Film Financing & Development Workshop

Film Synergy Magic LLC, together with the Film Synergy Group follows upon the popular New England Townhall Meetings with another special event at Palace Digital Studios in Norwalk, CT.

This educational and networking event for filmmakers, writers, producers, attorneys, entrepreneurs and financiers features highly relevant presentations by expert speakers plus an interactive panel discussion. Learn from expert speakers about the latest developments in the field and connect with like-minded professionals from a variety of relevant backgrounds.

We are available to evaluate your project for a potential match with our producing interests. Qualifying films might become candidates for inclusion in our current slate of films targeted to pursue funding. Attending our events is a great way to get acquainted and we are looking forward to meet you.


Donald E. Bertrand, Esq. - Veteran financial-sector corporate attorney turned entertainment lawyer, film producer & entrepreneur; a graduate of Yale Law School, Don provides entertainment law services in CT & NY to film, TV, music & literary industries as well as general business development law support from his principal office located in West Haven, CT; Don is the Legal Director of the New York Film Synergy Group and co-founder of Film Synergy Magic, LLC incubator and development-stage film production company; he is a fmr. Vice President and Insurance & Investment Products Counsel at Hartford, CT-based Phoenix Life Insurance Company where he served for many years and managed the Financial Services Practices Group team of attorneys; Member of Entertainment & Sports Law Section at New York State Bar Assoc. ("NYSBA"); Member at "Grammy Awards" Recording Academy, Director Greater New Haven Business and Prof. Assoc., Member New Haven Arts Council, author "NY Proposes Revised Film Permit Rules, NYSBA EASL Journal Fall/Winter 2007, and author of various published legal articles on financial services compliance. Former Director New Haven O.I.C. Vocational Training School, and Deputy Diretor of the New Haven City Demonstration Agency.


Sam Adams
Cedar Lane and Film Funding Opportunities

Bill Burns
The Practical Approach to the Making of Movies

Thomas Carruthers
Film Festival Requirements and Opportunities

A.D. Calvo
From Concept to Completion: The Other Side of the Tracks 

Adam B. Kagan, Esq.
How a Film is Won or Lost in Pre-Production

Darryl Ohrt
Ten Tools in Twenty Minutes


Samuel W. Adams - Sam is the founder and Managing Director of Cedar Lane Asset Management, LLC, the New York based manager of the Cedar Lane Entertainment Fund, which is located in the Cayman Islands. The fund is an asset-based lender to the entertainment industry focusing on smaller loans (up to $20 million) to middle-market companies. Such funding is used by owners and distributors of intellectual property for opportunistic purposes—to acquire film libraries or music catalogs or to complete film, music, or entertainment projects. Sam formed Cedar Lane with two partners in 2006. Prior to that he was, for four years, a Managing Director at Octago n Asset Management, which managed the Octave Entertainment Fund, with $150 million in entertainment assets. Before joining the hedge fund industry Sam was a commercial transactions lawyer practicing with large firms in New York . He began his legal career with Shearman & Sterling in 1989, where he focused on secured transactions and securitizations. Later he practiced with Rosenman, where he represented Eximbank, and with Windels where he structured private placements and represented funds and private equity groups. In 1999 he became EVP and General Counsel to Alliance Group, a telecom startup in Westport.

Sam earned his B.A. in History from Kenyon College (Honors Program), attended law school at Washington & Lee University (where he graded onto the Law Review) graduating in 1989. Prior to law school he was a lobbyist for a small business trade association in Washington called NFIB. In this capacity he focused on budget and banking issues, testifying before the House Small Business Committee on the Corporation for Small Business Investment (an SBA debt-securitization program), as well as before several state legislatures on interstate banking issues. Prior to that he was a Legislative Assistant to Congressman John R. McKernan of Maine, focusing on the Congressman’s banking and commercial issues. Among other things, Sam drafted legislation providing funding for a small business capital generation study. At the end of his period on Capital Hill, Sam was admitted to the Foreign Service for the Fall class of 1986. He elected to go to law school instead. Sam lives in Weston, works in New York and in Cedar Lane ’s Rowayton office, depending on the fishing reports. He is a hard-core skiing addict. He is active in his church where he is on the vestry, and he is engaged in various social and charitable activities in Fairfield County.

Thomas Carruthers - Marketer, Organizer/director of the CT Film Festival lives and works in Bethel, but his impact on the greater community can be felt in many Connecticut towns. Tom's' passion is continuing to grow the Connecticut Film Festival; his business is event marketing and sponsorship marketing, a lot of that for nonprofit organizations. Tom built his muscles as an agent and producer when he began mounting his own shows with national bands and recording stars for corporate events, which eventually grew into event and sponsorship marketing.

William F. Burns
- Producer and Executive Producer founded America Film Studios, Inc. Hamden, CT, he has acted as Promotion and Advertising consultant for Stanley Warner Theatres (New England). He was Post Production Supervisor at Sleeping Giant Films Hamden, CT, Executive Producer for The Quinnipiac College Intercollegiate Jazz Festival, contributing member of the Producer’s Network, founded by Henry Honeckman, NYC. He Produced the Sonny Costanzo Concert Series Quinnipiac University, formed CRAWFORD/BURNS Productions in Los Angeles with Robert L. Crawford. He is the first recipient of Stage Combat Award, Connecticut Drama Association. Presently he is consultant/mentor to Yale University Film Society. Recent Executive Producer projects include “The Hall” in development/first refusal with Warner Brothers, “Hell & High Water” in development at Lionsgate Productions, “Analog Kid” in development America Film Studios, Co - Executive Producer of “Night of the Twisters” Fox Family Channel.

Adam B. Kagan, Esq
. - Entertainment lawyer providing creative people with entertainment business and legal affairs assistance. His practice includes entertainment industry negotiation, business formation and project planning services. Before beginning his law practice, Adam was a law clerk at the law firm of Epstein, Levinsohn, Bodine, Hurwitz & Weinstein. He also spent ten years as an independent producer in New York and Los Angeles and was the head of production at Fourth of July Productions, Inc. in New York City. He won the Telly Award three times for commercials I produced for James Taylor and Barry Manilow, but the greatest part of my job is working with a wide range of talented people. His legal practice is built on the lessons learned from ten years in the trenches as a producer of music videos, television commercials and feature films. Adam is also the author of an article "International Arbitration in the Entertainment Industry", originally published in the Spring 2006 issue of the Entertainment Arts and Sports Law Journal of the New York State Bar Association.

Alejandro Daniel Calvo
- Argentine-born writer, producer, editor, director with a former background in technology and software design. Calvo was born in Buenos Aires (1967), and moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, before relocating to the United States. Calvo's filmmaking and screenwriting efforts gained the praise and support of Oscar-nominated producers, Howard and Karen Baldwin, and Grammy-winning musician, Michael Bolton—all of whom were executive producers on his feature film debut, The Other Side of the Tracks, a character-driven ghost story, shot in Connecticut during the summer of 2007. He is the founder and CEO of Goodnight Films.

Darryl Ohrt - Founder of design and branding firm, Plaid, and chief blogger for Brandflakes for Breakfast, will speak about Web 2.0, emerging media, and social media. Learn about some of the latest tools, and how you might implement them into your business life, or as devices for spreading the word about your latest production, or connecting with new opportunities from across the globe.

Name Sales End Price
One Year Development Membership   Ended $99
Early Bird   Ended $35
Regular Ticket   Ended $45
Last Chance   Ended $55
Door Price   Ended $65

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