MOVIE MONEY: Part 2 (Make a Feature with 25-95 Logos)

THE $3-5 MILLION MOVIE: The Product Placement Feature Film

Last week’s post (MOVIE MONEY: Part 1) outlined the wonderful financing source or revenue stream for Hollywood called “Product Placement” and I wrote about utilizing 25-95 Logos, once a distribution deal is in place with a minimum of a 500 print release, to secure $3-$5 Million to make what you will likely market as a “just-under” $12-$15 Million Feature

And although Product Placement revenues have been around since the 40s with films like “It’s A Wonderful Life” (National Geographics) and “African Queen” (Gordon’s Gin) and became very popular and mega-dollars with the Aston Martin/auto in the opening shot of James Bond Films, it has only in the past 7 years become so massive that it PP is now literally 25%-40% of the budget of a Major Movie Studio’s feature film.


ANSWER. Because now that TV has a DVR and people (future viewers) are recording the shows they want to watch; and watch them when they want to watch they have also obtained the ability to literally ZAP (aka: fast forward) the commercials.


So now a 30-second ad on “Dancing With The Stars” or “Law & Order” that would cost $200,000-$300,000 was on its way to becoming useless… However, Madison Avenue (aka: Advertising World) realized that when someone goes to a cinema, buys a ticket, grumbles about the price of popcorn and sits in a seat… they are literally stuck their, with no remotes & smart phones on off-mute, with their eyeballs 100% focused on the screen.

Thus, the $200,000-$300,000 30-second TV ad purchase is now going to having a 2-3 second Logo ID, where the actor actually uses the product for what it is supposed to be used for, and the $200,000-$300,000, either all of it or part of it, is now going to not a TV Network or TV Producer but to a Movie Studio or Movie Producer.

Today you will notice that any major studio release literally has 25-95 logos strategically placed throughout the movie.

POINT OF INFORMATION: The names and contact information on who to hire and what to learn to actually utilize Product Placement Revenues, and raise 25%-40% of your $3-5 Million budget, was last week’s blog (view at NO-BULL BLOG, with today’s post being Part 2 is how to spend the $3-$5 Million dollars to make a Movie that you think looks like $10-$12 Million or “just-under” $12-15 Million.


Back to the $3-$5 Million Movie: Basically, you are going to be a….

(A) SHOOT: 5-7 Weeks or 25-35 Shooting Days

(B) LOCATIONS: 3 Weeks (Exteriors) Practical Locations rented at $1,000-$10,000/day in a City/State/Nation with a Government Funding (Tax Credit, Rebate, refund, etc.) program

(C) STAGE: 2-4 Weeks (Interiors) at a Sound Stage, rented at $5,000-$10,000/week, with built sets, with moveable walls, high ceilings and a lot of lights

Deal Site - Slate

(D) ABOVE-THE-LINE: You will be a Guild/Union Signator of the 3 Guilds (Writers, Actors & Directors)

(E) SCRIPT/WRITER: You will budget $200,000-$300,000 for a Script either by a Writer-For-Hire paying 50% more than SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild)minimum for a Treatment and 2 Drafts or Purchasing a previously written script on a 3-4 year Option with a purchase price of $100,000 and an escalation clause up to $200,000 if the budget balloons. Plus, a $10,000-$25,000 legal fee for the entertainment attorney to ensure the contracts are executed properly.

(F) DIRECTOR: You will hire a DGA (Directors Guild of America member) who has a successful track record of delivering movies and tv shows On-Schedule & On-Budget because you will have to obtain a Completion Bond (3-5% of Budget) to secure a bank loan and the Insurance Company (aka: Bonding Company) will only guarantee a project with a Director who has proven he/she directs On-Budget and On-Schedule. This type of Director will cost $250,000-$300,000.

(G) CAST-STARS: You will be able to now hire 2-3 Names. When I state names these are not A-List movie actors that are bankable (Damon, Clooney, Jolie, McCarthy, etc) because of their name but have a feeling of “Movie” as soon as you say their name like “Bill Pullman, Chaz Palmantieri, Colin Farrell, Jodi Foster, Meg Ryan, etc….

(FOOTNOTE: It is always subjective and difficult to establish the perceived value of a name to a viewer/audience and everyone has an opinion on who is a “name” and who is a “name” that makes your project feel like a movie and who is a “name” that makes your project feel like a free tv show… but this is part of the Producing-Feature-Film-Game… Welcome to Hollywood).

But, with $3-$5 Million, you can allocate $1,000,000 for a Movie Name (Actor #3, Promoted as the Star) for 2-3-weeks, $250,000 for a TV Name for 5-7 weeks and $150,000 for 2 Comics or Rock Stars ($100,000 & $50,000) for 1-3 weeks

(H) CAST-DAY PLAYERS: You will sign with “SAG” and budget approximately $600/day for each actor. Plus, you have residuals, legal work, workers compensation, payroll taxes, etc.

(I) CREW: You will likely sign with “IATSE” (International Alliance of Stage Employees) because you are getting an interim financing bank loan, based off of obtaining a Completion Bond, and the Bonding Company demands that you are a 100% Union (IATSE) shoot for all crew.

If, however, you have your financing without needing an interim bank loan then you don’t have to sign with “IATSE” and all their rules and still hire qualified crew (shhh! most who are also in IATSE) and do a non-union shoot.

Deal Site - Camera

(J) VENDORS-EQUIPMENT: You are now a 3-4 Truck Shoot (One Truck for Lighting, One Truck for Grip, One Truck for Cameras), with a Generator, and 2-3 Trucks for Hair/Makeup & Wardrobe and 2 Trailers for Stars #1 & #2

(K) STUNTS: You can now budget $100,000-$200,000 for Stunts, Car Chases, Crowd Scenes, Fights, etc.

(L) VISUAL EFFECTS: You can also budget $100,000-$200,000 for VFX, CGI, Animation & Green Screen.

(M) MUSIC: You can Budget $100,000 ($50,000 for Original Score & License 5 Popular Songs)

(N) POST-PRODUCTION: You can now spend more time, due to much more footage, and obtain a quality edit over 3-4 months rather than just 2-3 months.


FOOTNOTE: The man above is a superb producer who knows how to make $12-15 Million Feature Films cost-effectively for $3-5 Million…. Now, just imagine what he could do with $10, $20 or $50 Million in cash?


THE $3,000,000-$5,000,000 FEATURE FILM (The Budget)


(ONE) PRODUCER: $200,000-$300,000

(TWO) SCRIPT: $200,000-$300,000

(THREE) CAST: $1,600,000-$1,800,000

(FOUR) DIRECTOR: $250,000-$300,000

(1-4) ABOVE-THE-LINE TOTAL: $2,250,000-$2,700,000


(FIVE) LOCATIONS/STAGES: $150,000-$200,000

(SIX) CREW: $300,000-$400,000

(SEVEN) EQUIPMENT: $250,000-$400,000

(EIGHT) PROPS: $50,000

(NINE) WARDROBE: $50,000-$100,000


(ELEVEN) COMPLETION BOND: $50,000-$150,000

(TWELVE) FOOD/CRAFT SERVICE: $100,000-$150,000

(THIRTEEN) HOTEL/TRAVEL/AUTO: $50,000-$100,000

(FOURTEEN) PROFESSIONAL FEES (Legal/Payroll/Accounting): $100,000-$200,000

(5-14) BELOW-THE-LINE TOTAL: $1,200,000-$1,850,000

IN-THE-CAN (aka: Shot-For)


(1-14) $3,450,000-$4,550,000 ($2,250,000-$2,700,000 & $1,200,000-$1,850,000)


(FIFTEEN) PICTURE EDIT: $100,000-$150,000

(SIXTEEN) SOUND EDIT: $50,000-$100,000

(SEVENTEEN) ADR/FOLEY/MIX: $100,000-$150,000

(EIGHTEEN) MUSIC: $50,000-$100,000


(15-19) $400,000-$600,000


(1-4) ABOVE-THE-LINE: $2,250,000-$2,700,000

(5-14) BELOW-THE-LINE: $1,200,000-$1,850,000

(15-19) POST-PRODUCTION: $400,000-$600,000

(1-19) TOTAL BUDGET: $3,850,000-$5,150,000 (plus or minus)

You now know how to make a $10-12 Million or a $12-15 Million Feature Film for only $3,850,000-$5,150,000 plus, if needed, the cost of the bank loan.


Have any of you either produced or been on a set of a $3-$5 Million or a $2-$3 Million or a $5-$7 Million production?

If so can you share some of your trials and tribulations?


My 3 Film School programs (Live, DVD or On-Demand) are affordable and available at

Happy Filmmaking,

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One comment on “MOVIE MONEY: Part 2 (Make a Feature with 25-95 Logos)”

  1. You’ve got a (probably unconscious) mistake here – should be WGA not SAG.
    “(E) SCRIPT/WRITER: You will budget $200,000-$300,000 for a Script either by a Writer-For-Hire paying 50% more than SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) minimum for a Treatment and 2 Drafts”

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