Your Own Production Company (For Under $1000)

November 18, 2016

Brad Pitt has his Plan B. George Clooney has his Smoke House. Julia Roberts has her Shoe Lace. Every successful actor needs to have his own production company. This is a fact of the business. The reason for this is because as an actor, you only have the options of saying yes to a project or no. When you have your own production company, you can create your own projects. You have complete control. Today it has never been easier (or cheaper) for anyone to start their own production company.Step 1: Name your companyWhile this may seem almost trivial, it is indeed the first and most important step in the creation of your company. What’s in a name? Think of this production company as an extension of yourself. Not necessarily an alter ego, but an entity that compliments your unique style. Think of it as creating your brand of story telling. The Smoke House is where George Clooney used to eat right across from the Warner Lot. Bob and Harvey Weinstein combined the first names of their parents to get Miramax. Make sure to run any names you come up with through a search engine, so that down the line, no future company can stake claim to your name and sue you.

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Step 2: Get an “office” address.To start with, your production company has to have an address other than where you live. That being said, an office goes for about $300 a month, out of the range of most of the people just starting out. However, there is an alternative, a suite box. A suite box is like a PO box, however, it is a billing address with a suite number, giving your company immediate creditability. It is best to secure a suite box in either Hollywood or Los Angeles only as the location leads to credibility.Price: $60 – $250 a yearSet 3: File a DBA.The second step is important in providing more creditability. A DBA is an abbreviation for “Doing Business As” and is is a legal term, meaning that the name under which the business or operation is conducted and presented to the world is not the legal name of legal person or persons who own it and are responsible for it.The distinction between an actual and a “fictitious” name is important because businesses with “fictitious” names give no obvious indication of the entity that is legally responsible for their operation. This also reduces the possibility of two local businesses operating under the same name. Filing a DBA statement also requires that a notice of the fictitious name be published in local newspapers for some set period of time to inform the public of the owner’s intent to operate under an assumed.The intention of the law is to protect the public from fraud, by compelling the business owner to record his/her name with the County Recorder and making a further public record of it by publishing it in a newspaper.Price: $100Step 4: Get a Business AccountGo to your bank and set up a business account with the name of your production company. Make sure to have its own checking and credit card account. Make sure that the credit card that you have has at least a $5,000 limit and offers cash back on your purchases.

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Price: FreeStep 5: Get some equipment.The main thing you are going to need is a camera. Second should be microphones. Owning is better than renting.Price: $400Step 6: Create your own contentIf you have no idea how to do so, take a basic screen writing class so you can understand the nomenclature and style of writing a screen play. You just need to know the basics, not write something worthy of Mamet. Yet.Price: $100If writing is not your thing, post an ad online asking for scripts or people looking to work with you to create.Step 6: Create your website.This is your piece of internet real estate where you can post your content, put up casting notices, and if you are more advance, actually set up a talent database. Yahoo Hosting is the easiest to set up and utilize.Price: $110 with discount.So there you have it. Your own production company for under $1000.

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