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Independent Film Funding
Film funding is never an easy process, especially for independent films that are not being developed as part of the studio system or some other type of professional film infrastructure. This truly independent film framework requires you to essentially search out funding methods to try and produce an unproven commodity, but the forms are still out there. This will likely need to be done during preproduction since going into physical production is actually going to be next to impossible. Here is a look at how to get funding for your movie in preproduction from different methods, both commercial and non-profit.
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It is important to always be as complete with your movie in preproduction as you possibly can because the more that you have for possible financiers or investors to look at the better. For investors the film is going to be a commodity and it is important to prove that it can be executed and that it will be profitable. For them this means that you will need to show that you are able to produce the film in question, that the crew you are using is stellar enough, that you have an effective strategy for sale and distribution, and that the property will be able to draw its investment back and to see a profit. To do this you have to give enough background on yourself and your crew as well as producing a complete set of information on your film. Make sure that the script, mission statement, treatment, cast and crew biographies, locations where filming will occur, a production schedule, an effective and limited budget, as well as a plan of action for post-production and the eventual film festival or sale process. Try to put this all into an effective packet that you can send over to possible investors or you can hand out as you are pitching against a full presentation.
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Find Sources of Funding
The types of funding that your movie could receive really depends on the type of film it is. Feature narrative films can often find funding from independent sources looking for an investment, and you could try to achieve this by contacting firms dedicated to brokering investments or interested parties in general. Many film properties can be further developed, and financing can be acquired, by connecting with a production company that may want to produce your film. They will usually not provide the capital for a film themselves, but once they work to develop a project they could use their resources and contacts to acquire funding.
Film grants and scholarships are a great place to get funding for your movie in preproduction. There are a lot of artist and film grants available, especially if it is a documentary film. Investigating grants and having an experienced grant writer on board is going to provide the leverage you need here.
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If you are looking for an interesting source of funding you could ensure a distribution channel before you even finish your preproduction. Here you can look at a variety of different distribution formats and find companies that appeal to those formats and approach them to get funding for your movie in preproduction. Here they will give you funding based on the rights for their distribution channel, but this is done outside of a standard distributor and is directed to specific markets. For example, you could approach foreign distributors to find film financing that you will then use to fund your film. You then certify their use of your film in their specific markets, but you can then still sell to a larger distributor or other markets upon the film's completion.