How to Finance Your Film

Film financing is simple to complex; learn the basics right here.

Finance Your Film : Some Options

As a screenwriter or filmmaker, financing your project can provide one of the most daunting tasks when working to get your film off the ground and into production. Film equity investors are a frequently overlooked element of filmmaking especially by screenwriters looking to see their screenplays transition onto the screen. Film equity investors can essentially be described as private investors that contribute financial assistance to the production and development of films in exchange for partial ownership and access to a portion of the profits that a film can make.

You can see the different types of film financiers that are part of our screenplay contest on the buyers page.

Financing Your Next Independent Film

While investing in a film can be risky for investors as the promise of a return can hang in the balance of a number of factors that are difficult to control like audience opinion, time of release and media reception that a film receives, there are a few things that you can do as a filmmaker or screenwriter to make investors more comfortable with backing your film projects. Being upfront with investors about potential risks and the chances of the film not making a return can help to protect you and your investors from entering agreements that either of you are unhappy with in the end.

Additionally, there are a number of other forms that film financing can take depending on who’s investing and where the finances are coming from. One of these options is to crowd fund your project. Crowdfunding works by tapping into the public domain to access funding for your film. Essentially screenwriters and filmmakers can make a crowdfunding campaign online and pitch their film idea to the public. This puts the onus on the public to decide whether or not the project is something they’d like to see come to fruition and presents them with the option of financially backing the film to help make it happen. Often crowdfunding comes with benefits for those that choose to invest in the project such as advance copies and signed memorabilia that work as incentives to encourage financial contributions.

Furthermore, another method for funding film projects is to use a pre-sale agreement. Essentially, a pre-sale agreement is a pre-arranged contract made with an investor or distributor before a film is made where funds are advanced based off of the overall predicted strength of a project. Strength is based off a number of factors including the script, the acting talent attached as well as director and promotional strategies that the project will take. These funds can then be advanced on a loan-basis with the understanding that producers will return the investment out of the film’s profits before they are able to begin profiting off of the film themselves.

Overall, while filmmaking can be a daunting task especially when it comes to financing and getting a project off the ground, there are many routes available that can make it easier to get your film started on its way to making it to the screen. Investigating the options available can help you to find the path that is going to give your next film the success it deserves.

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