The Call to Adventure: Your First Steps as an Indie Movie Producer
Stepping into the world of independent filmmaking is like embarking on an exhilarating adventure. The path is uncharted, and full of opportunities, challenges, and surprises. Before you start, take a breath and lay a solid foundation for your journey. And by the way, we’re not financial advisors, just indie filmmakers who made a movie discussing some of what we learned.
Show Me the Money
Budgets may not have the same glamour and sex appeal as movie premieres, but they’re the bedrock on which films are built. Securing funds is your first big hurdle and crucial to everything that follows. The following suggestions are some of the ways to find the funding you’ll need.
Crowdfunding: Platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo allow you to present your vision to the public. If people resonate with your idea, they may pledge money to see it come to life. Research what marketing materials you’ll need to showcase your project and to inspire people to help.
Don’t overlook the potential of this method, even if the amount generated isn’t enough for the full budget. For our movie, Blood Pledge, crowdfunding is what got the project across the post-production finish line.
Investors: These are individuals or groups who provide funds in exchange for a return on investment. To attract investors, showcase your project in a manner that sparks their interest and aligns them with your vision. Elements like a great logline, pitch package, or the script itself, can inspire confidence, as well as a solid business plan are essential. The internet is a valuable resource for finding information and guidance on creating these elements.
Savings: If you've saved up money for this dream, it's time to put it to good use. Just be sure to budget wisely.
Create an LLC
Think of filmmaking as a business venture because it is. Forming an LLC, (Limited Liability Company) is a strategic move. It provides a protective barrier for your personal assets against any film-related financial risk. Plus, having an LLC lends credibility when you're discussing your project with potential partners or investors. Form your LLC in the State where you’re company’s office is located, even if that’s your home, as was the case with our movie, Blood Pledge.
Open a Business Bank Account
Once your LLC is in place, your next step is the bank. A business account ensures that your personal finances remain separate from your film’s funds. This distinction is crucial not only for clarity, but also for ease with tracking expenses, managing budgets, and handling any income from the movie. It also helps when it's time to do your taxes.
Embarking on your indie film journey is a exciting endeavor. While the spotlight often shines on the final product, this groundwork is what truly sets the stage for success. With passion, preparation, and a dash of entrepreneurial spirit, you're well on your way.
Lights, camera, action!
Check it out at Vimeo!