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 around pitch your movie project and need to manage to dance to a movie investor’s music. It’s their stage and not yours as an indie filmmaker seeking film funding. They desire you to make a sellable movie which attracts movie distributors therefore the production can make money.
Most investors I’ve met with are not enthusiastic about putting hard money into indie art house films because those are tough sells to movie distributors and overseas film buyers aren’t usually enthusiastic 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 people to follow along with 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 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 stoked up about putting money into movies that not have bankable name actors. This is not like so-called indie movies that have A-list actors or are produced for an incredible number of dollars. Those form of indie film passion projects you possibly 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 to have A-list actor, however they do want producers to own actors (B-list or C-list or D-list) with some name recognition or celebrity. The first question film investors and movie distributors ask is who the cast is. This really is where most indie movie producers are blown out of the water because they have an as yet not known cast of actors. Plus there is a glut of indie movies being made because technology has made it more affordable to create movies.
The bright side is that entertaining indie movies are now being made which may 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 1 movie distributor that caters to 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 less than appealing, but with so many movies available they no more offer a lot 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 simply happy seeing their movie released. The word they used was “glorified showreel” for an indie filmmaker to show they can create a feature film. So, they acquire many of their movie releases without paying an advance or offering a “buy-out” agreement.
Not making a make money from a video doesn’t make financial sense for film investors that expect you’ll see money made. When people set up money to make a movie they desire a return on their investment. Otherwise it’s no more a video investment. It becomes a movie donation of money they’re giving away 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 speaking with indie movie distributors before writing a screenplay to see what types of films are selling and what actors or celebrity names attached to a potential project appeal to them. This is not like chasing trends, but it provides producers a sharper picture of the sales climate for indie films. Sometimes distributors gives me a short set of actors or celebrities to consider that suit an independent movie budget. Movie sales outside the U.S. are the place where a almost all the cash is good for indie filmmakers.
Movie distributors and film sales agents can let you know 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 simply help your movie standout from others. Brief cameos of known actors or celebrities was once an effective way to help 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 truly have a meaningful part in the movie instead of a couple of minutes in a cameo role. Cameo scenes can still work if you have a visual hook that grabs the eye of viewers in certain way. But having name talent say several lines with no special hook won’t fly anymore.
Another way to create an indie film needing funding more appealing to investors is to add talent that has been doing a video 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 popular movie or TV show may give 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 absolute minimum to truly save your budget. Try to write their scenes to allow them to be shot in a couple of days.
When you’re pitching to serious film investors they may wish to be provided with an in depth movie budget and distribution plan on how you plan on earning profits from the film’s release. The Catch-22 that occurs a whole lot is that many 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 just as in studio budget films. Film investors which are not traditionally part of the entertainment business will get switched off whenever 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 to have a great 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 requires entirely too long for an indie movie to generate money going the self-distribution route. It’s just like the old school way of selling your movie out of the trunk of your vehicle at places, nevertheless 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 interested in ready for. Moving one unit of a video at the same 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 firm budget number and possible cast attached you are able to gauge to see if you have any meaningful distribution fascination with the movie. It’s always possible a distributor will show you that they would offer an advance or “buy-out” deal. They usually won’t offer you a hard number, but a good ballpark figure of what they may offer can tell 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 good budgets and knows they’re already making a make money from the advance money alone. The film royalty payments 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 are able to expect you’ll be paid. Then you can offer film investors a percent on their money invested to the production that produces sense.
Social networking with other indie filmmakers enables you to 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 create movie that will be self-distributed, but they will roll the dice on an element that will specific film festivals. Not the art house film festivals. Those 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 handle and study on each experience. I was in the hot seat today pitching to a movie investor. I’ve streamlined the budget around I could without making the plot lose steam.
The jam I’m in as a manufacturer is you will find hard costs that can not be avoided including 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 right appeal and name recognition with 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 truly save money I’m going to have to do rewrites to the screenplay to take out action scenes. They are selling points that may hurt sales if they are written out. But it’s my job as an indie filmmaker to balance a budget that attracts film investors. We’ll see how this goes. This really is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing fade out.