If you’re looking to meet with film investors, you’re not alone. Go to any film festival and you will see dozens of other filmmakers looking for someone who can write big fat checks. The challenge is, most prospective investors don’t walk around with t-shirts advertising their net-worth. Even if they did, you’d have to shove your way through a crowd to even pitch your project. Ugh!
Here’s the good news. Meeting with investors is not a new concept for any industry. Many people who invest in film projects run successful businesses in other industries, OUTSIDE of Hollywood. For example, my first meeting with an investor was a local car dealer in my hometown. He was worth (as I found out) over sixty-five million dollars!
How To Meet With Film Investors Without Looking Like An Amateur
Before you even seek out a meeting, you’ll need a clear vision for what you want to accomplish. More importantly, you’ll need to find a reason why your prospective film investor should care about you and your project.
When it comes time to meet with film investors, the process can be distilled down a few steps.
- Find and Qualify Prospective Investors – Begin by asking around: “Who do you know who has money?” Go back to your hometown. Find out who runs successful businesses. Then get the business contact information.
- Contact Your Prospective Investors – Telephone your selected individuals at their place of business, and ask for a meeting. Let the person know that you are an entrepreneur and you’d like to meet. Don’t sell yourself short either! As a filmmaker working to make a film, you are absolutely an entrepreneur.
- Set Up A Meeting – When you go to your meeting, dress nicely and give a firm handshake. Be prepared with at least 10 thoughtful conversational points that reveal your passion and integrity. (I always rehearse the whole conversation in my car before I even go there.) Then shut up and listen.
- Build A Relationship – Do not ask for funding at your first meeting. The goal of the initial conversation is to make a friend. Then as the conversation flows, naturally you and your goals.
- Ask For A Second Meeting – If there is interest in you and your project, let the prospective investor know that you’re going to put together a proposal and come back. Maybe it’s going to the be right fit, maybe not.
You should set a personal goal for yourself. For example, in the next couple weeks, you can look to meet at least one wealthy person who could potentially fund your film. And if you don’t live in a big city, that’s okay. Every small town has at least one wealthy individual willing to offer advice to entrepreneurs. Ask around and identify who this person is, then go from there.
If you’re looking to meet with film investors, The Independent Producer’s Guide To Financing Your Movie might be worth checking out. It provides info and tactics on how to find and meet with prospective film investors so you can make your movie.