If you want to find people who invest in movies, look for giant billboards in your home town. That probably sounds goofy. But it works.
Now before we go too far, let me quickly add a disclaimer. This article is focused on networking your way into meetings with high net worth individuals in the hopes of eventually building a mutually beneficial relationship. Because there are rules about how you actually solicit an investment, always make sure you check with a qualified entertainment attorney before taking any action.
That said, I grew up in a small farming community in Pennsylvania. Nobody around me made movies. Starting out, I didn’t know how to find people who invest in movies. In fact, most people in my town worked at factories. We didn’t know rich people.
But like you, I had an odd ambition.
How To Find People Who Invest In Movies
My friends and family thought I was crazy. My mom won’t admit it now, but there was a time she actually thought I would grow up, take a job at the local factory and have a few kids. But I wanted something… Different.
I wanted to make movies. And for that to happen, I wanted to find people who invest in movies (or at least people who could potentially invest in movies.) But I had no idea where to start.
Around this time, I started reading a bunch of books on business and how to become successful. One book in particular was called Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
Rich Dad Poor Dad is totally unrelated to filmmaking, but reading it changed my life. Prior to reading the book, I viewed rich people like kings in a kingdom. Like they had something I did not. But the book gave me a context for how rich people actually live and think.
This was important. I realized most rich people started from humble beginnings. I also realized that one way the rich get rich is by creating and growing successful companies. And I also realized that successful business owners are bombarded by business pitches all day long.
Your movie is a business. Why not pitch it to the very people who invest in businesses?
This led me on a quest to find successful companies.
Look For The Biggest Billboards
You probably thought I was kidding.
If you want to find people who invest in movies, look no further than the biggest billboards in your hometown. In my town, there is a very popular, massive car dealership. I know this because you see billboards for it everywhere!
So one day I called the dealership and asked for the owner. And to my surprise, this guy called me back and agreed to meet. During our conversation, he told me how he started out as a tire salesman. Eventually he garnered more and more success and eventually grew his net worth just over 60M dollars. Can you imagine that? 60M dollars?
I know this profoundly simple tactic seems silly. But wealth is everywhere. And as soon as you start believing in prosperity, you start finding new opportunities.
Understand The Language of Business
Before you pick up the phone, there is something you need to do. If you’re like most filmmakers, you could probably talk about cameras, audio, lighting and gear all day. Heck, you might even know a thing or two about how to break down a screenplay or direct actors. But when you are looking to find people who invest in movies, you need to speak the language of business.
Understand these terms for starters: Cashflow, capital gains and ROI. This is because most people who invest in movies come from other industries. And knowing how to talk in the language of traditional business will go a long way towards helping you communicate your proposition.
Always remember that goal of the indie filmmaker and traditional business professional are the same – You are joining forces to produce, market, sell and distribute a product. The problem is, when it comes to creating a movie, most filmmakers focus only on the production.
But that is limiting. Never approach people who invest in movies, until you are ready to answer the tough questions. Aside from creating an awesome product, how are you going to market, sell and distribute your movie? And why the heck should anybody take you seriously? If you would like to find out how to meet investors and raise money, make sure you create a film business plan.
Here’s a great video on elements for your film business plan!