In terms of the practical aspects of filmmaking, starting from camera selection to mastering editing systems, independent film producers seem ready to rise to every challenge. But tell one of those folks they have to come up with a business plan and find investors to back up their film and you’ll find most searching for a stage door to exit. Why? As if indie producers liked asking permission to do something or taking orders from others . . . they would work for studios. Nevertheless, writing your own business plan is actually a skill that vimeo just because a good plan and friendly investors translates into more cash and the ability to make better films.
It is essential to know about your own business plan is it, alone, won’t allow you to get the funding you will need. Your business plan could be the solid, practical, nuts and bolts overview that can back up your in person and phone presentations.
How do you write a business plan?
One good way to start your business plan is to calculate your production budget. To get this done you need to break down your script and find out the number of shooting days and locations your film will require. This will explain how many crew members you will require, and allow you to get a better feeling for props and special effects. Costing these components out, then adding editing and post production, taxes, legal fees, financing fees and insurance costs should offer you a good estimate of the production budget.
If you don’t learn how to do all this, you need to spend one thousand dollars or so to hire a line producer. CRAIGLIST in L . A . might be a great place to begin. Line producers are wonderful at deteriorating scripts and producing budgets. In reality, you might like to have multiple line producers create schedules and budgets to your film. Comparing their estimates will provide you with a great idea of methods accurate your budgets are and may give you good insight into how you can reduce costs or improve quality. Line producers also understand how to maximize rebates and tax credits.
If all of this may seem like an unnecessary expense, remember that a great line producer with lots of credits is really a key requirement of your film to get financing. Whenever you create a feature you typically need to have a completion bond, as well as obtain one you’ll need a good line producer. Completion bond companies realize that a good line producer will ensure the film is finished. Line producers can also connect one to good directors, cinematographers, editors along with other crew.
When you have a financial budget and schedule, you are prepared to publish an introduction to the development team. As producer, your bio should come first. Unless you have a lot of film credits to your name, showcase your other successes. Knowledge of management, marketing and sales are very attractive in new film producers. You must also provide information on the director, line producer, as well as other key members of the production team.
After you complete the production overview, start work on the talent part of your company plan. Start with listing the actors you would like to work together with, then contacting their agents to discover what their weekly rates are. Should you be uncomfortable carrying this out, make contact with an entertainment lawyer who works jointly with film producers and have them have the calls. The few hundred dollars you would spend will be well invested. Note, you do not have to obtain letters of intent for these particular people so that you can mention them within your business plan. Just indicate that these are the actors you intend to approach. For best results list multiple actors for each of the key roles. Provide pictures of actors in your business strategy because many investors can’t recognize actors by their name.
Ensure that your actors have credits that film and TV distributors will see attractive. IMDBPRO and BOXOFFICEMOJO will help you find out what films actors and actresses have appeared in and how much those films earned in theaters. There are lots of websites which could give a DVD sales chart showing weekly, monthly and annual sales figures. Just look for “DVD Sales Numbers” on the search engines. Not every films are offered on the basis of “name actor” involvement, but it really does make getting investors and distribution easier.
By the time you have done all the research required to select actors, you should find it easy to start writing financial forecasts that specify exactly how much films similar to yours manufactured in the theater and in DVD sales both in the US and domestically. This can take into account much of your film’s value. Be aware that US Domestic theatrical sales are usually not really a significant source of revenue for the producer if you work with traditional distributors. Actually they set you back money. However a limited theatrical release does increase the value of your film because it increases the total amount you get from licensing and DVD sales. Why? Since the domestic theatrical release and related marketing effectively presells the film to some broad audience.
Within your sales forecasts ensure that you add reasonable estimates for Pay Per View, cable tv and broadband licensing and take into account any product placement fees you could receive. You must also provide estimates of money rebates or tax credits you may receive from states like New Mexico and Michigan which may take into account 15% to 40% of your production budget. Done correctly, with adequate research, you must be able to prove your product will break even in a worst scenario and create a good profit in average conditions.
Next, provide an introduction to just how much financing you will need and how investors will likely be repaid. You should note that most investors expect that any revenues received by the production company will repay their investment and they will get 50% for any additional revenues the film earns. But there are really no cast in stone rules within this matter. The offer is different from project to project.
Once you have these components written, give a synopsis, storyboards as well as any additional information that explains the important aspects of the project.
The last piece of the organization plan you are going to write is the executive summary. It reviews the weather inside your business strategy with special attention provided to its most favorable aspects.
When your strategic business plan is finished, you might be well prepared to pitch your project. You must be able to comfortably convey to almost any one why it is going to earn money. And that is the real value of a business plan. You nkavxd it to back up your pitches. Its value is within convincing an economic partner that you will have performed your research on a project he wants to invest in.
Prior to starting contacting potential investors or distribute your business plan, you need to have a chat with your attorney about how you want to handle investment. If you are intending to market shares within your production company, you need to pay to possess your attorney develop a Product Placement Memorandum. This is simply not the only way to accept money to your film. Yet it is a standard way.
In case your financial partner is definitely an “active investor” who plays the role of executive producer, or if the funding you obtain is actually a loan with a guaranteed rate of return as opposed to an investment, you might only need your own business plan to support your pitches.
If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. But most filmmakers are very comfortable with hard work if they understand its value. As a producer, you want a solid business plan just as much as your investor does. People produce feature films and documentaries 365 days annually worldwide. They make money. You can as well.