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 around pitch your movie project and need to be able to dance to a picture 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 interests movie distributors so the production can 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 require subtitles for people 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 improve as indie movie distribution gets more financially shaky. The place it’s hitting indie movie producers hardest is right at the source – film financing. Film investors right now aren’t feeling excited about putting money into movies that not need bankable name actors. This isn’t like so-called indie movies which have A-list actors or are produced for an incredible number of dollars. Those kind 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 to have A-list actor, however they do want producers to possess 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. That is where most indie movie producers are blown from the water because they have an unknown cast of actors. Plus there’s a glut of indie movies being made because technology has managed to get cheaper to create movies.
The bright side is that entertaining indie movies are increasingly being made that may 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 1 movie distributor that suits releasing independent films and they told me they receive new film submissions daily.
They were honest saying they get very sellable movies and ones which are less than appealing, but with so many movies on the market they no more offer a lot 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 simply happy seeing their movie released. The word they used was “glorified showreel” for an indie filmmaker to display they can make a feature film. So, they acquire many of the movie releases without paying an advance or offering a “buy-out” agreement.
Not building a make money from a film doesn’t make financial sense for film investors that be prepared to see money made. When people put up money to make a movie they need a reunite on their investment. Otherwise it’s no more a film investment. It becomes a picture donation of money they’re offering 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 are selling 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 will give me a short set of actors or celebrities to think about that fit an independent movie budget. Movie sales not in the U.S. are in which a almost all the money is good 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 good feature to simply help your movie standout from others. Brief cameos of known actors or celebrities was previously an effective way to help 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 truly have a meaningful part in the movie in place of a few momemts in a cameo role. Cameo scenes can still work if there is a visual 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 create an indie film needing funding more appealing to investors is to install talent that has been doing a film or TV show of note. ดูหนัง HD Their name being an actor might not be that well-known yet, but rising stars which have appeared in a favorite movie or TV show will give your movie broader appeal. If you cast them in a supporting role keep working days on the set down to the very least to save lots of your budget. Attempt to write their scenes so they can be shot in one or two days.
When you’re pitching to serious film investors they will want to be provided with a detailed movie budget and distribution plan on what you want on making money from the film’s release. The Catch-22 that happens a lot is that many movie distributors that appeal to releasing indie films won’t commit to any deal until they’ve screened the movie.
There’s not built-in distribution as with studio budget films. Film investors which are not traditionally area of the entertainment business can get put off each time a producer does not need a distribution deal already in place. They don’t understand the Catch-22 of indie filmmaking and distribution. That is in which a movie producer really needs 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 film investor’s business perspective it takes entirely too long for an indie movie to generate money going the self-distribution route. It’s just like the old school method of selling your movie from the trunk of your vehicle at places, however now it’s done online using digital distribution and direct sales with a blog. That’s a lengthy grind that many investors won’t be interested in hanging around for. Moving one unit of a film at a 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 firm budget number and possible cast attached you are able to gauge to see if there is any meaningful distribution curiosity about 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 may offer can let you know if your budget makes financial sense to approach movie investors with.
I am aware one savvy indie movie producer that makes 4-6 movies annually on very affordable budgets and knows they’re already building a make money 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. After you have a background with a distribution company guess what happens you are able to be prepared to be paid. Then you can certainly offer film investors a percent on their money invested into 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 actual life experiences. An awesome thing I’ve been hearing about is that there are film investors that won’t put up money to create movie that will be self-distributed, but they’ll roll the dice on a function that will specific film festivals. Not the art house film festivals. Those who 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 cope with and learn from each experience. I was in the hot seat today pitching to a picture investor. I’ve streamlined the budget as much as I could without making the plot lose steam.
The jam I’m in as a producer is there are 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’s nothing that will 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 save lots of money I’m going 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 interests film investors. We’ll see how this goes. That is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing fade out.