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How do I get funding?


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#1 Adam Orton

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 08:36 PM

So I have a killer, feature length script that I believe can be done for a relatively low amount of money ($20-30k).

I plan on shooting in a state that isn't very familiar with the film business, and I want to do this as an cheap independent feature shot on digital with non-union crew and actors.

Obviously this would be treated as an investment opportunity, but most investors I'd be dealing with are more familiar with stocks and bonds...not movies. How do I convince them I can return a profit? How do I return a profit? (have fun answering that one)

Where do I find investors who are interested in independent film?

Most of the experience I've had has been financed through school, my relatives, or on my own, so I'm really in the dark about this.

I guess this post is more of a "how to break into the indie biz" question more than anything, but any advice you guys have to help would be great. (My problem is probably that I just need a really good producer. So how do I do that :-) )

Edited by Adam Orton, 05 November 2008 - 08:40 PM.

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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 09:10 PM

All I can offer is that in most places, soliciting investment is subject to legal controls concerning, at the very least, what sort of entity you are, how you present yourself and your project, how you account for the money involved and how you plan to pay your investors back.

It is overwhelmingly likely you won't make more than a tiny amount of your money back, making no profit at all. Since you will probably be required to disclose this to your "investors", it can be extremely difficult to make films using private finance unless you have high profile people involved, hence the term "bankable star".

Sorry, this usually doesn't work.

P
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#3 Josh Bass

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 09:29 PM

I had a friend who made a feature for $35,000 or so. Shot on miniDV (XL1), actually flew some people in from Los Angeles to shoot in OK for some reason. It wasn't bad. Very bare but decent production values, DP'd/directed/edited himself, etc. etc.


Anyway, he told me that to fund it, he threw a party, invited friends and family, and just hit everyone up for around $500 apiece.
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#4 John Allen

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 10:20 PM

Geeze that's a great idea.......Adam we should have a fund raising concert.
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#5 Paul Bruening

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 10:21 PM

So I have a killer, feature length script that I believe can be done for a relatively low amount of money ($20-30k).

I plan on shooting in a state that isn't very familiar with the film business, and I want to do this as an cheap independent feature shot on digital with non-union crew and actors.

Obviously this would be treated as an investment opportunity, but most investors I'd be dealing with are more familiar with stocks and bonds...not movies. How do I convince them I can return a profit? How do I return a profit? (have fun answering that one)

Where do I find investors who are interested in independent film?

Most of the experience I've had has been financed through school, my relatives, or on my own, so I'm really in the dark about this.

I guess this post is more of a "how to break into the indie biz" question more than anything, but any advice you guys have to help would be great. (My problem is probably that I just need a really good producer. So how do I do that :-) )


Richard Boddington (the wealthy and tasty Canadian) has achieved the best results in this category of any of us. While there are more than a few ways to make money in "the biz", he's got a proven product that he humped from soup to nuts. He'll respond to PMs. Consider doing a search on his name. He shared every step of the project with us. It's a good read and very informative. His posts include references and links to useful stuff.
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#6 Adam Orton

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 10:39 PM

Wow, thanks a lot!
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#7 JJ Garcia

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 10:57 PM

Just do it "Mariachi" style.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 11:01 PM

The fund-raising party works well on occasion; but it also costs you money. Sadly, though, chances are there will be a large balance on your credit cards after the shoot.
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#9 Adam Orton

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 11:03 PM

Geeze that's a great idea.......Adam we should have a fund raising concert.


You're singing.
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#10 John Allen

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Posted 05 November 2008 - 11:45 PM

No I was more thinking of getting my dad's band to play. But I'd feel bad not paying them. I can sing if you really want me to tho, except that's prolly not the case. :huh:
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#11 Matthew Buick

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Posted 06 November 2008 - 08:31 AM

I would invest in your movie, I don't think it would be more that $500 as I'd be experminenting with movie investment. But at least it'd be something.
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#12 Jim Keller

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 06:31 PM

I'd suggest picking up a copy of Film and Video Financing by Michael Wiese. It'll introduce you to the basics of acceptable business practices. It, like any book on the subject, frequently will leave you with more questions than answers, but the reason for that is that there's no one way to do it, and what works one time may not work a second time. The producers who are successful at putting together financing over careers are invariably very intelligent and adaptable people (despite what we think of them) who are capable of navigating uncharted waters on every project.
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#13 Chris Keth

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 07:36 PM

Just do it "Mariachi" style.


Except make a good movie.
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#14 Patrick Neary

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 09:20 PM

I'd suggest picking up a copy of Film and Video Financing by Michael Wiese. It'll introduce you to the basics of acceptable business practices.


acceptable business practices 20 years ago...
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#15 Michael K Bergstrom

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 09:29 PM

Go to strip clubs...

It's a true but funny story, but I know someone that met a potential investor in the strip club...

But weird stories aside, get legit (LLC etc,) get an attorney, and find the rich...
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#16 John Allen

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 12:58 AM

I'm asking this, cause the poster and I work together.

Anyway, my question was about legal documents. Do we need to get a lawyer or can we make or find legal documents that insure us that ppl who give us money can not sue us later if they don't make a profit? So let's say that someone gives us 10 grand and we only make him 9 grand back, then we need to have him sign some document that states that he can not in any way sue us for not making money in return. Where would we find a document like this? And do we need a lawyer to do this kind of transaction?
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#17 Adam Orton

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:03 AM

What I'm thinking we're going to do is open an LLC then allow people to contribute in exchange for a percentage of ownership. We'd be asking for investments in the area of 500-1000 dollars each...nothing that might get us into too much trouble from any single person. And we'd ask people we already know who we have good relationships with. I've actually got some experience and help with the legal part of all this...my father-in-law owns a successful LLC that does its business primarily on the internet.

Aside from the challenges of making a kick-butt independent film, what are some DIY marketing strategies? Or, should we just rely on the hope that its going to be good movie? I mean, theoretically, if any movie is good enough, the audience will find it, right? I suppose this is just to reassure investors or something. I'm just curious what all of your opinions are.

Anyway, thanks for the advice so far. I'm definitely going to check out that book! Maybe go to the strip club too :-)
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#18 Adam Orton

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 01:19 AM

I'm asking this, cause the poster and I work together.

Anyway, my question was about legal documents. Do we need to get a lawyer or can we make or find legal documents that insure us that ppl who give us money can not sue us later if they don't make a profit? So let's say that someone gives us 10 grand and we only make him 9 grand back, then we need to have him sign some document that states that he can not in any way sue us for not making money in return. Where would we find a document like this? And do we need a lawyer to do this kind of transaction?


I might not have told you this earlier but I actually have some legal advice I'm planning on discussing this with.
But thanks for asking for me anyway :-) You just keep hitting up your family for some cash :-)
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#19 Steve McBride

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 02:56 AM

Get a producer.

I got a producer for a short I'm doing soon as writer/ director. She's trying to get me $40k from investors. Don't go to just one investor, look for multiple producers to give you smaller amounts.

If you say you can't do it, I'm a 20 year old second year college student. I didn't have a script, just a treatment for a script.
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#20 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 06:05 AM

Get a producer.


Excellent advice.

I got a producer for a short I'm doing soon as writer/ director


How?

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Wooden Camera

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio