Many books have been written on teh subject. Check some out from the local library or spend some money and get them from the local B&N or Borders. In general, I say put together a budget for your development project.Then look for the money to finance the Dev. package only. Spend all of your energies in creating the best development package possible and then financing of your film will be much easier. Cheers.
I still feel like your best bet is always going to be a good business plan and a prospectus, even for a short. Make sure that whoever you speak to about investing or "donating" has a net wroth of over $1 million, otherwise you can get into big trouble with the S.E.C. over trade laws.
There's always arts councils and grant money.
Short films rarely ever turn a profit, and even when they do it's not for much $$$. Talk to the few film distributors that handle short films (Britshorts, Big Film Shorts, Mindignites, etc.) - you'll make tens of dollars slowly over the course of 3 years.
There is the incredibly rare exceptions of HBO and SHOWTIME which pay top dollar for shorts (between $10,000-20,000) but they stipulate that the film be shot entirely in 35mm, and not have appeared on any website or any prior broadcats or DVD distribution.
And the most common scenario for short films:
Beg - Borrow - Steal
I do't really like the last one, but it does happen.
Mr. Blue ....
Have you thought of takling some tips from the politicians, how they fundraise: House parties, internet, sports figure (ice cream social) where sports figures sign baseballs, footballs, etc. auctions of famous people donated items: these funds should give you a base from which to start, the politicians use a lot of good fundraising ideas,(they would not use them if they did not work....) take a moment and find a republican or democratic fundraising workshop....(just a thought)
I know some of this sounds "corny" but it might work who knows!!!
i am starting my new project and the way i am funding is putting on shows with the best local bands,i once made a thousand in one night,it works if u have all the right bands.
1. get bands togather
2.rent out hall
3.charge 4 bucks a head
4.buy ur own water
5.charge 2 bucks a water
6.if all goes well u should be abel to make some good cash,well good to me at least.
My advice is use your filmmaking skills to freelance locally with production companies. If you have a skill use it. Either that or try to get in as a PA and make money that way. Most production houses pay $100-150 a day for PAs. Hey, it's not glamourous work doing corporate training videos, but you get to rub elbows with skilled production folks and maybe you can talk them into helping out on your projects. Also, you might learn some cool tech tricks.
The best way to get funded in the UK is to run educational programs. I take ten students on a Film Production Course in the UK, get granted £10,000 and then teach them all how to do cinematography and sound stuff on Super 16mm. Then we all club together and make a short film in the second week! Shabam Kaboom - a nice top quality short film and a whole bunch of kids who i've invested in for the future of the british film industry
Buy a Keg. Should set you back $200 at most, depending on size, right?
Now, get everyone you know, and everyone they know, and everyone they know... you get the idea... to buy a ticket (or two, or three) for, say, $10-20, that gives them the chance to win the keg.
Assuming you have 100 people playing and they each pay $10 for a ticket, that's an $800 profit. Not a whole lot of money, but enough to pay for some basics (should cover just about all your equipment, assuming you have a camera and spend wisely), and the best part: you're invited to the kegger!
This may sound dumb, but in high school I was part of the youth ministry team and we were always looking for community projects. We raised money for St. Mary's home, a home for teenage mothers, we did a clothing drive, and we did a costume drive for an arts camp for kids that I am a part of during the summer. If your film has a really worth while message, you could go to a local school or comunity centre or something and ask them to help raise some money. Not only will it help but those people will want to see your film for sure. It may sound insignificant, but we sometmes raised a lot. (We raised enough every year for St. Mary's to buy big duffle bags full of gifts for all the mothers and their babies at Christmas with money left over for the organization)