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 manage to dance to a movie investor’s music. It’s their stage and not yours being an indie filmmaker seeking film funding. They want you to produce a sellable movie which attracts movie distributors so the production can make money.
Most investors I’ve met with are not 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 require subtitles for individuals to follow along with the story is what I’ve been told by distributors. Talking head movies can make no sense to viewers that don’t understand subtle lines spoken in a foreign language.
Independent film financing continues to alter as indie movie distribution gets more financially shaky. The spot it’s hitting indie movie producers hardest is right at the origin – film financing. Film investors today aren’t feeling excited about putting money into movies that not need bankable name actors. This isn’t like so-called indie movies that have A-list actors or are produced for countless dollars. Those kind of indie film passion projects you may 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 an A-list actor, nevertheless they do want producers to own actors (B-list or C-list or D-list) with some name recognition or celebrity. The very first question film investors and movie distributors ask is who the cast is. This is where most indie movie producers are blown out from the water because they have a not known cast of actors. Plus there is a glut of indie movies being made because technology has managed to get less expensive to produce 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 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 that are less than appealing, but with so many movies on the market they no further 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 simply happy seeing their movie released. The word they used was “glorified showreel” for an indie filmmaker to produce they can create a feature film. So, they acquire many of their movie releases without paying an advance or offering a “buy-out” agreement.
Not building 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 make a movie they need a reunite on their investment. Otherwise it’s no further a movie investment. It becomes a movie donation of money they’re offering 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 conversing with indie movie distributors before writing a screenplay to see what types of films are selling and what actors or celebrity names attached to a possible project interest them. This isn’t like chasing trends, but it offers producers a sharper picture of the sales climate for indie films. Sometimes distributors will give me a brief set of actors or celebrities to consider that fit an unbiased movie budget. Movie sales not in the U.S. are where a bulk of the money is made for indie filmmakers.
Movie distributors and film sales agents can let you know 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 feature to simply help your movie standout from others. Brief cameos of known actors or celebrities was once a great 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 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 an aesthetic hook that grabs the attention of viewers in some way. But having name talent say a couple of lines without special hook won’t fly anymore.
Another way to produce an indie film needing funding more appealing to investors is to attach talent that has been around a movie or TV show of note. Their name being an actor might not be that well-known yet, but rising stars that 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 right down 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 may wish to get an in depth movie budget and distribution plan how you intend on making money from the film’s release. The Catch-22 that occurs 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 is not built-in distribution just as in studio budget films. Film investors which are not traditionally area of the entertainment business could possibly get switched off whenever a producer does not need a distribution deal already in place. They don’t understand the Catch-22 of indie filmmaking and distribution. This is where 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 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 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 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 round the Catch-22 is to reach out to movie distributors when 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 fascination with the movie. It’s always possible a ดูหนังผ่านมือถือ provider can tell you that they’d offer an advance or “buy-out” deal. They usually won’t offer you a hard number, but a good ballpark figure of what they could offer can inform you if your budget makes financial sense to approach movie investors with.
I am aware one savvy indie movie producer that produces 4-6 movies annually on very reasonable budgets and knows they’re already building a profit from the advance money alone. The film royalty payments certainly are a bonus. The producer keeps budgets extremely affordable and streamlined at every phase of production. Once you’ve a history with a distribution company do you know what you can expect to be paid. Then you can 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. An awesome thing I’ve been hearing about is that there are film investors that won’t set up money to produce movie that is going to be self-distributed, but they will roll the dice on a feature that is going to 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 have to deal with and study 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 company is you can find hard costs that cannot be avoided including 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 the perfect appeal and name recognition because of 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.