• Behind The Set

Getting Funding For Your Film Project

Updated: Jul 12, 2019

By: C. Christian Andersen

Most people think that just because they have a Screenplay that they are going to make millions of dollars. The fact is that less than one percent of all Film's actually receive funding from Investors. So how do you make your project stand out from the thousands that are submitted every day?

It actually takes a lot of time and work to get your project seen. Every Investment Company has Gatekeepers that review submissions before anyone else sees it.

Your Film is a business. You need to treat it as one. That means having a strong business plan in place showing that you have done your homework.

There are hundreds of business plan templates out there, but the majority won't fit a film project. You will need to adjust it to fit your needs. For the most part Templates will get you nowhere fast. So you're better off creating one from scratch.

What should your business plan contain?

  • Title- Your Title should grab their attention and be something that hasn't been used by several other Film's or Show's.

  • Tagline- One to two sentences at most that grab the reader's attention and gives them an idea of the storyline.

  • Synopsis- This gives them an idea of what the story is about, in two to three paragraphs.

Attachments- Who has signed a Letter of Interest. Without an LOI they are not attached to your project and can not be listed.

  • Union or Non Union- If your project is Non Union you can not hire Union Cast and Crew. You can also not use Ficor Talent for a Union project.

  • Budget- It's always best to hire an experienced Line Producer to handle your budget. They know what everything is supposed to cost and how to handle Union Wages.

  • Target Funding Date- It's usually suggested that you allow a few months to reach your TFD. This is not your Production Date. If you are going Union then it should be set approximately six months before your Projected Production Date. You can not file your Union Paperwork without having the money in an Escrow Account, and it usually takes three to four months for Union Paperwork to be approved.

  • Tax Credit Certificate- If your project qualifies for Tax Incentives then Investors need to know.

  • Repayment Schedule- They are not going to invest their money in your project without knowing when you plan on paying it back.

  • Properly Formatted Screenplay- Most Investors want to see that you take your craft seriously. They also no longer want to receive them in PDF format. The Industry Standard is an FDX file. Distribution Plan- It's good to have a Distributor in place, but if you are looking at Self Distribution then you're going to need a plan.

As you can see there is a lot of work and time that goes into putting together a package that Investors will take the time to read, but it needs to get past the desk of the Gatekeeper. The best way to do that is to have everything in place and ready for the Production Process.