Alright I have to vent a little here. I am finishing the Abilities United Productions, LLC Business Plan and of course I am at the part I dread, the financial projections! I’ve got 76 pages written and although it was hard and took a lot of time – I found great satisfaction in finding the ways to articulate, in business language, what a great path we are on in “Breaking the Hollywood Stereotypes of Characters and People with a Disability.” I am going to trademark that saying as soon as the biz is up and can afford it! But this whole process, which has come with many obstacles, even in just general information about the motion picture industry and the indie sector. I need facts and figures and all kinds of info to backup why I think that Abilities United Productions can be a success. And again that is just at being an indie production company! Of course the MPAA puts out theatrical, box office figures and stats every year about the numbers the previous year. And that does help but only goes so far! Finally after months and months of searching and gathering I finally got what I think will put it all together. Still wanting on some details about the average exhibitor’s and distributor’s cut and fees to legit the financials that – did I mention I am pulling out my hair on right now to complete? I do all of this because I love to write, direct and produce. How does that Steve Miller tune go…”You got to go through hell to get to heaven.” Most who have actually seen those a movie set would not think that production is all that much like heaven – but that is when I am in my element and I do love it!
The next challenge was in articulating my vision and how it will differ from past attempts to feature characters with a disability! I won’t go into a long explanation of what I came up with – because it would bore you and I it is important to be able to explain it to others, including all those in the industry that you want to do business with and especially in these startup days and that means to investors too! So the short of it is:
Abilities United Productions is an independent motion picture and television production company dedicated to bring together those of all Abilities, United in “Breaking the Hollywood Stereotypes of Characters and People with a Disability” on both sides of the camera.
Unique Motion Picture Products and Service
The products produced by Abilities United Productions are unique and different from all other production companies and all previous products that resembled them in theme. The Company has combined three elements that together make an entertainment product worthy of capturing audiences of all types and from all over the world. Our difference is in bringing together all three of these elements:
- Disability content-specific material – the featured or starring character is one with a disability and where the disability it not the focus of the film. The key is having realistic characters and engaging stories that will capture audiences and in most cases the disability is no more then the gender, race, creed, age of the character.
- Authentic – in using those with a disability in the key roles, primarily the actor portraying the character will have the same or similar disability. Other roles can include the writer, director, etc. Nearly all previous movies that featured a character with a disability was portrayed by able bodied actors whom audiences knew in the back of their mind would not have a disability when they went home after the work day was done.
- Universally Appealing – Successful stories in the entertainment industry must attract the widest possible audience. While all of Abilities United products have the first two elements, they also contain this third one which is expected to be appealing to able bodied, those with a disability and everyone in between.
Along with the unique combination of elements, these products also provide a valuable service by hiring performers/actors with a disability. The Screen Actors Guild published a report in mid-2005 documenting the incredible discrimination toward performers with disabilities throughout the industry. One of the main excuses detailed was the incorrect notion that those with a disability can only be hired for roles that were specifically written with a disability, yet in nearly every single role that featured, in a starring or supporting role a character with a disability has been cast with an able bodied actor.
Abilities United strives for the general qualities that every producer seeks and is common in the movies that have had success. That includes a great story (screenplay), Hollywood Star Talent/Power, professional production personnel and an end product with high quality. In addition to that, Abilities United has an advantage over other independent productions with its unique elements combined, along with specific marketing and distribution gives their films the best chance for success.
Will you participate in the great turning point for characters and people with a disability in Hollywood?
**** Okay I am not sure you think that was the “short of it” but it is as concise as I can make it! That is what I copied and pasted from the Business Plan. Like I said combining what makes Abilities United unique with the opportunities for independent films is a little tricky, especially with all the closely guarded info, stats and figures about the industry, but I feel confident I now have a very good Business Plan. I liken all of this with setting up a huge domino display and I am close to that last placement of bones and will then push the first one and watch the rest of them fall in place! And if one of them bones fails to knock over the next one, it will just require reaching over and giving that one a delicate push or maybe a more forceful flick of the finger! Nonetheless it WILL HAPPEN people! I have actually been putting all of this together for years and feel I have a very well thought out and prepared plan to make a success out of the Hollywood unknown of using Performers with the same or similar disability as the character’s that are in starring roles and will be directed by myself, another person with a disability!
Well I guess my break is up! Self discipline is a key for the self-employed! And btw, who blogs on their break? I have to finish the financials this weekend so I can actively chase down more investors to get the company off the ground! I cannot stand to do these “numbers” as I am not an accountant – but I have to to make sure we are moving forward and I can feel we are near to exploding on the scene!
Who’s with me?