“In Plain Sight” Premieres Tomorrow

Paul Ben-VictorMy does time fly when you’re busy working on a film.  Tomorrow is the premier of Paul Ben-Victor’s new series In Plain Sight!  Not long ago it seemed so far off, and now it’s already here.  Funny how that happens. 

So I’ve been checking out the reviews and the critics run the range from like it to hate it.  Jonathan Storm from Philly.com describes the show as “formulaic, but it works” and manages to insult and compliment Paul all in one sentence:

Mary’s boss is Stan McQueen, which, I guess, is funny because he’s played by schlumpy, shrimpy Paul Ben-Victor, a great character actor last seen as henchman to The Greek, the all-powerful crime boss in The Wire.

Here are some more reviews to check out if you wish:

Blogcritics Magazine
Crime Spree Cinema
Entertainment Weekly
The San Francisco Chronicle
USA Today
LA Times

Here’s an interesting press release that talks about USA’s interactive marketing campaign for In Plain Sight.   

TV.com has a whole bunch of photos from the show that you can check out.

Fanbolt has a great interview with Paul about his new series and he does mention Invisible Man in it, more than once.

So be sure to check out Paul’s new series, In Plain Sight, tomorrow night, June 1, 2008, at 10:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. Central) on USA.

Official In Plain Sight Website

An Evening With Lew Horwitz, Part 4

Picking up from An Evening With Lew Horwitz, Part 3, let’s continue our discussion by talking about completion bonds and banks.

Completion Bonds

It’s easy to get bonds confused with insurance because sometimes there appears to be little difference between them, so here’s a quick explanation of what they do.  They both provide coverage for financial risk or loss, however, bonds usually cover the performance of a specific project, service, or act.  Whereas insurance usually covers financial risk to a tangible item such as a house, boat, or car.  There are exceptions to this rule of course, such as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, which is more like a bond because it provides financial protection for acts performed or not performed.

Film production completion bonds guarantee delivery of the completed film.  They guarantee that the film will be in a technically perfect condition, on budget, and on time.  Banks always require that independently financed films have a completion bond.  This protects their interests because it guarantees that in the end there will be a product to distribute.

Lew gave us the names of three film completion bond companies:

  1. Film Finances
  2. International Film Guarantors
  3. CineFinance

Lew insists that you should never produce a film without a bond.  He says that bonds not only protect the bank, but they also protect you.  However, if you’re a first-time producer, you’ll need to convince the bonding company that you know what you’re doing.

Bonds usually run about 3% of the budget, but might be more for a first-time producer.


So where do you find banks that will loan you money against distribution contracts?  Well, Lew recommended the International Film and Television Alliance.  Their membership includes bankers as well as sales agents.  You’ll want to ask for a membership booklet from them.

It’s a good idea to get to know bankers ahead of time.  Here are some tips from Lew for getting aquainted with a banker:

  • Be sure to approach the banker professionally.
  • Talk about your project.
  • Never predict what your film is going to make.
  • Ask what he or she needs.
  • Which sales agents do they like?
  • What type of films do they like?

When you’re ready to ask for a loan from your banker, don’t approach them without a sales agent.  Be sure you have all your details together such as start date, bond, and chain of title.  Also, be sure to give them enough time.  Deals can take anywhere from two to three months, even up to six months.  So don’t go to the bank and tell them your shooting in two weeks and will need the money by then.  You won’t get it.

Keep in mind that bankers will not take all contracts.  Who you sell to is very important.  Only reputable distributors will be accepted by the bank.

This is turning into quite a lengthy series of blogs, but I should have the series wrapped in one or two more blog posts.  Next, I’ll talk about the three components of film financing and the real budget.

“Changeling” Heads for Cannes

Variety has announced that Changeling will be shown at the Cannes Film Festival this month.  The film was written by J. Michael Straczynski, directed by Clint Eastwood, and stars Angelina Jolie

Changeling is a mystery about a mother whose prayer for her kidnapped son to return home is answered.  It doesn’t take long, however, for her to suspect that the boy who comes back is not hers.

So why am I blogging about this film?  Because our own Mike McCafferty has a small role in it!  He plays the role of a ticket agent.  I’m really hoping that he won’t be cut from this film and that we’ll actually be able to see him this time. 

The Cannes Film Festival runs from May 14 – 25, and Changeling is premiering on Tuesday, May 20.  Hopefully some of you French fans will be able to attend and see this film.  If not, Changeling is scheduled to get a wide release in France on February 4, 2009.  In the U.S., Changeling will be released on November 7, 2008.  See the schedule below for the release dates for a few more countries:

USA November 7, 2008  
Spain December 19, 2008  
UK January 2, 2009  
France February 4, 2009  
Germany     March 12, 2009  

I-ManiCon 2008 Cancelled

Times are hard for a lot of folks right now and, unfortunately, the I-Maniacs fan club board hasn’t escaped feeling some financial pressures as well.  So, I’m sorry to say that this year the fan club will not be hosting an I-ManiCon.

I always look forward to our annual gathering of cast and fans, so I do have to say I’m disappointed.  But this isn’t the first time that a year or two has been skipped, so if you were saving your spare change to attend, please keep saving.  The fan club board will, hopefully, be able to swing it financially next year.  I’m crossing my fingers! 

 I-ManiCon 2006
Our Guest Cast Panel at I-ManiCon 2006

Shoom Zone Gets Profiled/ “Moonlight” Fans Push for Renewal

Fellow Invisible Man fan, Laura M., wrote a nice little profile piece about Shoom Zone Productions and my project in her blog Musings of a Grown Woman.  Go check it out!

While you’re there, check out the rest of her blog.  Laura is a very talented writer who is currently working toward her Ph.D. in English.  Besides being an Invisible Man fan, Laura is also a huge Moonlight fan; and most of her blogging is about the show, its stars, and the fandom’s efforts to get Moonlight renewed.  Yep, another fan campaign.

Moonlight is doing quite well in the ratings; and while it looks promising that the show will get renewed, the fans are not taking any chances.  Instead of waiting till their show gets cancelled, they are playing it smart and supporting their show while it’s still on top.  If you’re a Moonlight fan and want to help show your support for the show, go to http://renewmoonlight.com.