Financing / Crowdfunding : Funding for 6 part TV series based in UK by Oliver Orme-Lynch

Oliver Orme-Lynch

Funding for 6 part TV series based in UK

Hi all, I have a TV series written, a 6 parter based in the UK and produce-able for well under GBP1 mill. (More like £500-750k). The question is, where do I even start looking for financing or a production company/producer to help me get this made? I have approached broadcasters and have tried a few companies for funding but so far I'm still sat in square one. ANY advice or information is appreciated right now. Thanks in advance you lovely people! Oli

Gregorio Alonso Medina

there are many crowfounding webs outthere maybe it could work

Louisa Rowley

My understanding is it's very very difficult if you don't have previous work that you've produced to a good standard that shows your talent and ability to handle a budget. If you have that you need to use it, if you don't perhaps you could try filming a scene or two that can be done cheaply but also show's off the strengths of the show. Even with that you probably need to find a well connected producer who has reason to believe in the project or someone who understands how to get the most out of the crowdfunding route since with a good page it's do-able to get the budget but some very serious hard work and marketing skill is needed.

Regina Lee

Hi Oliver, I'm in the US, and I am not qualified to speak to your needs in the UK. However, what I will say is that the budget feels light to me. Is your low budget in line with UK standards? If it's too low, it won't fit within a broadcaster's programming needs. In the US, $500k is on the very low end of a half-hour episode. To think that your entire first series is in that budget range definitely sounds light to me as an American. In any case, good luck!!

Oliver Orme-Lynch

Thanks for the feedback guys. @louisa yes thats pretty much the route we've been trying to follow and I think we are gonna do a moodboard short within the next few months. We have been knocking on doors and it hasn't got us anywhere yet... Time to start kicking them down!! @Regina we can kinda make it as cheap or as expensive as they want it to be. We're on a realistic/proper budget of around GBP100k per episode but it can be done for around GBP50k. The trick is finding out where to meet producers/companies/agents... Any tips? If I know where these people hang out I'll be there every week. All about networking eh.

Regina Lee

Hi Oliver, I don't know the typical budgets of shows on BBC, Sky, ITV, etc. My point is that is you should know your broadcasters' budget ranges. It's possible they will dismiss a show that is "too small" for their standards. For example, in the US, if I pitched HBO a $100,000 drama pilot, they'd dismiss my project as being too small for them. And I've only got that one chance to make the best first impression. I can't recover from my initial remarks. Maybe your show is in the proper range; maybe not. Just be sure it is!

Louisa Rowley

I can't say I know the answer to where the people you're after hang out (I'd be in a much better position personally if I did!) but if you can find someone to take you into the members clubs such as The Hospital and Century Club that might be somewhere to start.

Oliver Orme-Lynch

@Louise The Hospital is a good tip! Thanks. I have been to the Century club and Raindance do events there so I'll keep an eye on that... Are there any events you go to that you'd recommend, generally, for networking? @Regina, fair point, I am aiming for a indy/budget producer to help me make it and then pitch it to broadcasters after that really so I would probably go with whatever producer said. Have you had anything made? I think here in the UK budgets are lower than USA and we are maybe more open to indy productions if it is done right.

Louisa Rowley

I've only been to the Raindance and Shooting People ones, unfortunately I don't think they'd be any good for you, I go to them with DoP work in mind so I wouldn't necessary talk to the same people anyway but it seemed pretty clear when I was at them that people with money don't go to these things.

Regina Lee

Hi Oliver, yes, I've had a show on CBS in the US. In the US, while indie movies are often produced without a distributor in place, it's virtually unheard of in TV. Here's the only example of an indie TV pilot that I can think of: http://deadline.com/2015/02/john-hawkes-star-dr-del-independent-tv-pilot.... I don't know how often non-US pilots/series are shot without first having distribution in place. Thus, I am completely unfamiliar with your particular business model, and I can't offer any advice. Perhaps your business model is commonplace in some non-US countries. In the US, indie film is common, and indie TV is not yet a common business model.

Regina Lee

I think that shooting a series first, with no distribution at all in any territories, and then pitching to broadcasters afterward is also quite unheard of in Canada and Australia, even the Asian countries. I don't know any examples of UK series that have launched that way. But like I said, I'm really not certain about the non-US indie TV market.

Regina Lee

I would be happy to be educated in this space if you care to offer some UK examples for us!!

Oliver Orme-Lynch

@Regina no you're probably right it is gonna be about finding a producer/company willing to go in with me on this. Onwards and upwards!

Oliver Orme-Lynch

@Louisa, well I'm gonna hit up the next few raindance boozing and schmoozing events and try and get involved in other peoples projects anyways, mainly cos I need to get my eye in anyways. Been a while! It is all about who you know after all so gotta start somewhere...

Louisa Rowley

OK cool, I occasionally go to those things so maybe I'll see you at one of them.

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