producing How to Write a Couple of Pages for Potential Investors?

What Points to Raise Before Potential Investors in Horror Film?

Hi, I’ve been asked to write a couple of pages of points about my horror movie (www.SheLivesAgain.com) to put before some qualified potential investors andI don’t know where to start. Despite having thought about this for days since the request.

Can anyone suggest how I should break down the selling points of my film - how to pinpoint which type of demographic might find it particularly interesting, for example? (I think it’ll be interesting to everyone, of course.)
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I know I can wade through suggestions on the web, and most probably have, just don’t have clarity on this right now.

Thank you!
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
The first thing to point out in a written pitchdeck is how much money the investors will make once your movie sells.
You cannot know much money the investors will make because you cannot
know if your movie will sell. If you mean you should offer percentages to
investors in your pitch deck, that is not a good idea. Those points should be
negotiated after you have interested investors.

The goal of your pitch deck is not to raise money - it's to get the next meeting.
The first thing to do is to get potential investors interested in the project. Get
them excited about the story and the people involved.
 
You cannot know much money the investors will make because you cannot
know if your movie will sell. If you mean you should offer percentages to
investors in your pitch deck, that is not a good idea. Those points should be
negotiated after you have interested investors.

The goal of your pitch deck is not to raise money - it's to get the next meeting.
The first thing to do is to get potential investors interested in the project. Get
them excited about the story and the people involved.
Maybe so.
It very much depends on what kind of investors you are trying to find. Most investors I know, have no idea about the moviemaking business. They just want to know the digits. Bowling it down to these questions.
1. How are you gonna make back the money?
2. How much do you expert it to make once it is finished. And if so...
3. When can we expect a R.O.I. plus profit?

Now I need to clarify that these investors I am speaking of are people who invest in the one, five and sometimes ten-thousand range and not the big moviestudio's you might talk of. We have not climbed those ranks yet and the rules if that game might very well be much different.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
You're right, that can work for small, inexperienced investors.

Point one is important but the other points are pure speculation. Even for
investors in the one, five and sometimes ten-thousand range telling them
how much that can expect to make is... well.. speculation.

In my experience attracting investors (small investors in the one, five and
sometimes ten-thousand range) based on how much money they can
expect to earn creates too many difficulties - and even angry investors.
Drawing them in on the story and people involved with full knowledge
they may lose everything creates a much more productive relationship.

However, this has worked of you so I understand the advice. Glad this
works.

Do you always return the full investment? Do you usually produce a
profit for your investors?
 
See. You have to be open and transparant about the risks involved to your investors.
So, show them wat previous projects made and second tell them that there is also a very real chance they will have a loss if the movie does not sell. However, they do have a tax deduction and that is a nice thing. We call it a C.V. here (Commanditair Venootschap) . Not sure what the English name for it is. It is also used for investors who wish to invest in the building of cruise ships and such. Its like a .LTD but with like 20 to a 100 stakeholders.

But those investors are just part of the total budget. The other part is local subsidies.
I do not know about other countries or the U.S. but here in Europe and specifically the Netherlands there are a lot of subsidies for either culture, education or a lot of other communal purposes.
So there are subsidies from the citycouncils, from the provincial governments, from the national government and of course there's the E.U.
Then there's a lot of privatly owned funds from banks, insurers or other large companies that gladly sponsor cultural or art projects.

When played smart you can aquire 50% of your budget from these sources. Free.
If you have aquired lets say 50.000 to a 100.000 in subsidies the other half will be gladly put up front by investors.

A very important part in all of this is to set up a 'special purpose vehicle' for the movie.
Then you can funnel the funds towards that vehicle.

Another part is getting it pre sold to a distributor. That is very hard for your first feature, but gets easier after the second or third. Especially if it made them money with previous features.

I could go on and on, but there are a lot of funnels for financing that can be tapped if done right and smart.

There is also like a national filmfund here, that hand out millions. But that is a corrupt bunch of directors in the board that only hand out to other directors that where previously in the board. So only a small group of directors benefit from it.
Also the movies they make are boring movies that handle subjects like gender issues, LGHtBXYZQLOL etc rights, the environment, global warming, inclusivity and other stuff no one cares about in a movie or movies no one wants to see anyway.
I dont know. They bore the hell out of me anyway. Maybe others like these kindsof movies... I dont know. It might also be that I am just jealous for not having acces to that big pot of gold 😄.

Anyway. If you can make your movie for 100 to 200k with some decent quality, nice production value, a named actor and most important off all entertaining enough to sell, theres plenty of chances for anyone here.
 

directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
indiePRO
It's different here in the States – where Lauran is from. No national film fund
here. Oh sure, there are a few but they are much like what you have experienced.
Very strict requirements and rarely for pure entertainment.

Have you had success using the method you suggested to Lauran? Raising
money using a written Pitch Deck that sets out how much money the investors
will make once your movie sells?
 
What you are doing here is being a salesman. You are selling the project, but, most of all, you are selling yourself. And, my friend, you had better be prepared! Because you are going to be asked questions, A LOT of questions. And if you don't have a good answer, you may have lost an investor. Have a highly polished script. Have a breakdown of the overall requirements - cast, crew, crafts, security, accounting, travel/transportation/lodging, locations, equipment requirements - a full preproduction. Keep in the back of your mind the bare bones budget you would need to produce your film, but sell a healthy realistic budget. And have a good idea of how much XXX costs in "Hollywood" dollars. It's always nice to show that you're trying create an eight digit project on a six digit budget.

Food for thought:

I did a number of projects at a reduced rate because they presented challenges that would add to my experience. But I also had to satisfy my regular clients; you can't let them slip away. So the client understood that it would take XXX amount of time. (Yes, I could do it in YYY amount of time, but that would mean jeopardizing my client base, which I would not do.) So the client accepted the time trade-off for the quality I could give within their budget.

The rest of IndieTalk knows the story of my producer friend. She managed to get together extremely talented cast and crew because her productions were laid out in such detail they make D-Day look like an improvisation. Because of the preparation, which includes several beer, wine and knoshes preproduction meetings with the lead actors and department heads, her shoots were always a lot of fun, and the product excellent. And she treated EVERYONE, from the director down to the least experienced PA, as a professional. We ate fantastic food, and the craft table was awesome!

So prep the hell out of your project, so you can sell yourself and the project. People will be impressed; you've thought it all the way through. Tell them why it is so important that your food, craft table, lodging, etc. budget is so high. You treat them great, they will put out for you and work through the inevitable production hiccups. Look for talented people who are willing to do trade-offs for reduced rates; this will apply mostly to post, however, where time is not as pressing an issue.

Enough rambling...
 
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What you are doing here is being a salesman. You are selling the project, but, most of all, you are selling yourself. And, my friend, you had better be prepared! Because you are going to be asked questions, A LOT of questions. And if you don't have a good answer, you may have lost an investor. Have a highly polished script. Have a breakdown of the overall requirements - cast, crew, crafts, security, accounting, travel/transportation/lodging, locations, equipment requirements - a full preproduction. Keep in the back of your mind the bare bones budget you would need to produce your film, but sell a healthy realistic budget. And have a good idea of how much XXX costs in "Hollywood" dollars. It's always nice to show that you're trying create an eight digit project on a six digit budget.

Food for thought:

I did a number of projects at a reduced rate because they presented challenges that would add to my experience. But I also had to satisfy my regular clients; you can't let them slip away. So the client understood that it would take XXX amount of time. (Yes, I could do it in YYY amount of time, but that would mean jeopardizing my client base, which I would not do.) So the client accepted the time trade-off for the quality I could give within their budget.

The rest of IndieTalk knows the story of my producer friend. She managed to get together extremely talented cast and crew because her productions were laid out in such detail they make D-Day look like an improvisation. Because of the preparation, which includes several beer, wine and knoshes preproduction meetings with the lead actors and department heads, her shoots were always a lot of fun, and the product excellent. And she treated EVERYONE, from the director down to the least experienced PA, as a professional. We ate fantastic food, and the craft table was awesome!

So prep the hell out of your project, so you can sell yourself and the project. People will be impressed; you've thought it all the way through. Tell them why it is so important that your food, craft table, lodging, etc. budget is so high. You treat them great, they will put out for you and work through the inevitable production hiccups. Look for talented people who are willing to do trade-offs for reduced rates; this will apply mostly to post, however, where time is not as pressing an issue.

Enough rambling...
That is some next level producing you are talking about.
We are not in that range yet. We focus mainly on guerilla tactics: skeleton crews, cheapo catering, superfast shoots with a limited amount of takes. We let some interns film some coverage afterwards on a bmpcc4k. Some random close ups of doorhandles, portraits on a wall, random cars passing by or a plant somewhere etc.
We dont get permits, we steal as many locations as possible. We see a Ferrari parked in the street? We sure as hell improvise a short scene that the protagonist is standing next to it.
There is a firewirks display nearby? We create a supershort improvised action scene underneath. There is a parachutejump of 400 military on a rememberence day? We film it with long lenses and put it in our war movie. The main focus is always production value, PRODUCTION VALUE and Predukshin fellhuuu.
Every euro must be seen on the screen philosophy.
We do spend on pyrotechnics and gun rentals though and all the paperwork behind that, because that is not something you want to fool around with on a set.
The rest though is cheapo, on the fly, improvisation and getting away with it.
In the end it is what is on the screen that counts. Storyline, a well balanced script and arty farty subtext is inferior to spectacle and entertainment.
We rather blow something up than trying to put in some werd double layers in the picture none of our (mostly drunk)audiences notice anyway.

But as said. We are not in the big league yet, so a lot of uphill guerilla fighting for us still to do.
 
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I understand why you do it, but I think that will cause issues with potential distributors, who generally want to see releases & contracts for everything.
The only papertrail/chain of letters they ask for is releases from the cast and crew, music and quit claims from extra's.
Private property is generally respected by us. Or we agree orally with the owner on the spot if we can film there.
Filming on Public property (parks/town squares/the street etc)does not usually require permission from the city council in our country. Unless the crew is so big it disturbs traffic or a road needs closure.
On public property we never hassle for the paperwork. We just go out and film and use whatever we come in touch with on the public road.
Distributors/agents/agregators have never cared for release forms for locations in our experience.
They are glad enough to just quickly sell the picture.
 
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