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How to organize funding for a film project

Posted on July 12th, 2016



Having a great idea is just the beginning of the journey. Upon inception of an awesome idea, chances are likely that youll want to find a way to bring it into reality, but just how easy is such a task?

You may well have the kind of dynamite idea to get scores of executives on board, but unless you can find a way to instigate a boardroom meeting at some fancy studio, youll probably have to fund it yourself.

Raising funds usually comes with risks, unsurprisingly. Its the reason all of those films in Wall Street depict so much chaos – though maybe funding came easily enough for those guys. There are a million and one people who think their idea is as good as yours, vying for the same funding spot as you. This means convincing investors to part with their money comes with several challenges, as they are unlikely to speculate on an ill-conceived strategy, no matter how killer the main plan may be.

To get money on the table for a film project, it will require a little more than just the basic script key factors will center around the timing of the project, which actors you have convinced to play a part, and the creative scope of the work.

Funding does not come from just one source of course, and there will be many investors who will all react in different ways to your proposals. There are also different ways to fund your film project in terms of what kinds of rights and guarantees you must hand over before getting that giant check youve been dreaming about.

An equity investment could be the one if you are happy to sell a chunk of the film as a stake for the investor, who would then expect a return on what is invested before the filmmaker gets to see fat stacks of paper bills.

If your project appears undeniably marketable to potential investors and distributors, it is possible to strike a deal based on pre-sales, which determines how well a film is expected to perform. A great idea with an organized plan of action could help to secure this kind of deal.

Should you be able to secure some form of investment, you can also use this as a guarantee to get yourself a bank loan, with the potential to waive intellectual property rights as a collateral on the basis of you paying back the capital.

Of course, there are many other issues to be concerned with aside from getting as much funding as possible. With all that paperwork and the chance of being rejected by several potential investors before you find the right one, there could be a lot of back and forth document signing and a sore writers hand before you get anywhere.

With so many key financial documents to keep track of, it is getting a lot easier to manage now that everything is moving online. Handy tools such as DocuSign allow for electronic signatures, a time- saving brainchild of Keith Krach, who undoubtedly appreciates how time saved can be put to better use elsewhere – not putting your signature down every five minutes when all you want to do is be in meetings and make phone calls.

Being organized will be key to any success in securing funding, and the lack of a coherent and organized structure can see plans fall apart in far quicker fashion than it did to assemble them in the first place. The chances are that it will also help draw in a bigger pool of talent from which to select directors and future stars for exciting roles, which in turn will give you a better chance of securing funding from the most appropriate source.

Whilst names arent the only thing that will get you funding, they will undoubtedly help. Without this it leaves even more of an onus to deliver a perfectly organized and assembled pitch to potential investors. It is essential to be as clear as possible about your investment proposals. If investors feel they are being flannelled and the whole picture is not clear, they will understandably be far more wary of offering several figures than they would be if you can deliver a proposal that is clear in intentions, retains a professional edge, and particularly importantly, is tailored to the specific investor you would like funding from.

Organizing funding for a film project may seem like an impossible obstacle to find a way around, but by being strong in your message and clear about what you need, what you will do with the money, and how much they can expect back along a set timeline, you will give yourself the best chance of funding the project of a lifetime.

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