Business Plan or Producer Package?
I often wonder why everyone wants to spend so much money on a business plan for a Feature. Granted, I create business plans for all my projects, but mostly for myself and very specific people. What I have found to be more valuable, and far less costly is a simple Producers Package. Of course the issue with a good producers package is that you must have a Director, of some merit, and talent, of some amount of box office draw, attached to your project in order to complete a Producers Package. Then, if this is true, does a business plan attract a good director, and talent? I tend to think not. If that is the case, then what does… Oh yeah, a script. So , why do so many people who want to write and direct, not spend that very same energy and money in having a profession script consultant give them notes and comments on their script in order to make it better, in order to create a better product, in order to attach talent, in order to complete a Producers Package… instead of paying someone to write a business plan? If i’m pitching a project, seems to me, the only thing that is required is a great script, brilliant title and log line, an attached director of merit, excellent talent and a good producer or two. The only thing that you need to raise money with these is a Producers Package. and, BTW, the only people who you can truly approach with a business plan for money are Active Investors, since a Business Plan is not an Investment Vehicle. In fact, a business plan cannot be legally used to raise money from passive investors. Of course a Producer Package is not an Investment Vehicle, but a Producers Package does not require someone to Hire a consultant to write it. And, a good Producers Package is all you need to Pitch a solid project… Once an Investor is interested you will have to create the Investment vehicle anyway.
The most important tool you have in chasing money is simply- Your Script. You don’t need a big Business plan. You need a Solid Script, good talent, good director, good producers and a reasonable budget. But the first step in the process is to make sure your script is truly ready to shop.
If you’re confused about business plans versus producer plans, feel free to email me your questions. Two great resources for developing film business plans and marketable scripts are Luise Levison’s brand new version of her classic and Blake Snyder’s very entertaining take on scripts: