Indie film financing and movie distribution reminds of what it’d feel just like dancing nude on stage (much respect for exotic dancers at Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club!). You show up to pitch your movie project and need to manage to dance to a video investor’s music. It’s their stage and not yours being an indie filmmaker seeking film funding. They want you to make a sellable movie which appeals to 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 require subtitles for individuals 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 alter 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 right now 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 millions of dollars. Those type of indie film passion projects you can 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 with an A-list actor, but they do want producers to have 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 really 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 cheaper to make movies.
The bright side is that entertaining indie movies are increasingly being made that might not otherwise ever have observed 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 told me they receive new film submissions daily.
These were honest saying they get very sellable movies and ones which can be 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 word they used was “glorified showreel” for an indie filmmaker to produce they can make a feature film. So, they acquire many of their movie releases without paying an advance or offering a “buy-out” agreement.
Not making a benefit 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 desire a reunite on their investment. Otherwise it’s no further a movie 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 speaking 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 potential 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 listing of actors or celebrities to take into account that suit an independent movie budget. Movie sales outside the U.S. are in which a bulk of 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 feature 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’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 momemts in a cameo role. Cameo scenes can still work if there is a visible hook that grabs the eye of viewers in a few way. But having name talent say several lines with no special hook won’t fly anymore.
Another way to make an indie film in need of funding more appealing to investors is to add talent that has been doing a movie or TV show of note. ดูหนัง HD Their name being an actor mightn’t be that well-known yet, but rising stars which have appeared in a favorite movie or TV show will 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 very least to truly save your budget. Try 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 be given a detailed movie budget and distribution plan on how you want on making money from the film’s release. The Catch-22 that occurs a whole lot is that most 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 like with studio budget films. Film investors which are not traditionally part of the entertainment business can get turned off each time 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 in which 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 will take entirely too much time for an indie movie to generate money going the self-distribution route. It’s just like the old school way 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 with a blog. That’s a long grind that most investors will not be interested in ready for. Moving one unit of a movie at the same time is too slow of trickle for investors.
A possible way across the Catch-22 is always 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 supplier will tell you that they would offer an advance or “buy-out” deal. They usually won’t give you a hard number, but a good ballpark figure of what they could offer can inform you if your financial allowance makes financial sense to approach movie investors with.
I understand one savvy indie movie producer that produces 4-6 movies per year on very affordable budgets and knows they’re already making a benefit 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. After you have a background with a distribution company guess what happens 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 actual life experiences. An awesome thing I’ve been hearing about is that there are film investors that won’t set up money to make movie that will be self-distributed, but they will roll the dice on a function that will specific film festivals. Not the art house film festivals. The ones 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 learn 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 will 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 wish to hire has the perfect appeal and name recognition with this indie action movie to rock viewers. There’s nothing that could get lost in the translation in this film for foreign film buyers and movie viewers.
What I do believe 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 planning to want to do rewrites to the screenplay to take out action scenes. They are selling points that 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 observe this goes. This really is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing fade out.