How to Attach a Movie Star to Your Indie Film
So you have a screenplay or film idea that could definitely be financed and produced only if I could get a movie star attached and there’s the rub! Attaching a movie star at any level to a un-produced screenplay or indie film is the dream of many filmmakers, but how do you do it?
Paul Castro (writer of August Rush starring the late Robin Williams) goes over the many ways he has found to attach major talent to your projects. Nothing green lights a film faster than attaching a movie star to it.
In our past interview, How to Writer the Million Dollar Screenplay, Paul discusses how getting Robin Williams interested in August Rush fast tracked the film into production.
In the video below Paul goes over practical techniques on how he has been able to attach movie stars to film projects.
This video was taken from the Million Dollar Business of Screenwriting course. Click below to watch more videos from this game changing online course. Here some info on the course:
Screenwriters & Filmmakers are creative, but not all understand how art and commerce merge to create wealth and a lasting career. The Million Dollar Business of Screenwriting unveils the intricate maze of the business of the entertainment industry biz-ness. Go a want-to-be to a fine-tuned professional making a healthy living while sharing your creative genius with the world.
If you liked How to Attach a Movie Star to Your Indie Film, then you’ll really love this post:
Do You Need a Film Star to Make a Successful Film
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– Okay, so now we’re gonna talk about movie stars, alright? Great talent can help get your screenplay greenlit and sold or sold and greenlit. So it’s wonderful to have a great property, a great screenplay, but can it attract top talent? Why does somebody want top talent? Well that’s how you get a distribution deal and that’s how people make money in foreign markets, and there’s a whole other ancillary business behind the business when it comes to the life of your screenplay once it’s been bought. But a movie star is a great first start, so if you have one of the top-tier movie stars attached to your screenplay, you’re gonna get more for the sale price, and oh by the way, it’s going to hit the big screen quicker because now you have a marketable, viable product that can be distributed worldwide. So how do you attract a movie star? Well, from The Million Dollar Screenplay on Udemy you learned that the best characters are flawed, so you first have to write interesting characters. We talked about source material and having a true story, so if there’s a real person that has existed like an Erin Brockovich, right, or Muhammad Ali, or Fill in the Blank, that’s going to be movie star bait and help attract a movie star. But what if you wrote a screenplay about a swimmer, a female swimmer, the first female swimmer to swim from Los Angeles to Catalina Island? Who cares about that screenplay right? You could never get a movie star attached to that. Huh, unless you researched and learned that the top female movie star in the world right now was a competitive high school swimmer, and she loves swimming and she swims every morning, now to this day, and she’s charged her agents with the responsibility of finding her a screenplay that has a female lead that swims competitively so she can get back in the water and go on the big screen showing that she is a great swimmer? What if another actress speaks Japanese and she’s never had an opportunity to do it on the big screen? And you know this little detail about her. Or you know a male actor, who his little brother is in a wheelchair because he got in a surfing accident when he was a teenager, and he always wanted to show the world another side to the handicapped by playing a handicapped person and bringing those emotions that he felt personally and intimately to the big screen? So not only are you learning more about this movie star but you’re learning about what would satiate their soul through your art. So it’s important for you to not go oh yeah, I want the top movie star. You need to find the common link of what do they want? How are you gonna add value to them besides just a great role? Besides just a great story? How is it gonna touch something within their soul? My friend Shirley speaks Japanese. I would love to write something where the character speaks Japanese, because then she could do it on the screen. Every movie star has a history, every movie star has come from somewhere. If you can tap into what’s poignant and special and heartfelt to them, that’s tied in with your screenplay, that can add great value to them on multiple levels, then you’ve exponentially improved your chances of getting that movie star attached. I met with Terrence Howard at The Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, and before we started talking he said, “Hey, I wrote this song for my daughter. “What do you think?” And he takes out his guitar and he starts playing, and his fingernails are long so he could pick. It was beautiful, I’m like, this guy is an amazing talent. I had no idea Terrence Howard was musical, and then he does Hustle and Flow and this. He’s a musician, he’s amazing! He’s a rare talent when it comes to music, I think, and he’s an amazing actor. So the wheels start churning, right? How can I write something musical for Terrence? Or which friends of mine have written something musical for Terrence? There’s always a tie-in, alright? So research the movie stars beyond their movie star life. Learn about their history. Now if you want Tom Cruise and you have a Navy jet pilot story, is Tom gonna do that? I don’t think so, why? He’s already done Top Gun, right? Okay, but what if it’s a race car? No, he’s done, you know, Days of Thunder, which I call Top Car, and, right? So these have already been done. But oh, a scuba diver that, uh, is an oil rig repair man with welding underwater, for Tom Cruise? He’s never done that, why would he wanna, because he’s never done it! I’m just throwing things out there, right? Creative confetti. But get resourceful! Find the movie star you like that you’d want attached to your project and find some interesting connection and commonality. And I have to say this, make sure they’re bankable. A lot of people go, hey I just got this movie star attached to my screenplay! Nobody cares, that movie star is no longer bankable because of this, this, this, or that. I know it sounds harsh and horrible, and I hate saying that, but imagine going through all that effort and it doesn’t mean anything, alright? So you have to do your research and make sure they’re bankable. So do your research, find three movie stars that would be great for your screenplay, and what are those rare common threads that you can tap into to differentiate yourself from the others that want that movie star attached, okay? You have a half hour to do it, three, two, one, go find it!