Top 4 Critical Elements For Film Finance

The Top 4 Critical Elements For Film Finance

Times are changing as always in the world of film finance. Today it is just as difficult as ever, if not more so, to obtain financing for your film.

Filmmakers must be aware of the challenges and be armed with current information in order to attract funding for their movie production goals. So here are the top four critical elements required based upon realtime, real world analysis by FilmBudget.com Founder Producer Jack Binder (Reign Over Me, The Upside of Anger, The Mind of the Married Man)

An Amazing Screenplay

An amazing screenplay is fundamental to getting finance for your film. Likewise it is necessary to attracting the remaining three critical elements.

Notice I did not say “good”, or “great”. This might have sufficed in the past however in today’s market and competition for limited film finance resources your screenplay must be amazing!

Once you have established a good or great screenplay is in hand, you must run it by your most observant colleagues, friends and family to obtain honest criticism to enable you to improve the script to its utmost potential. Writing is rewriting and before you do anything else – make it Amazing!

An Outstanding Team

Investors not only look to an amazing screenplay in which to invest but they are also looking for an outstanding team. Surround yourself with established and successful filmmakers whom augment your credentials.

This includes an experienced director and producer. An experienced director is recognized as showing a track record in delivering on the writer’s vision. They are deemed competent to bring your story to the screen based upon past success.

Likewise an experienced producer is extremely important in building confidence in your film. Investors look to the producer as the manager of the production and someone who has the knowledge and understanding of the filmmaking and movie industry process.

Together these two collaborators bring a sense of comfort and reliability to your production. Again investors invest as much in a team as they do the idea, story and screenplay.

Strong Cast Attachments

Now more than ever independent film production is driven by cast. With the above elements in place the likelihood of securing top talent is formidably increased.

Finance, international (foreign) sales and distribution are fundamentally driven by the cast committed to your movie. Of course, these must be real and verifiable involvements and not wishful thinking.

The stars involved in productions Produced by Jack Binder

Some of the talented stars involved in productions Produced by Jack Binder

An Accurate and Realistic Film Budget

The fourth and perhaps most important aspect of securing film financing for your motion picture is a realistic and accurate film budget. Knowing and demonstrating your knowledge and comprehension of the costs of bringing the production to market is a basic factor in a financiers decision to fund.

Your film budget, created by an industry professional line producer or unit production manager, will speak volumes to your investors as to your appreciation of the complexities of finding the right balance in the expense of creating the product. Your budget represents a roadmap to the production for yourself and the investor.

As the industry consolidates upon viable productions, your movie budget determines your awareness of the current market value of your production. Finding the right balance of high production value for the lowest cost is the direct purview of the knowledgeable and experienced line producer engaged in budgeting your film.

In Conclusion

Combining the above four critical elements of obtaining film finance will put your movie and your production goals at the head of the line in attracting investment. Money has become much smarter over the recent years and is increasingly risk adverse.

By arming yourself with these fundamental elements you are putting you and your team in a much better position to achieve success than only having one or a few of these in order.

Contact FilmBudget.com to discuss your production, budget, development, production and finance requirements. Our services include budgeting, scheduling, consulting, film finance business plans, film tax credits analysis, creative producer and line producing services.

film finance budget

Why it is Critical to Obtain a Professional Film Budget & Why Whom Creates Your Film Budget Matters As a Reflection Upon Yourself the Filmmaker & Your Team

Why it is Critical to Obtain a Professional Film Budget and Why Whom Creates Your Film Budget Matters As a Reflection Upon Yourself the Filmmaker & Your Team

Your movie budget is a reflection on you, the filmmaker and your team. A professional film budget is critical to obtaining film finance, production and distribution for your film.

In the world of film finance and movie production the figures are more significant then ever. The details and reliability of the figures created in your movie budget by a veteran line producer are critical to the success of the film you are setting out to make.

What is often not appreciated is the compounding nature of those numbers which can lead to make the financing elements largely in error.

film budget movie stars

As the basis for the funding equation which goes into the packaging of the equity, pre-sales, debt and gap financing elements to finance your film, your movie budget is enormously important in that it be accurate and all inclusive.

Likewise the quality of the line producer’s credentials, associations and experience a filmmaker chooses to engage to create their budget lends significant value to your film stature, finance plan and the funding package overall.

The importance of having a film budget and schedule created for your screenplay for potential buyers is widely known and accepted in sophisticated film finance circles. So much so, that it is the first question asked when a project is submitted: “can you send us your budget?”

FilmBudget.com is the international leader in worldwide film budget and schedule production services, and creates accurate and proven film budgets for filmmakers.

FilmBudget.com

The benefits leading to your script being picked up by someone having already been budgeted and scheduled, the advantages are numerous. For one, putting forth the effort to create a film budget and shooting schedule for your film production immediately sets your script ahead of the ones whom have not taken this key step.

Knowing the cost of producing a film is critical to obtaining financing and distribution. Being able to articulate to an interested party how much funding will be required to produce a film enables them to make multiple decisions which they would not necessarily be bothered nor able to entertain with a screenplay alone, for which one presumes they might receive literally thousands.

Additionally, this effort and resourcefullness demonstrates initiative on the part of the writer/producer/director to ascertain the fundamental fact of the film production: the cost to produce the film.

Further to this point, knowing the cost of the film production overall and where it will be shot, aids in determining what film tax incentive amount the filmmakers might expect to receive from local government institutions, funds, grants, etc. Knowing the budget of the film enables a buyer to be able anticipate what type of foreign sales (advances) they might be able to expect as well.

This all leads to potential purchasers to able to figure what amount of equity, or hard cash, will then be required on their part, or their financiers, to proceed to produce the film.

So knowing your cost of production sets you and your film apart from others submitting only a screenplay, as one which has made the effort to enable the key factors required to make an informed decision. It also conveys your commitment to getting the film made and willingness to  have an understanding of the process of filmmaking, for the budget and schedule is a roadmap to the production.

It is a reflection upon you and your team that you have undertaken to understand how the film will be made by having a professional film budget and schedule created for you by a veteran line producer, for what you will then have, a package, not just a screenplay, to present and they, to investors and financiers.

Contact FilmBudget.com to obtain an immediate quote on our services, which include a finance and camera ready film budget and schedule package, film finance plans and film tax credit analysis and production consulting.

Follow us on:

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

AFlogo2

American Film Market | AFM 2012

 

As November approaches the international film industry steadfastly prepares for the American Film Market in Los Angeles.

Industry executives, producers, directors look to the AFM for a good jump on global sales of their film productions.

Foreign Sales company’s slates are evaluated and perfected.  Every film budget is prepared, evaluated and revised to meet the cost structure of the current landscape for independent film.

Marketing materials are being created, edited and finalized in preparation for presentation to the global business.

 

What:  American Film Market (AFM)

When:  October 31 – November 7, 2012

Where:  Santa Monica, California

Website:   http://www.americanfilmmarket.com/

Each year the hordes of movie executives descend on the the seaside town of Santa Monica California to make international distribution deals for their film and video productions.  Buyers from around the globe likewise are in full force looking for that next hot product but also the standard fare the makes up their day to day schedule of releases.

 

Distributors look to the AFM to increase their reach in worldwide penetration of markets and deals for their product to be licensed in every territory of the world.  Taking over the many hotels that line the beach, the companies take residence in hotel rooms and suites, fill them with staff, posters, one sheets and televisions to play dvds and hard drive trailers for prospective buyers.  It is truly a selling market, much as any industry sector would provide.

Conferences as well are a stable of the American Film Market with industry leaders, movers and shakers presenting panels and discussions on all aspects of the film business.  Topics include production, distribution, movie budget levels, new media, digital platforms and film tax credits and incentives programs.   Likewise co-production treaties are often explained and detailed by the attending experts.

 

 

Film Finance is always a central theme to the AFM and the Conference Series delivers top finance professionals discussing the current state of film finance, marketing, pitching, film festivals, VOD and streaming of film product.

Central to the AFM on the trade floors at the Loews Hotel are likewise film commissions presence in booths with staffers explaining the various territories film tax incentives regimin.   Locations executives laud their country or state for its natural or urban beauty, film tax credits or film friendly attitude.   As competition has grown for production dollars these events are seen as a critical attendance for these entities to tout their place in the production pipeline.

 

Altogether the AFM represents the fabric of the film finance and distribution world for the independent film community.  International productions are launched bought and sold here.

As the motion picture industry has evolved in the face of the global financial meltdown the importance of AFM has actually grown.   Producers must lower their film budget to meet the challenges of the marketplace and distributors must provide product for their buyers at the right price.

As Studio production has ebbed in this new world, the access to high end talent by indie film producers has increased, leading to a new crop of independent films hitting the screens of the market.

 

Film Budget .com | American Film Market (AFM) 2011 Film Finance and International Sales Roundup

American Film Market (AFM) 2011 Round-Up

 

The 2011 American Film Market is winding down at the moment and as promised, this year’s event is proving to be quite a success!   Though film financing remains a difficult proposition, projects with the right combination of well known talent, directors and strong marketing prospects funding is on the rise in combination with lenders, equity, gap,  film tax credits, co-productions, government funding and incentives.   The market is indeed hungry for quality films to distribute with solid packages, a film budget with a reasonable recoupment potential and name talent is the constant mantra.

 

Here are a list of some the deals that were made at this year’s AFM:  (updates forthcoming as we write)

 

* IM-Global takes rights to ‘The Sister’ for Europe, Latin America

 

* Universal Pictures International Entertainment has picked up rights to Content Film’s ‘Hard Boiled Sweets’ for the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Benelux and Scandinavia

 

* Drafthouse Films has picked up crime drama ‘Bullhead’ and raucous comedy ‘Clown’, for distribution in North America

 

* Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions has picked up domestic distribution rights to ‘Bel Ami’, from Protagonist Pictures. The company also picked up comedy ‘Bailout’ starring Jack Black, for multiple territories including North America, South America and Scandinavia.

 

 

 

* FiGa Films has picked up ‘The Last Christeros’ (Los ultimos cristeros) by Matias Meyer, which had its world premiere in Toronto Film Festival (link to blog on Toronto Film Festival), and ‘Machete Language’, directed by Kyzza Terrazas, which had its world premiere in Venice.

 

* FilmDistrict has acquired ‘Drive’ the Nicolas Winding Refn-directed film adaptation of James Sallis’ suspense-themed novel

 

* Sierra Pictures announced the acquisition of ‘Rampart’, a crime thriller starring Woody Harrelson. The company also picked up comedy ‘Darling Companion’, which stars Kevin Kline, Diane Keaton.

 

* Tiberius Film has picked up a trio of horror sequels – ‘Piranha 3D’, ‘Children of the Corn: Genesis’ and ‘Hellraiser: Revelations’ for the German market.

 

* Exclusive Media Group picks up international rights for ensemble drama ‘Disconnect’

 

* Lightning Entertaiment picked up 7 films including ‘Brake’, ‘Columbus Circle’ and ‘Wrath’, making their world premiere debut at the AFM. The other films are ‘Boy Wonder’, ‘Bloodwork’, ‘The Trouble with Bliss’ and ‘Scents sand Sensibility’

 

* Wild Bunch acquired the international rights to Academy-Award winner Geoffrey Fletcher’s directorial debut ‘Violet & Daisy’

 

* Los Angeles-based film production, financing and foreign-sales company Unified Pictures has entered into a three-movie deal with Vancouver-headquartered production-finance group Bron Studios

 

 

 

Announcements of major financings include:

 

* Exclusive will finance Matt Damon’s ‘Yesterday’ with Focus Features handling U.S.

 

* Endgame Entertainment announced the creation of Endgame Releasing, to provide as much as $500 million in funding for marketing and distribution of four to six wide release movies per year through major studios. One of the first movies to tap into the fund will be the movie ‘Looper’  starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis.

 

* W2 Media has come on to co-finance and distribute ”The Theatre Bizarre 2,” a sequel to Severin Films and Mataluna Prods.’ ”The Theater Bizarre” horror anthology.

 

* Green Isle Entertainment has entered into an initial $60 million dollar multiple picture financing agreement for film budgets with Allegiance Capital Corp.

 

* IM Global to finance $20 million action-drama ‘Hummingbird’.

 

These are just a few of the ‘official’ announcements. With the AFM still underway, many more similar announcements are anticipated in the coming days. With deals being made fast and furious – don’t miss your chance to catch a piece of the  action! For more information on this year’s AFM, check out the blog on filmbudget.com

 

 

Filmbudget.com is the international leader in worldwide film budget and schedule line producer film budgeting production services.  Film finance and camera ready movie budget and schedule packages.

 

3 Top Film Finance Expert Sources

The film financing market is showing signs of life again. Pre-sales and negative pick-ups were up and funding every range of film budget at the Cannes Film Festival and the Cannes Film Market.

So we thought it might be helpful to our readers to list three sources for film finance information to assist in finding financial sources for film funding of your film budget toward the greenlight required for motion picture production. While certainly not a complete list and we will be posting more here are some key resources to get your film budget the critical investor, financier or lender required to get your film made.

1. Jeff Steele’s Film Closings – Jeff Steele is a film finance expert based in Venice, CA and Chicago. Jeff provides expert insight into the pitfalls and advantages of properly aligned financial documentation and managing expectations across the film finance process. Jeff is a strong proponent of hiring a professional line producer to create a custom and accurate film budget and schedule for any serious movie production seeking financing.

2. Film Finance Forum – Film Finance Forum is the preeminent conference for the film finance, movie and television production industry. Panelist relay their expertise on matters of the funding, production, bank lending, studio and independent film budget realities and marketplace analysis. Presenters range from studio executives to bank representatives. Filmbudget.com founder Jack Binder is a regular attendee to the conference. FFF operates in NY, LA, Cannes, Singapore, Moscow and other locations.

3. Film Finance Summit – Film Finance Summit is likewise a film industry leader in movie financing seminars and conferences. Past speakers include film financing attorneys, bankers, film tax incentives professionals and film producers. Filmbudget.com Founder, Producer Jack Binder has been a guest panelist for Film Finance Summit Conferences.