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 as much as pitch your movie project and need certainly to be able 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 therefore the production may make money.
Most investors I’ve met with aren’t interested in putting hard money into indie art house films because those are tough sells to movie distributors and overseas film buyers aren’t usually interested in 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 want subtitles for folks to check out 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 improve as indie movie distribution gets more financially shaky. The area it’s hitting indie movie producers hardest is right at the origin – film financing. Film investors today aren’t feeling worked up about putting money into movies that do not have bankable name actors. This is simply not like so-called indie movies that have A-list actors or are produced for countless dollars. Those kind of indie film passion projects you can 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 to have 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 initial question film investors and movie distributors ask is who the cast is. That is where most indie movie producers are blown out from the water because they’ve an unknown cast of actors. Plus there’s a glut of indie movies being made because technology has managed to get less expensive to make movies.
The bright side is that entertaining indie movies are now being made that may not otherwise ever have seen 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 one movie distributor that caters to releasing independent films and they explained they receive new film submissions daily.
They certainly were honest saying they get very sellable movies and ones which are less than appealing, but with so many movies out there they no longer offer most 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 display they can produce a feature film. So, they acquire many of these movie releases without paying an advance or supplying a “buy-out” agreement.
Not building a make money from a film doesn’t make financial sense for film investors that expect to see money made. When people set up money to produce a movie they desire a get back on the investment. Otherwise it’s no longer a film 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 conversing with indie movie distributors before writing a screenplay to see what forms of films are available and what actors or celebrity names attached to 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 gives me a short set of actors or celebrities to take into account that suit an unbiased movie budget. Movie sales outside the U.S. are where a bulk of the amount of money is made 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 great selling point to help your movie standout from others. Brief cameos of known actors or celebrities used to be a great way to help keep talent cost down and add 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 have a meaningful part in the movie instead of a few minutes in a cameo role. Cameo scenes can still work if you have a visual hook that grabs the attention of viewers in a few way. But having name talent say a couple of lines with no special hook won’t fly anymore.
Another way to make an indie film in need of funding more appealing to investors is to install talent that has been around a film or TV show of note. ดูหนัง HD Their name as an actor might not be that well-known yet, but rising stars that have appeared in a favorite movie or TV show can give your movie broader appeal. In the event that you cast them in a supporting role keep working days on the set down seriously to the very least to save lots of your budget. Attempt to write their scenes for them to be shot in one or two days.
When you’re pitching to serious film investors they may wish to be provided with reveal movie budget and distribution plan on how you want on earning money from the film’s release. The Catch-22 that occurs a lot is that many movie distributors that focus on releasing indie films won’t commit to any deal until they’ve screened the movie.
There is not built-in distribution as with studio budget films. Film investors that aren’t traditionally the main entertainment business could possibly get put off when a producer does not have a distribution deal already in place. They don’t understand the Catch-22 of indie filmmaking and distribution. That is where a movie producer really needs to have a great pitch that explains the financial dynamics of indie film distribution.
Most film investors will spread an indie movie producer’s financing pitch that mentions self-distribution in it. From a film investor’s business perspective it takes entirely too much time for an indie movie to generate money going the self-distribution route. It’s like the old school way of selling your movie out 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 a lengthy grind that many investors will not be thinking about waiting around for. Moving one unit of a film at a time is too slow of trickle for investors.
A possible way around the Catch-22 would be to reach out to movie distributors while you are pitching to film investors. With a strong 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 supplier will tell you that they’d offer an advance or “buy-out” deal. They generally won’t give you a hard number, but even a ballpark figure of what they could offer can inform you if your allowance makes financial sense to approach movie investors with.
I understand one savvy indie movie producer that produces 4-6 movies per year on very reasonable budgets and knows they’re already building a make money 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. When you have a track record with a distribution company do you know what you can expect to be paid. Then you can certainly offer film investors a percent on the money invested to the production that produces sense.
Social networking with other indie filmmakers lets you hear what’s happening with movie distribution from other people’s actual life experiences. A cool thing I’ve been hearing about is that there are film investors that won’t set up money to make movie that will be self-distributed, but they’ll roll the dice on an element that will specific film festivals. Not the art house film festivals. Those who are extremely 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 need to deal with and study on each experience. I was in the hot seat today pitching to a picture investor. I’ve streamlined the budget around I will without making the plot lose steam.
The jam I’m in as a manufacturer is you can find hard costs that can’t be avoided that include lots 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 want to hire has the perfect appeal and name recognition for this indie action movie to rock viewers. There is 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 save lots of money I’m going to have to do rewrites to the screenplay to get action scenes. They’re selling points which will hurt sales if they’re written out. But it’s my job as an indie filmmaker to balance a budget that interests film investors. We’ll observe this goes. That is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing fade out.