Matthew Signer

How does a feature film get funded and where does the idea originate? There are so many ways film financing occurs. Many people might think that the director is the one who procures the financing and then goes and makes his movie. However, the process is most often much more complicated. Millions of dollars are invested in feature films and the process that happens to secure that money is often difficult and could be years in the making.

A screenwriter writes a script and then has to find someone who finances movies to buy it. He or she often has to find an agent who will then send the script to movie studios, film financiers, streaming services and more. Then whoever buys the script will usually want to do revisions on the screenplay. If they are going to finance the film, they want the film to reflect the story they want to tell or the story they feel will bring the best return on their investment in the script.

The studio executive or executive producer is usually in charge of this process. Matthew Signer, former Executive Vice President of Dimension Films who has overseen movies such as SCREAM 4, AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING, POLAROID, 47 METERS DOWN, and many more explains the process. “We would often pay hundreds of thousands of dollars or more to buy scripts and then work with the writer to try to improve them. Our goal next was to attach a director and cast, then decide whether we were going to fund the film. Sometimes we would pre-sell certain distribution rights before we started to help defray some of the costs. This process could take years.”

Starting a movie project

The executive producer/studio executive works closely with the other producers. Sometimes the idea for a film comes from producers and writers and sometimes it comes from the EP or the studio executives. Matt says, "Very often a studio executive finds a book or a story compelling enough to turn into a film. Sometimes you can just walk around a bookstore or pick up a magazine and find inspiration for a film. Suppose I read a story that I think can make an incredible movie. I just approach a scriptwriter or a director and pitch them my thoughts. And that can lead to a film.”

Some of the biggest currency an EP or studio executive has is his relationships with talent. He has contacts with directors, actors, and their agents. That can give him enough opportunities to discuss his project with people he thinks can make the film successful. Instead of the director or scriptwriter approaching the EP, there is a role reversal here. But the movie can only come to fruition once the director and other members of the creative team are on the same page.

Matt has a vast array of contacts in the film business because of nearly two decades of experience in this field. He continues to produce popular films and television shows.

Author's Bio: 

Jim Bevin is a passionate writer, guest blogger, and a social media enthusiast. The primary focus is writing high-quality articles after in-depth research and make sure it is a readers delight. Information is key and he abides by the rule of writing articles that will appeal to a broader audience. He has published various articles on authoritative magazines like Social Media Explorer, ThriveGlobal etc.