Frontier Revolution

Executive Summary

Draft December 2018

Story, editorial revisions by Lars-Erik J. Siren

Screenplay, editorial revisions by Joshua Plotkin


Table of Contents

  1. Information on Project
  2. Genre
  3. Synopsis
  4. Marketing
  5. Distribution Strategy
  6. Cast Wish List
  7. Producers
  8. Production Company Plan
  9. Production Locations
  10. Financing
  11. Contact information

The contents of this document are confidential and are disclosed pursuant to a confidential relationship and may not be reproduced or otherwise used except for the purpose intended herein.


  1. Information on Project (Table of Contents)

This story is a heroic tale about Eduardo and his wife Lupe who fight for their farm and town. They are caught up in an epic conflict against Mexican lawyer Jorge Mondego and American businessman, Samuel Tappert, who begins a land take-over to exploit natural resources.

Set in Sonora Mexico, miles from the United States, the journey is just beginning. As political power changes hands we see the fade of the romantic European influence shifting towards a new path for the country, one that Mexicanidad invokes to this day.  This exciting tale is meant to entertain through both drama and action. The story is a creative fiction that will be shared by both Mexicans and Americans, hopefully showing how our cultures are not so far apart. 

The time is right for this story due to the political challenges between United States and Mexico, but also the challenges they face individually and collectively. Water is clear gold, rare minerals are being depleted, warmer climate causes hardships, and the family property is facing increasing threats both by foreign and domestic players.

  1. Genre (Table of Contents)

The following genre incorporate the major thematic overtones of the movie.

  1. Mexican/Western - Cowboys, guns, horses in panoramic vistas.
  2. Historical Fiction - Set in Ures Mexico, 1910, the county seed during the spark of the Mexican revolution. A creative version of corruption and foreign influence.
  3. Action - Battles and gun fights will explode across the screen.
  4. Drama - Human connections of a family’s love in times of hardship.

Set to music by Mexican artist Lila Downs, the landscapes will come alive and the spirit of the people will bubble to the surface. She’s performed in a movie with great success was Frida. The potential collaboration of Lila and American singer songwriter Grace Potter would certainly yield Grammy worthy music. Grace’s Americana blend of Country, Soul, and Western rivals that of Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin. Lila is married to an American from New York City and they currently perform together in Mexico and the United States. They are the perfect dynamic duo to help the two countries come together.

  1. Synopsis (Table of Contents)

Logline: With land being taken a family is called upon to defend the frontier. 

Synopsis: Set in 1910, Ures, Sonora, Mexico, ambitious men tied to private business in Mexico City and Denver try a land take-over.  Local ranch owner Eduardo Montero fights to keep his land intact as water becomes scarce and the Mexican revolution is at hand.

To threaten a takeover state lawyer, Jorge Mondego, comes to sniff around town for ways to exploit the Montero land along with a number of other ranches. Some owners have sold, some have mysteriously disappeared, and others just won’t give in.

The Montero family and the town of Ures start to fracture as an uncaring American, Samuel Tapert, forces several families out and kills the local law enforcement. The Montero family come together and rally the rest of the town in order to hold onto their livelihoods.

  1. Marketing (Table of Contents)

On average there are two Westerns a year in the United States Market. We intended to compete and win the majority of this market. By releasing the film in both English and Spanish we hope to exploit more markets and niches. Certainly, the International community will tune into this drama.

  1. The market we are focused on is 40-50 year-old men, American/Mexican.
  2. Our Print AD spend will focus on strategically placed posters in stores and public areas that specifically target men and women we want to view our film. For our female audience we will have posters with the male and female leads embracing. For the male audience we will have posters with the good guy and bad guy with their guns blazing. In certain cities we will have local heroes and historical figures part of the marketing, e.g. Rafael Amaya for Hermosillo. For diversity we will show the different characters in a larger battle scene, highlighting nationalism.
  3. Why now? With quality storytelling and high production value, audiences will flock to the boxoffice. The mix of Mexican and American cultures, which is a hot topic for both countries given historical and current business dealings, will garner word of mouth and free press. The market is generally open to this idea, especially as tension of United States and Mexico builds.
  4. Historical and Touristic Marketing Opportunity: Ures is now considered a Pueblo Magico (a magic city). It is a small historical town that has been named a special place being promoted as a tourist attraction.
  5. We intend to use both English and Spanish for the score and soundtrack. This will provide a rich tone for authenticity with a modern translation.We intend to  invoke nostalgia of the classic John Ford and Pedro Infante Westerns.
  6. Previous successes listed below

The average western domestic gross exceeds the national average gross for the top 100 films released in the same year. This shows westerns have a positive return on investment.

Los Hermanos Del Hierro (My Son The Hero)

Released in 1961 one of the earlier and more memorable western to come out of Mexico. Not much information is available to show how well this movie did financially but it is still a fan and critic favorite and a chosen movie to show the richness of Mexican cinema. 

El Topo

Released in 1970 considered one of Mexico’s greatest westerns. Theaters to this day bring it back to show new audiences. For a re-release in only 4 theaters it lasted 65 weeks, 2006-2008, making $155,820. Three decades later and a very limited release the desire to watch a Mexican set western drew a sustained audience.

Year

Major Westerns in a year

Western gross

Western average

Top 100 gross

Top 100 average gross

2012

1

162,805,434

162,805,434

10,959,757,219

16,406,548

2013

1

89,302,115

89,302,115

10,955,912,842

15,907,180

2014

4

43,545,348

10,863,589.50

10,436,176,031

14,782,119

2015

3

239,269,193

79,756,398

11,098,718,248

15,742,863

2016

2

123,440,499

61,720,249.50

11,371,683,294

15,450,657

2017

1

29,734,047

29,734,047

11,106,991,335

15,256,856

Django Unchained

Budget
Opening Weekend

Worldwide

$100,000,000

$30,122,888

$425,368,238

Domestic Gross: $162,805,434

Foreign Gross:$262,562,804

Target market countries

Argentina

$2,199,830

Brazil

$7,013,509

Chile

$936,855

Columbia

$672,871

Ecuador

$109,001

Mexico

$4,026,816

Peru

$424,379

Spain

$14,328,129

Uruguay

$207,333

Venezuela

$1,110,832


Total

$31,029,555

Magnificent 7

Budget
Opening Weekend

Worldwide

$90,000,000

$34,703,397

$160,433,005

Domestic Gross: $93,432,655

Foreign Gross: $68,927,981

Target market countries

Argentina

$669,731

Brazil

$2,997,144

Chile

$260,323

Columbia

$571,188

Ecuador

$160,313

Mexico

$1,039,402

Peru

$172,349

Spain

$3,358,440

Uruguay

$34,032

Venezuela

$83,036


Total

$9,345,958

Unforgiven

Budget
Opening Weekend

Worldwide

$15,000,000

$15,018,007

$159,157,447

Target market countries

Argentina

$276,073

Brazil

$589,051

Chile

$20,956

Columbia

N/A

Ecuador

N/A

Mexico

$597,725

Peru

$22,852

Spain

$1,599,433

Uruguay

$18,329

Venezuela

$231,223

Total

$3,355,642

Worldwide gross listed for the above movies = $1.4 Billion

  1. Distribution Strategy (Table of Contents)

The goal is to obtain direct distribution with increased awareness through festivals. 

International Release

We are targeting festivals to potentially gain long term ticket sales and aiming for awards, to gain more attention as it’s being released. This film has  a solid potential for multiple Oscars and extended theatrical release.

  1. Cannes
  2. Sundance
  3. Toronto
  4. Berlin

Theatrical for United States of America/Canada Distribution Model

Based on the current announced release schedule, the best time to release Frontier Revolution would be in early March or September. There are few other blockbuster or dramatic movies and  ours would not have to compete for ticket sales. 

The areas of interest for this movie are varied but the densest group of likely viewers would be in states in the mountain region and the southwestern region. These are the places where Westerns still have a resonance with the audience and also have a large Spanish-speaking populations. In the midwestern region direct distribution will be the most profitable plan as mid-range theaters are in dire need of content.

There are secondary markets with Spanish speaking viewers in Florida and New York . The area from Southern California all the way to East Texas is the best bet for theater choices due to a shared Mexican heritage.

Mexico Distribution Model 

There is a potential to distribute through Worldwide Special Events Buena Vista Theatres, Inc. (Disney). There would be a theatrical release in Hermosillo, Guadalajara, and Mexico City.

Spain Distribution Model

This will be the largest market in Europe, Spanish speakers there will appreciate a film from the Americas that the majority can understand without aid. The film will compete with local works that are internationally recognized. However, our film will fit in with the norm as Spain to recognize films that incorporate Spanish culture along with American Filmmaking.

Streaming services - Global Model

New mini-series like El Chapo, Narcos, From Dusk Till Dawn

Feature movies, Bordertown, Desierto,  Gringo, and Crossing Point. We would aim to make a positive portrayal of Mexican culture that would separate us from the other streaming properties. 

  1. Cast Wish List (Table of Contents)

The following is a wish list of actors; however, in most instances we will hire local players.


Salma Hayek as 

Lupe Montero



Demián Bichir as 

Eduardo Montero


Eduardo Verástegui as Ramiro Montero


Rafael Amaya as 

Manuel Montero


María José Mariscal as

Lucia Montero


Ari Telch as 

Herman


Viggo Mortensen as 

Samuel Tapert



Humberto Busto as

Jorge Mondego


Rick Mora as

Sanchez


Danny Trejo as 

Domino Colimar


Zahn McClarnon as 

Talkalai


Carlos Ferro as 

Sheriff Angel


Jorge Luis Moreno as 

Deputy Marley

  1. Producers (Table of Contents)

This project was inspired by numerous visits to Ures, Sonora, Mexico. Lars’ wife’s home town which they would visit every year and he falls more and more in love with the land, the people, and the history each time.


Biographies

Lars-Erik Siren has a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology, Speech & Theatre, and a minor in film from St. Lawrence University. He’s professionally certified in digital filmmaking from Boston University, and high-speed imaging and motion analysis from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For the past ten years, he’s worked on productions for MIT, Harvard, Broad Institute, and TEDx. Recently he’s been focusing on commercial work for Dunkin Donuts,TaylorMade, Microsoft (Xbox), National Grid, Schneider Electric, Citizens Bank, and many more. In 2018 he will release three short films, two of which he was the Director of Photography.



Joshua Plotkin , a colorado native, has had a lifelong love of the cinema. He studied storytelling and cinema history at the University of Oregon graduating, in 2009. He went on to get a degree in Production at the Vancouver Film School in 2011. As one of the few selected to film his project, he devoted himself to start working on any project he could. Since then, he has been working in a variety of roles on independent film, TV, and Internet projects. Josh currently lives in Colorado and is helping a non-profit organization with its media presence.

  1. Production Company Plan (Table of Contents)

The idea is to connect the up-and-coming talent in the Mexican and American film industries. This collaboration will test the bond across borders. We intend to focus on communication as the primary success factor for the film. 

We will primarily use local talent and labor as we will be filming in Sonora Mexico.

Each Unit Director will receive a translator fluent in both English and Spanish, preferably someone born in Mexico and living/working in the United States. All documents and versions will be handled through a single person to ensure continuity.

Because this film is only 50 scenes, we will be able to complete the film in one to one and a half months. Ideally it will be shot December - April (Winter or early Spring), in Ures. We would release it the next year in Fall/Winter. 

We are interested in collaborating with any large studio and post production house (PUT NAME OF STUDIO), Ventanarosa Productions, a Salma Hayek’s production company, Lila Downs, a famous Mexican musician, Grace Potter, a famous American songwriter/folk/pop artist who has worked on feature soundtracks such as Disney’s film Tangled, Viggo Mortensen a famous American actor nominated for Eastern Promises and Captain Fantastic, but most well-known for Lord of the Rings and Crimson Tide.

  1. New and talented film crew
    1. We are aiming to entice newer directors in need of projects to expand their work.
    2. Ideally we’d work with diverse people from Sonora and USA, MA
    3. See crew list
  2. Ventanarosa Productions is Salma Hayek’s production company, and Jose Tamez is a Producer who has worked with her on movies such as Frida, as well as a number of other films that require Spanish/English Translation.
  3. Viking Film Services will hire local crew for this production, whenever possible,in accordance with film tax incentive requirements.
  4. A reduced risk scenario means we aren’t going in blind. Siria Jara Romo, Lars-Erik’s mother-in-law, is politically connected in Ures and Hermosillo. All location permits can be obtained easily since we know the town’s President, law enforcement, and people in the historical society. We fully intend to honor all Rider expectations for our clients.
    1. The research has been done for private hotels and local vendors have been battle tested and vetted for an economic production schedule. 
    2. The challenges of dealing with livestock and stunts can be conducted safely as we have access to horse professionals that can assist us with production logistics. 
    3. We will keep costs down by hiring the right crew once, stunt performers, trainers/wranglers, security, and emergency services for crew and veterinary needs.
  5. We plan to film all 47 scenes, 96 pages in 30 days during the Spring 2020 in Ures, Sonora Mexico.
  6. In order to direct bilingual takes, a minimum of 4 takes must be done per scene, 2 in English, 2 in Spanish. The actors we’ve chosen can do this and it will allow us to successfully tap into two markets, USA/Mexico. We will have a quiet set in order to move quickly and allow the actors/actresses focus for this Oscar winning movie. 
  7. Realistically there are only so many hours we can work in dry/hot/cool environment. The interior dialogue scenes will be filmed during hotter parts of the day and the exteriors during cooler days 70’s.
  8. A Unit will focus on dialogue, while B Unit focuses on extras/stunts, so two Assistant Directors with experience managing in these types of situations is what we intend to provide.
  9. Classic Film Techniques (long still shots) will be used with a combination of modern gunfighting style (Steadicam, EZ Rig, Drones, Techno Crane). This will appeal to the American/Mexican Western moviegoers.
  10. Our intent is to treat the town and the town’s people with utmost respect. We also intend to help stimulate the Ures economy by hiring local talent, purchasing food and goods. We will also garner goodwill by lodging locally and restoring their town plaza and gazebo as it was erected in 1910.
  11. Production Locations (Table of Contents)


Locations - Ures, Sonora, Mexico

La Plaza Zaratoga

  • Festival Scene
  • Seeking permission from current Presidente (Mayor)
  • Will employ many local people for food, costumes, and labor


Sonoran Desert Mountains

  • All ranch scenes
  • Location release secured


View of Ures from Santiago

  • Attack scene across these fields near Ures
  • Purchase melons from section where we would film (use for craft services and festival scene)
  • Location can be secured for a reasonable fee (farmers/cowboys)


Cows on the family ranch

  • Plenty of cows will be needed as extras
  • We have access to them and cowboys to manage them


A simple pump for run off water and one lunger hit-and-miss engine

  • These have stood the test of time and still run some ranch water pumps
  • Location release secured


  1. Financing (Table of Contents)

Through a series of tax incentives in Mexico and targeted theatrical releases Frontier Revolution, is expected to produce a significant return on investment the first year.

We are seeking one to two investors for a Private Placement Memorandum (PPM).

  • Three Tier Budget $3, $12, $15 Million Film expenditure
  • 50/50 Proforma Split
  • Equity up to 88%
  • Royalties, Residuals, in Perpetuity
  • The average western domestic gross exceeds the national average gross for the top 100 films released in the same year.
  • International gross exceed production cost 200% ROI

Ideally we would like to fund our film as a big budget movie to get as much exposure as possible. The reality is it will most likely not happen so we are preparing to make the film on a reduced budget via our investment, family, friends, and possibly crowdsource.


Mexico Tax Incentives

  1. 10-12% tax return from the total expenditure in Mexico if we register the project with the Ministry of Finance through a Mexican company which, at the end of the project, will apply for the tax return according to the law.
  2. ProAV is a cash rebate of up to 7.5% of the total Mexican spend
  3. Get back up to 17.5% of their total spend in Mexico, provided all expenses have a valid fiscal receipt
  4. ProAV is available for projects with a minimum spend in Mexico of 40 million pesos (around 3.5 mill usd) in prep and production
  5. Or 10 million pesos in their post-production phase (approximately US 770,000 dollars)
  6. Contact Info (Table of Contents)


Name: Lars-Erik Siren

Email: lars@vikingfilmservices.com

Address: 19 Dalton Rd., Belmont, MA 02478

Phone: 617-201-2619



Name: Joshua Plotkin 

Email: plotkinj@gmail.com

Address: 6261 S. Jamaica Ct., Englewood, CO 80111

Phone: 303-941-4767

Available upon Request

Screenplay

Budget Detail

Producers Agreement

Download Business Plan (PDF)