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REEL Ladies Presents Page Ostrow
Ostrow and Company was founded by veteran entertainment industry executive Page B. Ostrow who has arranged financing and or negotiated distribution for over 150 feature films and numerous documentaries working initially on behalf of numerous international distributors until 2000 when inspired by a vision to protect the interests of independent filmmakers, Page Ostrow shifted the company focus to representing films and projects on behalf of filmmakers and producers requiring distribution and financing. Ostrow's background includes working under contract for Initial Entertainments Graham King distributor/producer of Oscar winning films such as "The Departed", "The Aviator" and "Blood Diamond". These days, in order to find, negotiate track and collect on deals for independent filmmakers and producers Ostrow relies on her extensive relationships and the previous distribution expertise developed during the ten years she spent providing distributors with global sales support, licensing and pre-sales for their film projects and libraries to international buyers at all the film markets. As a result Page Ostrow maintains her contacts with key executives who have a shared vision toward launching quality films into the marketplace.
READ BELOW HER EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH REEL LADIES!
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RL: When did you know you wanted to be in the business side of filmmaking?
PO: Film Distribution is where I began prior to becoming a producers representative. In the 90's while under contract for numerous distributors I was walking in the Palais and witnessed a filmmaker destroy the entire distributor's suite at the Cannes Film Market. He went for the distributor's throat after damaging all his property. I came to find out the filmmaker had mortgaged his house to make a film that the distributor was not paying him on and now the filmmaker faced losing his home and wife over it. I couldn't stop thinking about this; I realized that night in my hotel room that I wanted to protect the interests of the filmmakers instead of working for the distributors and that's when I made the switch. I had worked as an assistant director on feature films in Toronto prior to spending ten years on the front lines working under contract for over twenty movie distributors and have been most happy handling the business affairs and producers representation aspects for filmmakers since 2001. Filmmakers need to to do what they do best, make films, and the blessing is I get the opportunity to do what I do best, negotiate deals in all platforms, track and collect to insure filmmakers get paid for their work.
RL: When you first started your company, what was the biggest challenge you faced?
PO: The biggest challenge I faced when I first made the switch from working for distributors to producers representation of filmmakers was building a new track record of deals I had successfully closed on behalf of filmmakers I wanted to represent.
RL: What are some key elements that filmmakers need to know about before seeking Producer Representation?
PO: The most important thing to realize is that whether your film is completed or seeking finance, you need to include a reputable producer's rep in your budget; As part of marketing costs or as a production cost. It's essential not to think you can go it on your own. A seasoned producer's rep is key. Beware of new reps. You want a rep that has been in business for at least five to ten years because most new reps fail. They think they can make a quick buck so they put out their shingle from their living room and they're out of business within a year; You're left with the damage they've done to your film. Beware of people who say they got their experience working for a well known producer's rep. If anyone approaches you to rep your film and says they got their experience working for me please call me for a reference; there are at least three people I know about who are attempting to use their limited association with my company to sell themselves as producers reps. Do your homework before hiring a rep to make sure they are really experienced by talking to other people they say they've worked for!
RL: Explain to the audience, what exactly a Producer's Rep does.
PO: An experienced producers rep with a track record can really champion a film in order to find and negotiate the best possible deals and look after the filmmakers interests, making sure you get paid. We can help find financing for your film or finishing funds and most importantly we ignite bidding war in order to make sure your film garners the best possible deal. We negotiate a much better deal for a film than filmmakers or less experienced reps would accomplish and are more effective at tracking and collecting on dollars made on the film over the life of the film because we have leverage. By representing many films over the years the distributors are interested in we are able to have the power to collect on any money due prior films we placed with the various distributors.
RL: What sets your company apart?
PO: 20 years of experience. Personal relationships with executives, distributors, networks, and studios.
The fact that I've been on a first name basis with the executives since the 1990's and that we can get their attention quickly on films we represent.
We are really a veteran producer's representation company and we are workaholics. I see the acquisition executives and VP's more than I see my own family because we're always getting on planes together and spending time with each other at film festivals and markets.
RL: What does your company look for in film submissions?
PO: We look for quality films with a story to tell that are entertaining. We love strongly themed, socially conscious documentaries with a call to action, feature films that are entertaining,well crafted and executed as well as interesting, niche films. We aren't simply looking for films with cast or "marketable" films that are easy to sell but rather films that need to be seen where we can make a difference by getting a deal for a film that might not otherwise see the light of day thereby getting films to audiences in the world who are hungry for compelling independent films. We represent quality independent feature films and socially conscience documentaries. We specialize in what filmmakers need most finding and negotiating distribution, finishing funds and arranging financing.
RL: What is the common misconception when dealing with filmmakers and distribution?
PO: A common misconception is that being in festivals will automatically garner a worthwhile distribution deal when in point of fact festivals don't sell films, people do!
Another misconception is that some filmmakers think if a producer's rep believes in a film the rep will work on commission only when in actuality a rep who has the track record and has been getting retained to work on films for more than a decade would in no way be more motivated to suddenly work for someone without being retained. There are so many risks associated with representing filmmakers that are not considered enough; such as filmmakers who can't deliver their films, get into legal problems with their co producers and hold up a film, or don't have their T's crossed and I's dotted on rights and clearance issues. When representing such films we do all the work associated with finding and negotiating the deals and make no profit if any of the above happens. At the very least we need to cover minimal overhead at the studio and for our time in the event any of these factors come into play which would prevent us from being able to collect on our commission and see profits through no fault of our own.
RL: How is Ostrow & Company handling the shift towards New Media?
PO: We're taking a strong look at it. The internet is a powerful tool and we want to make the most of it.
RL: What is next for you?
PO: We're going to continue to grow my company and keep doing what we do best, representing films! We are continuing to expand our operations and invite many top executives to join us who are out of work because their companies downsized. We are also considering selling franchises of Ostrow and Company.
RL: What would you like to see from women in film?
PO: I'd like to see more women retain us. It seems as if most of our clients are male and I am not sure why that is?
Ostrow and Company is located on the old Warner Hollywood Studio Lot on ten acres at the corner of Santa Monica Blvd and Formosa Avenue in West Hollywood. The history of the studio dates back to the 1920's when it was owned by Charlie Chaplin who sold it to Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, later joined by Samuel Goldwyn to form United Artists prior to the Warner Brothers sale in the 1980's. Among the famous movies filmed here were classics like 'Some Like It Hot' and 'Westside Story,' along with recent hits such as 'Basic Instinct,' 'Green Mile,' and the current HBO series "True Blood."
Mission And Commitment
Ostrow and Company believes in supporting the creative process behind a motion picture that begins with a compelling story and ultimately changes the way people think globally. The thoughtful execution of the story in a feature film or documentary is what makes it entertaining to watch. The skillful navigation through the Hollywood landscape is what allows the film to arrive and be seen by as many people as possible.
Ostrow and Company has arranged financing and or negotiated distribution for over 150 feature films and numerous documentaries. Our commitment is to good story telling that is compelling and entertaining. Our passion is to negotiate the business of film distribution and finance for producers and filmmakers who want to make a difference by delivering films that raise the consciousness of the viewer.
Ostrow and Company handles all aspects of the business of film so that the creative team can focus on what they do best- Create! Hopefully, the result is that the world is a better place.
Ostrow and Company focuses on three main areas of business for the filmmakers, independent producers and production companies:
- Find and negotiate distribution and licensing in all platforms for completed films
- Arrange financing for film projects in development
- Raise finishing funds for films stuck in post-production
Ostrow and Company negotiates deals for international and domestic distribution for all rights including theatrical, television and home entertainment. We strategically roll out with a film or project. We also follow up to track sales and handle collections on behalf of our clients.
Ostrow and Company provides a constant flow of quality films to the marketplace by scouting all the major film festivals, television and film markets. We are steadily building our staff of creative executives who attend film festivals, screenings and events. We aim to connect with the creative community who deliver the type of films we believe in and who see the benefit in engaging us to provide the kind of business support we offer as producers representatives.
We role out wide with a film or project in order to provide the opportunity for the executives to simultaneously experience the product at the studios, mini majors and independent international and domestic distribution companies. Creating a sense of urgency and "buzz" is something we are known for and allows us to leverage interest from the various distribution platforms in order to create bidding wars. A specific strategic game plan is designed for each new completed film we have been engaged to represent in or out of the festival circuit.
For more about Producer's Rep Page Ostrow (President, Ostrow & Company)
Company Website: www.OstrowandCompany.com
1041 North Formosa Ave.
Formosa Building, Studio Lot
West Hollywood, Ca., 90046
To read more press on Ostrow and Company please visit http://www.ostrowandcompany.com/inthenews.php
For film library press or submission policy visit www.ostrowandcompany.com
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