precise or anal and say very vague things like the budget is “$12-15 Million”, or “$15-20 Million” or “$20-30 Million”…

$12-15 Million.

That’s a $3,000,000 spread. Don’t they know where the $3,000,000 is?

$15-20 Million.

The difference is $5,000,000. They should be more precise… shouldn’t they?

$20-30 Million.

Sheeyit. That’s a range of about $10,000,000?

And, to raise the $1,000,000-$2,000,000 via Crowd Funding (equity or debt, not donations) you, in the summary paragraph are going to do some Hollywood hype and explain to your potential Non-Accredited investors that because of the (A) new start of art Digital equipment and (B) a great script that has the actors and crew so excited that they are willing to work for 1/5th their normal rate and (C) due to your efficiency in screenwriting you are going to plan a 5-week shoot rather than a studio 10-12 week shoot and thus be able to make a “just-under” $7,000,000-$10,000,000 feature film for only $1-2 Million.

Welcome to Hollywood.


Zach.Braff-3jpg     ZACH-BRAF

Now lets talk financing (raising money) with you a little bit aware of this “just-under” concept.

Today, 2015, is a golden era for filmmakers and entrepreneurs, and remember filmmakers are entrepreneurs, to raise money for either movies or business ventures due to Crowdfunding being legalized for not just Donations (T-Shirts, Coffesp Mugs, Posters, IMDB credits, etc.), which I call “Legalized Begging”, with sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Rockethub but Crowdfunding by offering investors Equity & Debt in your Movie or Venture.

IMPORTANT READING POINT: This post is not about how to raise $1-2 Million utilizing Crowdfunding (Donations, Equity or Debt) it is about how to spend $1-2 Million and make a $5-7 or $7-10 Million Feature Film. However, I am making a point that (A) Crowdfunding exists to raise money for feature films and (B) Crowdfunding, thanks to the Obama JOBS Act, has now legalized raising $20,000,000-$50,000,000 for business ventures by utilizing the internet and soliciting from Non-Accredited as well as Accredited investors.

Zac Braff, Veronica Mars, Spike Lee are Crowdfund-A-Movie successes:

Some of the recent CrowdFund-A-Movie, by merely donations (begging) are:

(ONE) “SUPER TROOPERS 2” raised $2,000,000

(TWO) “WISH I WAS HER” (Zac Braff) raised $2,000,000

(THREE) “GOSNELL MOVIE” raised $2,100,000

(FOUR) “LAZER TEAM” raised $2,400,000

(FIVE) “BLUE MOUNTAIN STATE” raised $1,500,000

(SIX) “SPIKE LEE’S NEW JOINT” raised $1,400,000

(SEVEN) “STROMBERG” raised $1,000,000

HOW TO SPEND $1,000,000-$2,000,000 to make a movie look like $7-10 Million

Deal Site - Camera

OOPS: In the title I forgot to put “just-under” before the $7-10 Million.

This movie will likely be a 5-week shoot (not 3-weeks), have an Above-The-Line (SAG) union shoot, with WGA and DGA contracts still not being signed, but using, if you desire, a write that is in the guild or a director that is in his/her guild along with a Below-The-Line non-union crew, with 2 big TV names (SAG), based on a True Story from a female’s point of view, most likely shot in Canada and in the 80s-90s it was called a Movie Of The Week (aka: MOW).

PREP: 4 Weeks

SHOOT: 5 weeks, 25 days

POST: 3 months


PRODUCERS: Pay yourself and an Associate Producer and/or Co-Producer $50,000

DIRECTORS GUILD (?, DGA): (NO), but pay a director $25,000 ($5,000 Prep, $15,000 Shoot @ $3,000/week & $10,000 Post)

WRITERS GUILD (?, WGA) : (NO), but pay the writer, if not you, $25,000

ACTORS GUILD (SAG): (YES), qualify for Low-Budget but not Ultra-Low Budget or Modified Low-Budget and pay actors approximately $400/day and pay the lead #1 $50,000 (for 3 weeks)  and Lead #2 $25,000 (for 5 weeks). Total is approximately $100,000 (to include Payroll & Taxes, etc)

ABOVE-THE-LINE: Producer ($50,000), Script ($25,000), Director ($25,000), Cast/Leads ($75,000), Cast/Day Players ($50,000)… $225,000


Deal Site - Slate


CREW (Keys): DP @ $25,000, PM/LP @ $20,000, PD @ $20,000, AD @ $15,000…. $90,000

CREW (Secondary): 25 @ $1,000/week (average) times 5 weeks… $125,000

EQUIPMENT: 2 CAMERAS @ $3,000/week ($30,000), GRIP Truck @ $3,000/week ($15,000), GAFFING Truck @ $3,000/week ($15,000), GENERATOR @ $2,500/week ($5,000, only 2-weeks, Exteriors), SOUND/AUDIO @ $3,000/week ($15,000), Dolly/Tracks @$2,000/week ($10,000), Miscellaneous ($10,000) …. $100,000




LOCATIONS: $2,000/day, 25 day shoot, 15 days at locations… $30,000

SOUNDSTAGE: 6-weeks (Prep, Shoot & Wrap), $10,000/week or $30,000/month… $50,000

TRAVEL/AUTO:  No first class, no five-star hotels… $20,000

CRAFTSERVICE: $25/day/person, 40-50 people/day, 25-30 days… $25,000



EDIT (Picture): 8-weeks @ $4,000/week plus 2 Assistants… $50,000

EDIT (Sound): 5-weeks @ $3,000/week plus Assistant… $20,000

ADR (1-week): $3,000/day… $15,000

FOLEY (1-week): $2,000/day… $10,000

MUSIC: Flat Fee (All Rights)… $25,000

RE-RECORD (3-weeks): $2,000/day or $10,000/week… $30,000

TITLES/ANIMATION: Flat Fee…. $10,000

LAB: (Prep, Shoot, Post & DCP)…. $50,000

POST/LAB TOTALS:  $210,000


ACCOUNTANT: (Flat Fee)… $10,000

LEGAL: (Flat Fee)… $15,000

COMPLETION BOND: (to be determined, if needed)

PUBLICIST: (Flat Fee)… $25,000

FILM FESTIVALS: (to be determined but not free)

SOCIAL MEDIA: (to be determined but not free


ABOVE-THE-LINE….. $225,000

BELOW-THE-LINE…. $505,000

POST/LAB…   $210,000


TOTAL:  $990,000


Now lets get super-real. I’ve give you some things to think about… Crowdfunding, Just-Under, Movie Costs, Guilds & Unions, What to pay, token budgeting….

Here’s the bottom-line.

If you had $1,000,000 C-A-S-H. You could do a 5-week shoot, with a highly qualified crew, signing only with 1 guild (SAG) and paying your two leads very good, but not great, money to star in an Independent Feature Film… With enough money for a 3-month post and a solid original music score and a solid publicity/social media budget to attend a festival or two and make a splash, while being interviewed you are stating that the budget is “Just-Under” $5-7 Million or $7-10 Million and going for a profit just on the sale to a distributor for North American Theatrical rights…


You keep On-Demand, Pay-Cable, TV, DVD, Foreign, etc. for additional profits…


When you do Crowdfunding (donations, Equity or Debt) everyone knows exactly how much money you raised to make the movie… so you can’t play the “just-under” game.

So now I leave it up to you… “What are you going to do”…. and…

Welcome to Hollywood.

FS-$89 (2) dov_stock

Dov S-S Simens / Dean / Hollywood Film Institute

If questions,,, my NO-BULL “Streaming”, “DVD” and “Live” Film Schools are available at www.WebFilmSchool.com.


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Happy Filmmaking











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