Attention, Screenwriters: This Indie Film Producer Wants to Make Your Movie (If the Budget’s Right)

Attention, Screenwriters: This Indie Film Producer Wants to Make Your Movie (If the Budget's Right)

It’s unusual for a producer to act in the movies he produces, but then again the transition of Adam Saunders from actor and theater company founder to producer isn’t typical either.

As the CEO of Footprint Features, Saunders produced and acted in the company’s first two feature films: "Family Weekend," starring Kristen Chenoweth and Matthew Modine, and "About Alex" with Aubrey Plaza, Max Greenfield and Jason Ritter, which opens on Friday. 

READ MORE: Jesse Zwick Isn’t Sure How He Got Away With Making "About Alex"

Saunders certainly has the acting cred. After receiving a MFA from the Yale School of Drama and a certificate from the UCLA School of Film and Television, he served as co-founder and Artistic Director of the critically acclaimed theater company Footprint on the Sun, which served as the foundation for Footprint Features. But while he continues to act, producing is really his main focus. "I think in a perfect world I could play a little small parts in the movies that we produce, but it’s certainly not the focus and I do really get great fulfillment and love producing in its own right," Saunders recently told Indiewire.

Now at Footprint Features, Saunders and his team are actively searching for new talent for medium-budgeted (under $10 million) indie films. Indiewire recently spoke to Saunders about being an indie film producer and what sort of projects he’s looking for.

How many films are you looking to produce each year? Two to three?

Yeah. So we did one last year, one this year. We’ve got another one that we’re starting production on in the fall and then we’ve just acquired the rights to another one. So we’re on track to do two next year. The game plan here is to continue to grow – two next year, then, the year after that, three. We want to get progressively bigger. But yeah, we’re moving into two to three films a year over the next couple of years.

Why focus specifically on the $5-to-10 million-dollar range? Is that a range that you think is just not being covered elsewhere?

 Well, first of all, the range that we’re in is under $10 million. "Family Weekend" was a lot smaller, and these next couple of movies are in the $3-to-5 million range and after that, we’re going to move into the $7-10 million range.
We started as a theater company, so we’re drawn to these sort of character-driven pieces. That’s just our natural aesthetic. When I first got into producing, I was told that Jerry Bruckheimer says, "The movies you should produce are the ones you want to see." And so, for us, those are the kinds of movies that we want to see — these sort of character-driven stories about human beings, which, by definition, lend themselves to fewer locations, fewer actors and smaller production costs. It’s an under-served part of the market. You’ve got the studios moving farther and father into these tent poles and you’ve got microbudget filmmakers making genre pictures under $1 [million]. And so we’re kind of in that middle space where a lot of great films are.
 
Aside from just films that you’d like to see, can you say exactly what makes a Footprint Features project?
 
The mandate is character-driven, accessible to the mainstream and under $10 million budget… If it’s about people. We’re not really going to do action movies or horror movies or, you know, things like that, but if it’s a story about people and it’s a story that we feel we can do on a limited budget, then that’s sort our mandate.
 
Are you actively looking for scripts and new talent?
 
Yeah, all the time. We’ve got great relationships with, obviously, all the literary agents in town and with writers themselves, specifically building relationships with writers that we believe in. We read samples from all mediums – TV writers as well. We meet to talk about putting movies together. We’re always putting together projects. We have a development team here and try to find things that fit our mandate.
 
Do you accept unsolicited manuscripts?
 
Yeah, we do. You can go to our website, which is footprintfeatures.com, and there’s actually a button on their that says, "I’ve got a script" and basically you can fill out a script submission form where you can write down the log line and the genre and  the proposed budget…then if it feels like something that we would be interested in, we’ll ask them  to fill out a script submission. They have to sign a release and after that, they’ll send the script. So basically there’s just a little bit of pre-screening to make sure it’s something that fits our mandate and it’s a budget we can work in. And then if that’s the case, we will. We read unsolicited stuff all the time.
 
What would your advice be for screenwriters who are interested in having you make their film?
When you’re writing the script, I think it’s important to think about whether it’s produceable – certainly, when you’re coming to a smaller company or a company that wants to make movies in this budget range. If you open with "volcano explosion" or "car chase" or something that immediately makes my eyes go, "Ok. This is just going to be a nightmare" — don’t do that.

Figure out how you can limit the number of locations, how you can limit the number of characters and make something that feels very honest and very much from you — like a story you have to tell. Don’t try to do a copycat of something that you saw. A story you have to tell with a limited number of locations and a limited number of characters – I think if you can do those three things, you really help yourself making a produceable project.

Following its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, Footprint’s "About Alex," written and directed by Jesse Zwick, was acquired by Screen Media Films. The film will receive a day-and-date release in theaters and on VOD on Friday, Aug. 8. 

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Comments

Van Allen Foster

Hay I would like a Indie wire producer to have a look at my screenplay, title I WILL NOT BE EATEN BY ANIMALS. Set in Africa, ten tourist, from all nationalities are stranded in the jungle doing drought season. Thriller, Drama, mild comedy Romance. Base on actual events.

Jim Gustafson

How and where can I submit a completed script?

Robert Greeley

I have 14 screenplays/stage-plays, including 9 musicals. A 30-song true story of a 14-year old girl surviving Auschwitz, in 1944, Doctor Mengele, then the Russians, then escaping to America. A Black and Irish 1863 musical, 30 songs, also a low budget thriller, "A Cry For Help" set in Los Angeles.

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I’d like to get the email of this Indian producer for sending my script

Melody mcclendon

My story is actually true me and my family were atact by demons we have an actual video and pictures that are unbelievable and also ministries and priest to verify the incident it start happening when my 11year old daughter was born but they finally exsposed what they were November 1 of this year on video in true form torturing my 20 month oldon video it was a horific experience for my family. Please fill free to call me I still have the videos and pictures thanks 6614715077

I have an awesome screenplay with Africa and the US setting,I need Asam saunders mail or contact please,thank you

Such a nice platform for screen writers

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My movie is titled, "My Time To Kill" Takes place in Chicago’s East side/A murdere is loose, and Lovell Harrington, the lead detective. Is assigned the case. As the investiagtion progresses and he gets closer and closer to discover who the murderer is he is shocked.

Kevin McCoy

I have 3 completed screen plays and One currently being shopped in LA. HBO & Liongate, please advise

Jacqueline Laverne Jeter

I am a new Author/writer and i need my voice to be heard i can write movies if someone will give me a chance my book Things That Happened by Butterfly Kisses have movie stories in it so go to amazon books and check it out please give me a chance be blessed.

Wendy Pettie

Hi Adam I have a perfect script you will just LOVE!!!It is about real life and it is funny!I also have 10 more stories done .If anyone is looking for a good script just let me know .You can leave me a email ,g mail Thank you!!!!

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26 PASS ROAD,APT.# 2-D GULFPORT,MS 39507
PHONE:(228)343-8405
I HAVE A SERIES OF MOVIE SCRIPT,DIFFERENT, POWERFUL AND PRO-AUDIENCE.I WISH THAT ANY PRODUCER COULD LISTEN PERSONALLY, OR READ THEM BECAUSE THESE SCRIPT BRING TO ATTENTION A DIFFERENT PERCEPTION OF THE DRAMA, STRUGGLES AND FULFILLMENT OF THE REAL TRUTH IN THE LIFE OF HUMAN BEINGS.PLEASE, GIVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW A DIFFERENT TREND IN MOVIE FILM,
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Lorraine Johan

Seeking a producer for an amazing faith based feature/TV about a young Australian Gypsy girl who feels she is on the outside of society, she experience’s a vision that she does not understand and traumatised by the separation of her parents.. her vision lures her from the Famous Sydney Bondi Beach through the Australian Indigenous Out back. Two amazing men in her life play a compelling part with leading her to her preordained destiny one younger, the other a far more seasoned man.Silent Wing’s & Golden Earrings will leave an audience rethinking the idea coincidence. Would you please contact me.. as I am seeking a producer at this time. Kind Regards, Lorraine Johan

    lorraine Johan. Author

    Hello, my fearure film Silent Wing’s & Golden Earrings has been listed with other story’s on your page. I am hoping you would comtact me if interested in this amazing True Australian story.

    lorraine Johan.

    Silent Wings & Golden Earrings will keep you very intetested right to the end.

    lorraine Johan.

    I am the author of this amazing true story, ready for production.

J. Amanda Spencer

I have a story that the world should know. Film is the best way to do justice, if done well, to the characters and subject matter it revolves around. Please forward more inclusive information regarding your intended process to the above email address.
Thanks so much.

maddie

I be making a movie based on Alice in the wonderland and I need to find him help anyone know how to get in contact

Zuzu Abdul

A movie about a little girl in India suffering from MS

john J. McGuire

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james harrison

I have a script, horror genre. email me back if your interested. Thank you, James

Lawrence Moore

Mr. Saunders, please send me your contact info and submission release. I have your next original script that is "ready to shoot."

James davis

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Hello my name is James Davis I recently wrote directed and produced a film that is currently on Amazon On demand titled belly of the beast .

Joe Russo

I Have scripts in final draft form. Would love to submit to Adam for consideration. Would appreciate his contact information.

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I have written down a script and I need it to be produced…please help me!

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i want a film prroducer

Fred Johnson

I Need to know how can I get the proper info to companies looking for new material. Plus how can I submit you all something.

Mindy Haber

I have a book and it’s a mother daughter story about how I saved my daughter from an illness. Any interest?

Beatrice

how do i feel in the script submission form online?

Barbara Johnson

Have a manuscript for a book that might be a great screen play or mini series. Would like to speak to somebody in the industry to see if we have something.

Pierre Ronald

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Chad Curry

If you want to read my scripts thus far, they can be found on Facebook. Vampirella:The Movie /REMAKE, Twisted Metal:The Movie and I Dream of Jeannie:The Movie

Chad Curry

I’ve written a Vampirella remake script, a Twisted Metal script, and I’m currently working on an I Dream of Jeannie script. Also, I’m trying to think about how Streets of Rage would look on the Silver Screen. I need financial help, a cast and a crew.

horace higgins

I’ve written a screenplay entitled "STREET KIDS" It is a gripping drama that highlights the sex trade on children. A story taken from the headlines of inner city America. Contact me for more info. thank you for your concern.

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Hope to hear from you.

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Any interest in a short book which is being published in a few weeks for a movie? I could send you the synopsis.

Bob 778-838-5434

David Gargano

I have an interesting story to tell…It has everything sex drugs rock&roll…It has the devil God Even Jesus makes a cameo If you can just look it over I have it email David Gargano 781-523-1909

Van Allen Foster

I have a great script Title I will not be eaten by animals

van allen foster

I have a great script. Title I WILL NOT BE EATEN BY ANIMALS

Shravan kumar

Sir I am having a collection of few stories if youare interested

Maureen Cashe

I’m impressed with what I’ve heard so far. I’m not a professional writer or anything like that, but I’ve written a couple of scripts. Close friends and family who have read it, rated it as amazing and very emotional. I would really appreciate it, I could get in contact with Adam Saunders.I guarantee it would be worth his while.

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GHOSTBERG’S, a supernatural comedy (feature length)
Defend your right to haunt!
Ghosts who died “Darwin” deaths and can’t scare straight must use their wits against a disturbed priest’s exorcism and a developer’s attempt to makeover their resort home.
In a way, it’s about gentrification.
I’ve a few other scripts, too. I’ve made my living as a writer, of nonfiction, at a news website (Progress.org).
Care to see Ghostberg’s?

Lanre Ayanlowo

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Bill McLean

I have a script along the line of Stephan King

D. E. Fetters

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Chidi-White Israel

I have a screenplay that i wish to submit for consideration

Frank

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Brian daly

I have an incredible idea, inspired by a dream, with a pretty damn big twist, that will leave viewers stomachs turning as they leave.

Madison Nyamekye Doris

I have great scripts which u need to see pls inbox me the address and contact number

Joe Mizera

If you guys know anyone looking for action scripts….please share this knowledge.

Pamela

Facing her imminent death, Kelly discovers her choices could have been different and in the end, there was no one to blame but herself. How did she find this out? By stepping into the world of her reflection.

Plamen & Sevina Kiorlinski

Experianced team writers, we have at least 3 scripts we can share with him. Please send us contact info.

Deep Rajvansh

Script submission

Deep Rajvaansh

Script submission

Steve Clark

I have a book that needs to be made into a movie. It’s a cross between Narnia and Lord of the rings. A fantasy fiction of a world that never became. The Kingdom of Ardd. A world that never dies, creatures ofsuch unique design it brings laughter to all. Crazy antics of young men living in a world that should have been but never was. Adventure and action pack scenes, then finally a war. This is book one. The Invisible Forest.

First Sergeant Candi O Belle USA-ret

How do you contact Adam Saunders?

aaron

I have a script ready to go! Its new and very intresting.

Matt Rafferty

I have a low budget – 1 location- action script–60 % action–$10,000 budget.

Who Lives Last- 2 CIA agents are given the task of protecting a key witness, who happens to be a cult leader, over the weekend. Except his followers know where he is and they aren’t the only ones.

spiros vlassis

I have a script ready, please send me the address/ contact

Awudi Joseph.

l have written couples of stories and l don’t know what to do with it. l mean, l don’t have anyone to take a look at it.

William Tincher

My name is William Kenneth Tincher I have written a Trilogy of When Two Worlds Collide. I never had the money to have them proof read. but you can read and understand. They are already published this is new material and the best Sci-fi ever written, if you get time please check them out. Please contact me and can send stories to you as I have said all of this is new material.

William Tincher

My name is William Kenneth Tincher I have written a Trilogy of When Two Worlds Collide. I never had the money to have them proof read. but you can read and understand. They are already published this is new material and the best Sci-fi ever written, if you get time please check them out. Please contact me and can send stories to you as I have said all of this is new material.

Lanre Ayanlowo

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Janet Sadler

I have 21 published novel in varying genres, 13 of which are already in screenplay form – ranging from sci-fi, rom-com, to time travel with comedic overtones. I am looking to make movies. Would you be interested? I can convert to screenplay form in a week’s time.

Ligia Giovannoni

How do I contact you? I have an script that is my life experience after of 56 years of living on this planet, from Argentina originally, came to this country at 27 with $1,000 and now, after 27 years, she started her own School of Enlightment. But not before she grew weed with her parner who is now under a restraining order and it goes on and on and on. My life is a great! reality show :)

Mr Aulckerland

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please sent me yo cantacts

Ekele Sunday

I write movie scripts but who to buy. I am a Nigerian.

Michelle Thomas

I have a script ready. What is the contact information to send the script

paul monk

It’s a story about a young’s man path becaming the man, the path is not so simple as you may think at age of early 20sit ‘s olso about "loking for easy money usualy is not are the greatest thing in a persons life"

Ira Ebstein

Jjjjjj

sylvia potter

I many beautiful vintage dresses for for movie scenes. I would like to sell them for movie scences.

zachary lencioni

I know your looking for finished scripts. I have a lot of projects in the works. I was wondering if there’s a way I stay in contact. That way when I complete them I would be able to submit them.

Kathy

I have a self-published book – what steps should I take to have this considered for an independent film?

ravi pawara

The story abaut terrorism and big bajhet

ravi pawara

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ravi pawara

Hindi and marathi

Michael Brown

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saheed adewole

I have a movie idea that will touch every soul. A movie that has a huge potential for t.v series and or sequel. All i need is 5 mins of your time to sell you a movie worth watching

Stanley e Kornafel

would you pursue minimal marketing to obtain funding for a major feature event?

ray roscoe

Looking to have three true stories be put to film.

I have full ownership on two true stories. Both are currently in book form, one of which is a true account of a passenger/cargo vessel during WWII in which the ship was sunk by a U-Boat and its crew and passengers taken as P.O.W. and is already published and for sale through Amazon, Createspace, Barnes and Noble, etc., the other is 75% complete and is a love story turned to hatred, a family living their lives different from normality and a British system that failed a child.
The third is 50% ownership and is a true account of two I.T. engineers over a 14 yr period and their hilarious escapades. This latter is also in the process of publication.

All three would be ideal to be made into movies.

For further details, please contact me.

jamal henry

Please send me the contact information for Adam Saunders.

jamal henry

I have a great script that is an Multi-Cultural Urban Comedy that can be done for less than 10million with great positive coverage.

brynn gibson

Am a movie director.i have an upcoming adventure movie titled RISE OFTHE AVATARS i will like to make it in indie.so help me guys

ben

ok… i take that back :)

ben

enough trouble getting the site to load… skip intro not working!!

Adam Lance Correa

I need help,I wrote Fugitive in Paradise.i’am easy going and willing to trust.There is money here in this book and I am ready to negotiate !I’ve is to short. Book maybe a little rough . But my autobiography has enough meet on the bone to create magic, on the big screen.I need help I want to sale. I am working on a book that makes Fugitive in Paradise look small time. Can you believe that its true. Anyway GODBLESS. And thank you for your time. My book is on amazon kindle.

Sir Ken Miller

I wrote and published a hilarious book about health. Adam Saunders would be the perfect lead. Title – Enter Crying, Exit Laughing. What should I do to submit information.

Bernadine Cusimano

I have three lovable scripts for your production company. The music would be Josh Groban in two. Two are set at Christmas and One is on the Fourth of July. The surprise endings are out of an O’Henry story. Want to sell all three at the same time.

Gwen Alexis

I have several scripts low budgets to send to Adam Saunders. What’s his address?

Cindy Adams Goguen

I have a rough script prepared but needs some fine tuning…. does Adam accept full manuscripts as well?

Gratwick Films

To submit to Adam Saunders follow these steps….

1. READ THE ARTICLE

2. Give up, by not reading the article and just asking for instructions in the comments you’ve already proven you’re worthless.

Harshpal Singh

Hello I am Harshpal Singh, from Uttrakhand,India.
I am good in writing scripts,screenplays,dialog, lyrics etc.
I have written two stories 1- Chem
2-fighting Texas
Chem is about a test done on a type of akgae to improve human immune system but every thing goes wrong and earth have ti fight the danger of algae….

2-Fighting Texas is about some funny men finding a secret ancient magical gun
…only this I. Can tell in this mail.
If ur interested in buying my scripts can contact me…..

Note- I also write on demand all types of literary material like Sci-fi, horror, funny adventurer etc,em excellent in Action scenes

Patson Chifumbe

I have been writing driven by the passion for film making. Its great to come across this platform and I’m hoping I could be taken under your wings rather my projects looked at and adopted if possible. I believe I have great projects with one already finished and gathering dust. All my projects are copyrighted with the Library of Congress in Washington, USA.

Justin Noble

I’m a film director that writes my own material. Is it possible if my script is selected can I direct the film by myself or maybe co-direct

robert brown

seek budget for 39 page musical love story comedy 20 songs – estimated play time 1.40 hr

james g

Are non of you people commenting capable of reading? Good God, his contact info is readily available if you were paying attention to what the article said, and what his instructions were for getting into contact with the company. Make an effort would you? This is exactly why you haven’t been "discovered" yet. If you aren’t willing to put in the minimum amount of effort to read the article, and do a Google search, then why would any producer trust that you at least put in the minimum amount of effort into your script. Oh, and how long should your script be… funniest thing I’ve seen in ages, hahaha.

Peppy Barlow

I have a script that would fit the brief. Has already had a lot of attention and development funding. Please send contact details for Adam Saunders.

Ray

We are a new upcoming entertainment company with a new division of talented screenplay writer’s and has a very powerful urban drama screenplay that we are now in the process of networking. The screenplay is called "Caught in the Glamour" about a group of teenagers graduating from High School and going down reckless paths caught up in the glamour of materialistic things, partying, and drugs.

sharon michaels

Have 2 projects. Both have parts for him.
Love to talk to him? Not a waste of time.

Rashida Ali

How can I get My Book Read for a movie that save LIVES.?

Rashida Ali

There’s a tear In Angel’s Eye by Rashida Denise Myers

Talbert

I have try to follow your submission process through the web I can not find my way, I have budget script $2-5 million, female lead, location Washington

soso Janiashvili

I have Script #1" Nine servants of devil". Genre: Psychological Thriller (Mystery / Suspense) Completed screenplay for feature film: 90 pages.

bilal a jan

i have a script ready ,please send me the address/ contact no. of Adam Saunders.

khan

The description section in the form does not say exactly what and how long should it be. It would be very helpful to know exactly what to include in there.
Thanks

Tom Walker

I have a script done at the moment. Might be a bit rough. it iis set in Australia in the outback

Javier Solórzano Casarin

How can I get in contact with Adam Saunders, regarding a project?

Terrence Redmond

I’ve got six movie screenplays ready to go and two of them are installments of how I’d like to see my vision leave its mark as a writer.

Ola Olagesin

I have a screenplay titled,’Men are liars!’.Its a romance-family centered.

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Peter Mayer

My idea? A TV Series – A mix between Wilfred and one really, really long episode of The Ghost Whisperer. Who’s in?

Dennis Chappell

Take a chance on my screenplay. I promise it will be worth your while.

Basil Williams - BLW writers

I have a fantastic script- Made for TV movie.

LOGLINE: A COMPLETE JUSTICE

SYNOPSIS: A bus transporting dangerous felons is hijacked. Two prison guards are murdered and one of the most dangerous murderer is on the run along with two of his henchmen. They manage to elude the local police and the F.B.I. for two years, he kills his henchmen for fear of being caught. He even took on a new identity, but he was eventually killed in a shoot out with the F.B.I. A COMPELLING READ!!

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