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Raising money for a Short Film


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#1 Tyler Leisher

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 03:35 PM

I have a short film that can be made for $2,500. I have written a business plan, and intend on giving it to investors. I'm selling 25 units at $100 each, each unit gives 2.5% of the profits.

The investors get 10% on their initial investment, plus are in first position to recoup their money (Plus 10%) before any money is split... after that, the money is split between myself and the investors (60% total to investors).

I have a really great (but unknown writer) and likewise for the Director (Whos done numerous stage plays and another short film in the same genre as this).

Our cast is really good, a lot of unknown names (a lot of them coming from theatre and other short films).

I really see a TON of potential in this film to go far, the plan to make the money back comes from festivals. The budget is low enough so that if we win one festival, we'll make back our investors money.

I'm willing to put up my own funds for this if it comes down to it, but I'm curious.. who invests in Shorts? The people that also invest in features? Are there any grants that I can apply for to get funding? We're shooting on January 24 and 25, so I can't wait three months on a grant.

Any tips, or advice you could give to me on this would be very helpful. I'm hoping that the business plan speaks for itself, but not sure how to go about getting it in the hands of the investors.
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 03:59 PM

I have a short film that can be made for $2,500. I have written a business plan, and intend on giving it to investors. I'm selling 25 units at $100 each, each unit gives 2.5% of the profits.

The investors get 10% on their initial investment, plus are in first position to recoup their money (Plus 10%) before any money is split... after that, the money is split between myself and the investors (60% total to investors).

I have a really great (but unknown writer) and likewise for the Director (Whos done numerous stage plays and another short film in the same genre as this).

Our cast is really good, a lot of unknown names (a lot of them coming from theatre and other short films).

I really see a TON of potential in this film to go far, the plan to make the money back comes from festivals. The budget is low enough so that if we win one festival, we'll make back our investors money.

I'm willing to put up my own funds for this if it comes down to it, but I'm curious.. who invests in Shorts? The people that also invest in features? Are there any grants that I can apply for to get funding? We're shooting on January 24 and 25, so I can't wait three months on a grant.

Any tips, or advice you could give to me on this would be very helpful. I'm hoping that the business plan speaks for itself, but not sure how to go about getting it in the hands of the investors.


Geez where to begin on this one?

First, $2, 500.00? If it's going to be as great as you say it is and make as much money as you say it will then put the $2, 500.00 on a credit card and own 100% of the final product. Don't waste time trying to find investors for the sake of $2, 500.00.

Second, "the plan to make the money back comes from festivals." Sorry but that's an ultra long shot at best. I've never heard of a short film actually making money, they don't have any commercial value. How many festivals actually hand out prize money?

Third, "who invests in Shorts? The people that also invest in features?", I've never heard of any one investing in a short film as a business investment. A $2, 500.00 short film is funded by the filmmaker or the parents of the filmmaker. I mean what business minded person would invest $2, 500.00 in a short film with the plan of doubling their investment?

I'm not trying to be negative, but come on, there needs to be a dose of reality injected here.

Your best bet is to self finance or get a gift loan from a relative.

R,
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#3 Jay Taylor

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:08 PM

Hey Tyler,

I agree with Richard. You could put the $2500 on a credit card if you had to. It's not much money at all. You could probably save up for yourself, and maybe get some friends and family to chip in.

I've looked into grants before, and to be honest, I've never been able to find one! If someone knows where these grants are, do let us know.

FYI, me and one other guy are each saving up four to five thousand for a short of our own. We may see about entering into some film festivals, but I keep hearing that the festivals aren't really very helpful. You might be better off making the film, then putting it on dvd, and setting up a website.

Good luck!


Jay
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:33 PM

A single short film wouldn't do too well on DVD. .. but a collection of them, well if they're good enough might. . .Short Films are akin in a lot of ways to self promotion; they don't really make money but get you out there and allow you to build credibility as a filmmaker.
$2500 is cheap. Finance it yourself, own it all, and make sure it goes out to fests and get's received Then you also own all the profit [however unlikely] the film may make.
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#5 Jay Taylor

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 05:16 PM

A single short film wouldn't do too well on DVD. .. but a collection of them, well if they're good enough might. . .Short Films are akin in a lot of ways to self promotion; they don't really make money but get you out there and allow you to build credibility as a filmmaker.
$2500 is cheap. Finance it yourself, own it all, and make sure it goes out to fests and get's received Then you also own all the profit [however unlikely] the film may make.


Hey Adrian,

Well, if the short was really good, and you had a LOT of bonus features on the dvd?

But yeah, I do agree with you. I guess the best thing to do is use the short as a business card. If the film turned out well enough maybe it would be a little incentive for investors to help you out on your next film.


Jay
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 05:25 PM

It would have to be pretty fantastic and groundbreaking to get me to shell out $$ for it, ya know? Or it may be useful to have a name in it-- be that director, dp, actor, etc. . .in order to generate some form of market interest. Plus you might wind up loosing big bucks when it comes to duplication and artwork-- which can get pricey and only really becomes strongly economical in an economy of scale.
It's not impossible, but until the short is shot, edited, and viewed by the public, it's banking on air, ya know.
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Visual Products

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The Slider

Glidecam

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