How to get your film funded.

Filmmaking takes a lot of work but it also takes a budget in order to help you get a project off the ground. As any film will need equipment, props, talent and more to get completed, having a method that you could use to get your film funded will help to make sure that you can make your vision come to life without having to compromise based off of budget. 

There are many ways that you can fund a film today and the idea of seeking traditional backers and private financing is not the only route to success. In this article we will go through some of the basics on how to get your film funded and how to find backers for your film. 

The basic costs for a film:

Research: Costs for time in researching your script and any materials you might have to purchase to research for your film should be included in the budget. 

Writing and directing: paying yourself for writing and directing collaboration is important. Paying your writers for the script means setting aside budget for an experienced writers or accounting for your time. 

Story/Rights: If there are elements of the story or characters you may need to purchase the rights to, this needs to be accounted for. The story may also need to be purchased if you are adapting a book. 

B roll/stock: some part of your budget should go towards the costs for b roll footage, stills and more. Getting licensed images and high quality B roll can get somewhat expensive, but if you have specific licensed images in mind or a piece of b roll that is integral to the story, it is important to add the extra costs.

Talent: Your actors will need to be compensated for their time. You will also need to have casting professionals on hand to assess talent. 

Music: music rights can also grow quite expensive and it can sometimes be easier to hire your own composer or produce your own original music rather than license official songs. 

Production staff: Everyone from the sound editor to camera people to people on hand to coordinate with stunts need to be accounted for and paid. 

Editorial: Any edits to the script or changes to the direction of the film also need to be billed into the hours for professional services. 

Production expenses: Expenses like renting equipment, filming on location, travel, food and more need to be accounted for in the budget. 

Post production: The process of postproduction editing can often grow expensive. You may need to purchase licenses for software, acquire specific hardware and more to produce your film. You'll also be responsible for paying people to perform the edits. 

Admin/insurance: insurance costs and administrative costs for the business side of your film will also account for some budget. Never film without insurance or he could risk your entire production. 

Professional accounting/lawyers: Having a lawyer on retainer, accountant to manage your expenses and more can make sure that the film can run smoothly. 

Contingency: Most filmmakers take 10% of the budget and place it aside so that there is a proper contingency in place for emergencies. 

Different methods for finding backers:

There are many popular resources for filmmakers to find backers for their films today. A popular choice is to work with family and friends to start with a small film. If you know someone that would be interested in investing in your idea that is close to you, it's possible to avoid the extra costs of interest and more while you are waiting for the film to release.

Crowd funding: crowd funding platforms like indiegogo, kickstarter, gofundme and more can be a very popular choice for filmmakers today. If you have a great preview of your script or idea or even a working trailer for your film, there's a good chance that if people like your idea, they would be happy to donate a small micro-transaction to your production. As these micro-transactions at up you can fund your entire film this way. Crowdfunding for a film is producing even large scale films today and with quality results. With crowd funding, a filmmaker may just need to make a few small promises. An example could be with a large backing of $10,000 or more, the filmmaker may fly that back or out for the premiere of the film. Smaller donations of $20 could receive a movie poster in the mail for the film or a handwritten letter from the writer.  

Grants: You may be interested to know that there is a wide range of government funding available to filmmakers.  Depending on the subject matter of your film any area that you plan on filming it, you could get access to some extra tax credits or even grants for your film during production. Doing some research into grants could present you with some free funding for your film.

Getting a film funded can be quite a challenge for many filmmakers but by accounting for the various costs and preparing with all of the options available to you, it can become easier with a plan.