Summitstar Films is a full service video production company. If it's a motion picture, Summitstar produces it. From commercials and web videos to streaming sitcoms and motion pictures, Summitstar expertly manages every phase of the production process. Summitstar offers services which cater to every phase of the production process. The first phase in creating a motion picture is called the development phase. Summitstar Films has developed every type of project from a corporate web video, all the way to a major motion picture.
Motion Picture Development Services
The first stage in producing a television program, commercial, motion picture, artist profile, or other video, is referred to as the "development phase". Summitstar Films & Entertainment offers all aspects of motion picture development services. Before a project moves to the next phase of production, known as the pre-production phase, the project must generally undergo a project developmental process. During the development phase, a story is created, story rights are secured, and a screenplay is written. Distribution, cast, above the line personnel, advanced sales, and other variables may be initiated or secured during the development phase. The procurement of project financing is generally initiated during development as well. Once financing has been secured, the project then becomes "greenlit" and the project then progresses to the next phase of production, referred to as pre-production.
The Summitstar Development Phase:
During the development phase, Summitstar creative executives first select or create the story which the project will be based upon. This story may be inspired from a book, play, film, true story, video game, comic book, graphic novel, original idea, etc. After identifying a theme or underlying message, Summitstar creative executives work with professional writers to prepare a project synopsis. This synopsis is then translated into a step outline, which breaks the story down into scenes, concentrating mostly upon dramatic structure. Once a full synopsis has been completed, our creative executives, and professional writers, then draft a creative treatment. This treatment is an expanded description of the creative story, its mood, and characters. This treatment generally has very little dialogue or stage direction and often contains drawings to assist in visualizing key story points. This treatment becomes the backbone of the creative process. Another way Summitstar creative executives may choose to develop a story is to produce a scriptment.
The Screenwriting Process:
At this stage of development, the project is well on its way to becoming a creative work of art. Our award winning screenwriters now initiate the screenwriting process and begin to create an original screenplay based upon the previously drafted treatment. During this time, the newly drafted screenplay may be rewritten several times to improve upon story, dramatization, clarity, structure, characters, dialogue, and overall style.
During this phase Summitstar producers will generally copyright all drafts of the screenplay. We may also choose to obtain "script coverage" as well. Investors, studios, and other interested parties generally evaluate the quality of a screenplay using the script coverage development process. Script coverage is an industry standard developmental screenplay report which is used to promote a project for financing, advanced distribution deals, or other elements. In the case a client has hired Summitstar to independently produce a project in which client financing is being provided, certain development steps may be ommitted or executed during one of the later stages of production.
Advanced Distribution Arrangements:
A film distributor, or number of distributors, may be sought out during the early stages of project development. This option may be utilized to assess a projects potential market, make advanced territorial sales, and even to evaluate and project the potential financial success of a motion picture project. When selecting a motion picture for distribution, distributors consider factors such as genre, target audience, success of similar projects, cast and crew, production incentives, production partners, project ownership, and even a projects director. Ensuring these elements are properly assembled before production initiates can lead to a highly successful motion picture project, even when a project is being produced independently of the Hollywood studio system. There are many factors which imply a certain appeal of a motion picture project to its intended audience. Summitstar completes advanced project research during development to ensure the motion picture is well received by its target audience. Not all motion pictures are produced in attempts to make a profit from a wide theatrical release. Distribution companies, financing firms, sales agents, capital venture groups, etc, evaluate potential DVD and BluRay sales as well as many additional worldwide distribution avenues in order to calculate advanced project sales estimates. Some advanced distribution agreements also include minimum guarantees which guarantee territorial sales. Since there are many "windows" of distribution a motion picture can receive income from, Summitstar Films manages these and other global outlets in attempts to maximize the financial success of a motion picture project.
Pitching the Project:
Summitstar creative executives, producers, and executive producers generally prepare a project pitch. This may or may not include a private placement memorandum and other corporate structure, creative and financial information. Once completed, our creative executives "pitch" the project to potential financiers, studios, executives, agents, managers, actors, directors, and other industry professionals, in order to "attach" them, or their professional resources, to the motion picture project.
If a pitch to a studio executive or financier succeeds, a project may instantly receive a "green light", meaning that we have secured financial backing for the project. This financial backing typically comes from a major motion picture studio, film council, capital investment firm, independent investor, or a private equity investment group. Summitstar executives will then negotiate the terms of a financial deal and oversee the preperation, and execution, of all required legal agreements and contracts.
Once the "deal" has been negotiated, and all needed legal agreements have been completed, the project may proceed to the pre-production phase. By this time, the project will have a clearly defined creative direction, marketing strategy, business plan as well as a clearly defined target audience and primary distribution plan.
Animated Motion Picture Development:
Development of animated films differs slightly in that it is the director who develops and pitches a story to an executive producer. This is generally done on the basis of rough storyboards, and it is rare for a full-length screenplay to exist at the time of the pitch. If the film is green-lighted for further development and pre-production, then a screenwriter is later brought in to prepare the screenplay based upon the vision of the director.
Television Program Development:
Summitstar Films develops all types of television programs. Made for television movies and independent documentaries generally follow similar development processes, as previously discussed above. Television projects such as reality television shows, docu-reality shows, and other television series are generally developed using a unique development process. Once a creative story is developed and an outline is drafted, a "sizzle reel" is produced. This sizzle reel is shown directly to network executives along with a series pitch. A network executive then may elect to produce a pilot episode. If a pilot episode is produced, future episodes are ordered based upon the success of the pilot episode. Once a television series or show has been greenlit, it generally moves straight to production with very little additional development. A "showrunner and numerous story producers are generally hired to manage the series storylines during the production phase of a television series. Summitstar Films routinely produces sizzle reels and other content to pitch to television executives and networks.
Other Types of Project Development:
Summitstar Films develops and produces virtually all types of motion picture and video content across many platforms. Development of artist profile videos, web videos, corporate video projects, documentary projects, concerts, music videos, commercials, and other video content, may involve different developmental elements. Rest assured that Summitstar Films has the experience to efficiently develop virtually any type of motion picture content. Most development processes have been streamlined to ensure swift project execution.