Film-making and Finance – The Business Behind The Business

Event Date: Saturday, December 14, 2013 || Speakers: Louise Levison, Eric Shaw, Daniel Coplan, Michael Homeier, Robert Rodriguez, Gilbert Adler & Joel Eisenberg || Check-in: 12:30 pm ||


This will not be your standard film finance seminar. We will get into the psychology of both money and film-making in a very interactive session.

**The deadline has passed and REGISTRATION is now CLOSED for this event. Please view our calendar for upcoming events.Check-in begins at 12:30 pm.


Event starts at 1:00 pm. 

No Refunds. No Credits.


The panelist will discuss the following; How do you meet the person you’ve always wanted to meet and who can make the difference in your career?  How and when do you best approach private equity investors for your movie?  Learning and surviving the hustle – the business behind the business.  The psychology of celebrity and how best to maintain celebrity friendships in a cut-throat business.  The keys to successful networking.  Tricks on creating buzz for your film and having money and distributors come to you.


Louise LevinsonLouise Levison, President of Business Strategies, is a highly respected financial consultant in the entertainment industry, specializing in creation of film business plans for over 25 years.  Her clients have raised money for low-budget films such as The Blair Witch Project, the most profitable independent film in history, and for companies raising as much as $300 million.  She is the author of Filmmakers & Financing: Business Plans for Independents, currently in its revised and expanded Seventh Edition (Focal Press, 2013).  The sixth edition of the book continues to be available in Mandarin from  Levison also is editor of the online newsletter The Film Entrepreneur: A Newsletter for the Independent Filmmaker and Investor.  Among other clients’ projects are The Prophet (an animated film based on Kahlil Gibran’s book), Unlimited (Nathan Frankowski), Winter in the Blood, The Redemption of Henry Myers, Moving Midway, Redemption Road, Haunted (2012), The Harvest of Empire, High School Sweethearts, The First of May, The Open Road, Aluna, Yak: The Giant King, Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman, My Father and the Man in Black, High Roller: The Stu Ungar Story, Dinner Rush and Michael Winslow Live.  Her corporate clients include Danny Glover’s Louverture Films (2008 nominee for Best Documentary Academy Award Trouble the Water) and his Louverture Film Fund I, The Pamplin Film Company (Hoover), Hurricane Film Partners, LLC, Majestic World Entertainment, Cunningham & Maybach Films, Light Tower Entertainment (Mother’s Day), Tokuma International Ltd (Shall We Dance, Princess Mononoke) and The Lifton Institute of Media Arts and Sciences (Los Angeles).

Levison is an Instructor in the Extension Program at UCLA.  She also has been a Visiting Professor at the Taipei (Taiwan) National University of the Arts, Chapman University (Orange County, CA) and the University of Montana (Missoula).  Levison has presented seminars and/or been on panels at the Sundance Film Festival including “Financing Your Film: Avoiding the Pitfalls from Business Plan to Distribution” (2010 to 2012) , Los Angeles Film Festival, Film Independent (FIND), Women in Film, Producer’s Guild of America, Galway (Ireland) Film Fleadh, National Association of Broadcasters, Hollywood Black Film Festival, American Black Film Festival, National Association Of Latino Independent Producers, Texas Accountants and Lawyers for the Arts, Austin Film Festival, Florida Motion Picture and Television Association, Cincinnati Film Commission, Independent Cinema Expo, California Lawyers for the Arts,  Nashville Film Festival, The Learning Annex (New York and Los Angeles) and others.

Prior to working in the entertainment industry, Levison spent ten years in the highly regulated health care industry as Director of Corporate Strategy for both the City Of Hope, where she initiated planning for its five corporations, and Torrance Memorial Medical Center.  She began her finance career as a Planning Analyst at the American Iron and Steel Institute in New York and then moved to California to work as an economist at Stanford Research Institute.  Levison also has worked as a stockbroker and co-hosted a call-in radio show heard on 100 stations in the United States, Canada and Mexico on the Business Radio Network.  She is a member of Film Independent (Los Angeles), Women in Film and the International Documentary Association.  Levison has an M.A. in Asian Area Studies from New York University, an M.B.A. in Finance from California State University (Dominguez Hills) and a B.A. from Simmons College (Boston).


Eric ShawEric Shaw is a transplanted New Yorker and presently one of L.A.’s most respected businessmen. He knows nothing about the movie business, however. Well, aside from the fact that he runs, with moderator Joel Eisenberg, one of Los Angeles’ primary entertainment networks – All Cities Media. The goal of ACM is to “level the playing field” between filmmaker and financier.

He is known as Your Networking Personal Trainer, and he will teach you how to get from Point A to Point B in your professional endeavors. Eric will further inform how to meet the people you want to meet – the Dream-Makers – by getting out of your comfort zone and coming across every bit their equal.

He lives by the following motto: “The way you do anything, is the way you do everything.”

His parent company – The All Cities Network – is comprised of six vertical membership-based groups that meet monthly. Combined, his group members have transacted upwards of $250 million in business as a direct result of his efforts.


Dan CoplanAttorney Daniel J. Coplan practices in the areas of Copyright, Trademark, Commercial, Business, Entertainment, Securities, and B&P 17200 law, from transactions to initiating action through appeal, in both federal and state courts.

He provides production contracts for motion pictures, negotiates motion picture distribution agreements, music publishing agreements, recording agreements, preparation of private placement memorandums, Reg D offerings, and general corporate services.

He has over thirty years of successful experience as an attorney, and is also an independent filmmaker and actor.

Mr. Coplan has studied acting with Nina Foch and Ted Post, and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He has appeared in the motion pictures “Hell Comes to Frogtown,” “Wishman,” “The Dragon Gate,” “Madame’s Black Book,” and “The Man In The Iron Mask.” His stage performances include, “Little Woman,” “The Commissioner,” “A Cry of Players,” “Three Penny Opera,” “Billy Ray” and “As You Like It.”

“The Dragon Gate” was Mr. Coplan’s first full-length theatrical motion picture as a writer/producer, starring Academy Award winner Haing S. Ngor (“The Killing Fields”)

Mr. Coplan’s screenplay, “Special Circumstances”, placed in the top fifty out of eleven hundred scripts submitted for the Writers Guild of America East Fellowship competition.


Michael HomeierMichael Homeier has 30 years of practice experience in the area of general business, corporate, transactional, securities, entertainment, and business financing law. He specializes in representing US businesses in a variety of industries (including entertainment companies) sourcing financing through the red-hot EB-5 “Immigrant Investor Financing Program,” that earns green cards for immigrants whose investments in those businesses result in the creation of new US jobs. Michael’s firm has worked on over 140 EB-5 projects over the past 5 years, helping those businesses source $1.5+ Billion for the establishment and expansion of their operations while creating thousands of new US jobs in the process.  With the example of some $250 Million already raised through EB-5 for US film production at the major studios, Michael has established and is actively executing a new model enabling independent film and television producers and mini-major studios to access EB-5 financing for their projects.

A frequent law professor, Michael is also an active public speaker, both in the EB-5, business financing, and business law arenas, and as an inspirational speaker to teenaged and young adult cancer survivors (as one himself) on finding post-treatment life success.  Michael earned his JD from USC, and his BA from UCLA. He is a member of the State Bar of California, the Association to Invest in the USA (the EB-5 industry trade organization), and SAG-AFTRA.

Homeier & Law, P.C. is a 7-attorney law firm devoted exclusively to corporate and business transactional law, including securities.  From offices in Los Angeles and New York City, Homeier & Law, P.C. represents a broad variety of clients, both domestically and internationally, from established and publicly-traded companies, to start-up businesses and entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries, including entertainment and real estate.  The firm’s practice includes finance, secured and unsecured lending, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, securities, venture capital, new media, technology, e-commerce, and other general transactions.  Homeier & Law, P.C., is a leader in EB-5-related corporate and securities transactions, and represents a number of regional centers as well as private EB-5 clients on over 140 regional center and EB-5 securities offering projects to date.  Michael Homeier is one of the firm’s partners who frequently present at EB-5 industry events.


Robert RodriguezRobert Rodriguez is a global media investment and finance specialist with over 11 year’s industry experience in media, entertainment and banking. He is also 20-plus year career as a strategist, operator and brings a unique blend of creative passion and fiduciary diligence to every project and is currently the West Coast Director for the National Eagle and Angel Association a group helps fund small cap and microcap companies. He has also helped structure over $100 million in worldwide media funding and finance.

Currently he is Managing Director at American United Media where he produces independent films. His prior experience was Executive Vice President of Colonial National Bank Corp. where he directed over 16 Branches that averaged over 2 Billion in loan funding per year with his extensive knowledge of wholesale correspondent lending, retail mortgage lending, operations, and secondary markets. He also led SVA one of the largest China public consumer electronic manufacturing companies as Vice President and was one of the founders of ABS Systems and one of the largest Billion dollar online retailers in North America.


Gilbert AdlerMotion picture producer Gilbert Adler gave us major box office hits including “Valkyrie” starring Tom Cruise, “Superman Returns”, Brandon Routh, Kevin Spacey, “Constantine”, Keanu Reeves, “Starsky & Hutch”, Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, “Ghostship” Gabriel Byrne, Julianna Margulies, “House on Haunted Hill” Geoffrey Rush,( refer to IMDB for further list).

The internationally acclaimed HBO television series “Tales from the Crypt” is another award winning Gilbert Adler hit. He produced this series as well as wrote, and directed many episodes during its long nine year run. Other Hollywood notables who directed this venerable series included Bob Zemeckis, Tom Hanks, Richard Donner, John Frankenheimer, Billy Friedkin, and Michael J Fox.

Gilbert directed multiple shows for network TV, namely “Charmed” and the re-booted “Fantasy Island” starring Malcolm McDowell. He also produced the powerful award winning Vietnam War Stories for HBO.

His motion pictures alone have grossed over $1.5 billion.


Special Moderator for this event: Joel Eisenberg


Joel EisenbergThe worse-kept secret of Joel Eisenberg’s professional career is that he is presently developing a new television version of “Tales from the Crypt” with fellow attendee Gil Adler. He is also a new novelist; the first book of his “The Chronicles of Ara” series, an ambitious 8-volume fantasy epic, hits the stores in 2015.

Otherwise, Joel is “a writer by passion and writer-producer by necessity.” A former Special Education teacher, Joel has been writing professionally since 1986 in varied media, starting as a columnist for a series of national sports-entertainment periodicals and segueing to independent feature films. Joel’s first feature, 2002’s award-winning drama “Out of the Black,” starring Oscar nominee Sally Kirkland, Tyler Christopher, Sally Struthers and Dee Wallace Stone, opened the 2003 Dances with Films Festival. He is the former director of the San Diego Film Festival Screenplay Competition, and he continues to mentor creative artists worldwide.

Joel has written or contributed to several books, including How to Survive a Day Job, Tales of the Dead (a re-publication of the long-lost book of German ghost stories that inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein), Championship Networking and numerous others. Joel has also worked in production finance, raising several million dollars in national and local program funding for diverse PBS programming including “California’s Gold” with Huell Howser, “American Playhouse,” Masterpiece Theater” and “The Puzzle Place.”

In 2004, Joel was hired by a private party to identify, organize and archive a substantial lot of original handwritten John Steinbeck materials, referred to by a noted historian as one of the most important literary finds of the century. The archive was auctioned in mid-2007.

On the film front, Joel still hopes his dream project, “Ghoulishly Yours, William M. Gaines,” that he developed with director John Landis will become a reality. In the meantime, he executive produced “April Showers,” a docudrama based on the Columbine tragedy (with Tom Arnold, Kelly Blatz, Illeana Douglas and Daryl Sabara), is co-writing and co-producing the Barry Minkow biopic, “Unreleased,” starring James Caan, Talia Shire and Ving Rhames, and has comic book-related features “The Human Fly” and Assassin and Son” in active development.

Joel moderates the All Cities Media Group, in locations throughout Southern California, three times monthly.


strong>Join us on the Second Saturday every month at:

Creative Studios

(**Same Location – new name)

5723 Auckland Ave.

North Hollywood, CA 91601!/pages/TDJ-Studios/165670330135933


As this is a professional event, we ask that you please arrive prior to the event start time.

Meeting Timeframe: 1:00 pm to approximately 3:00 pm


Free Parking!

Please remember to bring a picture ID and your SWN Membership Card!

Any questions, email us at

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