One of the most difficult tasks in producing a film is raising money to pay for the production. Here are some creative film funding ideas.
Ty from Michigan asks:
“Besides loans and credit cards what are some alternative and creative ways you raised money for your film projects?”
Hi Ty, we’ve done just about every wacky you can think of. The only thing we haven’t done is sell our blood, which many filmmakers do. We did find a couple of ways that helped us raise money.
Throw a Party!
Have a large cast and crew party, nothing formal. We had ours at a local bar. We went around to about a dozen local businesses to donate food and raffle items.
We used the raffle as another source of revenue. We sold tickets for the raffle at the door. With the food sponsors we hung their banners and swag around the room.
The band donated their time because we bartered them playing, for one of their songs in our film. The bar gave us half-price drinks. We split the door charge with them. We advertised about a month ahead of time. The half-price drink special really did work.
It brought in a good size crowd. We raised around four thousand dollars with that little party. Everybody had a blast. The crowd mingled with the actors and actresses. It was a special night and something we have done on more than one occasion.
The second most successful thing we did was “Product Placement.” With product placement you hardly ever get cash. However, you get goods that will eliminate some of the production expenses. That is the same as cash.
Since we had a distribution deal in place from our previous film we knew the marketing numbers and reach that our film could deliver. It’s not easy at all to talk people into bartering blindly, so make sure you have a slick package made up that show you are professional and not just a hobbyist filmmaker.
Don’t promise them your film will be on Netflix or Cable TV. Tell them the truth and estimate how many people will see your film and where you plan to show it. Sponsors get burned by filmmakers all the time and they usually never get what they were promised. In a small town that means sponsors will never trust anyone calling themselves a filmmaker again. That’s a huge Indie film killer. We have many of these clowns that ripped off sponsors in our area and it screws over the next set of filmmakers trying to do the right thing.
Bartering for Product Placement is great and we do it all the time now. Just be sure to deliver on your end of the bargain. Barter for things that will cut down on your production expenses like food and locations and wardrobe. Shaving expenses from your bottom line is really like getting funds. It’s a good thing to do if you can get the right people to help you along the way.
Thanks for the question, Brandi!
You NEED and WANT Answers for YOUR Production?
JUST ASK US! Each week we will answer questions from you our readers, friends and fellow production workers.
If you want to ask a question, the easiest way is to click the ? below and fill out the form.