1. Script Submission – DFIS will consider scripts for green light consideration in only 2 ways. First – one of our selected producing partners can submit a developed script that they feel is a commercially viable film that can be made for under $8 million. Second – we will accept scripts from outside sources such as agents, managers, talent or other producers, - BUT those scripts can only be green-lit if one of our producing partners chooses to supervise it under their DFIS slate allocation. This provides our producing partners with a pipeline of quality developed product, helps to create a stronger partnership of trust and cooperation, and develops a pipeline of new talent for everyone to work with under veteran supervision.
2. Production Dept Analysis – Script submissions should be made to AS. AS and team will read all scripts which fall within the parameters of DFIS productions. They will analyze the quality of the package’s creative merit, commercial viability, and fit within the DFIS slate. They will consider any talent that may be attached or interested, as well as seek out a meeting with the filmmakers should it seem appropriate. They will also consider what tax incentive options might be available for the film.
3. Distribution Dept Analysis – If the Production Dept feels a script has potential, they will share it with the distribution division who will consider the following factors:
- Is this a commercially viable film? What audience is it targeting? Will a significant audience be willing to buy a ticket to see this movie?
- Will this film fit into our distribution output deals with our foreign sales partners? Television partner? DVD partner? VOD partner? Etc.
- Does this film fit into our DFIS slate by genre? Release timing?
- Does this film offer auxiliary revenue streams such as branded entertainment opportunities or soundtrack cross promotions/income or a book, video game, board game?
- Does this film offer prestige and brand building benefits such as award winning potential?
- Does this film have wide release, platform release or limited release potential?
- Does this film have a marketing hook?
- Is there a non-profit partner that could significantly increase the visibility and/or sales of this film?
- Is there an existing loyal following that can be tapped into online or offline or both?
- Is it based on a book or a true story that we can build a foundation upon?
- Can you visualize the poster for this film?
- Is there a similar film in development or production already by one or more other producers that could derail the box office success of this film?
- Is the title as good as it could be?
4. Meeting with Filmmakers - If the Distribution team agrees that a script has potential, they will send their questions and suggestions to the production department which will then set up a meeting with the filmmakers and producers involved. In this meeting there will be sharing of all relevant feedback including notes and suggestions regarding casting, script, production issues, distribution strategy & potential marketing opportunities and commercial viability.
5. Producer Prep Time – If all goes well in step 4 and both parties feel they are envisioning the same movie, the producer then needs to:
- Work with the production team on any script issues and cast attachments. Director and lead cast must be mutually approved before full greenlight.
- Provide proof of chain of title and an available budget under $8 million (total negative cost, before tax incentives – e.g. an $8 million approved budget for NYC might yield a tax credit of $2 million, resulting in a net production cost of $6 million). Budget must meet the parameters set by the distribution division and/or what is available in the producers’ slate funding allocation. The cost of preparing the budget is paid for by the producer, but reimbursed out of the film budget if green-lit by DFIS.
- Work with the completion bond company to make sure the film is bondable.
- Work with the distribution team to make any changes in title.
6. Green light process final steps – If the budget, film locations, script, casting and title are approved, then a film will be officially green-lit. This means:
- DFIS will be financing 100% of film production costs
- DFIS will be the official US domestic distribution company and guarantee US theatrical distribution
- DFIS will have ALL distribution rights across all platforms