Funding For Filmmakers: A Quick Introduction
Gathering the funds needed for your film can be a tricky subject. With such a variety of advice and options available, it can be easy to become overwhelmed. When it comes to funding (and filmmaking in general), the key is to think methodically. Make lists, write down contacts, and work in a structured and step-by-step way. In no time at all, you will feel more in control and have a better understanding of funding for filmmakers.
If you are about to seek funding for your film at any stage in production, first read the tips below.
Slash Your Costs
Before even beginning, it can be helpful to ensure that your budget is as low as it can be. There is some great advice on low budget filmmaking (both online and in print) and ways to keep your costs down. From borrowing items from other filmmakers, to finding actors who will work for free, there are lots of ways in which you can reduce your expenses. By keeping the overall costs low, you are more likely to raise the sum needed.
Many filmmaking competitions now have a cash prize or even a production deal. If you’re fortunate enough to already have a short film or a simple showreel, it can be your key to gaining investors for your next film. Competitions that offer funding for a short film or a feature film may only need to see a few seconds of showreel to be able to tell if you have talent. If you are a script writer too, don’t hesitate to enter your script for consideration and to generate some interest.
Councils And Charities
Arts Councils can be a particularly good source of funding and support. Be aware that the application process can be protracted so leave yourself plenty of time before any deadlines. It may be necessary to include a synopsis, script sample, budget, shooting schedule and more. This may sound like a heavy workload, but don’t be discouraged. This package of materials will serve you well throughout the whole filmmaking process.
Production equipment including lighting, cameras, sound equipment and software can all be pricey. But you don’t have to buy them outright. Some filmmakers have even struck up a deal with local camera stores to borrow cameras if they advertise the store throughout shooting. This can be on social media, such as with a “special thanks to” message. It can even be at the start or end of the credits or on the t-shirts that the crew wear! Get creative and see if you can strike up a deal with any local businesses.