You could have the greatest idea for a movie ever conceived, but without funding, how can it be made? Check out these 4 top ways to fund an indie film!
When it comes to funding an indie film, you may have zero idea where to start. Don’t worry! There will be an awful lot of people in the same boat with you. Financing and funding movies can be rather mystifying, and definitely a big challenge.
Money certainly doesn’t grow on trees, and people very rarely give their money away for nothing. Because of this, you need to think smart when it comes to sourcing funding for a film project. Here are some of the most popular, tried and tested routes for financing an indie film.
Crowdfunding is often a go-to for independent filmmakers trying to get a project off the ground. There are lots of great sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, that you can host your crowdfunding campaign on.
Before you begin looking for funding this way, or any way really, you need to be completely confident in your film. Because this is very much like a pitch, you need to have everything ironed out but also be excited about it! A great way to secure funding through crowdfunding is to make your excitement infectious. The more involved you get people, the more emotionally invested they will be, and hopefully more financially invested.
Ways to do this includes incentives. You could offer exclusive content for different payment tiers, or premier screening seats, etc. It also helps to be highly communicative. If someone is going to help fund an indie film, they’ll want to know exactly where their money is going. So, give them specifics to give them peace of mind, but also get them hyped.
If you’re a student filmmaker, you could well have university or college grants available to you. This also goes for non-students, though. These are perfect for funding a film project, as grants don’t need to be repaid, unlike a loan. This might sound too good to be true. Whilst it is true, they aren’t exactly straightforward to secure.
There are a number of organisations that offer grants for funding films. Each will have their own requirements as to what makes you eligible for applying. You may need specific qualifications or credentials in order to be in the running.
Because competition for grants is fierce, it’s advisable to spend a good amount of time composing and perfecting your application. Researching a bit about the organisation you’re applying to will help to tailor your application too, and maybe curry favour.
This method of funding an indie film can seem a little daunting, as investors will expect to see their money again and then some.
If you don’t have wealthy, generous family members or friends, you’ll need to turn elsewhere. It helps to approach people you know or are already connected with in some way. Trying to get investors on board with your film project when they have no idea who you are will prove difficult. Investors want to make a profit, and feel they’re making a safe bet.
You absolutely can try to entice unfamiliar investors, though. Just make sure that you’re armed with a knock-out pitch and sound business and marketing plan for the whole project.
A presale agreement is a very common method for funding film projects as an independent creator. This agreement is made with a distributor, who believes your film project has the potential for commercial success. Once you’ve pitched your script, concept, business plan, and even actors, the distributor will make a decision. A price for the film will be agreed, and you may then be able to use that cash directly from the distributor.
Different contracts will mean different things for a film project, so it’s important you’re fully aware what your contract involves with a distributor. Some distributors may give you total creative freedom, and others may want a heavier hand in steering the project.
To conclude, finding ways to fund an indie film project is no mean feat, but it is doable.
The amount of funding you secure can dictate the kind of movie you make. This can be frustrating, as it can limit how accurately you realise your creative vision. Therefore, you may need to use an even higher level of creativity, in order to produce your masterpiece within your means.
But, that’s not to say you should have to fund films out of your own pocket. Help is out there – you just need to be clever about how you ask for it!
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