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How to Get Your Film Financed

Moviemaking can be a risky financial venture. Know what you’re doing when you sell yourself.


  • Step 1: Build a track record Build a track record by working in the industry; then make your own low budget short film. First attempts sometimes get noticed by people with money.
  • Step 2: Borrow money from friends Borrow money from everyone, offering them speaking parts, food, autographs, or a chance to make you happy. Have a good film story with which to hook them.
  • Step 3: Network for contacts Network by attending film festivals, especially smaller ones where you can stand out, and be active in online forums.
  • Step 4: Hire smart Develop an accurate budget and anticipate questions. Get written bids to impress professional investors.
  • TIP: In your budget projections, show you are covering every avenue for profit.
  • Step 5: Get a completion bond Secure a completion bond or insurance policy that assures an investor the film will be finished if problems arise.
  • Step 6: Make a sound business plan Prepare a sound business plan for all investors, as you would for a bank loan. Include the film script and shooting schedule, and have your accountant or business manager approve the final draft.
  • TIP: Attract grassroots contributions by posting shorts online that demonstrate your talents. Track hits and commentary to convince investors you have gained an audience.
  • Step 7: Find Hollywood film producers Find companies on the web or in publications like the "Hollywood Producers" or "Representation" directories that buy out or co-produce well-developed projects.
  • FACT: Over 60 percent of all films are money losers, and at least another 25 percent do little better than break even.

You Will Need

  • Film script
  • Short film
  • Networking skills
  • Budget
  • Completion bond or insurance policy
  • Business plan

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