Financing / Crowdfunding : Sponsorship, marketing and branding. by Tru Entertainment

Tru Entertainment

Sponsorship, marketing and branding.

we have the idea to fund our project with sponsors, marketing and branding partners....

how come this would not work?

Lauran Childs
Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Tru Entertainment You mean, what's the challenge? First, it's possible to get product but hard to get money. In my experience, successful product placement is by hard-sell and while you are already in production. "We are shooting a scene on a cabin cruiser this Thursday (2 days from now) and we want your company to provide the boat and $125k. Imagine Brad Pitt on your boat on every screen in the country over the next decade. You need to do this right now because I am waiting for a decision from your competitor and there's only room for one."

I am not kidding. Otherwise, for me at least it has been hit and miss, and without the "immediate" need for the product or money, I have never been successful. If there is an immediate need on set for the product, AND the sponsor can see some kind of acknowledgment AND they happen to either have extra stock or returned stock or demo stock, they may give it to you. I needed boxing gloves and safety equipment for a boxing movie and got it from a boxing equipment dealer, because they had extra. On the same movie, Met/Rx gave me a 2-ton truck full (!!) of protein and energy drinks for our martial-arts cast and crew, because they were taking it back from retailers for having only 1 year if "best before" date. I got crew fed by restaurants, scenic props, craft services... but NO money and nothing unless we were already shooting.

On the other hand, if you are talking about a show built around a specific sponsor, you may have more success, but obviously that has a number of othet issues.

Tru Entertainment

no, don't really mean "challenge", Shadow Dragu-Mihai. Just want to know why we have not heard of anyone funding a show interdependently, through my research on pitching reality shows.

understand Networks do not accept unsolicited ideas and prefer an established production company involved and already excited about the idea want to pitch.

we already have completed (stand up) feature films we funded ourselves. based off our film we are creating an unscripted realty docuseries true story biography ....the story would end when the star retires.

we do not like the idea of selling the show...which in my mind means we no long own the show which can be sold canceled or the whole idea revamped. the only reason to "pitch" is to sell...the Production Companies join and they bring in the Networks. who only buy things that the viewers would follow and have advertisers that buy adds to try and sell stuff to viewers.

what would the Networks think we pitch a show that already has advertisers attached to the show that purchased advertising in "X" amount of dollars over the next 18 months?

Now all we need is to air the show, right? we get 13 episodes filmed in can ready to air with builtin spin offs.

how much do we need to raise? 2, 3 million? or less


Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Just my opinion, but I would say attaching an advertiser before pitching the show would actually make it harder to sell. Frankly, it seems like a difficult kind of deal to put together, given the number of contracts and participants. Production deals that extend beyond a couple parties have a much smaller chance of coming together. And then any network which already sells commercial time will have their specific group of advertisers and watch for conflicts. Also, if they make their money by selling advertising, they may look dimly on a show which is already occupied by a sponsor which may make it harder to sell advertising around the timeslot. They reserve paid airtime space for those kinds of productions, which are usually as-seen-on-tv sales shows.

Tru Entertainment

thanks for you opinion....last few questions

is having multiple local business interested in joining our project either via sponsorship, branding or funding partners useful?

is "selling" our project without obtaining any ownership percentage the only way a Production Company or Network will get involved?

we already have received a couple Submission agreements from a Network and Production company in the States. would you be able to tell me if they are standard?


Shadow Dragu-Mihai

Tru Entertainment That document is a more or less standard release most any network (or producer) would use before looking at your submission. It binds them to nothing and releases them from liabilityiin case they already have a similar concept in development or in case they develop a similar concept in the future.

Tru Entertainment

Thanks for your opinion Shadow email truEntertainment at juno dot com and we will compensate you for your time.

Tru Entertainment

well you spent time, and we believe time is valuable. let us know when you need something in the event we can help you got it.

Terry Spears

Tru - what you might want to address is the difference between "product placement" and "product integration". Using Shadow Dragu-Mihai's example from above - Product placement is showing Brad Pitt on the boat. Product integration is showing Brad Pitt on the boat, and adding a line to the script where Brad says "This Acme model 12 is really nimble", then Brad and the girl escape the bad guys only because the Acme was able to outmaneuver them. Product integration is not possible in every scene of every film, but when it works, it is worth more to the manufacturer.

There are companies who exist solely for the purpose of garnering this type of sponsorship for films. Some charge a percentage of what they raise, some charge an upfront fee, and some charge both. Many claim to be able to raise as much as 50% of the funding for a feature film. Buyer beware, of course, but it might be worth further study.

And, as Damien Lloyd pointed out, any sponsor would first have to be convinced of the guaranteed completion and commercial viability of your project.

Courtney Barrett Bryan

Answering the question. It does work. We all have seen so many films with sponsors, and branding. The answer is all about your distribution and marketing plans. Who and how will your film reach the masses. The NUMBERs are what interest sponsors. If the numbers are not there, it's not worth it. Again, what is your distribution and marketing plans?

Tru Entertainment

thanks Courtney we have plans on utilizing all marketing avenues focusing locally first and then branch out to new territories....appreciate your input...


Julie Austin

Years ago I put together a TV pilot with local sponsorship only in NYC. I did raise quite a bit from angel investors, but the rest was local, small business sponsors. A good friend of mine started the product placement industry and has told me to raise half of the money for a reality show from sponsorship and leave the other half for networks to put in their own sponsors. Just wondering if anyone has been down that route before.

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