Amotz Zakai is a manager at Echo Lake Management. He gives some pretty cut and dry information on what he would do. If you are starting out in film, this podcast gives some practical advice on how to get started in film.
Managers vs. Agents
A lot of time they would think that the manager does the hand-holding and the agent does the booking of the assignments. But, in the reality today we operate just like an agent. We book clients, we negotiate deals, we find the jobs, and we do the hand holding.
On the role of private equity:
I think it’s private equity is crucial. You don’t need a lot of it, but you need at least ten to thirty percent of it in order to either kick start something or in order to make it a reality… I think it’s very rare these days [for independent film] to get North American distribution before a film is made. So, ultimately, you either need to get pre-sales or get cast that can get you pre-sales… So, you do need a certain amount of equity in your project to get it started.
My #1 Rule:
My rule is, if you are in film school you can do shorts, if you are not in film school there’s no reason in the world to do shorts, they will not help you in any way. You will spend the same amount of time, the same amount of money and the same amount of aggravation to do a feature as you would a short. And a feature will actually get you ahead. That’s what I would do. And, I would not slave away for seven years to do a really good script. I would just improve a concept. Shoot the concept and have the actors improvise. They’ll probably do a better job than if they were scripted. And that’s what I would sell.
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