“This phase begins with an idea, and ends with a check. The point of this phase is to convince the investors the movie can be produced financially and conceptually, and to ultimately receive the green light to Pre-Production.”
This post will explain to the independent producer or writer how to navigate the development process and receive the funding necessary to get your film made.
There are two types of people that enter this phase: the Producer with an idea (who needs a writer), or a writer with a script (who needs a producer); both of whom need to find an investor to on-board the rest of the team and start the rest of the production process.
I’s are important
Interest the investor with an idea. Think of the idea as the eye of the film. Eyes need to have clarity, want to see something aesthetically pleasing, and set the direction for the rest of the body.
Your film idea should have these properties. It is important to have clarity in your idea, make sure it is simple and to the point. Analogies are a great way to pitch to investors. For example, a current movie undergoing the development phase at Princebury Productions & Media is Latin Legends: Round 2. In our pitch deck, we ask our investors to picture our movie as a documentary version of “Remember the Titans” for Latin American boxing. This helps your investor associate it to another successful project and visualize the film in their minds. Clarity.
Aesthetically pleasing. While creating your pitch deck, graphic representations keep your investors attention while showing them visual proof of your past capabilities. It also acts as a leeway into showing them your artistic abilities as a filmmaker. But always make sure your visuals tell your story in a more efficient way than text does. Be creative!
Where the eyes go, the heart goes. Make sure your film has direction. To an investor, your film is another investment opportunity alongside many other start-ups, and you will have to convince them why your project is a better investment. Chance Barnett at Forbes describes in detail how to create a pitch deck for a start-up. After going through 11 basic slides of successful pitch decks, Barnett ends the article with the emphasis that your last slide should be for your ask, or return on investment for your financiers.
“Be sure you know your numbers, your financing, have a timeline for your round, and be clear and direct on your asks” (Barnett, 2014).
Make sure to highlight the strengths of your project. If you have additional documents, such as the script or treatment, make sure to have them ready for investors if they would like more information. Make sure you also bring whatever financial documents you need to make an investment (and have them looked over by a lawyer). Remember your presentation skills and be confident of why you need your funding. If you believe in your idea, others will too.
Next week, we will cover our second phase, pre-production!