If you are looking for independent film funding, you are not alone. Every day, I get at least one or two emails from well meaning filmmakers asking if I know of any websites that gives filmmakers access to prospective film investors.
Doing my own Google search for “Independent Film Funding” resulted in a slew of sites promising to make your dreams come true (for a price). So in the spirit of helping you avoid indie film funding scams, here are my top three red flags:
1. How many business savvy investors are seeking film projects via a website built in 1995?
2. Why do you have to submit my credit card information?
3. You want me to pay you, so you will think about investing?
I’m using humor here. But these film funding sites are out there. And you want to avoid them.
Independent Film Funding
What you need to know is simple. Most people who invest in film work in industries outside of the film industry. This means, if you want to be successful as a filmmaker, you need to learn business. And I’m not just talking the movie business, but business in general. For example, you may have to pitch your movie idea to a soap manufacturer. Are you prepared to explain your movie project in terms like: cash flow, rate of return, asset, income and expense, revenue, profit and loss?
If so, you’re well on your way to talking the talk. And to address the first point of this article – I’m sure there are more than a few legitimate websites out there for filmmakers seeking funding. But there is still one predominate resource for money that happens to be incredibility relevant. It’s the rich people in your personal network.
I know what you’re thinking… What if you don’t know any rich people?
Then you need to make some new friends.
One easy way to find potential investors is through cold calling. When I first started, I looked for the biggest businesses in my home town. Then I found out who owned the business. After that, I called the person directly and asked to meet. I repeated this process over and over. Some of the people I met with back then have become friends and trusted advisers. And now, when I have an idea for a pitch, I can pitch it to them.
With that said, here is a film funding resource that will help you seek out and find prospective investors. Additionally, here are dozens of film funding articles. And finally, make sure to read this interview with my buddy Tom Malloy.