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. 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 get a meeting with a prospective investor, you need to make every effort to deliver a fully practiced pitch.

pitching 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) Not Knowing Your 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.

What types of movies are attractive to your investor? How much money are they worth? How much do they want to invest in motion pictures? These are all questions you need to either know going into the meeting or find out as soon as possible before you go into your pitch.

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

It’s also important 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’re going to have a problem. Asking someone to give you 50% of their net worth is not reasonable.

This same rule holds true the other way. Let’s say the investor is worth five-hundred-million, and you’re pitching a fifty-thousand-dollar movie project. It’s possible the investor may want to get involved on a lark, but they will not consider your project a sound investment. And they may not consider you much of a professional.

2) Your Project Sucks: I say this over and over in all 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 the opportunity to pitch to that person again. I cannot stress how important it is to prep your project.

Given my track record for raising money, a lot of film producers ask me where to find investors. And I always respond the same way. “Tell me about your film project.” Most people respond with a medocre pitch and an underprepared idea. These people don’t have business plan, script, or accurate budget. So even if I introduced an investor, I can guarantee it would not result in a deal.

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

If you follow the proper steps and prep your project correctly, you WILL be excited, and you WILL have energy because you will 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.

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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.