If you’re wondering how to raise money for a film, you’re not alone. Just as making a film takes a certain measure of experience and patience, film funding will also require you venture outside your comfort zone and learn new skills.
When it comes to investors, you’ll usually find two types. Those who enjoy the glamor of Hollywood and understand that making a film is risky business. The other type of investors are seasoned business professionals who manage their money in a superb way. They have run successful enterprises and will know how to evaluate your business. (Yes, your movie is your business.)
How To Raise Money For A Film
My buddy Tom Malloy raised over 25 Million for his film projects. And he’s really big on having a fully prepped project before you even consider taking a pitch meeting. The reason for this is simple. If you present a project with inexperienced management, lack of star talent, no distribution deal in place with no clue how you’ll return the money, prospective investors will quickly realize your film is unprepared.
While risk tolerance is different for every investor, your project becomes more appealing if you find ways to convey an upside for minimal risk. One of your biggest challenges is to make your movie good business. If you’re trying to raise money for a film, and end up pitching a business project that has no revenue generating framework (your movie is not yet made and there is no distribution) you will need to find selling points other than than an invite to the wrap party to make your project appealing.
An awesome script can attract talent. Name talent can increase your odds of a distribution deal. Distribution can create the opportunity for ROI (Return on Investment). If you put all the pieces together and the stars align, then you may have something worth presenting to investors.
Name Talent Mitigates Risk
What is name talent? To find out, use the grandmother test. Ask your grandmother if she ever heard of Jason Brubaker. If she has not, chances are I’m not a name. Then ask if she ever heard of Tom Cruse. Chances are she has. So as a rule of thumb, if your grandmother has not heard of a particular actor, neither has the prospective investor or paying audience.
Here are steps you can take when trying to figure you how to raise money for a film:
1. Control the rights to a killer script.
2. Break your screenplay into a schedule and budget.
3. Take this info and create a film business plan (and talk to an attorney!)
4. Reach beyond your network to find prospective film investors.
5. Prep your pitch, get the meeting and ask for what you want!
Keep mind that to a high net worth individual, $100K may feel like $100 dollars. So the way your HNI measures risk will be different than most. But because these folks are sophisticated, when you’re looking to raise money for a film, you’ll need to convince your HNI that your project offers more than a party.