Ever wished you didn't have to conform to the wishes of investors? Visit Films is here to disrupt the model.
A film can change significantly throughout its lifetime. In the journey from development to pre-production to production to post-production to marketing and distribution, it passes through many hands; often, financial concerns move the film further and further away from the director's original vision. With too many cooks in the kitchen and too many responsibilities outside of actual production, the filmmaker's independent spirit can become diluted.
"[We can ensure] that someone is thinking about the long tail of the film while the filmmakers focus on making the best film."
Ryan Kampe is fed up with the process. As the President of Visit Films, he's watched projects become "handcuffed by decisions made before our involvement," he stated in a press release.
By offering production, finance, and distribution support during early stages, Kampe's new venture, Pretty ____ Ideas, announced at TIFF 2016, will guide filmmakers through the entire trajectory of their film, from idea to industry.
"Pretty ____ Ideas can [ensure] that all possible distribution paths for these films are addressed early in the project’s life," Kampe said, "and that someone is thinking about the long tail of the film while the filmmakers focus on making the best film."
Specifically, Kampe has witnessed too many filmmakers make concessions in exchange for early-stage funding. He hopes Pretty ____ Ideas will preclude this scenario by covering living expenses, for example, while the filmmakers focus on being filmmakers. Also, by excluding investors, the filmmaker can make crucial early decisions, such as in casting, based on the project's needs, rather than those of financier.
After testing the model on Sophia Takal's Tribeca 2016 premiere Always Shine, Kampe enlisted Jennifer Sperber, formerly an executive at The Weinstein Company, to launch and run the incubator, which pledges to support four to six projects a year: English-language narratives, foreign-language narratives, and documentaries alike. The incubator is seeking projects that range in scope, from micro-budget to potential studio fare.
Abroad, this model exists in the form of national film funds, which offer financial support at the idea stage and follow a film through distribution, but there is no successful equivalent stateside.
"The market has been in constant change for years, and we are trying to support filmmakers at the stage when no one else, at least in the US, is supporting them," Kampe said.