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Indie film financing and movie distribution reminds of what it’d feel 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 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 want you to make a sellable movie which attracts movie distributors and so the production may make money.
Most investors I’ve met with aren’t 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 need 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 change as indie movie distribution gets more financially shaky. The spot it’s hitting indie movie producers hardest is right at the source – film financing. Film investors at this time aren’t feeling excited about putting money into movies that do not need bankable name actors. This is simply not like so-called indie movies which have A-list actors or are produced for an incredible number of dollars. Those form 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 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 have an as yet not known cast of actors. Plus there’s a glut of indie movies being made because technology has managed to get cheaper to produce movies.
The bright side is that entertaining indie movies are increasingly being made that may 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 explained they receive new film submissions daily.
These were honest saying they get very sellable movies and ones which are 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 just 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 their movie releases without paying an advance or offering a “buy-out” agreement.
Not creating a profit from a movie does not make financial sense for film investors that expect to see money made. When people put up money to make a movie they desire a reunite on the investment. Otherwise it’s no further a movie 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 kinds of films are available and what actors or celebrity names mounted on a possible project interest them. This is simply not like chasing trends, but it provides producers a sharper picture of the sales climate for indie films. Sometimes distributors can give me a brief listing of actors or celebrities to consider that fit an unbiased movie budget. Movie sales outside the U.S. are in which a almost all the cash is good 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 greatly help your movie standout from others. Brief cameos of known actors or celebrities was once 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 truly have a meaningful part in the movie instead of a few momemts in a cameo role. Cameo scenes can still work if you have a visual hook that grabs the eye of viewers in some way. But having name talent say a few lines with no special hook won’t fly anymore.
Another way to produce an indie film in need of funding more appealing to investors is to attach talent that has been around a movie or TV show of note. ดูหนัง HD Their name as an actor mightn’t be that well-known yet, but rising stars which 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 down to the absolute minimum to truly save your budget. Attempt to write their scenes so they can be shot in a couple of days.
When you’re pitching to serious film investors they will want to get reveal movie budget and distribution plan how you intend on earning money from the film’s release. The Catch-22 that occurs a great deal 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 as with studio budget films. Film investors which are not traditionally part of the entertainment business will get deterred 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 really is in which a movie producer really will need 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 movie investor’s business perspective it takes entirely a long time for an indie movie to generate money going the self-distribution route. It’s such as the old school way of selling your movie from the trunk of your vehicle at places, nevertheless now it’s done online using digital distribution and direct sales using a blog. That’s a long grind that a lot of investors won’t be thinking about hanging around for. Moving one unit of a movie at a time is too slow of trickle for investors.
A possible way around the Catch-22 is always to reach out to movie distributors while you are pitching to film investors. With a firm budget number and possible cast attached you can gauge to see if you have any meaningful distribution interest in the movie. It’s always possible a provider will tell you that they’d offer an advance or “buy-out” deal. They generally won’t give you a hard number, but a good 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 which makes 4-6 movies per year on very reasonable budgets and knows they’re already creating a profit 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. 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 into the production which makes sense.
Social networking with other indie filmmakers lets you hear what’s happening with movie distribution from other people’s actual life experiences. A very good thing I’ve been hearing about is that there are film investors that won’t put up money to produce movie that will be self-distributed, but they will roll the dice on a characteristic 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 deal with and learn from each experience. I was in the hot seat today pitching to a picture investor. I’ve streamlined the budget as much as I could without making the plot lose steam.
The jam I’m in as a manufacturer is you can find hard costs that cannot be avoided that include plenty 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 an ideal appeal and name recognition for this indie action movie to rock viewers. There’s nothing that will get lost in the translation in this film for foreign film buyers and movie viewers.
What I do 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 obtain action scenes. These are 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 attracts film investors. We’ll see how this goes. This really is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing fade out.
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