When making an indie film, it can be quite difficult to secure financing. Without proper financing, a film cannot be made properly. Getting financing used to be as easy as drawing out some key scenes on a poster board and showing it to an investor.
Times are a lot tougher now, and investors are not opening their checkbooks as freely as they used to. There are two paths you can take. You can either attempt to finance it yourself or you can seek out investors to fund your project for you.
Personally financing your own film may be difficult as you do not have that much money to work with in the beginning. You will have to take up a profession on the side that will allow you to generate a large quantity of money in a short amount of time. The most viable solution for this would be becoming a daytrader. Becoming a daytrader has its advantages as a film maker since you can work remotely from any location as long as you have an internet connection. You can also generate a large amount of money if you are good.
On the otherhand, to get an investors attention you need to put together a whole package. You can’t just go meet with them and give them a general idea. You need a script, a budget, a cast and a good game plan. An investor may like your movie idea, but your funding boils down to the fact that he needs to make money off of the film.
Try to convince the investor that he will make his money back. Offer him a good ROI on his investment. Usually investors like to receive all their original money back plus 10% or so. After the film is profiting, the financiers usually expect fifty percent of those profits. If you are having a hard time coming up with money, you may need to guarantee a higher percentage of profits.
The investors have the money you need, so you have to learn to work with them, they are the boss. They are in it for the money, so you may get some offers that you feel are just too steep. Try to haggle and work out a price that you think will work for you.
The original investment is always paid back first, then you pay them royalties. It really depends on what they put in the contract. Lots of people make indie films because they love doing it. It can be a pain to deal with all the financial stuff, but if you do it correctly, you can get financing for your next film.
If you develop a good relationship with the person financing your film, they will probably help you down the road on any future projects that you want to work on. If your films are consistently profitable, you can work out a better deal for yourself.
Always invite the investor to the set. He paid you good money and he deserves to be able to see how everything is working out. It is important that your investor feels like he is getting his moneys worth, and showing him progress is a great way to reinforce his decision.