In terms of the practical aspects of filmmaking, starting from camera selection to mastering editing systems, independent film producers seem prepared to rise to every challenge. But tell one of these folks they have to come up with a business plan and find investors to aid their film and you’ll find most looking for a stage door to exit. Why? As if indie producers liked asking permission to do something or taking orders from others . . . they would be working for studios. Nevertheless, writing your own business plan is actually a skill that since a good plan and friendly investors translates into more cash and the ability to make better films.

The most important thing to understand about your own business plan is that it, alone, won’t enable you to get the funding you need. Your business plan could be the solid, practical, nuts and bolts overview that will support your one on one and phone presentations.

How will you write a business plan?

One good way to start your business plan is to calculate your production budget. To do this you will need to break up your script and determine how many shooting days and locations your film will be needing. This will tell you the amount of crew members you will require, and allow you to get a better feeling for props and effects. Costing these elements out, then adding editing and post production, taxes, legal fees, financing fees and insurance fees should provide you with a good estimate from the production budget.

If you don’t learn how to do this, you ought to spend a thousand dollars or so to employ a line producer. CRAIGLIST in Los Angeles may be a great place to start. Line producers are wonderful at breaking down scripts and producing budgets. In reality, you may want to have multiple line producers create schedules and budgets for your film. Comparing their estimates will give you a wise idea of how accurate your budgets are and may give you good advice about the best way to spend less or improve quality. Line producers also understand how to maximize rebates and tax credits.

If this seems like an unnecessary expense, remember that a great line producer with a lot of credits is a key necessity for your film to have financing. When you generate a feature you normally need to have a completion bond, and to obtain one you’ll require a good line producer. Completion bond companies realize that an excellent line producer will make sure the film is finished. Line producers can also connect you to good directors, cinematographers, editors along with other crew.

Once you have a financial budget and schedule, you are ready to write an introduction to the development team. As producer, your bio should come first. If you do not have plenty of film credits for your name, showcase your other successes. Knowledge of management, marketing and sales are very attractive in new film producers. You need to provide information on the director, line producer, as well as other key people in the development team.

Once you complete the production overview, start work on the talent part of your company plan. Start by listing the actors you need to work together with, then contacting their agents to find out what their weekly rate is. If you are uncomfortable doing this, make contact with an entertainment lawyer who works together with film producers and have them have the calls. The few hundred dollars you spend will be well invested. Note, you do not have to obtain letters of intent for such people so that you can mention them within your strategic business plan. Just indicate that they are the actors you plan to approach. For best results list multiple actors for all the key roles. Provide pictures of actors inside your business strategy because many investors can’t recognize actors by their name.

Make sure that your actors have credits that film and television distributors will discover attractive. IMDBPRO and BOXOFFICEMOJO can help you discover what films actors and actresses have appeared in and exactly how much those films earned in theaters. There are many websites which could give a DVD sales chart showing weekly, monthly and annual sales figures. Just search for “DVD Sales Numbers” on the search engines. Not every films can be bought on the basis of “name actor” involvement, but it really does make getting investors and distribution easier.

By the time you may have done all the research required to select actors, you should think it is very easy to start writing financial forecasts that specify just how much films similar to yours made in the theater and then in DVD sales both in the US and domestically. This will account for the majority of your film’s value. Note that US Domestic theatrical sales are often not really a significant way to obtain revenue for your producer if you deal with traditional distributors. Actually they cost you money. However also a limited theatrical release does increase the price of your film since it increases the total amount you get from licensing and DVD sales. Why? Since the domestic theatrical release and related marketing effectively presells the film to a broad audience.

In your sales forecasts be sure to add reasonable estimates for Pay Per View, cable television and broadband licensing and make up any product placement fees you might receive. You must also provide estimates of money rebates or tax credits you could receive from states like New Mexico and Michigan which might take into account 15% to 40% of your production budget. Performed correctly, with adequate research, you should be able to prove your product will break even in a worst scenario and make a good profit in average conditions.

Next, provide an overview of how much financing you need and just how investors will likely be repaid. It is essential to note that most investors expect that any revenues received by the production company will repay their investment and they can get 50% of any additional revenues the film earns. But you can find really no cast in stone rules within this matter. The deal differs from project to project.

After you have these factors written, put in a synopsis, storyboards as well as any additional information that explains the key elements of the project.

The last part of the organization plan you will write is definitely the executive summary. It reviews the weather within your strategic business plan with special attention given to its most favorable aspects.

When your strategic business plan is finished, you are prepared to pitch any project. You should be able to comfortably convey to just about anyone why it can earn money. And that is certainly the actual price of your own business plan. You nkavxd it to backup your pitches. Its value is within convincing an economic partner that you will have performed your research on the project he wants to invest in.

Prior to starting contacting potential investors or distribute your business plan, you need to have a talk with your attorney about how you need to handle investment. If you are intending to sell shares within your production company, you have to pay to possess your attorney produce a Product Placement Memorandum. This may not be the only method to accept money to your film. However it is a common way.

If your financial partner is an “active investor” who plays the role of executive producer, or if the funding you receive is actually a loan using a guaranteed rate of return instead of a good investment, you may only need a business plan to back up your pitches.

If this looks like plenty of work, it is actually. But most filmmakers are quite comfortable with hard work as long as they understand its value. As a producer, you require a solid strategic business plan around your investor does. People produce feature films and documentaries 365 days a year worldwide. They can make money. You can too.

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