Many Filmmakers, like everyone else effected by COVID-19 are itching for some level of a return to normalcy. Unfortunately, like many others think that there may never be a full return to normal. It may well end up as a pre-COVID and a Post COVID period. Similar to how the world changed before and after the great depression, 9/11, The internet, or World War II. Societal traumas tend to leave lasting scars, and that tends to effect the market as a whole and certain industries in meaningful ways. So let’s look at what one executive producer thinks is likely to happen in the film industry as a result.
Last week I laid out a glossary of general use film financing terms, but the blog ended up a bit too long and dense to be a single post. So, I broke it into two. Last week was the basics, this week is more of the next level, and focuses entirely on investment terms. Some of these may seem tangential and unnecessary, however if your goal is to close an investor, you’ll need to thoroughly speak their language. If there’s something you don’t see here, check out last week’s blog here.
A colleague of mine asked me if I had a glossary on film financing terms in the same way I wrote one for film distribution (which you can check out here.) Since I didn’t have one, I thought I’d write one. After I wrote it, it was too long for a single post, so now it’s two. This one is on general terms, next week we’ll talk about film investment terms.
There are 3 different documents you would need to approach an investor about your independent film. I’ve written guides on this blog to show you how to write each and every one of them. Those three documents are a Look Book (Guide linked here.) a Deck (Guide Linked Here) and a business plan. (Part 1/7 here) But while I’ve Written about HOW to create all of these documents, I’ve held back WHY you write them, WHO needs them, and WHEN to use them. So this blog will tell you WHO needs WHAT document WHEN and HOW they’re going to use it.
Pitching to independent investors is a much different formula than we’re generally taught in Film Schools. The formula we’re taught in Film School is generally built around a studio pitch. A studio does a lot more than give money to a project. They have huge marketing, PR, legal, and distribution teams that they use to monetize any films they finance. As such it’s not the filmmakers job to pitch their projects on anything except story when working within that system.
In the final part of my 7 part series on writing a business plan for independent film and media, I’ll be going over all of the financial statements you’ll need in your business plan. This is a section that you’ll want to write before you write the financial text section of your plan, as it will have great impact on that section, and potentially other sections of the plan. Each document should take up only a single page.
In part 6 of my 7 part series on independent film business planning, we’re going to go over the text portion of the financial section of the business plan. This is where you explain the methodology you used in your financial projections, the general plan for taking in the money, and then overview what you’re going to present in the final section, the pro-forma financial statements.
In this installment of my 7 part blog series on business planning, we’re going to take a look at the marketing section of the plan. This section is likely to be the longest section, as it encompasses an overview of the industry, as well as both marketing and distribution planning. Generally, this section will encompass 3-5 pages of the plan, all single spaced. This is among the most important sections of the plan, as it is a real breakdown of how money will come back to the film
Next up in my 7 part series on writing a business plan for independent film, we’ll be taking a deeper look at the project(s) section of the plan. The projects section of the plan is the most creative section, as it talks about the creative work that you’re seeking to finance. That being said, it breaks those creative elements into their basic business points. This section should be no more than a page if you have one project, and no more than 2 pages if you’re looking at a slate.
One of my more popular services for filmmakers is Independent Film Business Plan Writing. So I decided to do a series outlining the basics of writing an independent film business plan to talk about what I do, and give you an idea of how you can get started with it yourself. The first Section of the independent film business plan is always the executive Summary, and it’s the most important that you get right. So how do you get it write? Read this blog for the basics.
Most of the time filmmakers seek to raise their investment round in one go. A lot of people think that’s just how it’s done, so they ask would they try anything else?
But just as filmmakers shouldn’t only look for equity when raising money, Filmmakers should consider the possibility of raising money in stages. Here are the 4 best stages I’ve seen, and some ideas on where you can get the money for each stage.
I’m not a lawyer, but I get a fair amount of questions about the legal structure of a Production company and a film. So I thought I would write a blog about how I’ve learned to structure each individual entity, as well as the benefits and drawbacks of each choice.
Generally, you’ll want to have one legal entity that exists as your production company, and one legal entity for each project you produce. Generally, your production company will be a general partner in each project, and when each project has run it’s course, the entity will be dissolved. If you’re producing episodic content, you can probably get by with one entity per season.
As a key part of writing a business plan for independent film, a filmmaker must figure out how much the film is likely to make back. This involves developing or obtaining revenue projections.
There are generally two ways to do this, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. The first way is to do a comparative analysis. This means taking similar films from the last 5 years and plugging them into a comparative model to generate revenue estimates. The second way is to get a letter of intent from a sales agent, and get them to estimate what they could sell this for in various territories across the globe.
This blog will compare and contrast these two methods (Both of which I do regularly for clients) in an effort to help you better understand which way you want to go when writing the business plan for your independent film.
My name is Ben, I'm an Entrepreneur, Producer's Rep, and Author. I'm the founder of Guerrilla Rep Media, Co-Founder/CMO of ProductionNext, and founder of Producer Foundry. Together, the organizations seek to help make filmmaking a more economically sustainable endeavor. I am dysic, I have capitalization issues, and the blogs are often unedited. opinions all my own.
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