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Seeking funding for first low-budget feature

Hey everyone, I know this is the topic that literally EVERY filmmaker foams at the mouth to find answers for. Here's what I'm doing...

We wrote a feature length horror/slasher flick a couple years ago for two reasons,

1. To make our first feature film along the lines of some of our favorite low-budget films that influenced our love for movies

2. As far as the research and word of mouth, horror is the top "Most Selling" genre for low-budget films. It seemed to make sense economically.

Last year, we shot and edited the opening 10 minutes to use as a tool for raising the funds to finish the rest of the feature. The opening plays similar to the opening sequence from Scream, and the characters are never seen again for story progression. We took this film to festivals and received some positive feedback all around, and it really played well to an audience.

From inception until now we have been trying to raise funds to shoot the film. We've heard it all from "We can easily get you $300k" to "I have people who would put $1m into a sellable project" and even "Shoot a trailer, get some names, then we'll talk." As you may know, we have raised almost nothing to get this moving forward.

So, now, we are on kickstarter trying to raise $50,000 to finish our simple slasher flick. We have 25 days left, at this point, and are not even at 1% yet. We want nothing more than to finish this for our career goals, sell it, show we can make money back, and move on to another feature film. It would be quite a heartache to have to let it go because we can't raise our goal.

So, what are your thoughts as professionals and peers at this point? I'm starting to get burnt out on the whole "short film/festival" scene and am really thinking Web Shows are the future for the audience. However, I want to be a feature film director. If we don't raise the $50k, what is our best option? We are leaving no stone unturned and giving this our all, and it's nothing I want to look back at with bitter memories of a failed venture.

If you're interested in the kickstarter page, which has the short film embedded on it along with all of our info, you can check it out at http://bit.ly/HunterKick. I would really appreciate any feedback whatsoever. Thanks!
 
One piece of feedback I have (though it's probably too late) is to fund through Indiegogo. First good feature about this is that it is actually international. For some stupid reason Kickstarter has decided that only the US and UK people can start projects through Kickstarter. I can fund them (from Australia) but I the fact that they don't support me for projects means I don't bother even having an account.

Indiegogo doesn't care where you're from and so I have actually funded two projects now through it.

The other major advantage is that Indiegogo give you the funds (or a significant portion) even if you do not make the goal so that way you can at least do something. Of course just $300 won't help that much when you need $50k :/

As far as alternative funding sources, Australia has an initiative through the government where they help fund your film. More often than not though these films have some level of educational merit where your film probably would fail (if the US even has a government support).

My end advice is don't give up. I've watched the short film and enjoyed it to an extent, though the genre isn't my thing.

-Brendan
 
Financing is one of the hardest things in filming to do if you're not established (or at least know and are being supported by established film makers/actors).

So, now, we are on kickstarter trying to raise $50,000 to finish our simple slasher flick. We have 25 days left, at this point, and are not even at 1% yet. We want nothing more than to finish this for our career goals, sell it, show we can make money back, and move on to another feature film. It would be quite a heartache to have to let it go because we can't raise our goal.

The hard and fast rule to raising funds, you either: 1). Have a track record of making profitable works so you can go and ask investors for money or B). Use some crowd funding after you have built up an audience. Even the latter option doesn't always work.

Very few people actively search for people with projects so they can donate. It's why you either have to have built up an audience that is already invested in (and like) you so you can ask them for some money, or you're semi-well versed in marketing, so you know how to connect with lots of potential donators.

The way that most people use those crowd funding sites (mostly unintentionally) as a form of "Friends and Family" funding. They're only able to promote to people they already personally know, thus, the only people they can ask for money.

If we don't raise the $50k, what is our best option?

1). Find something you can make for cheaper.
2). Make something that you'll profit from and parlay that success.

There are probably more options, but you're talking about (in my opinion) probably the hardest part of film making. The financing. Well it is at least on a professional/semi-professional level.

Good luck and enjoy the journey.

Edit: How come you're (the director) posting here instead of your producer?
 
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Edit: How come you're (the director) posting here instead of your producer?

I gonna guess they're one and the same. If not, if I had a separate producer I would it ill be promoting the heck out of someone as well as asking questions if I was keen to direct it
 
Read this: http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=39122
Then read this: http://www.indietalk.com/showthread.php?t=39742

I'll quibble with Sweetie that "successful" marketing is more difficult than financing.
I believe that with "successful" marketing both the pre-production financing AND post production sales will be achievable.

Making the film is almost easy in comparison to marketing.

Assume everyone lives in a zero-sum household and ask yourself about your product "Why should people givashit about THIS? Why should someone choose to spend $XX on THIS product instead of spending $XX on their kids, their girlfriend, or themselves?"

What makes your product worthwhile to them?
 
Financing is one of the hardest things in filming to do if you're not established (or at least know and are being supported by established film makers/actors).



The hard and fast rule to raising funds, you either: 1). Have a track record of making profitable works so you can go and ask investors for money or B). Use some crowd funding after you have built up an audience. Even the latter option doesn't always work.

Very few people actively search for people with projects so they can donate. It's why you either have to have built up an audience that is already invested in (and like) you so you can ask them for some money, or you're semi-well versed in marketing, so you know how to connect with lots of potential donators.

The way that most people use those crowd funding sites (mostly unintentionally) as a form of "Friends and Family" funding. They're only able to promote to people they already personally know, thus, the only people they can ask for money.



1). Find something you can make for cheaper.
2). Make something that you'll profit from and parlay that success.

There are probably more options, but you're talking about (in my opinion) probably the hardest part of film making. The financing. Well it is at least on a professional/semi-professional level.

Good luck and enjoy the journey.

Edit: How come you're (the director) posting here instead of your producer?


Thanks for the feedback. We had been building an audience through the festivals we played at, and even had the majority of people say "You need to get up on kickstarter! You'll kill it!", we also have been pushing though our social media outlets, websites, youtube/vimeo links, even have a marketing company pushing to tons more sites and people spread.

And, yes, I'm both Directing and Producing. All the producers we try to get on board say they don't want to do anything unless there is money involved. I've even had producers say "Your work is great. I'll do all the promoting and pushing for you and get your name out there at the parties and do the introductions so we can get to the right people.... etc."

I am way more of a creative and not a biz guy, so it's a struggle for me to have to step up and be both Producer and Director at this stage. If you have any advice for getting a solid producer on board who are willing to help do the work of getting this thing funded, then I am more than willing to listen.

When it came to producing the short film, and all the other short films I have directed/produced, it seemed to be a lot easier. But this is a beast that I just really need help with.
 
Assume everyone lives in a zero-sum household and ask yourself about your product "Why should people givashit about THIS? Why should someone choose to spend $XX on THIS product instead of spending $XX on their kids, their girlfriend, or themselves?"

What makes your product worthwhile to them?

I can never come up with a nice way to say this ;) It's so true though.

Thanks for the feedback. We had been building an audience through the festivals we played at, and even had the majority of people say "You need to get up on kickstarter! You'll kill it!", we also have been pushing though our social media outlets, websites, youtube/vimeo links, even have a marketing company pushing to tons more sites and people spread.

Probably from people who don't know any better. Who knows? I've never done a kickstarter campaign, so they may know more than me...

I am way more of a creative and not a biz guy, so it's a struggle for me to have to step up and be both Producer and Director at this stage. If you have any advice for getting a solid producer on board who are willing to help do the work of getting this thing funded, then I am more than willing to listen.

The more and more that I read on this thread (and the other one you've got going similar to this) it sounds like you don't have a clear idea of what a producer does. There are very few successful people who can properly do the role of Director and Producer without hiring people to do what's needed. It's hard to be a producer and director at the same time as their job is often polar opposites. The director wants to spend as much as he can to get the best picture and the producer wants to cut costs as much as possible to keep the budget on track (simplified of course, but hopefully you get the point).

The producer is really the person who gets everything ready for it to be attractive to be financed (yes, they do a lot, lot more than this, but in my opinion, this is one of their most important jobs as nothing else happens if this doesn't). You'll need someone who understands how bridge loans work, tax breaks and incentives, attaching marketable talent, insurance, marketing hooks, dealing with distribution, pre-sales, contingency plans is sales don't go as expected and the list goes on and on and on. It doesn't mean that you cannot do it, but it'll take a lot of learning to get to the point where you're ready. Who knows, you may be a natural.

Where to find this person? The sad point is, you're probably not going to find someone like this. They're usually the ones who are already in charge and have more than enough on their plate that they won't be interested in you... So the best you'll likely to be able to get is someone who has an interest in doing the job, who is keen to learn that job and will fumble through it with you.... and you're likely to have to give up a decent percentage for them to go the whole hog. Without this percentage, any sane person would walk away after understanding what they got themselves in for. Just be aware, you're going to need some money behind you. While you can ask some people to work for free, it's another matter all together to get them to pay (expenses) to make your movie, especially your marketing people. Your PR person may rudely drop you if you expect them to pay for your press kits and postage/phone costs.

Producing is not a fun job, (as most jobs on the production side of the staff). It's a lot of hard work, lonely and aggravating work. That's why producers don't want to do it unless they're getting paid.

At the point that you're at, someone who has a background in market and public relations are going to be invaluable to you. They'd be the ones that get the word out about you and get you to the point where you can attract a decent producer. At the moment, you're in the same situation as a lot of other film makers: "I need money to finish my baby"

Looking back, this post isn't as clear as I hoped. Ask questions.
 
I wanted to self finance a film I been writing a script for a year now..But I am completely stuck. The equipment is a easy find with the development of DSLRs-But unless it is set in one location with few characters it is hard to make a film even at a 4 grand minimum.
 
I wanted to self finance a film I been writing a script for a year now..But I am completely stuck. The equipment is a easy find with the development of DSLRs-But unless it is set in one location with few characters it is hard to make a film even at a 4 grand minimum.

Kids on the road come across a haunted house which won't let them leave and starts killing them off one by one until they find some BS way to defeat the house, which is really a bad guy etc.

Go write and make your millions!

Good luck.
 
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