The most common question I have been asked recently by aspiring filmmakers is where to find money to make a movie. The answer is both very complex and very simple. The simple answer is passion. I’ve written about passion in other blog posts and I return to it here because it is not uncommon to encounter people who will tell you cannot do your project and it is only through passion that a person has the strength to push forward and insist that the project be a success. Trust me. You will never get your movie made without this element not only because it makes you persist in the face of negativity, but it is also the ingredient that investors look for first and foremost. If you aren’t completely in love with your project then why should they be?
The complex answer is a matter of budgets, guts, and research. Depending on how much you need you can turn to anything from crowdfunding to banks to angel investors. My budget for Traunik is slightly higher than crowdfunding allows, but yet a bit small for most of the major banking institutions that do movies. I have turned to angel investors.
To find an angel investor, do research. Then you when you think you are all set, do more research. And then do even more. Once you have your research, put together your pitch, your production packet, and your legal foundation. (You’ll want an attorney for the last item here.)
The final ingredient is having a team of people you trust who are knowledgeable so that you have someone to be the objective eyes when you think you have found the right investors. Investors are your partners and together you must balance creativity with business and that is not always a simple thing, but it can be done. And that is how the magic happens.
Lynne M. Smelser is an executive producer and scriptwriter. For more than 20 years she has been an active writer who has won many national awards. She also holds a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University.