Film financing has changed and become more lean and nimble. Here are some tips on how to survive and thrive in an ever-changing market, from 20-year film industry veteran Kevin Christoffersen, who specializes in production, financing structures, investment negotiations, distribution project development in film, TV and other media.
1) Take a self-starter approach to produce a film.
“Think of it like starting a business. I bring in line producers to set a producing schedule and budget and graphic designers for marketing materials for my look book and business plan…I bring in an entertainment attorney to set up the LLC, cast and crew agreements and investor documentation. Then I appoint a casting director.”
2) Screenwriters should be aware there are high costs associated with excessive CGI, explosions, special effects, or grandiose locations.
“That’s fine, but writers may want to consider more realistic locations in subsequent drafts which don’t affect the heart of their stories.”
4) Every project should have someone representing it from the financing side.
“Every film is its own startup and has different ways of financing it. Some hedge funds might want to invest in a film slate as part of their portfolios as part of a diversification or tax write-off strategies.”
5) If a story has legs, don’t get stuck into thinking it could only be a feature and nothing else.
“It has many different tentacles and could extend beyond that. If it doesn’t attract finance to produce the feature, you still have the proof of concept to use for other formats.”
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