Indie Roll film Finance together with Movie Submitter – Skating Honeymoon vacation photos
Indie film financing and movie distribution reminds of what it would feel like dancing nude on stage (much respect for exotic dancers at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club!). You show up to pitch your movie project and have to have the ability to dance to a picture investor’s music. It’s their stage and not yours being an indie filmmaker seeking film funding. They want you to create a sellable movie which interests movie distributors therefore the production can make money.
Most investors I’ve met with aren’t thinking about putting hard money into indie art house films because those are tough sells to movie distributors and overseas film buyers aren’t usually thinking about seeing them. The dialogue and scenes of certain art house type films don’t translate well to foreign buyers and movie viewers. 123 movies Action, horror and skin does not require subtitles for people to follow the story is what I’ve been told by distributors. Talking head movies can make no sense to viewers that don’t understand subtle lines spoken in a foreign language.
Independent film financing continues to alter as indie movie distribution gets more financially shaky. The place it’s hitting indie movie producers hardest is right at the source – film financing. Film investors at this time aren’t feeling stoked up about putting money into movies that do not have bankable name actors. This is simply not like so-called indie movies which have A-list actors or are produced for millions of dollars. Those form of indie film passion projects you may make once you’ve managed to get in the entertainment business at the studio level.
Indie film investors and movie distributors won’t expect you with an A-list actor, however they do want producers to possess actors (B-list or C-list or D-list) with some name recognition or celebrity. The very first question film investors and movie distributors ask is who the cast is. This really is where most indie movie producers are blown from the water because they’ve a not known cast of actors. Plus there is a glut of indie movies being made because technology has managed to get cheaper to create movies.
The bright side is that entertaining indie movies are now being made that could not otherwise ever have experienced light of day before. The downside is meaningful movie distribution (getting paid) for indie produced films continues to shrink as indie films being made rises (supply and demand 101). I talked to 1 movie distributor that provides releasing independent films and they told me they receive new film submissions daily.
These were honest saying they get very sellable movies and ones that are significantly less than appealing, but with so many movies available they no longer offer a majority of producers advance money against film royalties or pay a lump cash “buy-out” to secure distribution rights. Their business viewpoint is most indie filmmakers are just happy seeing their movie released. The word they used was “glorified showreel” for an indie filmmaker to produce they can produce a feature film. So, they acquire many of these movie releases without paying an advance or offering a “buy-out” agreement.
Not building a benefit from a video doesn’t make financial sense for film investors that expect to see money made. When people put up money to make a movie they need a return on their investment. Otherwise it’s no longer a video investment. It becomes a picture donation of money they’re giving out with no expectations. I’ve been on the “dog and pony show” circuit ending up in potential film investors and learning invaluable lessons.
I’m in the habit now of talking to indie movie distributors before writing a screenplay to see what types of films are available and what actors or celebrity names attached with a possible project appeal to them. This is simply not like chasing trends, but it gives producers a sharper picture of the sales climate for indie films. Sometimes distributors can give me a quick list of actors or celebrities to consider that suit an independent movie budget. Movie sales outside the U.S. are the place where a bulk of the money is perfect for indie filmmakers.
Movie distributors and film sales agents can inform you what actors and celebrity talent is translating to movie sales overseas at the indie level. These won’t be A-list names, but having someone with some sort of name is a superb feature to simply help your movie standout from others. Brief cameos of known actors or celebrities used to be an effective way to keep talent cost down and put in a bankable name to your cast.
That has changed lately from my conversations with distribution companies. Movie distributors now expect any name talent attached to really have a meaningful part in the movie rather than a couple of minutes in a cameo role. Cameo scenes can still work if you have a visible hook that grabs the attention of viewers in some way. But having name talent say a couple of lines with no special hook won’t fly anymore.
Another way to create an indie film in need of funding more attractive to investors is to add talent that has been doing a video or TV show of note. Their name being an actor mightn’t be that well-known yet, but rising stars which have appeared in a well known movie or TV show can provide your movie broader appeal. In the event that you cast them in a supporting role keep working days on the set right down to the very least to truly save your budget. Make an effort to write their scenes so they can be shot in one or two days.
When you’re pitching to serious film investors they would want to get an in depth movie budget and distribution plan how you want on earning profits from the film’s release. The Catch-22 that takes place a whole lot is that a lot of movie distributors that appeal to releasing indie films won’t commit to any deal until they’ve screened the movie.
There’s not built-in distribution like with studio budget films. Film investors that aren’t traditionally part of the entertainment business could possibly get put off each time a producer does not have a distribution deal already in place. They don’t understand the Catch-22 of indie filmmaking and distribution. This really is the place where a movie producer really needs a good pitch that explains the financial dynamics of indie film distribution.
Most film investors will give an indie movie producer’s financing pitch that mentions self-distribution in it. From a video investor’s business perspective it takes entirely a long time for an indie movie to generate money going the self-distribution route. It’s just like the old school method of selling your movie from the trunk of your car at places, however now it’s done online using digital distribution and direct sales via a blog. That’s an extended grind that a lot of investors won’t be interested in hanging around for. Moving one unit of a video at any given time is too slow of trickle for investors.
A possible way across the Catch-22 is to reach out to movie distributors while you are pitching to film investors. With a company budget number and possible cast attached you can gauge to see if you have any meaningful distribution curiosity about the movie. It’s always possible a vendor will tell you that they’d offer an advance or “buy-out” deal. They generally won’t give you a hard number, but a ballpark figure of what they may offer can let you know if your financial allowance makes financial sense to approach movie investors with.
I am aware one savvy indie movie producer that makes 4-6 movies a year on very good budgets and knows they’re already building a benefit from the advance money alone. The film royalty payments really are a bonus. The producer keeps budgets extremely affordable and streamlined at every phase of production. Once you have a background with a distribution company do you know what you can expect to be paid. Then you can certainly offer film investors a percent on their money invested into the production that makes sense.
Social networking with other indie filmmakers enables you to hear what’s happening with movie distribution from other people’s real life experiences. A very good thing I’ve been hearing about is there are film investors that won’t put up money to create movie that will be self-distributed, but they will roll the dice on a feature that will specific film festivals. Not the art house film festivals. Those who are very genre specific like for horror or action films. Like Screamfest Horror Film Festival or Action on Film (AOF). Film buyers attend these events and meaningful distribution deals are made.
Independent film financing and movie distribution are areas of the entertainment business all filmmakers will have to handle and study on each experience. I was in the hot seat today pitching to a picture investor. I’ve streamlined the budget around I could without making the plot lose steam.
The jam I’m in as a maker is you can find hard costs that can’t be avoided that include a lot of gun play including two rigging shots where baddies get shot and are blown backwards off their feet. Badass action films need experienced and seasoned film crews to pull-off hardcore action shots off clean and safe. The cast I wish to hire has the perfect appeal and name recognition because of this indie action movie to rock viewers. There’s nothing that could get lost in the translation in this film for foreign film buyers and movie viewers.
What I believe got lost in the translation with the potential film investor today is if I keep taking out below-the-line crew to truly save money I’m planning to need to do rewrites to the screenplay to take out action scenes. They’re selling points which will hurt sales if they’re written out. But it’s my job being an indie filmmaker to balance a budget that interests film investors. We’ll see how this goes. This really is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing fade out.