Saturday, March 19, 2011

Setting up a film company is a pain in the ass

Now I find myself trapped in Penn Station in New York City, waiting for a train home. So, what a perfect time to blog, eh?

It's been a while since I caught up with you on the film process - and while I plan on sticking to my schedule of going from start to beginning, it's hard to reflect on the process when it's still ongoing - although tantalizingly close to completion (with a working copy being judged shamelessly by Cannes preselection committee as I type).

So, where did we leave off? Ah, yes:

When I had the script of Dana completed on the 4th draft, I began to set in motion the wheels to get the script ready. I put out a couple feelers to some of my connections that were working in the industry around the Toronto area - and in general, got the response that I should try and shoot this a summer earlier (which just wasn't possible). I sketched out a supposed budget in my head - which worked out to be between 5K and 7.5K on most estimates, and was quickly informed by my DP that "I should probably take those numbers and double them".

However, that was getting ahead of myself. I had dreams to raise the money through crowdfunding, but had no idea how to effectively go about this - not to mention the fact that all the current crowdfunding sites (indiegogo,, etc) were really in their infancy so my inital plan was to do it through this blog (how do you think that went?) - and to date, I've raised a grand total of $0 crowdfunded dollars. This, of course, is because I never actually did it.

The other thing I knew I had to do was set up a film company to handle this - I went to a course in May of '09 that outlined what kind of company to set up.

This started a wave of confusing meetings with a personal accountant, and a business lawyer in preparations to set up the corporation. All in all, it was wildly confusing but in the end (8 months later), Mosaic Mind Pictures Incorporated was set up. In order to set up the company, my dad and I pooled some money together to do it (it's not cheap to set up a corporation). In an ironic twist/annoyance, he named himself the President and I was the "Secretary" - even those these titles are pretty symbolic it kind of sucks to be only the secretary of your own company, when you're going out and doing the work - my dad wanted to remain a silent partner (although that certainly hasn't happened thus far, mainly out of necessity).

Anyway, the whole process of properly setting up the company ended up taking 8 months - partly out of procrastination, partly because of a collection of other reasons that slowed the process down. But regardless, as soon as that was set up, I went about getting my crew together - and the first call I made was to Michael Jari Davidson (MJD from here on out), and sent him over the script and had a chat with him about what I wanted to do with this.

It was at this point that the initial budget I had penciled in began to balloon. But along with that ballooning, came a fantastic opportunity that would reshape the production (for the better).

More on that to come.

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