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 as much as 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 need you to produce a sellable movie which interests movie distributors so the production will 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 people to check out the story is what I’ve been told by distributors. Talking head movies will 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 place it’s hitting indie movie producers hardest is right at the origin – film financing. Film investors at this time aren’t feeling excited about putting money into movies that do not have bankable name actors. This isn’t like so-called indie movies which have A-list actors or are produced for countless 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 an A-list actor, however they do want producers to have 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. This really 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 cheaper to make movies.
The bright side is that entertaining indie movies are being made that could 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 1 movie distributor that caters to releasing independent films and they said they receive new film submissions daily.
They were honest saying they get very sellable movies and ones which are significantly less than appealing, but with so many movies on the market 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 definition of they used was “glorified showreel” for an indie filmmaker to produce they are able to create a feature film. So, they acquire many of the 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 set up money to produce a movie they want a get back on their investment. Otherwise it’s no further a movie investment. It becomes a movie donation of money they’re giving away without 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 conversing with indie movie distributors before writing a screenplay to see what types of films can sell and what actors or celebrity names mounted on a potential project appeal to them. This isn’t like chasing trends, but it gives producers a sharper picture of the sales climate for indie films. Sometimes distributors gives me a brief listing of actors or celebrities to consider that suit an unbiased movie budget. Movie sales outside of the U.S. are the place where a almost all the cash is perfect 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 sort of name is a good selling point to help your movie standout from others. Brief cameos of known actors or celebrities was once an effective way to 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 really have a meaningful part in the movie in place 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 certain way. But having name talent say a few lines without special hook won’t fly anymore.
Another way to make an indie film needing funding more attractive to investors is to install talent that has been doing 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. If you cast them in a supporting role keep working days on the set down seriously to the absolute minimum to save lots of your budget. Make an effort to write their scenes to allow them to be shot in 1 or 2 days.
When you’re pitching to serious film investors they would want to get a detailed movie budget and distribution plan how you intend on making money from the film’s release. The Catch-22 that happens a whole 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’s not built-in distribution just as in studio budget films. Film investors that are not traditionally area 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 will need a good 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 too long for an indie movie to generate money going the self-distribution route. It’s such as the old school means of selling your movie out from the trunk of your car or truck at places, however now it’s done online using digital distribution and direct sales with a blog. That’s a lengthy grind that many investors will not be thinking about ready for. Moving one unit of a movie 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 strong budget number and possible cast attached you are able to gauge to see if you have any meaningful distribution interest in the movie. It’s always possible a vendor will tell you that they would offer an advance or “buy-out” deal. They usually 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 know one savvy indie movie producer that produces 4-6 movies per year on affordable 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. After you have a history with a distribution company do you know what 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 produces sense.
Social networking with other indie filmmakers lets you hear what’s happening with movie distribution from other people’s real life experiences. A very good thing I’ve been hearing about is that there are film investors that won’t set up money to make movie that will probably be self-distributed, but they’ll roll the dice on a function that will probably 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 will need to cope with and learn from 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 producer is you will find hard costs that cannot 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 do want to hire has the right appeal and name recognition because of this indie action movie to rock viewers. There’s nothing that may 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 which 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 really is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing fade out.