Getting the money. This is, without a doubt, the single trickiest part of making a movie. Unless you're a trust fund baby or a Hollywood movie star, finding the money to make your film will probably be the biggest barrier between you and the realization of your creative vision.
Fortunately, digital technology has enabled producers to shoot professional quality feature films at dime store prices. Unfortunately, given the fact that many feature films routinely cost $50 million, that "dime store price" can still be in the tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Furthermore, although digital technology may give you the tools required to capture an image on tape and then edit it, it will not help you pay for locations, cast and crew, hotel and travel, meals, music licensing, rentals, or any of the other items required for making even the smallest film.
If ownership of the final project is not critical, filmmakers may get their films made by co-production agreements or by selling the project to a third party, such as a studio.
Co-production agreements. Co-production agreements allow filmmakers to partner up with another entity, usually a production company with studio facilities and/or equipment. In exchange for providing production services and/or studio facilities to the filmmaker, the co-producer receives an ownership position in the film itself. Depending upon the deal, that co-producer may own equity in the filmmakers company, a portion of the copyright in the film, a percentage of the profits of the film, or most likely, some combination thereof.
Selling the film. Filmmakers often pitch a film package—script, stars, and hot director—to a more established studio. If the studio likes the film, it will offer to buy the package. Sometimes this sale is treated as a "co-production," but the copyright to the final project and, therefore, ownership of the film itself, invariably rests with the studio. Despite the lack of ownership of the final film, many filmmakers would be more than willing to sell their projects to a major studio. The problem is that you usually have to be an established producer to attract the interest of a movie studio.
Most filmmakers, however, either want some ownership position in their films or do not have the clout to sell a film to a studio.Therefore they finance their films in one or more of the following ways:
• Pay for the film out of pocket
• Bring in investors
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