getting money

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
I guess if one can get a good script in hand and at least some talented people on board with making it one could approach people and pitch the movie and request financing for the making of the film, right?

Where do we find these poeple?

Didn't the brothers that made the matrix take an approach something like this?

Kim
 
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DerekEastham

Guest
On finding money... which I'm in the process of doing right now.

Here are the best bits of advice which I've recieved to date:

#1 - put everything under 1 letter head... not a person, people don't like to write checks to individuals, create a company name. Most states allow individuals to have their own little companies, so you might not even need a business license to do this. However... this moves us into advice:

#2 - You should consider forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company). This is a standard in all filmmaking venues (from indy to hollywood), every film has an LLC associated with it. It's a way to protect the film, the filmmakers and more importantly (for the purpose of getting money) the investors.

#3 - No joke, look for rich people. People in your family aren't really great, because there's too much history there... but if they know people with money and can set you up with an interview, then you're set to get into a pitch. Otherwise, just look for everyone and anyone with money, and prepare yourself to ask for money. Which brings us to.....>>>>

#4 - How to be prepared. Put yourself together a packet to take to meetings with investors... and don't be cheap here. Spend the money to have a professional presentation. Now, what do you include in this? Well, here's the basics: Budgets - how much you need to make the film. Have at least 2 versions of the budget though. A Low impact (the least you can do the movie for) and a high impact budget (the best ammount of money). This will show an investor that you've put a lot of time and consideration into the film beyond "I've got this, give me money, it'll be great." What else to include? > Plans for making money back, or getting recognition for the film (festivals, DVD sales, etc.) you don't have to have anything solid, it's too early for that... but you could have ideas and plans for how to go about doing it. > Bio's, have a bio for everyone you've already got involved with the project. Also, if you know some pro's in the business (film or video) who are "interested" in working with you, try to include their bio's. (DO NOT oversell their involvement, be 100% truthful about it.)

#5 - RESEARCH... do lots and lots of research for your films. Research a place to rent equipment from. Research post production houses & their rates. include those numbers in the budget.

#6 - Be ready to present. Feel confident in the product you're marketing to them, because that's what you're doing... marketing a film. Also, do not be "over confident," that'll just turn people off.

#7 - Research your investors... know their style as best you can, and before you go don't underdress for the meeting. It's better to over dress... remember, you can always take off a tie or over-coat... but you can't magically transform yourself from skater punk clothes into a business suit (Harry Potter is only a book).

#8 - Be real with the investors. If your film has no chance of making the money back, tell them that. Let them know that it's like funding the arts, they'll be funding something that is out there, and their name is on it as a part of that process. However, if you do believe... AND BE REAL WITH YOURSELF ON THIS ONE... if you truely believe that you could make the film and make it so well that you can land a distribution deal, then tell them that IF, and make the IF clearly understood, that IF you get distribution, that you might be able to make their money back for them.

#9 - Have plans for everything. Make plans... even things that might seem sky-high aren't necessarily sky-high. For instance, if you want to attempt to cast Elijah Wood as your main character, don't be affraid to say that you're going to do your very best to get him attached to the film. It can happen, just find out how to get in contact with his agent... then you've at least got a way to get your script in front of someone connected to him... and if it's good enough, maybe it get's passed onto the actor and who knows. But don't oversell your ability to do this. Be real, and make sure they know that you're going to "TRY" your best... no garuntees.

and finally...

#10 - If you get turned down time and again, don't fret! Try re-packaging your investors package. Don't be affraid to ask the people who just turned you down, what you might have done to make your presentation better. Never stop trying, and never say die. The worst thing you can do is just say "To heck with it, let's just do it w/o anything"
because then you'll get the same thing in your film... crap. Keep a positive attitude, keep enthusiastic, stay interested, and most importantly, have a genuine PASSION for your film.

Those are my 10 tips for attracting investment to your film(s).

Be WARE though... this job is best suited for people who have a nack for producing... which is why this is one of the jobs a typical Producer will do. Be honest with yourself about your abilities here... if you don't have it, find someone who does. There are lots of people out there, pro's or not, who want to get into the film business, and yes, not all of them are directors.

Myself, I'm a director at heart... but I also have talent in producing, as well as other areas. Right now though, I'm needed as a producer... so I put on my Executive Producer's hat, and I'm running around town looking for investors... we'll see what happens... but a few professional Commercial/TV producers have told me that my approach, based on the above advice, is the best way you can go. So, I only have one more piece of advice to give you...

Be real with yourself and your buddies about your true talents... not everyone can light or shoot or direct or write... so, try to surround yourself with the best group of people to get the job done. Filmmaking is a collaborative form of art, the vision of many individuals creating a whole. It's also a part of the entertainment business. Don't be affraid to say, "I don't know," just be willing to follow that statement up with "I'll find out who does."

Good luck, and happy hunting.
 

Kim Welch

Senior Member
Staff member
Derek Eastham

Derek Eastham

This is very good. can I use it in one of our newsletters?

Truly
Kim
 
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optimist

Guest
Wow, Derek!

Wow, Derek!

Great advice Derek! I only wish I dealt with more Producers like you!!

Stacey*
 
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DerekEastham

Guest
A little addition I'd like to add to my set of tips...

A TIGHT BUSINESS PLAN IS KEY to sealing the deal!

You must be able to show your investors your plans for operating, producing, finishing and most importantly SELLING the product. If you can show them all of this and then show them some sales projections you can improve investor confidence in you and your product, which in turn just might increase the amount they might be willing to send your way.
 
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