Indie Movie Funding as well as Movie Submission – Dance Naked
Indie film financing and movie distribution reminds of what it’d feel just 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 need to manage to dance to a picture investor’s music. It’s their stage and not yours as an indie filmmaker seeking film funding. They desire you to create a sellable movie which interests movie distributors so the production may 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. Action, horror and skin does not require subtitles for folks to follow the story is what I’ve been told by distributors. Talking head movies may 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 area it’s hitting indie movie producers hardest is right at the source – film financing. Film investors today aren’t feeling stoked up about putting money into movies that do not need bankable name actors. This is not like so-called indie movies which have A-list actors or are produced for countless dollars. Those form of indie film passion projects you can make once you’ve made it in the entertainment business at the studio level.
Indie film investors and movie distributors won’t expect you with an A-list actor, nevertheless they do want producers to have 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 is where most indie movie producers are blown out from the water because they’ve an as yet not known cast of actors. Plus there’s a glut of indie movies being made because technology has made it more affordable to make movies.
The bright side is that entertaining indie movies are being made that might not otherwise ever have observed 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 at least one movie distributor that suits releasing independent films and they explained they receive new film submissions daily.
They were honest saying they get very sellable movies and ones which can be significantly less than appealing, but with so many movies available they no further 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 only happy seeing their movie released. The word they used was “glorified showreel” for an indie filmmaker to show they can produce a feature film. So, they acquire many of the 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 produce a movie they want a reunite on their investment. Otherwise it’s no further a video investment. It becomes a picture donation of money they’re offering with no expectations. I’ve been on the “dog and pony show” circuit meeting with 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 mounted on a possible project interest them. This is not like chasing trends, but it gives producers a sharper picture of the sales climate for indie films. Sometimes distributors can give me a short listing of actors or celebrities to consider that suit an unbiased movie budget. Movie sales outside the U.S. are where a bulk of the money is good for indie filmmakers.
Movie distributors and film sales agents can tell 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 kind of name is a great feature to help your movie standout from others. Brief cameos of known actors or celebrities used to be a good way to help keep talent cost down and put in a bankable name to your cast.
That’s 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 instead of a couple of minutes in a cameo role. Cameo scenes can still work if there is a visual hook that grabs the interest of viewers in some way. But having name talent say a few lines with no special hook won’t fly anymore.
Another way to make an indie film needing funding more attractive to investors is to add talent that has been around a video or TV show of note. ดูหนัง 8k Their name as an actor mightn’t be that well-known yet, but rising stars which have appeared in a well known movie or TV show can give your movie broader appeal. If you cast them in a supporting role keep working days on the set right down to a minimum to save lots of your budget. Attempt to write their scenes so they can be shot in 1 or 2 days.
When you’re pitching to serious film investors they will want to be given an in depth movie budget and distribution plan on how you plan on earning money from the film’s release. The Catch-22 that takes place a great deal is that a lot of movie distributors that cater to releasing indie films won’t commit to any deal until they’ve screened the movie.
There is not built-in distribution like with studio budget films. Film investors that aren’t traditionally the main entertainment business can get turned off each time a producer does not need a distribution deal already in place. They don’t understand the Catch-22 of indie filmmaking and distribution. This is where a movie producer really will need a great pitch that explains the financial dynamics of indie film distribution.
Most film investors will pass on an indie movie producer’s financing pitch that mentions self-distribution in it. From a video investor’s business perspective it requires entirely too much time for an indie movie to generate money going the self-distribution route. It’s just like the old school means of selling your movie out from the trunk of your car or truck at places, but now it’s done online using digital distribution and direct sales using a blog. That’s an extended grind that a lot of investors won’t be thinking about waiting around for. Moving one unit of a video at a time is too slow of trickle for investors.
A possible way round the Catch-22 is to reach out to movie distributors when you are pitching to film investors. With a strong budget number and possible cast attached you are able to gauge to see if there is any meaningful distribution fascination with the movie. It’s always possible a distributor can tell you that they would offer an advance or “buy-out” deal. They often won’t offer you a hard number, but even a ballpark figure of what they could offer can let you know if your financial allowance makes financial sense to approach movie investors with.
I know one savvy indie movie producer that makes 4-6 movies annually on affordable budgets and knows they’re already building a benefit from the advance money alone. The film royalty payments certainly are a bonus. The producer keeps budgets extremely affordable and streamlined at every phase of production. Once you have a track record with a distribution company guess what happens you are able to expect to be paid. Then you can certainly offer film investors a percent on their money invested in to the production that makes sense.
Social networking with other indie filmmakers allows you to hear what’s happening with movie distribution from other people’s real life experiences. An awesome thing I’ve been hearing about is that there are film investors that won’t put up money to make movie that will be self-distributed, but they’ll roll the dice on a function that will specific film festivals. Not the art house film festivals. The ones that 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 must cope with and learn from 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 producer is you will find hard costs that cannot 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 do want to hire has the right appeal and name recognition because of this indie action movie to rock viewers. There is nothing that can 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 save lots of money I’m going to have to do rewrites to the screenplay to obtain action scenes. They’re selling points that will hurt sales if they are written out. But it’s my job as an indie filmmaker to balance a budget that interests film investors. We’ll observe this goes. This is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing fade out.