Financing / Crowdfunding : First Short Film by Christina Connerton

Christina Connerton

First Short Film

Hi all,

I just wrote my first short film. Up until this point I've self-funded super small projects like sketches and short docs. I now have a short film that I want to produce at a higher production value and need money!

Any tips for the best funding sources would be so helpful.

Thank you!


Lindbergh E Hollingsworth

Worst case is you'll have to self-finance. If you truly need the cash then gather your team and see what they'll pony up as well. People do not invest in shorts as there's no return.

Doug Nelson

Right up front - there is NO financial gain to be had from making short films. That's just the unvarnished truth. All you have is an expense. You want to up your production value by upping the quality - I admire that. So how do you do that? Find a few others who share your enthusiasm and drive for excellence (there aren't many out there.) It's gonna be hard but it can be done - best wishes for success.

Dan MaxXx

Credit card, work a second job, sell stuff on ebay, eat hot pocket dinners, save. There is 0 money for shorts but you have to believe what you are doing and spending now will lead to a future job.

James Drago

Short films are usually financed by friends and family or others who have an interest in seeing your career move forward.

Michael Mandaville

Write a short film within your means and do it as cheaply as possible. If your uncle Jim owns a bar, then maybe put a short film there. I would embrace that notion that you are a Gun for Hire. You are there to do a job - a really great job - but a job nonetheless. Be practical. Then find a Gaffer who wants to be a DP. A 2nd AD who wants to be a 1st AD to build credits. This is assuming you want to direct.

Patricia Poulos

Perhaps this... ScreenCraft (through Moviebytes) is running a competition giving up to $30k for a short. I'm sure competition is steep but it may be worth a try.

Christina Connerton

Thank you everyone!

Rods Bobavich

Build a small devoted crowd of eager viewers who care about the project being produced. Spend time on social media talking with your crowd and getting to know them. If you can't communicate that passion for the project then it will be hard to do all of the hard work of inspiring actors and crew to believe in it too.

The most successful projects are the ones that people want to see before they ever get a chance to watch. It's about building up a story in their imagination that is full of anticipation. It doesn't matter whether you're getting a studio to open their wallet or your best friend. Either way they have to believe in you and your passion.

Michael Connolly

Just make a feature, it’s almost the same effort and barely anybody buys short films

Melton Cartes

Hear, hear! I third this motion... That's the number one lesson I learned from making my 12-min short, to never make another short (unless they're a minute or two long and put on YouTube...) because you can't sell a short.

That being said, a feature is not just longer. But, if you know story structure, you can expand on your story's theme and build the structure for a feature-length script.

Raymond Zachariasse

I am makig a short, but that is also because a feature would be way too expensive, I think And isn't a shor also something for your portfolio? Now I have a problem getting funding because they first want to see what you've done in the past.

Raymond Zachariasse

Stanley, simple math :) For us, a car to move everything, a RED because we are filming at night, cast costs, crew costs, a dolly and permits. The screenplay doesn't cost anything because we are writing it.:) Also the shooting days cost money as I cannot make any income during filming. Time is money.The locations, in our case a hospital, cost also money. Same with the ambulance and police. Aside from that permits are needed. And no, I have no friends with any of that. So yeah, it can cost a lot. Of course if you use a totally different story with your own house and only a DSLR it can be cheaper. I know someone who does a great job as a one man band. But here in the Netherlands a feature needs to be movie worthy. I.O.W. the quality needs to be high. A low budget feature here is already around 100.000.

Can our script be expanded? Yes it can, but as said that will cost more. Me and the director won't earn anything with our movie. Most likely we will pay. But with very little money to spend we do need to be creative. Hence the reason I'm on stage32 :)

Do I have a screenplay that is cheap? Yes. But that is the next project and it is agai a short because it's based on a twist and has as little words as possible. If I would extent that, I would probably have something like The Strangers and that's already be done :) (scarey movie btw)

Erik A. Jacobson

A Red camera? That alone tells me that you were not intentionally planning to shoot low budget, Raymond. To shoot a feature film as Stanley is describing you’ll need to INTENTIONALLY plan every aspect of the film in advance as no-or- low budget. You’ll also need to get.a “name” actor for at least one day or your film will never make profit. You seem to be focusing more on problems than solutions. Rethink your whole approach. What CAN you do with the resources you have? Or can beg, borrow, or totally eliminate?

Sam Borowski

Christina, as a producer of 14 pictures, including seven shorts - one that I also wrote and directed that qualified for the Oscars, here's just a few things that might help. First, make sure the script is the BEST it can possibly be. Show it to someone you trust or someone you respect. Secondly, do your best to get an experienced producer to come on board and help. Third, Find a D.P. that's worth their weight in gold and there are A LOT of GREAT ONES out there. One that owns their own camera. Fourth, Be willing to throw some of your own money into it and go the friends and family route. THEN, see if said experienced producer can match those funds or surpass them. Fifth, TALENT, TALENT, TALENT! DON'T JUST hold an arbitrary audition or select friends or unknowns with little experience to act in it. See if said experienced producer has any connections to experienced character actors and some recognizable faces to attach. The unknowns should be talented, experienced and on the same level. Sixth, come up with a poster and a Festival/Distribution Plan, almost like a blueprint or business plan for shorts. Again, having an experienced producer can help you there. Seventh, after you and said experienced producer have raised enough funds with your package, go the crowdfunding route, if only to get $1000 extra. EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS! Hope this helps! GOD BLESS and STAY FRESH! <3

Raymond Zachariasse

Erik, we were.. well the director was (if you think 12.000 is nudget). But he hired me and I am trying to bring him on other thoughts as I think a RED is NOT needed and so isn't a dolly. But the director wants all that. For him the night is essential. He already has most of the gear btw so it's only the things I've mentioned. He already made a few shorts, but he wants to make this one professional. And we are not making a feature. But we do have know actors though. Not the big names, but not the unknown either :)

I know what you mean though and I am the one planning, but I am not the one running the show. I am the one toning down the script and costs. But this isn't my script. The one I wrote is toned down and I will direct that one and that one will be made for 1000 or less of my own money. But with that one I don't think I can make it a feature though. Although I did think of something while answering this post :)

Raymond Zachariasse

But I am on stage32 to gather tips, so I am happy with all your suggestions. It is my job to convince the director to do the right thing as he does want to make a feature after his short.

Raymond Zachariasse

Back on track: funding. I was part of the writers team for FrankenSITTER and they tried crowdfunding with Indiegogo, so I would give that a try.

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