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 have 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 make a sellable movie which appeals to movie distributors so the production may 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 want subtitles for individuals to check out the story is what I’ve been told by distributors. Talking head movies may 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 spot it’s hitting indie movie producers hardest is right at the foundation – film financing. Film investors today aren’t feeling stoked up 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 millions of dollars. Those kind of indie film passion projects you possibly 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 an A-list actor, nevertheless they do want producers to have 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. This really is where most indie movie producers are blown from the water because they’ve an unknown cast of actors. Plus there is 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 being made that may not otherwise ever have experienced 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 at least one movie distributor that suits releasing independent films and they explained they receive new film submissions daily.
These were honest saying they get very sellable movies and ones which are significantly less than appealing, but with so many movies on the market they no more 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 term they used was “glorified showreel” for an indie filmmaker to display they are able to produce a feature film. So, they acquire many of the movie releases without paying an advance or supplying a “buy-out” agreement.
Not making a profit from a film does not make financial sense for film investors that expect you’ll see money made. When people put up money to produce a movie they desire a reunite on their investment. Otherwise it’s no more a film 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 talking to indie movie distributors before writing a screenplay to see what kinds of films are available and what actors or celebrity names attached with a possible project attract them. This isn’t like chasing trends, but it gives producers a sharper picture of the sales climate for indie films. Sometimes distributors can give me a brief listing of actors or celebrities to think about that fit an independent movie budget. Movie sales not in the U.S. are where 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 simply help your movie standout from others. Brief cameos of known actors or celebrities was previously a great 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 as opposed to a few minutes in a cameo role. Cameo scenes can still work if there is a visible 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 around a film 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 well known movie or TV show may give your movie broader appeal. If you cast them in a supporting role keep working days on the set right down to the very least to save lots of your budget. Attempt to write their scenes for them to be shot in one or two days.
When you’re pitching to serious film investors they may wish to be given a detailed movie budget and distribution plan on what you plan 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 turned 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. This really is where a movie producer really needs a great pitch that explains the financial dynamics of indie film distribution.
Most film investors will pass on an indie movie producer’s financing pitch that mentions self-distribution in it. From a film investor’s business perspective it requires entirely too long 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 vehicle 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 waiting around for. Moving one unit of a film at the same time is too slow of trickle for investors.
A possible way around the Catch-22 is to touch base to movie distributors while 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 supplier will show you that they would offer an advance or “buy-out” deal. They often won’t give you a hard number, but a good ballpark figure of what they could offer can tell you if your financial allowance makes financial sense to approach movie investors with.
I am aware one savvy indie movie producer that produces 4-6 movies per year on affordable budgets and knows they’re already making a profit 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 do you know what you are able to expect you’ll be paid. Then you can offer film investors a percent on their money invested 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 put up money to create 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. 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 areas of the entertainment business all filmmakers must cope with and study from each experience. I was in the hot seat today pitching to a movie investor. I’ve streamlined the budget as much as I will without making the plot lose steam.
The jam I’m in as a producer is you will find hard costs that can’t be avoided that include 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 do want to hire has an ideal appeal and name recognition with this indie action movie to rock viewers. There is nothing that can 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 planning to need to do rewrites to the screenplay to obtain action scenes. They 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 observe how this goes. This really is indie filmmaker Sid Kali typing fade out.