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How to Secure Financing for a new Film. What is Film Finance and How Does One Apply for Film Finance

Film Finance

What is film finance? Who offers film finance? The financing of films is very complex and finance deals for new films are select. In general people with money are careful about their investments. They approach each project with great caution, examining all the potential pitfalls and weighing them up against whatever opportunity may exist to make a decent profit. By default they tend to err upon the side of caution. That is often how they have made their money.

The television series Dragon’s Den brought the concept of business angels to millions of people who may hitherto not have been aware of their existence. The business angel is, almost by definition, prepared to take a gamble but will always want the odds to stack heavily in their favour before they make the decision to commit capital.

So it is in the world of film making. Lots of people aspire to make films, some actually do and a few manage to turn them into a commercial success. The challenge is to find the initial funding to make the film in the first place.

There are generally speaking four potential sources of film finance that can be directed at such a project – self-funding, grants, loans and private capital.

Self-funding is an easy option if one has the resources, but few aspiring film makers will have. Grant funding is also very helpful if it can be sourced, but the terms accompanying any such funding are usually quite specific and such opportunities in any case are few and far between. A loan is a further option if it is available, but the sums of money involved tend to be considerable and even monthly repayments spread out over several years can be prohibitive.

Which brings us to private finance, which still exists in abundance for projects that are considered to be viable but in a highly competitive and specialist market the default is likely to be scepticism. One’s task, and it is a considerable one, is to persuade potential investors otherwise.

The challenge that many aspiring film makers encounter is to produce a film that is going to excite the audience rather than simply one that excites the writer. Pet themes and indulgences are fine for directors and script writers who have made the big time already, and who therefore are likely to have a rump following, critical mass of admirers whatever the fare that is on offer. New directors do not have that luxury.

It is also necessary to be topical, and of course interesting.

The availability of film finance can be considered a barometer, a yardstick by which the likely success or otherwise of a production can fairly reliably be measured. Whilst there have been notable exceptions during the course of cinematic history, as a rule of thumb the availability of film finance from private investors can be considered as good an indicator as any of the potential that exists for the success of your film.

 
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