5 Tips to Find Out if Your “HNI” is Real

When it comes to film finance, one main goal revolves around finding and closing funding deals with HNIs (High Net Worth Individuals) for your film.  And one of the main obstacles filmmakers face is qualifying if an investor is “real.”

In other words, REAL means that he or she CAN actually fund your film. Real investors are not guys who know other guys.  Real investors are the people who can actually fund your film.

Film Finance: 5 Tips to Find Out if Your “HNI” is Real

So if you are looking for film finance, I present to you 5 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 guy.  It’s easy to find out information if you just take the time and search for it.

2. Take into account what he’s wearing and what he’s driving.  Sometimes relying solely on image is a mistake.  In the world of film finance, sometimes the guy with the 3 piece suit is the phony and the guy in shorts and a t-shirt is the eccentric millionaire.  But where does he live?  What does he drive? 

Many HNIs enjoy the comforts their money brings.  This method is not foolproof, but it does work 90% of the time.  I had a meeting with a prospective investor and he was missing some teeth.  His teeth were Real, but he wasn’t.

3. Does he pick up the check?  I say it over and over again.  If you are eating dinner/lunch with a potential investor and he/she doesn’t pick up the check, I can 99% guarantee that you will never get a penny out of them.  If they care so little about you that they cannot invest $50 for a meal, you ain’t getting their money.

4. If he starts talking about “money coming in”, he’s not real.  Had this happen many times.  Someone talks about some bank deals or commissions that will be upcoming.  Walk away.  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 to be going too easy, a red flag should pop up.  Closing money is not easy.  And if the guy doesn’t really look at your business plan or do his homework, chances are he doesn’t have the money to fund your project and he’s just pretending.

Always Be Researching

Here’s the key to film finance… You must ALWAYS be in research mode! I start almost every film finance meeting asking a prospective investor questions about himself or herself.

I go to every meeting having already Googled the prospective investor. And I usually know a lot of info already. 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.

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Tom Malloy is a film producer, actor, and writer. Over the course of his career, he has raised over twenty-five million dollars to produce, and distribute multiple feature films. If you're ready to "level up" your film producing, make sure to check out Movie Plan Pro. The video training and downloadable film business plan template will provide you with the same tools Malloy uses when approaching prospective film investors.