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 have the ability to dance to a video 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 interests movie distributors therefore the production could make money.
Most investors I’ve met with are not 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 need subtitles for people to follow along with the story is what I’ve been told by distributors. Talking head movies could 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 stoked up about putting money into movies that do not need bankable name actors. This isn’t like so-called indie movies that have A-list actors or are produced for an incredible number of dollars. Those kind of indie film passion projects you may 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 of the water because they’ve an as yet not known cast of actors. Plus there is a glut of indie movies being made because technology has made it less expensive to make movies.
The bright side is that entertaining indie movies are being made that might 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 one movie distributor that provides 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 can be significantly less than appealing, but with so many movies available 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 definition of they used was “glorified showreel” for an indie filmmaker to produce they can make a feature film. So, they acquire many of these movie releases without paying an advance or offering a “buy-out” agreement.
Not creating a profit from a video doesn’t make financial sense for film investors that expect you’ll see money made. When people put up money to make a movie they need a get back on the investment. Otherwise it’s no longer a video investment. It becomes a video donation of money they’re giving away 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 conversing with indie movie distributors before writing a screenplay to see what forms of films can sell and what actors or celebrity names attached with a possible project appeal to them. This isn’t like chasing trends, but it offers producers a sharper picture of the sales climate for indie films. Sometimes distributors gives me a short set of actors or celebrities to think about that fit an independent movie budget. Movie sales outside of the U.S. are in which a bulk of the amount of money 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 type of name is a great feature to help your movie standout from others. Brief cameos of known actors or celebrities was once a good way to 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 truly have a meaningful part in the movie rather than a couple of minutes in a cameo role. Cameo scenes can still work if there is a visible 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 needing funding more attractive to investors is to add talent that has been around a video or TV show of note. ดูหนัง HD Their name as an actor mightn’t be that well-known yet, but rising stars that have appeared in a well known movie or TV show can provide 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 for them to be shot in 1 or 2 days.
When you’re pitching to serious film investors they will want to get reveal movie budget and distribution plan how you want on earning profits from the film’s release. The Catch-22 that takes place a 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’s not built-in distribution just as in studio budget films. Film investors that are not traditionally part of the entertainment business can get put off when 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 needs to have a good 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 much time 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 of the trunk of your car at places, but now it’s done online using digital distribution and direct sales using a blog. That’s an extended grind that many investors won’t be interested in holding out for. Moving one unit of a video at any given time is too slow of trickle for investors.
A possible way around the Catch-22 would be to touch base to movie distributors when you are pitching to film investors. With a strong budget number and possible cast attached you can gauge to see if there is any meaningful distribution interest in the movie. It’s always possible a provider will tell you that they would 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 tell you if your budget makes financial sense to approach movie investors with.
I know 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. Once you have a background with a distribution company you know what you can expect you’ll be paid. Then you can certainly offer film investors a percent on the money invested in to the production which makes sense.
Social networking with other indie filmmakers allows you to 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 make movie that is going to be self-distributed, but they’ll roll the dice on a function that is going to specific film festivals. Not the art house film festivals. Those that 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 aspects of the entertainment business all filmmakers must cope with and study from each experience. I was in the hot seat today pitching to a video 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 cannot be avoided offering 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 perfect appeal and name recognition for this indie action movie to rock viewers. There’s 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. 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 interests film investors. We’ll observe how this goes. This really is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing fade out.