Thousands of screenwriters across the country, and around the world are taught by articles and film schools that they just need to find someone with enough money to spend, pitch them, and then they’ll be wowed by their passion and enthusiasm that they will invest.
This is not the case.
When speaking with sophisticated investors, they already know that investments in film have a higher risk of failure than any other investment sector. The reasons for failure can vary, everything from wrong cast attachments, bad execution, ineffective distribution strategy, or just poor planning.
We at Greater and Grander care about independent filmmakers and artists, so we are here to outline what every filmmaker should ideally have to pitch to an investor.
A Complete Budget & Schedule
Every independent film should be seen as its own unique business, with its own set of production requirements. Like every business, it is important to have a comprehensive budget and schedule for your independent film.
Think about it this way: when an investor is interested in a project, he or she is going to ask you several questions, and will gauge the legitimacy of the project based on your answers.
What will the investor think when they ask, “How much will the project cost?” and you say, “How much ya got?” or, “I don’t know, can I get back to you?” or, “Between $4 and $10 million, depending on several factors.”?
How will the investor react when they ask, “How long will the project take to make?” and you say, “About a month.” or “Well, maybe a month or two for pre-production, and another few weeks for production, and then some time in post to get it ready for festivals.”
Investors want to know there is a concrete plan in place, so that while independent film is risky, there is a plan for them to get a Return On Investment (ROI). Now, they may disagree with you on the plan, but that still means you are engaging them, and getting them interested in the plan, and in the independent film project.
Business Plan Template
Many boilerplate business plans make the same mistake. For example, many filmmakers draft up a budget by plugging in numbers (some of which are random) into an Excel spreadsheet, rather than industry standard software. This kind of misrepresentation over a project’s proposed budget and schedule can leave the project in a terrible position if these numbers turn out to be wrong.
When a budget is revealed to be incorrect or incomplete, it can leave the entire project in peril, because there aren’t enough funds to complete it. Thus, the project dies, because the investor will not invest more funds, and can potentially block other investors from stepping in.
Also, an incorrect or boilerplate budget can leave the filmmaker open to a major lawsuit, because they did not do their due diligence into what was needed to successfully complete the project. This can even be labeled as fraud.
“All I Need Is A Top Sheet”
Many filmmakers, in order to save on money, simply ask their friends for a budget top sheet. However, this method leaves the project open to failure. If the top sheet does not accurately reflect the resources necessary to complete the project, then the project could run out of funds, be shut down, and leave the filmmakers open to a major lawsuit.
In order to properly represent your project’s needs to a sophisticated investor, you need a proper budget and schedule, tailored to fit your screenplay.
A proper budget is created in industry standard software, and comes from a schedule. A proper schedule is created in the proper software, and comes from a breakdown of your screenplay.
To ask for ‘just a top sheet’ without the schedule, breakdown, or even the line item expenses is like asking for a house, but only supplying the roof.
Presenting accurate elements in your business plan will signal to sophisticated investors that you are well-planned, well-organized, and prepared to execute your creative vision, which will ideally return a profit on their investment.
But if you’re still doubting, don’t take our word for it. Listen to these investors and producers.
Opportunity for Filmmakers
Greater and Grander Media Services, as part of their Breakdown Masters services, is offering a limited time, low-rate for screenplay budget & schedule creation. Our breakdown specialist has over ten years experience producing films and television, and has worked for companies including Paramount Pictures, Lifetime Television, and the Jim Henson Company.
That means you can get a personalized budget and schedule for your screenplay, which is comprehensive, accurate, and precise to your screenplay.
We will work with you to find the most efficient, economic, and cost-effective scenario for your independent film, so you can present your project to investors with the confidence and knowledge that if they say yes, you are ready to go.
So, contact us now, and we can deliver a complete budget and schedule breakdown in two weeks, for the low-price of $600.
You’ll have your materials ready for the new fiscal year, and we will even prep you. That’s right, we will brief you, either in person, or over the phone, so you are prepared to pitch your project to film investors.
So click here to Request A Bid. We are also knowledgeable in local, and international tax incentives.
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