Dr. P.V. Viswanath



Economics/Finance on the Web
Student Interest

  Courses / Film Finance (EDHEC)  




    1. Pay-or-play
      A pay or play contract specifies that money will be paid to a person regardless of whether or not their services are used. They are common in the entertainment industry and a common example is for an actor to be given a pay or play contract to appear in a movie. (http://www.123exp-fun.com/t/01151272602/)


    1. PFD Deal
      Produce, Finance and Distribute Deal:

Making a movie

    1. Turnaround
    2. Green-lighting
    3. Optioning a book
    4. Storyboards

Terms and Concepts from Lost in La Mancha

    1. Storyboarding
    2. Screenplay
    3. Location
    4. Book/Property
    5. Copyright
    6. Sets
    7. Pre-production
    8. Development
    9. Investor
    10. Financing
    11. Budget
    12. Producer (Rene Cleitman)
    13. Financing of Preproductoin
    14. Financier backing-off
    15. Scaling back of Budget (from $40m to $32.1m)
    16. Main Talent/Primary cast
    17. Scene planning
    18. Line Producer (Jose Luis Escolar) (note that he's Spanish -- probably convenient given the location of principal photography)
    19. Director of Photography (Nicola Pecorini)
    20. Director (Terry Gilliam)
    21. Writer (Terry Gilliam)
    22. First Assistant Director (Phil Patterson): one of his functions is to set the schedule to match the budget.
    23. Assistant Set Director (Barbara Perez-Solero)
    24. Production Designer (Benjamin Fernandez)
    25. Artistic Reputation (of director)
    26. Financial Reputation (of director; his ability to keep to the budget)
    27. Overbudget
    28. Scaling back of production
    29. Actors' schedules
    30. Costume Designer (Gabriella Pescucci)
    31. Co-costume Designer (Carlo Poggioli)
    32. Executive Producer (Bernard Bouix)
    33. Screen test: a method of determining the suitability of an actor or actress for performing on film and/or in a particular role. The performer is generally given a scene, or selected lines and actions, and instructed to perform in front of a camera to see if they are suitable (Wikipedia).
    34. Publicity
    35. Trailer
    36. Issues with the use of animals -- for example, cruelty to animals; and insurance.
    37. The contract with Vanessa has still not been signed, even though a picture deal has been done.
    38. Picture deal
    39. Incomplete contracts
    40. Soundstage -- a studio for interior scenes
    41. Safety issues -- there are small actors who are going to (bungee) jump from a height
    42. insurance of the cast
    43. Setup
    44. Shooting is usually out of sequence
    45. Several takes are necessary for one scene
    46. Unpredictability e.g. around the 46th minute, we learn that some of the actors have not been given a chance to rehearse their lines; we see airplanes zooming above and making a ruckus -- the AD thought that they would be around only for one hour in the day.
    47. Post-production; some scenes are shot in spite of the sound of the airplanes -- that noise is going to be removed in post-production.
    48. Some of the background scenes are shot, in order not to lose the entire day -- unplanned shooting.
    49. More unpredictability -- the weather is very rainy and windy
    50. equipment insurance
    51. completion guarantee
    52. Need for a flexible schedule
    53. Damage to equipment is covered by insurance
    54. Loss due to lost shooting time is not covered by insurance -- this was due to the storm, which is considered an act of God.
    55. The producers replace the first AD; we see that the producers have control, not the director
    56. Investors coming to visit the set (sixty of them representing $16m. in total)
    57. Insurance adjuster
    58. The insurance company is going to decide how to proceed -- the insurance company has control at this point.
    59. Completion Guarantor (Fred Milstein): guarantees completion on schedule
    60. Force Majeure: a clause which allows producers to end contracts in extraordinary circumstances. In the case of Lost in La Mancha, the question is raised as to whether Rochefort's illness qualifies as Force Majeure or not -- the AD says later that they should have used the force majeure class to stop the shooting when Rochefort got ill.
      When Heath Ledger died (on Jan. 22, 2008), he had just finished filming in London on Terry Gilliam's movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. One hundred crew members were laid off using the force majeure class and production was suspended.
    61. Contract definition -- the definition of force majeure in the insurance contract seems to be missing or ambiguous; unclear as to whether Jean Rochefort's illness could be considered force majeure.
    62. If the shooting stops, interest costs (on the money advanced by the studio) accumulate.
    63. Recasting
    64. Essential elements: Tony Gilliam, Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort; if any one of the essential elements is not available, the financiers can back off.
    65. Sunk costs: production and pre-production costs
    66. Film abandonment
    67. Insurance company owns the right to the movie.
    68. New investors on the scene, planning to buy back the script from the insurance company and attempt to remake the film.

Questions on Lost in La Mancha

    1. Why is Jean Rochefort being given a screen test so close to the beginning of principal photography? What is the purpose? Would he have been let go from the production if his screen test was negative? Financing is already contingent upon using him for the main part. In fact, that's why the film had to be stopped -- he was not available after a week of shooting because of his medical problems!
    2. Why are the principal actors willing to take a smaller pay for the film?
    3. Who paid for Rochefort's English lessons? (Presumably the producer?)
    4. How are the producer and the directors compensated?
    5. What is a picture deal? How is it different from a regular contract with talent?
    6. Why are the investors on the set?



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