Just curious - how the rest of you's are getting projects financed, what your journey is like and if you just quit working towards funded projects and ask others to do their work for free?
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I would love to write and direct an independent film, buy I have no idea how to get the funds
Filmmaking is fund raising! It never stops, only gets better, one success at a time. Never quit!
My rolodex of Doctors, dentists, athletes, art collectors, folks with big egos & deep pockets who love to support underprivileged artists.
I think this is a great question Cherelynn... I have 1 feature and 3 short films under my belt. The feature was 9 years ago - budget was 75K... 25K out of my pocket. Won best pic in 4 of 7 festivals... film was called CALLOUS. Most recently... I completed a 26 minute thriller short/POC to try and push the feature script... I funded this one completely myself. 22K. Here’s the website which has trailer, synopsis, gallery, etc. To your point, yes, very tired of funding my own projects and cannot seem to meet other creatives with a buck in their pocket to collaborate. I’ve often thought that one of the cast or Crew from my projects might call me one day and throw ME a bone... hasn’t happened yet. LOL. Now I have this 26 minute film, all the marketing stuff, the website, posters, etc... and am just embarking on HOW/WHO/WHEN to show it in hopes of gaining interest in the completed feature script... honestly, not sure where to start... I’m open to thoughts from you or any who read this... oh, here’s the work: www.iniquitythemovie.com.
Guys, our industry is broken and hasn’t innovated in 90 years. There’s a reason it’s impossible for indies to find funding, yet we all reference stories of other filmmakers who have done it in the past (Rodriguez, etc). I’m working on building a network so that we DON’T have to ask for money from doctors, dentists, etc. those days are dead. We need to create a system where we all support one another to build the financing. I hope for the best for you and if you’d like any more advice from me, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me here and send me a message. All the best!
The bottom line is it's like any industry. My mentor, 2-time Oscar-Winning producer Al Ruddy, told me how he initially couldn't get funding from Warner Brothers for Million Dollar Baby. THIS IS THE MAN who PRODUCED The Godfather and won an Oscar for it, mind you. He had Clint Eastwood attached to star and direct, mind you. And, Warners turned him down! Thought the story was a downer. He had to finance the film independently and he eventually made "a sweetheart deal" to sell the film's theatrical rights to Warner Bros. He and Clint EACH won Oscars for that film. Al now has TWO - COUNT 'EM TWO - OSCARS sitting on the mantle at home! But, my point is, if after winning an Oscar for producing The Godfather, arguably the GREATEST MOVIE ever made, and doing SO MUCH MORE, even Al had to fight hard to get funding a feature that had Clint Eastwood attached to star and direct, of course, it can be a real effort for so many others. You MUST PERSEVERE! Martin Scorsese once said and I am somewhat paraphrasing (but not much), "Financing a film is like attacking a giant monolith." Attack that monolith every day. It can be done! It must be done! It SHALL BE DONE! GOD BLESS and STAY FRESH! ;)
Sam nailed it! Every day. DO IT! That is your job as a producer.
Yes, it's exhausting. And you cannot control everything. I missed a huge meeting/opportunity because I got into a serious car accident (I was not at fault). That meeting never came back around and things like that are out of your hands.
I have come to the conclusion that the best I can do is keep knocking on and kicking doors until one opens. In the meantime it is my job to be ready so that when that door opens I can jump right in and go!
That means producing quality content with whatever resources I have and constantly learning. I made 11 short films on my own (very thin) dime and did well with them, learning something from each. This, before I got any funding from any other sources.
Now I am poised for a paid short film with a decent budget, a commercial job and a short screenplay sale.
Make what you can when you can and keep working towards the bigger goals. I am still shopping around two features and know that, eventually, it will come my way.
I wish you the very best of luck!!
(Edited as... I am a director, not seeking investors but producers who are able to approach investors)
Sam Borowski ssshhh, Sam! U speaking truth & facts, but folks wanna hear fairy tales and pay for webinars, "how i made a movie with no money down."
Thank you to all who shared their story - to sum it up - keep on keepin' on!
There's no future in asking people to work for free. But there's a whole new world developing out there for film funding on the blockchain.
Brian, I agree, however the creative talent will still remain a variable in the equation. I’m hoping people don’t get confused by that. If you suck shit as a storyteller through a visual medium, then maybe you should do something else. You can learn, but don’t be afraid to release your weaknesses and double-down on what you’re great at. YOU know what that is, nobody can’t tell you the answer. I wish you the best and I’m here to offer any more advice, should you want to hear anymore.
Hi Ryan. With no doubt, what you say is true. But, nonetheless, if I’m asked, I always encourage people to ‘follow the dream’ even if they suck at it. Living the dream and sucking at it is OK in my books. Look at ‘Eddie the Eagle’. The truth be told, virtually none of us will make the walk down the red carpet. But that’s OK too. Whatever’s out there for us will find us. Just stay in the game... for what it’s worth.
Not sure what "truth" you're speaking Brian Rhodes, but speak for yourself. I was mentored by a 2-time Oscar-Winning producer and have several other friends who have won Oscars. I walked the Red Carpet with Mira Sorvino at one film festival and made three movies with her father Paul. So, I think you should be careful when speaking for everyone on this web-site. Some of are professionals and what you wrote is insulting to me.
Good on you Sam. But, I certainly was not intending to speak for others. I’ve had modest success as well walking the red carpets. But, I grant you, I probably should have said ‘few of us will walk the red carpet’, the suggestion being that maybe the red carpet’s not in the cards for all of us. So as I said, if I’m asked, I say, “it’s OK to suck if you’re enjoying the ride and living your dream. Just stay in the game.” Now, can you please share with me why you say that’s insulting to industry professionals putting aside your nuanced suggestion I’m not worthy?
Over the decades I've stood on both sides of the velvet rope, I've walked the carpet and I've sat at a table in the hall of glitz. I feel blessed to have had the experiences and I never had to chase money for projects. But I recognize too that the film industry is undergoing a massive change. The big houses have the existing capital intensive infrastructure that they use to make money; for them, movie making is secondary.
The Indie filmmaking world is splintering off and trying to stand on its own wobbly legs.This is an environment in which individual talent is admired and so it draws that creative talent like a moth to a flame. It's also the place that needs financial backing to stabilize its legs. Real talent survives and prospers in this environment; pseudo thlent does not.
The hunt for financing is a never ending quest for the Indie Filmmaker.
It couldn’t have been said better Doug!
Brian, for the record, I made no "nuanced suggestion," that you're not worthy. You may have made them, but I didn't. No I DON'T think it's OK to suck. I also don't see how you live your dream in this industry if you do suck. These are your words, not mine. Some of us take our jobs and our career very serious. And, please don't say, "I do, too," because if you're saying it's OK to suck, I guess I don't buy that you take it very serious. What was also insulting is that you said, in truth nobody was going to walk the Red Carpet - insinuating, success, Oscars, whatever you were insinuating - and as someone who works full-time at this, yes, I was insulted. You speak for the entire web-site? Painting it as a site full of people, where it's "OK to suck," just so long as you have fun while you're doing it. Some people actually do this full-time, some people actually have success at this. I wish you success, as well, and I insinuate nothing about you NOT being worthy. You've done enough of that yourself. But, there are real working professionals on this site, who do it full-time, who have dealt with studios, had projects in distribution and worked with Oscar-Winners. So, yes, I find it insulting your portrait of the people here. Am I wrong? Go back and read your words again.
And, for the record, I thought you were very funny showing the other side people saw of Chris Rock in Down to Earth. So, I can honestly say I've seen your work. In no way, am I insinuating you're not worthy. I guess I'm just surprised by your comments? So many people I meet already have low standards in this business and I feel setting people's standards even lower is not a positive or productive thing. Can you see where I am coming from?
The business side of show. Honestly, when I had an investor, it was extremely taxing. However, self-financing is essentially chasing money as well
So right Hamish. And can lead to a ton of debt if you’re not careful!
Did you save a patch for the memory?
Interesting discussion. There is a webinar recently advertised on here on how to fund making a documentary, this might be a template for making a feature as well.
Hi Cherelynn. Do I get tired of chasing money for projects? Hmm. So not only did I decide that I was going to create a television show and raise the financing myself, I also decided that I want to be a studio. Am I tired? I passed tired about a month into this adventure. Working in financial services, I believe I know how to put a deal together. It is about your network. You need to know someone who can introduce you to the person(s) who can write the check. You need to have a solid understanding of what terms you're looking for and understand what you're willing to sacrifice to get a deal done. I firmly believe it's better to pay people. It's better to have union people. I shot the first episode myself on an iPhone. It was rough looking to say the least. The fifth episode, I had small crew (not union) and everyone got paid. Now, cast and crew will be union for the rest of the season but it will take millions of dollars to shoot. I am excited about the talent level we are attracting. No major stars, but talented actors along with experienced, award winning crew members. The production quality is like night and day. Keep fighting for the money.