Many filmmakers will explain that the first film they ever made was in the home, it didn’t cost them anything, apart from the cost of the film and a video camera that they were already in possession of. Even Steven Spielberg shot his first film using a Super 8mm camera. Oh, and by the way it was a film of his train set crashing! Typical! It is really readily available books and information on basic film making techniques, just not so easy to find financing for film making.
It has become an almost scary mission to find finance for young or upcoming filmmakers, and ultimately everything is determined by the film making budget. Generally speaking though, in the event the film is from the low budget variety, and the idea is unique, you must not have a lot of difficulty financing it.
That being said however, finding finance for any film is frequently as tasking as actually making the film. You are likely to need your own business plan first of all, so before you approach one to fund your film making efforts, get your business plan together. The company plan should contain a film making budget breakdown, who the intended audience is, cashflow projection, marketing plan, synopsis, biographies and what prospect of sales the film with have.
Investors to approach include both film and non-film industry investors. Non-film industry investors are usually speaking individuals who want to see their name up in lights. You could offer them a credit like “executive producer”, to get them keen on the idea, and you might actually have a rich relative, say Uncle Bob whom you could approach. The draw-back with this is the fact, they probably have hardly any understanding of how things function in the film industry and they also could make your lifestyle difficult if you film will not reach the Oscars. Film industry investors are groups of people that have an knowledge of the Kia Jam, and finance film making as a matter of course. These could be studios, distributors, broadcasters or those who will invest to make money from your film. These sets of people understand the film making industry and probably won’t expect and Oscar, and can at the minimum desire a return of investment.
Non-film industry investors include banks, rich members of the family, raising funds, and believe it or not your credit card! Many confident filmmakers used their bank card to great success for financing a small budget film.
To conclude, one word of advice is get a good lawyer, preferably anyone who has a little expertise in the film making industry, that can take care of your interests. Film making funding is a reasonably complex process and you should know regarding your rights particularly in terms of signing distribution deals.
I employed to assume that the film students had a lack of fascination with Film Budgeting and expenses (of any sort). Not anymore. Recently i did market research of film students in a respected film school. Here are the results of the survey:
Over 80% in the students said they felt it was important to learn more about budgeting and exactly how it affected their careers as filmmakers. Film & Video production is probably the biggest industries in THE WORLD (close to ljlscd manufacturing, needless to say). The wide spread use of digital medium has produced a brand new opportunity. That opportunity, although cheaper compared to Hollywood style film productions we’ve grown utilized to, continues to be costly and requires financing. How do you get that financing? Where would you start?
Answer: You start with all the basics of Film Budgeting, Cost Reporting and extremely simple Business Plans. If you can calculate a focal point, or learn how to run a video camera, a Film Budget is a piece of cake.
Based upon my experience over the past two decades in the film industry, I will confidently say: 1. Graduates from Film Study programs who understand the basics of film & video production money (Budgeting, Cost Reporting and Business Plans) will see they can handle more responsibility inside their film & video projects, and 2. consequently may have more successful careers than their peers who haven’t learned to make Film Budgets, who don’t understand any production’s Cost Report and who never saw a simple Strategic Business Plan.