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 movie investor’s music. It’s their stage and not yours being an indie filmmaker seeking film funding. They desire you to create a sellable movie which appeals to movie distributors so the production will make money.
Most investors I’ve met with are not thinking about putting hard money into indie art house films because those are tough sells to movie distributors and overseas film buyers aren’t usually thinking 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 follow along with 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 area it’s hitting indie movie producers hardest is right at the source – film financing. Film investors today aren’t feeling stoked up about putting money into movies that do not have bankable name actors. This is simply not like so-called indie movies which have A-list actors or are produced for countless dollars. Those kind 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 with an 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. That is where most indie movie producers are blown from 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 cheaper to create movies.
The bright side is that entertaining indie movies are being made which may 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 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 out there 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 their movie releases without paying an advance or supplying a “buy-out” agreement.
Not making a make money from a movie 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 need a reunite on the investment. Otherwise it’s no further a movie investment. It becomes a movie donation of money they’re giving out without 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 available and what actors or celebrity names mounted on a possible project attract them. This is simply not like chasing trends, but it provides producers a sharper picture of the sales climate for indie films. Sometimes distributors will give me a quick set of actors or celebrities to take into account that suit an independent movie budget. Movie sales not in the U.S. are the place where a bulk of the money 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 type of name is a superb feature to simply help your movie standout from others. Brief cameos of known actors or celebrities was previously a great way to help keep talent cost down and add 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 really have a meaningful part in the movie instead of a few minutes in a cameo role. Cameo scenes can still work if there is a visual hook that grabs the attention of viewers in a few way. But having name talent say a few lines without special hook won’t fly anymore.
Another way to create an indie film needing funding more appealing to investors is to install talent that has been in a movie or TV show of note. ดูหนัง 8k Their name being an actor might not be that well-known yet, but rising stars which have appeared in a popular movie or TV show can 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. Try to write their scenes so they can be shot in a couple of days.
When you’re pitching to serious film investors they would want to get a detailed movie budget and distribution plan how you plan on earning money from the film’s release. The Catch-22 that happens a great deal is that many movie distributors that focus on releasing indie films won’t commit to any deal until they’ve screened the movie.
There is not built-in distribution as with studio budget films. Film investors that are not traditionally part of the entertainment business can get turned off when a producer does not have a distribution deal already in place. They don’t understand the Catch-22 of indie filmmaking and distribution. That is the place where a movie producer really will need 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 movie investor’s business perspective it requires entirely too much time for an indie movie to generate money going the self-distribution route. It’s like the old school means of selling your movie from the trunk of your car at places, however now it’s done online using digital distribution and direct sales via a blog. That’s an extended grind that many investors will not be interested in waiting around for. Moving one unit of a movie at any given time is too slow of trickle for investors.
A possible way across the Catch-22 is always to touch base to movie distributors while you are pitching to film investors. With a company 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 vendor will show you that they’d offer an advance or “buy-out” deal. They usually won’t offer you a hard number, but even a ballpark figure of what they could offer can let you know if your financial allowance makes financial sense to approach movie investors with.
I know one savvy indie movie producer that makes 4-6 movies a year on affordable budgets and knows they’re already making a make money from the advance money alone. The film royalty payments really are a bonus. The producer keeps budgets extremely affordable and streamlined at every phase of production. Once you’ve a track record with a distribution company do you know what you can expect you’ll be paid. Then you can certainly offer film investors a percent on the money invested to the production that makes sense.
Social networking with other indie filmmakers enables you to hear what’s happening with movie distribution from other people’s real life experiences. An awesome thing I’ve been hearing about is there are film investors that won’t set up money to create movie that will be self-distributed, but they’ll roll the dice on a characteristic that will 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 will need to deal with and study on each experience. I was in the hot seat today pitching to a movie investor. I’ve streamlined the budget as much as I can without making the plot lose steam.
The jam I’m in as a maker is you will find hard costs that cannot be avoided offering 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 wish to hire has an ideal appeal and name recognition for 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 think 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 likely 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 being an indie filmmaker to balance a budget that appeals to film investors. We’ll see how this goes. That is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing fade out.