If you’re anything like the filmmakers I know, at some point you’ve had to approach a film investor to fund your films. As creative individuals, it probably wasn’t something you enjoyed doing or even felt you were good at.
Filmmakers shouldn’t just assume that investors will put up the money once they ‘get you’ and your film. I’m not saying this doesn’t happen, but not as often as you think – probably 1 in 10 cases… So, what if I said you can get film investors to say ‘yes’ 7 times out of 10?
And here’s how:
1. Show them the money: The main thing that investors look for in a business plan is a clear demonstration of your film’s break even and profit making strategy. You show them the money in a well presented business plan for your film. In other words, the numbers must add up. If they don’t, you’ve have lost the investor’s interest and their funds for good.
Note: It pays to keep a watchful eye on the claims you make in your film’s business plan – you need to know your stuff and you don’t want a prospective investor to ‘catch you out’.
2. Evidence of earnings: When demonstrating your film’s projected numbers, strengthen these claims by providing evidence i.e. earnings received by films that are comparable to your project in genre and scope. By doing this, investors can tell the numbers you provided are realistically achievable and that their investments are safe. This builds a level of trust in you and your project.
Note: If for any reason, you don’t have the comparable numbers for your film, investors will be forced to take a ‘punt’ on you. Most won’t do that and it is a risky proposition for you too. If your film fails, it harms your reputation and this will be hard to undo.
3. Have a good team: To create trust and to show professionalism, have a good team in your corner. By this I mean an accountant, a banker, a solicitor and an experienced film business coach. This says to investors that you’ve come prepared from and you have access to sound business advice.
Note: Investors will be relieved they won’t have to hand-hold you as well as part with their money.
You need investor film funding (on attractive terms) for every film you make. Without it you’ll struggle to make films regularly and live the FMF life. You can make this happen only if you’re clued up about your film commercially and you fully know the investor mindset.
Learn to do this. Then you’re ready to meet prospective investors.