THE BUSINESS OF FILM (Film Financing)
“The not fun stuff!”
First and foremost filmmaking is unfortunately a business and therefor should be approached as such. This is a conundrum for the artist within in us but is a duality that must be understood from a producers standpoint. An artist creativity combined with a great business savvy is a recipe for success, so learn to combine the notions in all aspects of your creative process and the path to greatness becomes a bit more visible. So bite the bullet artists, start crunching some numbers, and get your movie made!
Financing the Film (the Lasagna)
“Money don’t get everything it’s true, but what it does get I can use…”
Now that you have budgeted and know how much money you will need to make the Lasagna, where is it going to come from?
You have a few options on the table. Because you will hopefully need no more then $5000, this should not be the most difficult thing in the world to come by.
OPTION #1: Pay for it Yourself (s)
This is your best option if it is possible. Save for it or put it on a credit card, but either way if you are going to put up the money offer yourself(s) the same thing you will offer outside investors, a flat 200% return on investment without equity points and paid before equity partners sharing begins. This goes for any or all of your crew that is willing to put up some money for the greater good.
OPTION #2: Crowd Sourcing
This is a great option because it requires no investor payback. But, can be essentially getting money from the family and friends of everyone involved on the project through online funding sources, such as GoFundMe, IndiGogo, Kickstarter, etc. They all have similar options and work basically the same way, are all a bit different I payout and percentages, so do your research on which option would work best for you.
You will need to do several things when crowd funding. Start a blog, post to that blog and connect it to your chosen funding page as well as all your other social media sites. Make a short and punchy video that highlights the project, feature the key players that are involved, what you are trying to accomplish and what type of gifts they will receive for helping out. Keep it short 2-5 min max! You can make and add more detailed videos to you pages as you go, in fact you should.
For more info on crowd sourcing please see: Crowdfunding – How To Build A Successful Campaign its kinda boring but helpful or check out How to Crowdfund to Raise Money OrCrowdsourcing and Crowdfunding Explained on YouTube andWatch This Before You Launch A Crowdfunding Campaign – A Film Courage Filmmaking Series
OPTION #3: Investors
If you have the means reach out to any rich people you may know who may be interested in making a small film investment, do it! This can be anyone you or any of your crew may be able to get a meeting with. Family and friends aside, I recommend first reaching out to tried and true classics such as Dentists, Lawyer’s, Local Business owners Car Dealers, and gamblers – people who like to take risks are always a good bet, as the film business is in itself a gamble. Here is a great article on investment: How To Access The Secret Film Investing Club
Because you are asking for so little money, it is a good idea to make a fixed deal on their investment, therefore you and the rest of the equity partners need not split up any more of the films points. A 200% Return paid before all other moneys go out, and Executive Producer credit, is a nice deal for a $5000 dollar investment with a $15,000 dollar ROI over the next 2 years.
You are going to need to pitch the project in an extremely professional way. Make them feel comfortable in your ability to get their money back, prove to them that you will actually see the project all the way through and that the people involved have the talent to produce a Hollywood looking and sounding feature film. Make them love YOU the STORY, and the PROJECT itself!!
Make a small business plan. Sign investor contracts. (I have provided templates on the website) but also check outsba.gov/writing-business-plan, and
If you already have a nice looking website with everyone’s bio’s and links to their work, the projects mission statement and cool videos, you may be able to get by without the business plan depending on the type of investors you are trying to interest.
Check out a great documentary Film Finance – Raising Money For A Movie – A Film Courage Filmmaking Series for a great look inside getting films financed.
And a great website for serious film investment @ Slated.com