As movie producers, we all need money to make our movies, but finding real investors can be tricky. The movie industry attracts many people who talk about a big game but fail to deliver.
A big mistake many new movie producers make is meeting with anyone who expresses interest in funding their movie. They get so excited about the possibilities that they don’t ask the tough questions. And while this type of “conversation contact buzz” is a good feeling, it is a waste of time.
You must do your homework and find out if the person you’re talking to is “real.” In other words, REAL means that they can fund your film. Real investors are not people who know other people. Real investors are the people who can support your movie.
Film Finance: 5 Tips to Find Out if Your “HNI” is Real
So if you are looking for film finance, I present five tips for you to know in your quest to find who’s real and who’s not!
1. Google your prospective investor. It sounds simple, and it is. Do your research on the person. It’s easy to find out information if you take the time and search for it.
2. Take into account what they are wearing and what they are driving. Sometimes relying solely on images is a mistake. In the world of film finance, sometimes the person with the three-piece suit is phony, and the person in shorts and a t-shirt is the eccentric millionaire. But where do they live? What do they drive?
Many HNIs enjoy the comforts their money brings. This method is not foolproof, but it does work 90% of the time. One time I met with a prospective investor, and he was missing some teeth. His teeth were real, but he wasn’t.
3. Do they pick up the check? I say it over and over again. If you are eating dinner or lunch with a potential investor and they don’t pick up the tab, I can 99% guarantee that you will never get a penny out of them. You aren’t getting their money if they care so little about you that they cannot invest $50 for a meal.
4. If they start talking about “money coming in,” they aren’t real. I had this happen many times. Someone talks about some bank deals or commissions that will be upcoming. Walk away. Please don’t get your hopes up… it never closes.
5. Is it too easy? This is an interesting one. If your film finance efforts seem too easy, a red flag should pop up. Closing money is not easy. And if the person doesn’t look at your business plan or do their homework, chances are they don’t have the money to fund your project and are just pretending.
Always Be Researching
Here’s the key to film finance… You must ALWAYS be in research mode! I go to every meeting, having already Googled the prospective investor. And I usually know a lot of info already. I start almost every film finance meeting by asking prospective investors about themselves.
Read the room. Don’t be too anxious. Analyze all the information you’re given, and your closing ratio will increase dramatically! If you’d like more film finance information, grab a copy of this Film Business Plan.