The Top 3 Mistakes Filmmakers Make When Pitching Film Projects

Pitching film projects is an art form. I have taught entire seminars on pitching, and there is always room for improvement.

Think about it like this…

Your pitch may be the only chance you get to talk to your HNI (High Net-worth Individual) and try to get them excited about your film project.

Finding people who invest in movies is challenging.

Just about every film producer in the industry is also looking for money. So, if you are fortunate enough to meet with a prospective investor, you need to make every effort to deliver a fully practiced pitch.

The Top 3 Mistakes Filmmakers Make When Pitching Their Film Projects
The Top 3 Mistakes Filmmakers Make When Pitching Their Film Projects

The Top 3 Mistakes Filmmakers Make When Pitching Film Projects

While I can’t guarantee your film will get funded, I will say that if you make any of the following mistakes, your chances of raising money to make your movie are slim to none.

Here are the top three mistakes people make when pitching film projects.

Avoid these at all costs!

1. You Don’t Know Your Movie Investor

If you go into a pitch and have no idea about the person you’re pitching, you will hinder your chances of success unless you can make adjustments and LISTEN during your pitch.

So you will want to do your homework before the meeting.

  1. What types of movies do they like?
  2. How much money are they worth?
  3. How much do they want to invest?

These are all questions you need to know before going into the meeting.

If that is not possible, you will want to find out before pitching.

Let’s say you pitch a romantic comedy, and the prospective investor is only interested in horror movies.

In this example, it doesn’t matter if you have the best romantic comedy pitch ever.

Your investor is not the right fit for your project. And you will have wasted their time, which is unacceptable.

The Secret To Pitching Investors

It’s also essential to know their financial situation.

If you go into a pitch asking for two million dollars, but the prospective investor is only worth four million, you will have a problem.

Asking someone to give you 50% of their net worth is unreasonable.

This same rule holds the other way. Let’s say the investor is worth five hundred million, and you’re pitching a fifty-thousand-dollar movie project.

The investor may want to get involved on a lark, but they will not consider your project a sound investment. And they may not think you are a professional.

2. Your Movie Project Sucks 

I have said this repeatedly throughout my training. Prepping your project is more important than anything else.

If you get in front of an HNI and your movie project is not ready, you will not get to pitch to that person again.

I cannot stress how important it is to prepare your project.

Given my money-raising record, many film producers ask me where to find investors. And I always respond the same way.

“Tell me about your film project.”

Most people react with a mediocre pitch and an underprepared idea. These people don’t have a business plan, script, or accurate budget.

So, even if I introduced an investor, I can guarantee it would not result in a deal.

3. You Have Low Energy

I mentioned the seminars I’ve taught on pitching film projects.

In those classes, I have people come up and pitch their projects. Most people pitch with low energy.

Do you think an investor will get excited about your film if you go into the pitch at a level three out of ten? No way!


Discover The FIVE Essential Film Funding Tactics 

...Without Begging For Money!

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Your energy needs to be an eight or above when pitching film projects!

Follow the proper steps and prep your project correctly. Change your mindset from asking for money to offering an opportunity. And if you’d like more info on finding the money, check this out.


Avoid these three big mistakes when pitching your film: not knowing your investor well, having an unprepared project, and pitching with low energy. Get to know your investor’s preferences and financial situation, prep your project thoroughly, and bring high energy to your pitch. Doing so will up your chances of getting that film funded.

Questions about Pitching Film Projects?

Find answers to common questions about pitching your film project, including mistakes to avoid, how to prepare, and tips for success.

What are the top mistakes filmmakers make when pitching film projects?

The top mistakes include not knowing your investor, having an unprepared project, and pitching with low energy.

How can I prepare to pitch my film project to investors?

To prepare, research your potential investors thoroughly, make sure your project is fully developed with a solid script and budget, and practice pitching with high energy.

What is an HNI in filmmaking?

HNI stands for High Net-worth Individual, referring to wealthy individuals who may be potential investors in film projects.

Why is it important to know your investor before pitching?

Knowing your investor helps tailor your pitch to their preferences and financial situation, increasing your chances of success.

What should I do if I know little about my potential investor before the pitch?

If possible, do thorough research before the meeting. If not, be prepared to listen and adjust your pitch accordingly during the meeting.

How can I determine how much money to ask for when pitching?

Research the financial situation of your potential investor and tailor your funding request accordingly to ensure it’s reasonable and realistic.

Why is having a well-prepared project crucial for pitching success?

A well-prepared project demonstrates professionalism and increases investor confidence in your ability to execute the film successfully.

How can I bring high energy to my pitch?

Practice your pitch repeatedly, focus on the excitement and passion behind your project, and engage with the investors enthusiastically during the presentation.

What are some common pitfalls to avoid when pitching a film project?

Common pitfalls include pitching to the wrong investor, presenting an underdeveloped project, and lacking enthusiasm during the pitch.

How can I find potential investors for my film project?

Network within the film industry, attend film festivals and events, utilize online platforms for connecting with investors, and seek recommendations from other filmmakers.

What should I include in my pitch deck for a film project?

Your pitch deck should include key details about your project, such as the logline, synopsis, target audience, budget breakdown, potential ROI, and team members’ credentials.

What resources are available to learn more about pitching film projects?

Consider attending seminars, workshops, or online courses specifically pitching film projects, and seek advice from experienced filmmakers or industry professionals.


Here are some key terms mentioned in the article. Understanding these terms will help you navigate the world of pitching film projects.

  • High-net-worth individual (HNI): Wealthy individuals with a high net worth may be potential investors in film projects.
  • Pitching: Presenting a film project to potential investors or stakeholders to secure funding or support.
  • Investor: An individual or entity that provides financial backing or resources to support a film project in exchange for potential returns on investment.
  • Pitch Deck: A presentation package containing key information about a film project, including the logline, synopsis, budget breakdown, target audience, potential return on investment, and team credentials, used during the pitching process.
  • Logline: A brief, one or two-sentence summary that encapsulates the essence of a film’s story and hooks the interest of potential investors or audience members.
  • ROI (Return on Investment) is the ratio of net profit to the initial investment in a film project, which measures the profitability of the investment.
  • Budget Breakdown: A detailed breakdown of the estimated costs of producing a film, including expenses such as pre-production, production, post-production, marketing, and distribution.
  • Pitch: A formal presentation or proposal to potential investors or stakeholders outlining the details and merits of a film project to secure funding or support.
  • Networking: Building and maintaining relationships with industry professionals, investors, and other stakeholders to facilitate opportunities for collaboration, funding, and support for film projects.

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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.