Please Can I Have $20K To Make My Movie? It’s Really, Really Good …

These posts pop up quite often on various social media channels but primarily Facebook groups dedicated to film making:

“Looking for investor / producer” with $20K to fund my new movie / pilot for TV / web series. It’s about a man and his aardvark as they wade through the complexities of life together in search of enlightment until disaster strikes from the most unlikely of places”.

Or some such thing.

Needless to say, I doubt whether anyone gets an investigative reply, let alone a taker.

The problem is not the movie content (although some are very dodgy to say the least, and in many cases just tired old variations on a theme (horror, slasher, road movie, LGTQBI+ etc), it is the fact that no-one is going to part with those sorts of reddies after that sort of approach.

Look, I get you may be passionate about the project, and it has been a dream for years to make it, but for the potential investor, it is NOT a dream. It is the reality of cold, hard cash and the return they’ll get from dishing it out to you.

From even before that moment arrives, it has to be treated as a business with all those boring things accountants and the tax man will drone on about for days given half the chance.

So as well as the request, you need to be able to offer a business plan showing details and costs of exactly where the money will be spent, time frames and expected returns. Any information that nails the project down to the last cent and last minute from start to finish.

You could do worse, if you are serious, than do a crash course in Project Management. Do a Google search for “Basic Project Management” for starters.

Then have a look here https://templatelab.com/film-budget-templates/ and see if there is an Excel / Word template that suits your needs (or again do a Google search). That will at least get you started on the right path.

Finally, be VERY aware that any investor wants more than their money back. They want a return, and that return has to be WAY better than they’d get putting it in the bank.

As a rule of thumb, anything you buy has a markup of between 50% and 60% on it giving a margin of around 30%. Every potential investor will be different of course, but I suspect that anyone would want a minimum of 20%.

So if they give you say $10K, they want $12K back at the end. And remember, you have SPENT that initial $10K so you have to make $22K to cover just the investor and costs.

YOU have made nothing yet …

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