Where You'll Find Financiers For Your Film (& What Not To Do)

I was speaking to a client the other day about his Business Plan and how he was going to raise money for his film.

For the type of film he is going to make and with the new-ish director that is on board, there is very little chance for pre-sale financing... which is of course OK but requires a unique approach.

When raising money for your film, if you're not 'baking' distribution into the equation with pre-sales, then you should be making the film for as little as possible or using as little private equity as possible as to protect your investors.

Just one look at the sales numbers that completed films are making in the marketplace should change your mind on using private equity to fund a big budget indie!

So what are the options then for finding investors then if you don't have the type of film that is pre-saleable?

One way to go about it is to look for investors who have a vested interest in your film or in the subject matter of your film.

For example, if you have a film like FS member Samantha Lavin's 7on10 where one of the themes is recovery from addiction, you could seek out investors who are recovering addicts themselves and passionate about spreading that message.

I'm not saying finding investors is easy by any stretch, but if you have that all-important target audience and 'hook' built in to your project, it gives you a direction to start searching for investor prospects. (or like in Samantha's case, they will find you)

And who knows, along the way, you might find one of those investors who is passionate enough about the story you're trying to tell that they want to finance your film and have it as part of their legacy.

In short, if you're making a film that isn't going to have pre-sales baked into the financing equation, you need to…

1. Bring that budget down as much as possible since the prices you can pull from the market once the film are completed is lower than you think….

2. Seek out investors who aren't necessarily motived by profit (since it is highly unlikely they'll profit from a film based on pure equity financing anyway) but who are passionate about the message of your film and are more interested in supporting your cause and/or leaving a legacy.