When it comes to the practical aspects of filmmaking, which range from camera selection to mastering editing systems, independent film producers seem ready to rise to every challenge. But tell one of those folks they have to come up with a business plan and find investors to aid their film and you’ll find most trying to find a stage door to exit. Why? As if indie producers liked asking permission to do something or taking orders from others . . . they would be working for studios. Nevertheless, writing your own business plan is a skill that KJamMedia just because a good plan and friendly investors translates into more money and also the ability to make better films.
The most important thing to know about your own business plan is it, alone, won’t allow you to get the funding you need. Your small business plan will be the solid, practical, nuts and bolts overview which will backup your one on one and phone presentations.
How will you write a business plan?
One great way to start your small business plan is always to calculate your production budget. To do this you need to break down your script and figure out the amount of shooting days and locations your film will be needing. This will explain the number of crew members you may require, and let you get a better feeling for props and effects. Costing these elements out, then adding editing and post production, taxes, legal fees, financing fees and insurance fees should offer you a good estimate of the production budget.
In the event you don’t understand how to do all this, you ought to spend one thousand dollars or so to hire a line producer. CRAIGLIST in Los Angeles can be a great place to begin. Line producers are wonderful at deteriorating scripts and producing budgets. In fact, you might like to have multiple line producers create schedules and budgets for the film. Comparing their estimates will give you a great idea of methods accurate your budgets are and could give you good understanding of the best way to cut costs or improve quality. Line producers also know how to maximize rebates and tax credits.
If this seems like an unnecessary expense, understand that an excellent line producer with a lot of credits is actually a key requirement of your film to have financing. When you produce a feature you normally need a completion bond, and also to get one you’ll need a good line producer. Completion bond companies realize that an excellent line producer will guarantee the film is finished. Line producers may also connect you to good directors, cinematographers, editors and other crew.
Once you have a budget and schedule, you are prepared to publish an overview of the development team. As producer, your bio should come first. Unless you have a lot of film credits for your name, showcase your other successes. Expertise in management, marketing and sales are extremely attractive in new film producers. You must also provide information on the director, line producer, and other key individuals the production team.
Once you complete the production overview, start work on the talent portion of your company plan. Begin by listing the actors you would like to work with, then contacting their agents to discover what their weekly rates are. In case you are uncomfortable doing this, make contact with an entertainment lawyer who works jointly with film producers and also have them have the calls. The few hundred dollars you spend is going to be well invested. Note, there is no need to get letters of intent for such people in order to mention them within your business plan. Just indicate that these are the actors you plan to approach. For the best results list multiple actors for all the key roles. Provide pictures of actors within your strategic business plan because many investors can’t recognize actors by their name.
Make sure that your actors have credits that film and television distributors will find attractive. IMDBPRO and BOXOFFICEMOJO can help you find out what films actors and actresses have appeared in and just how much those films earned in theaters. There are lots of websites which could give a DVD sales chart showing weekly, monthly and annual sales figures. Just try to find “DVD Sales Numbers” on the search engines. Not all films are offered on the basis of “name actor” involvement, however it does make getting investors and distribution easier.
By the time you might have done all of the research required to select actors, you should think it is simple to start writing financial forecasts that specify just how much films comparable to yours manufactured in the theater and then in DVD sales both in america and domestically. This may account for the majority of your film’s value. Remember that US Domestic theatrical sales are generally not really a significant source of revenue for your producer if you work with traditional distributors. In fact they cost you money. However also a limited theatrical release does increase the price of your film as it increases the sum you get from licensing and DVD sales. Why? Because the domestic theatrical release and related marketing effectively presells the film to your broad audience.
Inside your sales forecasts make sure to add reasonable estimates for Pay Per View, cable television and broadband licensing and account for any product placement fees you could receive. You should also provide estimates of cash rebates or tax credits you may receive from states like New Mexico and Michigan which may account for 15% to 40% of your own production budget. Performed correctly, with adequate research, you must be able to prove your products or services will break even in a worst scenario making a good profit in average conditions.
Next, provide a review of how much financing you require and how investors will be repaid. It is important to remember that most investors expect that any revenues received from the production company will repay their investment and they can get 50% of the additional revenues the film earns. But there are really no cast in stone rules in this matter. The deal differs from project to project.
When you have these elements written, give a synopsis, storyboards and any additional information that explains the key elements of the project.
The last part of the company plan you will write is definitely the executive summary. It reviews the elements in your strategic business plan with special attention given to its most favorable aspects.
Once your strategic business plan is completed, you are prepared to pitch your project. You must be able to comfortably illustrate to just about anyone why it will make money. And that is certainly the true value of a business plan. You nkavxd it to back up your pitches. Its value is within convincing a monetary partner that you did your homework over a project he wants to buy.
Prior to starting contacting potential investors or distribute your company plan, you should have a talk with your attorney regarding how you would like to handle investment. If you are intending to promote shares within your production company, you need to pay to possess your attorney develop a Product Placement Memorandum. This may not be the best way to accept money for the film. Yet it is a typical way.
Should your financial partner is surely an “active investor” who plays the role of executive producer, or if perhaps the funding you receive is a loan using a guaranteed rate of return instead of a smart investment, you might only need your own business plan to back up your pitches.
If the looks like lots of work, it really is. But most filmmakers are usually confident with work as long as they understand its value. Being a producer, you want a solid business strategy around your investor does. People produce feature films and documentaries 365 days annually worldwide. They can make money. You can as well.