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Old July 19th, 2007, 12:03 PM   #1
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Finding budget for Pirate Film

Ok, here's the deal. I have a pirate script (I mean we have one... I'm collaborating), its about 45 mins. long as we have acted it out to see. Its a film, involves 3 actors: 2 Pirates, 1 Castaway, 3 locales: open ocean, beach shore, small lagoon. I have Make-up and effects, i know the costumes, i have 1 boat, a small launch, similar to a Pirate long Boat. I Have this all planned out, I know where we are shooting, i have some actors in mind who have emailed thier interest. I have make-up and effects people interested. it seems to be all working. I am able to use the Canon HV20, and hopefully want someone to sponsor me with a 35mm adapter (Btw, email if that last part interested you)
Everything is going well Except for one thing, I'm almost 17 years old, and no one... even ones that see i have a bona fide written out, in excel, budget and contract, actors and locations, no one is interested in giving me a budget of any amount (Besides like $5, but cousins don't count when they try to be smart). Its just reality setting itself in to stay.

Any Ideas? Because in order to actually get a film permit, i need to get a budget to then find our shooting days.

And finally, a short but sweet "Ugh"

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Old July 19th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #2
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It's not clear to me what you are requesting through your post. A 'Budget' is a written plan for expenditures for your project. You say you have it written out in excel... and that to get film permits, you need a budget.

This is a confusing statement.

Do you mean to say that your script is BUDGETED and now you need FUNDING for your film in order to acquire a permit?

Are you asking how to go about getting FUNDING or are you asking how to draw up a BUDGET?

If you are asking about how to get funding... the answer is 'hustle'. Same as everyone else. Talk to people who have money, convince them to give it to you.

If you are asking about how to draw up a budget... then I can recommend some software for you, but really you have to know the answers to costs even before you plug them into the program.

Which is it?
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Old July 19th, 2007, 04:49 PM   #3
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Hey Zac....

I understand exactly the boat your in. It wasn't that long ago that I was 17 years old and trying to get my first serious project done.

Getting funding for any sort of film can be very difficult, no matter who you are. This is even more since your doing a short film and because of your age. I know its hard, but no one is going to want to invest money in you because of your age. Additionally short films (less than feature length) have extremely limited avenues for distribution, making it difficult for investors to want to put money into such a project.

I'm not trying to discourage you, I'm just saying it can be very very very difficult.

First, make sure you have a proper screen play, that is broken down and budgeted correctly- with shooting schedule, day sheets, etc. If you don't know how to do this there are lots of online resources as well as books to show you.

Second, come up with a business plan. If your trying to raise money for your film you need a business plan to show your investors how your going to try to get their money back, and how much money they stand to make off of your project. And be realistic with your business plan- don't figure your film will be picked up by some hollywood distributor and be the next box office hit. Maybe figure small down screenings where you rent out theaters, promote the film in local media, and sell tickets.

Good luck with your film- let us know how it goes.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 12:06 AM   #4
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To reiterate what other people have said. Short films are very unprofitable, so it's hard enough to get funding for those as it is. If this is one of your first projects you are probably better off doing a few no budget ones first to have something to show people who might give you money later on.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #5
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To try and make things clearer, i need a film permit, in order to get that i need a production schedule... but i really can't set one up until i get money for the movie. But then investors will not look at it unless i actually can shoot in the places... thus i need a film permit
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Old July 20th, 2007, 10:22 AM   #6
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My first thought is "so shoot some place that does not require a permit?"
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Old July 20th, 2007, 10:26 AM   #7
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IMVHO "Two People Talking In A Room" is enough for anyone's directorial debut. Have you done one of those projects? You'll learn a lot about how moviemaking works, and you'll have a showreel piece to show potential investors in your pirate movie.

If all else fails, animate.

Good luck!
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Old July 20th, 2007, 10:54 AM   #8
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It's possilbe to generate a production schedule from your script now. You don't NEED money or permits in hand. Generate the schedule, use it to show to people HOW and where the money will be spent.

Get enough money to shoot, adjust the schedule acordingly. (The schedule should say "Day 1" "Day 2" it doesn't have to say "Wednesday September 20th".

You don't need to get permits to shoot untill you've got a shoot planned and financed. THEN go looking for a permit for your hopeful dates. IF you can't get a permit on those dates, ADJUST THE SCHEDULE.

Best course of action... keep it simple. Try shooting a single scene from your Magnum Opus... something you can do in an afternoon in a free location. Something that captures the flavor of your script.

This will serve two purposes. It will give you a 'proof of concept' project. It will prove to you, the crew and the actors that you CAN work together for an afternoon and get two pages of dialogue/action shot.

And it will serve as a sample (trailer/teaser) when showing the schedule/budget to possilbe investors.

So, look at your script. Is there a particularly good section of dialogue you can shoot? Maybe an opening line and a few moments of action? Something you can realistically shoot in an afternoon with no large production headaches IE. One location, two actors, no major props or FX.

(If you CAN'T get your two pages shot in an afternoon... that will be a very valuable lesson in your strengths and abilities)

Good luck.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 11:56 AM   #9
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Why should anyone give you money?

As a potential investor, I look at what you've got and think...

In this case, the answer is "nothing".

No one gives something for nothing. You need to give them something back to make it worth their while. Since your project isn't structured as a money making venture, you aren't really offering them a return on their investment and need to come up with something else. Marketing, advertising? Offer to play commercials for the investors business at the beginning of your film if it screens in any festivals (make sure you have a festival plan and buget).

Start thinking from the investor's point of view and see what you have to offer them in return. Also, do some homework into the business side of filmmaking.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 03:49 PM   #10
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Dylan is of course, right. I use the term 'investor' in the broadest sense. You are probably going to be getting money from your friends and family. In that sense, they are 'investing' in your future. They are giving you money to do something that will further your experience in your chosen profession. (I assume?)

Otherwise, it is EXTREMELY hard to make any money at all with shorts. YOUTUBE is full of shorts that people watch and share for free. Great exposure for talent, some money for YOUTUBE but almost nothing in it for the filmmakers beyond exposure.
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Old July 20th, 2007, 05:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Zac Crosby View Post
I am able to use the Canon HV20, and hopefully want someone to sponsor me with a 35mm adapter.

If getting a 35mm adaptor for your HV20 is the money problem, shoot the film without one, look at suitable effects in post.

As advised shoot 2 suitable pages then edit it and add your post effects. Don't forget some music. You could show both versions on your show reel to demonstrate your production talents.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 02:42 PM   #12
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In reality, you're making is what's known as a "resume film." There's no real financial objective necessary. Just do it to prove you can. Period.

Concentrate on what you CAN do - not on what you can't.

If you can't get a permit - go somewhere you can shoot without one.

If you find that your boat shots are too darn shakey (they will be) and everyone feels sick watching them - shoot the darn pirates sitting on a plank on shore looking OUT at the ocean framed to show only the actors and the waves.

Relentlessly - and I mean RELENTLESSLY drive towards rolling the cameras and editing the results. Blow past ANYTHING that gets in the way of that. Over time, your scripts will improve, the acting will improve, the budgets will improve and your skills will improve.... but not untill you roll the cameras and sit down and edit the results. Nothing else matters.


Honestly, if you have to film the whole movie in a garage with sky blue curtains and cardboard "waves" around your actors - shooting and editing THAT that will advance your skills more than sitting at home waiting for some city bureaucrat to grant you permission to shoot somewhere.

The truth is - you want to learn to make movies? Make some. Whenever, wherever and however you can. Period.

Good luck - keep driving forward!
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