Production Diary Volume Five

A column article by: Ace Masters


Production Diary

Volume Five

The Real World.

It’s the place we live in that often drives us to the fantasy worlds of imagination’s creation. But, in order to get those creations of imagination to become reality we have to deal with the real world and the business world.

In this edition of a stand-alone Production Diary I am going to showcase the real world application of numbers by using one of the comparisons I made in the last column, comparing Diamond Sales Numbers to Movie Numbers.

First, an update on a project is getting close to one stage of completion: DRAGON’S SPEAR.

Dragon’s Spear is a project that has been mentioned a few times in past Production Diaries. As of today, the pencils and covers for the one-shot are. I am now simply waiting to get the art in my hands.

Over the course of the next few weeks I am going to create a packet to start sending out to publishers.

Why am I going to submit this out to other publishers if I am writing column and how to publish your own books? The answers are simple: 1) Finances don’t quite allow me to publish myself at the moment, 2) monies made off sales of books published by established companies is a way to raise capital, 3) the exposure of getting book out through established companies is invaluable.

Once I have the completed pencils in hand–which should be within the week–I will chronicle the creation of the packet in this column and on a dedicated page at Facebook. More info forthcoming.



This is the reason I am doing the Production Diary this time around. I am currently working on a business plan for a film project I cannot legally mention. I am currently writing the section of the business plan dealing with numbers–Projections.

In the last column I compared sales numbers to TV ratings and movie weekend gross. Well it can also be compared to other Movies numbers: Theater count, total gross and net gross.

In Projections, I need to show potential investors the numbers from similar films. These numbers need to focus on the budget of the similar films and what kind of profit those films made. Profit is the only things investors really care about. If you try pitching to them the ‘art of film’ they may pitch you out the window.

You need to take all the numbers you can get, make a presentation and use it to create a potential profit margin to show to the investors–based on real numbers. You cannot make numbers up; a savvy investor will know faked numbers.

The numbers should also include the estimated budget and estimated gross. If applicable, the number of theaters the movie was in should be shown along with its per theater gross. 

The basic idea is this: Use the budget, final gross and other applicable numbers of a similar film, to showcase what kind of numbers you could potentially see from YOUR film.

You base formula would be this:

            GROSS - BUDGET / 2 = X

Why divided by 2? The studio does not get the entire gross. The gross gets split between the theater, distributor and studios. You need to account for that.

If the similar film was a theatrical release, you can reinforce these numbers by listing the number of theaters it showed in and how much gross it made per screen.

This is how you can use the numbers.

And this same approach can be applied to the Diamond Sales Numbers.



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