Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sarah Hawkins on Busted Buggy Entertainment

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What was the genesis of Busted Buggy Entertainment?

SARAH: Busted Buggy Entertainment (BBE) founder Courtney Daniels moved to Los Angeles right after the writer’s strike. Work was hard to find and Daniels started putting pitch pilots together with some of her industry contacts. BBE partnered with Emmy Award Winner, Dave Thomas, to successfully develop and sell a pilot to a major cable network, which was a huge first step for the production company and happened within its first year of business!

Can you describe your services?

SARAH: We are a leading innovator on defining, quantifying, and targeting niche audiences to champion around independent films. Our team of experts are well-versed in all stages of filmmaking from development & packaging, to investment, to physical production, all the way through delivery and distribution. Our personalized and tailored PMD service package comes with a variety of levels and most important, an assigned Producer of Marketing & Distribution to advise on every step of your filmmaking process to help ensure it will be a success with its target audience.

What is the company’s operating philosophy?

SARAH: Our background from the investment world gives us a unique perspective on filmmaking, allowing us to see and capitalize on opportunities that are often overlooked.

We believe filmmaking can be sustainable, but it’s about arming independent filmmakers with a mindset and tools that often feel foreign to them: the business and financial side of filmmaking. As producers, we live in the long-term. We see how every detail dominoes into an end result. We want to set up those filmmakers, those films, those dominoes with precision and in an order that services both investors and audiences equally.

What can you provide independent filmmakers that they might not find anywhere else?

SARAH: Our risk-managed filmmaking strategies and PMD services set us apart from other production and distribution companies.

By approaching projects not only creatively, but also from the investment side, we are able to guide a project to success from as early as development, all the way through finding a project’s home with our distribution partners.

Through our PMD services, we’ll strategize, execute, and deliver the assets needed to effectively reach and attract a project’s niche audience.  So many “consultants” or “advisors” are not actively producing. They’re trading on a project or two they did 5-10 years ago when the market was completely different, and that is if they have ever been on set, in the trenches at all. We’re not only participating today, in the trenches, we’re helping define where the opportunities will be tomorrow.

How did the Rescue Dogs project come to you?

SARAH: Courtney Daniels has always been a huge rescue animal advocate, and even has six rescue pets of her own! When she received the offer to play “Bridgette” in Rescue Dogs The Movie, she was excited to combine her interests of acting and producing while raising awareness about rescue animals.

What have you learned from past productions that you brought to Rescue Dogs?

SARAH: Community is everything. Filmmaking is a lot like building a village. You assemble a team to champion around a project to bring a story to life in production; but that can also be said about the story that is being produced as it pertains to an audience.

We’ve learned to look for films that have direct causes or communities that an audience can support. Rescue Dogs is evidence of just that.


Was the tie-in with rescue organizations always part of the distribution plan?

SARAH: The rescue community is a strong, humble group of individuals that sacrifice so much of their own time, energy, and finances to see that animals find safe and loving homes. We wanted to support these groups by giving rescue organizations a unique opportunity to communicate with their audience through our film.

In an effort to get more animals adopted and find a way to creatively and financially support these organizations, we partnered with some of the top rescue groups across the country to host adoption events in coordination with opening weekend. A good majority of these events happened at the theaters.

Over 150 animals were adopted through this effort, and we’re excited to continue to give back through select TVOD sales and press and awareness.


What is the company’s future plans?

SARAH: We’re excited about several projects we currently have in development, and a few slated for production this fall! Through the overwhelming interest in our services, we’ve been exposed to some great new projects we are considering acquiring, developing, and/or distributing. There’s something new every day!

How can filmmakers get in touch with you?

SARAH: Anyone looking to submit a project for BBE’s consideration can send a log line, synopsis, and submission release form through our project submission form: bustedbuggy.com/submit-your-project.

We’re always on the lookout for potential collaborations! Filmmakers can email us at social@bustedbuggy.com and we’ll direct the inquiry to the appropriate team member. 

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