Every filmmaker dreams of meeting and befriending their ideal benefactor – the ‘perfect’ film investor. This film investor is supposed to be their long term partner who bank rolls their every film and even provides extra funds when they go overboard.
However, this is very much the ideal scenario – there are no ideal indie film investor types that suits every type of film, filmmaker and film budget.
Indie Film Investor Types
You will be better placed if you realise who you are, what types of films you are going to make, how far you want to go in your filmmaker career and the type of fans you are targeting.
Once you fully know all of this, it becomes easier for you to look for the right type of film investor – one who’s suited to you! There are broadly 4 individual indie film investor types that most filmmakers will encounter who are not family, friends, or people you know. There are other classes too – like venture capitalists, corporates, funds etc. but we are not focusing on that here.
Individual investors are different from the other film investor classes in how they assess a project, their risk tolerance and of course what they are looking for and will demand.
1.The Hobbyist Film Investor (HFI)™
This indie film investor type is a beginner investor who starts to invest small in films as a hobby and wants to see how it goes.
HFIs will usually have lots of questions, are hard work and need a lot of convincing before they decide to invest in a film.
HFIs are best suited to established filmmakers with a credible background who can allay a lot of their fears and handhold them patiently.
The HFIs usually tend to be comfortable investing no more than £2,000 (or its equivalent) per film as they are trying everything out. But, the good thing is that if you can demonstrate a good track record, they will hop on quicker.
Ideally if you are targeting just HFIs and your budget is around £20,000, you will need at least 10-15 HFIs per film.
HFIs tend to stay in the hobbyist mindset and their investment range for around 2 years before they are emboldened to move up the investment ladder. They are excited to get involved in films but are wary at the same time.
2.The Semi-Pro investor (SPI)™
This individual indie film investor type can be a veteran HFI or someone who is passionate about films and has more disposable income and they want to get hands-on in a film project.
The SPIs will typically invest upto £20,000 per film project. They are in it for the medium haul and are less concerned with a filmmaker’s credibility and are more excited by filmmakers who can exhibit creativity and entrepreneurship better than the rest.
Filmmakers who work best with SPIs are those who have no problem being more submissive, are consenting to their demands and can give up more creative control than others.
So, if you are a newbie or establishing filmmaker with the right attitude suited to this group, target the SPIs. SPI’s remain so for around 3-5 years by which time they have tasted blood and want more.
Good examples of SPIs would be dentists, accountants, and other high-income earning professionals.
3.The Pro Film Investor (PFI)™
This investor is a seasoned SPI or a professional investor who has a track record of successfully investing in films or other asset classes. They are looking for returns on their investment (ROI) and nothing else matters more to them. Being in films is just a nice bonus for them!
The PFIs will typically tend to invest around £50,000-£75,000 per film venture with someone they are working with for the first time.
They are serious players and only reputed and professional filmmakers will make their cut. So, if you are a seasoned filmmaker whose previous films have made money then you will get their attention.
While deciding to invest, they will want to see your project’s financial viability and healthy ROI projections. They usually like to be the main investor in the project and will often demand an large equity stake in it.
4.The Rich Film Investor (RFI)™
These indie film investor types comprise those who have sold their companies for a huge profit, earned a big bonus or paycheck or are very successful individuals who have managed to retire early.
RFIs are usually film lovers who had dreams of a career in films, but decided to give it up for a more financially rewarding career. Films have been a life long passion for them and they now want a second shot at being in the industry, plus they are attracted by the fame and glamour of it all.
Typically RFIs include financiers, dot com millionaires, the nouveau rich and lottery winners. If you are semi-famous filmmaker with a huge fan following and have a project in mind with recognisable talent attached to it, they will get excited.
ROI is important to them, but not so much as their involvement in films. They want to be seen as the sole benefactor and take pride in working with quality creative talent.
They are in it for the long haul, will be prepared to invest close to £150,000-£200,000 per project in the first instance and usually tend to get their other friends on board as well if the project is exciting enough.
Once you fully understand the indie film investor types you’re going for, the next step will be to tailor your pitch, film business plan or film project presentation accordingly.
Each type of film investor has different needs, therefore demands different kinds of information and levels of detail before they get on board. Watch this space for future posts where I will go into further detail.
In the meantime, you can always schedule mock investor pitch sessions with me and/or discuss your indie film investment goals in depth.This post has opened my eyes re: indie film investor types. Click To Tweet