Independent Features with Big Profit Potential
As a filmmaker, what should drive decision making as you select projects? What types of independent projects have the greatest chance of big profitability and success in today’s global environment?
Miranda Bailey, CEO, Cold Iron Pictures
Sarah Gabriel, Head of Development & Production, Signature Films
George Hamilton, CCO, Protagonist
Pip Ngo, SVP of Sales & Acquisitions, XYZ Films
Brian Beckmann, CFO, Arclight Films
Brian BeckmannCFO/COO, Arclight Films
Brian Beckmann is the CFO of Arclight Films and has two decades of hands-on, multifaceted executive finance experience. He oversees all legal, financial and accounting functions for Arclight including its production operations and its 300+ sales library of feature films. Celebrating their 20-year anniversary this year, Arclight’s current slate of production and sales titles include the fantasy-adventure film The Portable Door starring Academy Award winner Christophe Waltz and Sam Neill produced with the Henson Company; the thriller Poker Face, directed by Academy Award winner Russell Crowe who also stars alongside Liam Hemsworth, Elsa Pataky and rapper RZA; the thriller The Locksmith starring Ryan Phillippe, Kate Bosworth and Ving Rhames; the SXSW competition title Seriously Red starring and produced by Rose Byrne’s production company Dollhouse Pictures and featuring the music of Dolly Parton and the dark-comedy Big Gold Brick starring Andy Garcia, Emory Cohen, Megan Fox and Golden Globe winner Oscar Isaac.
George HamiltonCCO, Protagonist Pictures
Hamilton was named Chief Commercial Officer of Protagonist Pictures September 2021. He joined the UK based sales, finance, and production company in 2013, rising to the role of Head of Sales and became an integral part of the company’s work with producers to help structure and find finance for projects.
George began his career producing and directing digital content for a wide range of brands and agencies, as well as a number of short films through his own boutique production outfit.
He was named one of Screen International’s Future Leaders 2017: Sales and Acquisitions.
Miranda BaileyCEO, Cold Iron Pictures
Miranda Bailey is a prolific producer, actor and director, known for producing high quality independent films. Her passion for bringing compelling, well-crafted stories to the screen has been the driving force in her distinguished 15-year filmmaking career. Bailey has produced over 20 films, among them the Oscar-nominated THE SQUID AND THE WHALE and the Spirit Award-winning THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL as well as James Gunn’s SUPER, the Sundance hit SWISS ARMY MAN and the critically acclaimed NORMAN.
Bailey’s directorial narrative feature debut YOU CAN CHOOSE YOUR FAMILY, an offbeat familiar dramedy premiered in the Spotlight Section at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival. She assembled a decorated cast including Grammy-nominated comedian, actor, writer, producer, and New York Times best-selling author Jim Gaffigan, two-time Emmy winning actress Anna Gunn, SAG-nominated Samantha Mathis and rising star Logan Miller. Karen Kehela Sherwood of Imagine Entertainment produced the film alongside Amanda Marshall of Bailey’s Cold Iron Pictures. The film was recently released theatrically.
In 2018, Bailey teamed with Gurl.com co-founder Rebecca Odes to launch CherryPicks, a groundbreaking aggregate movie review and rating service by female critics for the female audience, which they announced at the SXSW film festival and now boasts over 1000 female critics. The aggregate data service will also be useful to a wide range of studios, researchers and other data-mining customers for the purposes of determining ticket sales, box office tracking, and demographics.
Bailey’s cinematic voice was first heard when her directorial debut GREENLIT – a humorous documentary examining the hypocrisy inherent in Hollywood’s “green” movement – premiered at the 2010 SXSW Film Festival to critical acclaim and was acquired by IFC International. The documentary is available on iTunes, Amazon & Hulu.
Bailey’s second documentary entitled THE PATHOLOGICAL OPTIMIST which follows one of the world’s most hated & controversial people, Dr. Andrew Wakefield who lay claim to vaccines creating autism in children, was released theatrically by The Film Arcade and on VOD by Gravitas.
A production powerhouse, Bailey’s Cold Iron Pictures has amassed an extensive list of critical and commercial successes including SWISS ARMY MAN starring Golden Globe-nominee Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe was released by A24 in July 2016. DON’T THINK TWICE, directed by Mike Birbiglia, starring Gillian Jacobs and produced with Ira Glass (This American Life) premiered July 2016. NORMAN, directed by Joseph Cedar (BEAUFORD, a Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee) in his first English-language movie, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was released this past April by Sony Classics to rave reviews. Bailey’s I DO…UNTIL I DON’T directed by and starring Lake Bell and Ed Helms opened September 1.
Bailey look set to continue her success with producing projects including RAISED EYEBROWS and Camille Perri’s THE ASSISTANTS amongst other titles she is presently developing.
Pip NgoSVP of Sales and Acquisitions
Pip Ngo is the SVP of Sales and Acquisitions for XYZ Films. He joined XYZ Films in 2017 as a Director of Sales and Acquisitions, later rising to Vice President overseeing XYZ’s robust domestic sales slate. He started his career in the independent film space after joining CAA’s Film Finance Group before moving over to Sierra/Affinity and later Vimeo.
Sarah GabrielSarah Gabriel – Head of Production & Development, Signature Films
Sarah Gabriel is Head of Production and Development for Signature Films, the production arm of Signature Entertainment, which was founded in 2011 by Marc Goldberg and has become one of the leading distribution companies in the UK with an ever-growing presence across the globe. Gabriel joined the company five years ago and worked with Goldberg to set up Signature Films, playing an integral role in building it into the successful production division it is today.
Over the past few years, Gabriel has continued to cultivate Signature’s slate, alongside Goldberg. Her upcoming credits include Keir O’Donnell’s romantic heist Marmalade starring Joe Keery, Aldis Hodge and Camila Morrone, She Is Love with Haley Bennett and Sam Riley, and Bar Fight, starring Melissa Fumero and Rachel Bloom. Gabriel also served as producer on The Estate, starring Academy® Award-nominees Toni Collette and Kathleen Turner, Anna Faris, David Duchovny, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Ron Livingston which will be released theatrically in the U.S. on Nov. 4th.
Gabriel began her career in international marketing/servicing at New Line Cinema before pursuing a career in film sales at Lionsgate under Helen Lee Kim. She left the studio to build the film sales division for XYZ Films, a production company, where she helped to grow their slate and established strong relationships throughout the industry. As a Sales Executive she worked to finance and develop over 50 films. As her distinguished taste and strong script development analytics became widely recognized, she transitioned into the creative development and production side of film.
Signature Entertainment has released over 1,000 films in the UK and over 200 films internationally. The company boasts a diverse slate of films such as recent UK Box Office success Orphan: First Kill; horror breakout out hits Relic and Possessor; BAFTA award winner Paul Andrew Williams’ revenge thriller Bull; Roger Michell’s feature documentary Elizabeth: A Portrait in Parts; festival darling The Peanut Butter Falcon with Shia LaBeouf; and forthcoming features such as the Brian Epstein biopic Midas Man and John Cena actioner Freelance.