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stfrancis 06-29-2018 03:54 PM

Canadian Production Companies
Has anyone dealt with either of these Canadian companies, Lighthouse Pictures or Chesler/Perlmutter Productions? They mainly produce TV movies for networks like Hallmark and Lifetime.

Lighthouse recently optioned my Christmas-themed script and wants to option another of my scripts.

Chesler/Perlmutter has also shown interest in my scripts, but I'm not sure which company I'd be better served by.

Done Deal Pro 06-30-2018 03:02 PM

Re: Canadian Production Companies
In this particular case, you are pretty much talking six of one, half a dozen of another. CP has been around a bit longer and has done about 20 or so more films but they are essentially doing the same thing, as you surely know.

Some years back I was helping a friend to try to get some projects going and we worked with Lewis Chesler a little on a project (supernatural thriller) that ultimately didn't go. At the time, Lewis seemed to do most of the development work, and David did more of the finance and business side, particularly up in Canada where he is. (Lewis is down here.) Since David is there, they can get various tax breaks.

Without knowing what deals each are offering you, it's a little tough to say, but I'd have to think they are fairly similar since these type of films can't be made for that much or they would not make their money back. These types of films are done for a very certain price point, since it's TV.

I'd say split the difference. Do a project with each and see how both go. Then from there decide who you might want to further work with. You'll never make tons of money off either, since again they just can't pay much out.

Generally, most movies don't serve the writers well. And on these low budget films, they can and will at times bring in other writers to rewrite your work and possibly even share credit. (They don't have to follow Guild rules.) Now, if one is infinitely nicer and more open to working with you than another, then maybe go with that company. Sure. But I would tend to think it would be helpful to work with both if you can. Don't miss an opportunity to connect with two companies, in case one situation doesn't work out well.

stfrancis 06-30-2018 04:23 PM

Re: Canadian Production Companies
Great, advice, thanks.

For new writers (like me), I find these companies incredibly receptive and responsive compared to L.A.-based producers. Of course, your scripts have to cater to the very specific needs of networks like Hallmark and Lifetime.

And, as you say, you won't get rich. $10-$20,000 per script. But it's a foot in the door and an avenue to be a produced writer.

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