You attended new writer readings on Zoom and found a great script. And you've visited the Randtheater and found a ton of hot, new, undiscovered actors. and you want to direct too. Now all you need is the funding to make your treasure dream come true. And to get the money, all you need is a film finance strategy.
Step 1: create a business plan for movies
Like raising money for any business, you need to create a business plan. You have to be realistic in this plan. Try to outline the worst case scenario, not just the benefits. You will also need authoritative people to review your entitlements, especially when it comes to projected income.
Your movie finance strategy will also change based on the amount of money you want to raise. Among about 100,000, you will be raised primarily by friends and family. Use this amount to contact private investors and the industry. This requires a very different film financing strategy.
Regardless of this, investors want to know who is behind this project. Make yourself big You want to know what the names are (if any). Every investor wants to know how you are going to return the money. Be armed with what you say about who your target audience is. Do you have innovative ideas on how to achieve these through your marketing strategy. and finally, how many sales before you break even?
Your marketing strategy is just as interesting. Make sure to include important graphics in your business plan.
Creating a solid and easy-to-understand business plan is probably the most important script for your movie project. Except for the script, of course!
Download a good, free, detailed Film Business Plan Template HERE
Raindance offers a single evening course How do I create a film business plan?
Step 2: understand how movie sales and marketing work
You'd get top marks if you ever tried to make a movie and invest in without understanding the basic principles of movie sales and marketing.
Can you convince a film finance company that you know what is going on in a film market? Do you know how the big film festivals program films? How many acquisition managers do you know? While we're at it, do you know what types of assets a distributor would need to provide for the release of your film in your area?
If you don't have the answers to these questions, you won't be able to complete your business plan.
While there are many movie sales and marketing courses out there, none of them really prepare you for the real world. especially the world that is changing so quickly.
If you want the latest in film sales and marketing to complete your film finance strategy, check out marketing guru Deborah Sheppard and her Film sales and marketing Great.
Step 3: consider the basic legal contracts that are required
No business plan is complete until legal contracts are in place. It's an area that many screenwriters and filmmakers like to overlook. Overlook this area in your personal pain.
Investors not only want to see all employment and engagement contracts of your cast and crew, but also potential distributors. Without the right paperwork, signed, sealed, and delivered, you could be making a movie that no one will touch because you lack the permits and contracts.
If I had more time, I could bore you all night with disaster after disaster, heartbreak after heartbreak from movies that I was personally involved in and even responsible for. I'm trying to say that I've learned by making mistake after mistake. and all of them completely preventable.
So I invited media attorney Tony Morris to present it Basic legal contracts Course at Raindance.
Step 4: organize your schedule and budget
At some point, your investor, be it in the private or film industry, will want to know where and when you need the money. And how much money do you need down to the last cent?
Enter the next piece of the puzzle into your business plan: the schedule and budget. This is the most technical part of your film finance strategy.
Simply put, the schedule is a list of all the things and people you need for your movie, and when and where you need them. A budget is the amount of money you need to get that stuff and people.
A word on film budgets
There are tons of movie budget templates out there. BEWARE! Every film company seems to have its own budget template, and every government funding request I've seen has a different template. But there is a great template available online at StudioBinder. It should be enough to get you working. And their templates look super professional.
At some point you'll want to ask a line producer to work out the details, get the right union and guild rates, and so on. When you reach this level, give me a call for more advice!
Meanwhile, producer, executive producer and line producer Alec Christie is delivering an excellent performance Budgeting and scheduling Course at Raindance.
Step 5: movie money: where it is and how to get it.
After all, everyone asks me where the money is. As if there was a magical office tower full of film investors.
I always ask how much money they need first. Usually there is a long pause and I send everyone back to step 4. Put the budget together.
Then I ask is it for television or film? And usually a break. I will send them back to step 2.
I then ask them what funding structure they have. What kind of tax incentives did you investigate? And whether it fits a VCT or not. If I am greeted with silence at this point, I know that the person I am speaking to is not ready for step 5 and for the dynamic and the amount of information Film money class at Raindance.
It's not that I'm trying to sell you a film course at Raindance. That's because I learned the painful ways how to fund a movie. Setting up the courses I have at raindance seems like the fastest way to share the information I've gathered since I started Raindance in 1992.
Best for your project. Please let me know in the comments below any other ideas you have on how to fund a movie.