How To Talk Someone Into Giving You Money For A Movie by Stanley M. Brooks

Film Courage: When you executive produce a movie are you putting in your own funds?

Stanley M. Brooks, Filmmaker/Producer: When you executive produce a movie for a network and you’re on the hook for deficit. It’s all of your own funds.

So if it’s a 2.7 million dollar movie and you’ve gotten money from Lifetime and money from an international distributor (let’s say Sony) and you’re shooting in Winnipeg [Canada] so you have a 25% tax rebate, all of that doesn’t get paid when you shoot. It gets paid in draws along the way and the biggest draw is usually on delivery. So you spend all of the money before you deliver it. You’ve got to go to a bank unless you’re independently wealthy (which I am not) and borrow it.

So the tax credits are borrowed against the network’s license fee or funding is borrowed against the international distribution fee is borrowed against. In some ways it is all of your money and then of course if it’s a 2.7 million dollar movie and you end up spending 2.8 million dollars on the movie, that’s your money…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).

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STAN BROOKS is an award-winning producer of film and television with over 30 years of industry experience. He has produced more than 70 movies for film and television since 1989, when he founded his first independent production company, Once Upon a Time Films.  

Brooks made his directorial debut with the film Perfect Sisters – starring Academy Award Nominee Abigail Breslin (The Call, Little Miss Sunshine) Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia Series), and Academy Award Winner Mira Sorvino (Mighty Aphrodite, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion).  The film opened in theaters on April 11, 2014 across the nation and in Canada with international release in Fall 2014.  Receiving praiseworthy reviews from both The Los Angeles Times and New York Times, Perfect Sisters continues to dominate on Hulu, Netflix, VOD and digital downloads.   

Most recently, Brooks directed A Life Earned, episode 504 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  In November 2017, it was announced that Brooks would produce, write and direct his next feature, Girl Who Fell From The Sky, starring Game of Thrones’ Sophie Turner.    

Brooks directed his second feature with the true-crime drama, The Grim Sleeper, starring Dreama Walker (Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23), Macy Gray (Training Day), Ernie Hudson (Call Me Crazy) and Michael O’Neill (Dallas Buyers Club). The Grim Sleeper follows LA Weekly reporter Christine Pelisek (Walker) as she doggedly investigates the unsolved murders of dozens of women in Los Angeles and soon realizes one person is responsible for many of these deaths that began over 20 years earlier.  The Grim Sleeper aired on Lifetime Television on March 15th, 2014 and Brooks won his 4th PRISM AWARD for the film in 2015  for it’s authentic storytelling of mental illness and substance use issues…(Read more here).


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