How To Make People Line Up And Beg To Invest In Movies

Do You Invest In Movies? That is the question. And here’s the thing…

People who invest in movies aren’t necessary eager to hear unsolicited pitches from uninformed, inexperienced filmmakers.  The reason for this should be obvious.

But just in case you need some clarification, investing is a business. People who invest in anything do so because they think the reward will far outweigh the risks.

In other words, these people invest because your offering is more appealing than say, buying a stock mutual fund that grows on average 12% per year.

Invest In Movies

Do You Invest In Movies?

Finding people who actually invest in movies requires that you think about your project from the point of view of the investor. What’s in if for them? Why should they invest in movies over other investment opportunities?

But Jason – No more of this business talk. I just want to find investors the easy way!

That’s your problem.

And I get it.

It is far easier to search the internet for people who invest in movies than to actually scour your network for people who may be able to offer you a personal introduction. A personal introduction that could lead to a face-to-face meeting, that could lead to the money.

If you’re serious about finding people who invest in movies, you must realize that business largely depends on trust. And trust is a result of personal relationships. And you usually don’t build strong personal relationships without occasionally picking up the phone.

As an example of what not to do, sometimes I get some wacky emails from people asking me to invest in movies.

Dear Jason,

This is my third and final eMail to you. I think it’s silly that you have a filmmaking website, but when it comes time to actually help people make movies, you just ignore them… So here it goes – again!

My name is [removed] from [another planet]. I think you should invest in movies I want to make because my ideas are totally awesome. My friends and I are going to do everything – so all we need from you is the money…

I am thinking our budget is going to be eighty-thousand dollars, but I am really not sure. But we think you should help us because you know all that stuff about film distribution. ( We don’t care much about that stuff, ha-ha!)

Assuming that you do invest in movies (you don’t want to miss out, right?) – We are prepared to give you all international rights. So again, just 80K will make you as a producer. Sound good?

You can send the check to my return address.

Sincerely,

Mr. [Name Removed]

P.S. If you pass at this opportunity, it’s your loss. But if you find other film financier for our project, we will still give you an associate producer credit.

P.P.S. What is your personal phone number? I’d like to call you with more details.

This note was modified and slightly embellished to protect this unprofessional “filmmaker.”

Much of this probably seems funny. But these types of unprofessional solicitations are not rare. I get at least three emails like this per week.

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And here’s the thing, if you’re looking for people who invest in movies – it starts with your network. It starts with a business plan and a clear plan for making your movie make sense to people who invest in movies.

If you’d like more information on how to find and build relationships with investors, check out the film finance guide.

 

Comments

  1. Florida filmmaker says

    I agree. INDIE-GO-GO and KICKSTARTER are for people who are looking for instant gratification, are too lazy to find real investors, and don’t have a project that real investors would invest in. It’s akin to panhandling instead of working hard to earn a real job. Owning camera equipment and having a lame idea for a film that only you and your friends and family would be interested in watching does not make you a filmmaker and certainly not a filmmaker worthy of real investment money. It’s like saying, “I’m not going to do my homework and pay my dues and put in years of effort. I’ll just beg unsuspecting fools to give me money instead of making a realistic business plan. That’s too much like hard work and I just want to share my artistic vision without putting up any risk or time of my own.” If your idea is really good and your credentials are substantial, you will find the money. Unfortunately, there a zillion terrible ideas out there being promoted by people with ten seconds of experience who think they are filmmakers. Learn the craft. Do the homework.

  2. Cartha Christian says

    I’m currently enrolled at Academy of Arts and meet a lot of people that feel that way. Constantly blaming others for their failures. Humble yourself or get humbled

  3. Kyle says

    I think part of the problem is that there are too many people who want to be filmmakers without having any practice or technical ability. I get the feeling that a lot of aspiring filmmakers wouldn’t know how to budget or who to hire in the unlikely event that they actually did raise money.

    Being a director doesn’t require “a burning desire to share your creativity with the world” – it’s a TRADE. It’s a craft. It’s knowing how to frame a shot, knowing lenses, scheduling, understanding coverage and a million other tasks that you need to know (and can prove you know) before you go looking for money. The only people who get to succeed with no technical skills are producers :)

    To me it looks a lot like running a startup. In the initial stages it’s just you and two to three other people and you’re doing ALL the work. Eventually you can hire out a crew and people manage them but initially you have to know everything that is involved in getting your film prepped, shot and distributed and keep that ball rolling – all by yourself if necessary – until there is enough momentum that someone will believe in the project (and it’s ROI) to invest.

    People with zero experience and no followers need to make a few YouTube shorts before going hunting for investors. In a weird way the success dynamic is reversed – you need to achieve “fame” (in the form of a loyal audience) before you can have a career.

  4. says

    Haha!! I feel your pain brotha! I admire your attempt to get emails like this one to stop coming, but don’t be surprised if it has little affect. Idiot filmmakers may not have much self-awareness, but they have plenty of persistence.

    It seems that if you dedicate yourself to helping filmmakers, you have to accept that you will also be disappointing a lot of them. And for some of them, like Mr. (or Ms.) Idiot Filmmaker, that disappointment is well-deserved. But please always know that you are doing good stuff and the right people will benefit!!

    Now, how do I get in contact with the guy who has beer and hot girls?…..

  5. Idiot Filmmaker says

    Very funny post, but in all seriousness when are you getting back to me about my movie. 80k is all we need and you’ll be a big part of our great project. There will be lots of beer and hot girls. Let me know.

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