Planning on Funding your first time feature film…

  • Getting your Film funded…. There are lots of ways to get funding: 1. Spend your own money. 2. Spend your friends and families money. 3. go out to crowd funding and piss off your friends and family by constantly begging for money. 4. Borrow the money from a bank. 5. max out your credit cards (very stupid idea and yes I have first hand knowledge of a friend who went bankrupt doing just that) 6. Finding an angel investor (best of luck) 7. locating executive producers – those that actually invest in films (still tough but with the right contacts and well planned project its doable, although you need to have an understanding of SEC rules for investment and, unless its a very low budget project, you’ll need to know how to deal with “high-net-worth individuals” and “accredited Investors”. 8. Co-Productions – you can spread the pain across multiple production companies and of course spread the ownership, ROI and the control as well. 9. Pre-sales deal. Distributors do pay in advance for projects. BUT you have to have a great package and a commercially viable film project Normally if this is done with a reputable distribution company and a real contract is signed you would either get a pre-payment of some amount OR they would tie the actual payment to delivery of the project. Either way, IF ( big IF ) the producer is real, and has , in fact, signed a pre-sales deal, then that contract can be taken to banks that deal with feature films ( like Wells Fargo and Deutsche Bank) and factored for a percentage of the contracts value for a loan for production. Taking this money is dangerous, unless you know for a fact that you can find the rest because you are now obligated to the BANK and the DISTRIBUTION company. The smart way to play this is to collect all the contracts and take those to other potential investors / financial institutions to close the remaining required funds. Once the film is completed and delivered – to the acceptable quality of the distribution company – you would get your pre-sales payments and could then pay off the bank note. Sometimes you can get enough to make the movie from pre-sales advances by factoring the contracts. For example if your film has a budget of $500K and the distribution company offers a pre-sales deal of $500K, then you can go to the bank, factor the deal for $300K lets say ( assuming your producer/production company has an acceptable track record of delivery ) now you have $300K of the $500K . you could then secure gap financing based on this deal for the other $200K… 10. on top of all this there are ways to get thing paid for thru Product Placement and advertising as well… realistically you’ll be funding YOUR film project using a collection of these options… and THAT is why you need to get a producer on board your project that knows how to deal with al these options.