indie filmmakers

Indie filmmakers today face the same challenges the first of their kind had to overcome in the early 1900’s. Lets take a look at some of them and how to overcome them.

Film Finance

Here’s a fact: as an indie filmmaker you need money to make a movie. Perhaps the biggest and number one challenge in making a film is finding the budget that will support the project. While the ideal solution here may not be something completely crazy – like hiring a seasoned producer to raise the money, or finding a Saudi oil billionaire wtih disposable income who is willing to fund your project – it is not easy either. Here are perhaps one of the best ways to approach your budget problem:

  • Start with a great, solid script.
  • Using the script, plot out your schedule and budget.
  • Make your business plan and outline how you will make and market the movie.
  • Approach prospective investors, discuss your plan and ask for financial backing.

Remember that patience is a virtue, and that holds especially true in this industry. It can take you months to get your movie fully financed.

Remember that your investors want to hear how they will benefit from your movie – what’s in it for them. Bear in mind that this ‘benefit’ may change depending on the investor; they may all be looking for a different payoff – some may be looking for financial return, while others may want to be involved in the film making and get an in in the industry.

Listen to what your investors are saying and figure out what they want. Investors will also be interested in knowing how you plan to market, sell and distribute your movie

Distribution

Gone are the days when you have to spend a good amount of cash on a DVD to be able to watch an indie movie. Not anymore. Today, cheaply- produced movies depend on VOD (video on demand) distribution. YouTube has played a big role in changing the way we watch movies and the television. Here’s how you can work on the distribution of your film:

  • Make your marketing plan and launch strategy, which should already be part of your business plan.
  • Get your movie on the more popular VOD platforms such as iTunes, Amazon, etc.
  • Create an advertising strategy that can pay for itself and provide a profit.

It is important that your strategies must make sense for your movie. You need to sell enough to make profit, otherwise you will be losing money. Remember that, more than and projected VOD sales, you need to show investors how you will leverage your VOD sales to sell more movies. Be open to more traditional strategies, like direct mail, which will show investors that you are thinking with a business mind.

Remember what veteran indie filmmakers are saying,

You are your own studio. You can make, market and distribute your own movie, but you have to get to work to make it happen.