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Taking Care of Business
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 02:47 AM   #1
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Have you ever gotten a film funded?

I just sort of wanted to poll people and ask for their experiences in getting funding to do films. I am currently working on a feature length script and we're exploring some ways to get funding and I just wanted to see what people's experiences were.

Did you hit up friends? Pay for it yourself?

I've done paying gigs for commercials and things, but that is so different than trying to create a film. Just wondering if anyone here had some good advice, hints or interesting stories.

Thanks.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 04:57 AM   #2
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You really need to know the market you're aiming your film at. I know producers who have private funding on the basis of tax breaks etc. You really have to approach this in a totally business like manner.

You also need to be tough on your own script... is it good enough? Have you done enough development work to attract investors? Much depends on the quality of your script.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 06:10 AM   #3
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Yeah, funding is really tricky and you're unlikely to find all the money in one place. Whatever the budget is to get your film made you'll need to do double that on the marketing, and that's a conservative estimate.

When business and art collide it can get messy. Films made by committee tend to end up mushy-middle nobody wants to see.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 11:20 AM   #4
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I have not, but I've read this book (an older edition), and found it to be excellent...
http://www.amazon.com/Independent-Fe...6157532&sr=1-1
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 12:43 PM   #5
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define "funding"
are we talking $500, 5000, 50,000 or 500,000k ... more $$$ ?

500 - 50,000 would just fund it myself - wouldn't be worth all the time & effort going thru hoops seeking funds from others ....

500k ? hummmmm .. i'd post here -asking for ways to get funding ..
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 02:08 PM   #6
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Note that you can't publicly ask for investment, or else the Securities and Exchange Commission will knock on your door - unless you create a properly registered publicly traded corporation. You need to ask privately, have the prospective investors sign a Non Disclosure Agreement and include lots of disclaimers about how all the investors will probably lose their shirts. You can make objective claims about the success and failures of similar films, but it's a real balancing act - too negative and you might scare people away; too positive, and you can get sued if the film fails.

Don's right about self-funding smaller films, but... I've also read the opinion that a producer/director should NEVER fund their own films.

Don't forget to budget for travel, entry fees and promotion. If your film isn't promoted, you won't get any audience. (The recent uber-success of the Simpson's movie proves that promotion is key. Why pay to see something that's on TV for free? Answer: brainwashing!)

Promotion is the one area of film making that is not yet democratized. We can get equipment cheap. We can get unknown talent cheap. We can distribute for cheap on the 'net. But advertising and promotion costs real bucks.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 05:45 PM   #7
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I've done plenty of reading on all the legal things that need to be done and what components need to be funded. I'm mostly just interested if anyone here has gotten funding for a film, and what the story behind how it happened was.

I know it's hard to do, just curious if people have done it and what their story was. I agree with Don, it's better all around to completely own the rights to a smaller film project, it sure worked for Robert Rodriguez. You hear a lot about what you should do with the money, but nobody really touches on how you actually get the money into your hands.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 08:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
I've also read the opinion that a producer/director should NEVER fund their own films.
I would concur 100% with that opinion - I'm currently producing two documentaries that are self-funded. In theory they shouldn't have been a problem self-funding, but you'd be surprised at how small costs adds up (a few flights here and there, extra needed equipment, etc.). Given that film projects are often speculative (in every sense) it doesn't make sense to potentially tank your personal budget this way.
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Old August 3rd, 2007, 09:50 PM   #9
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I think that's a pretty good general rule to follow, don't buy a new car if you can't afford it, and don't fund a film if you can't afford it either.
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