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10 things to do when you get funding for your film

You got funding for your film after submitting your precious script or treatment to a funding body. Someone liked it! In fact someone out there loved it so much they want to invest their money in you and in your film. Celebrate! Go out with your friends. Feel the love because the next months are going to be hard and you will need your friends. This may all sound basic to some people, but to others maybe not.

  1. Meet the funders with your producer who will have read the contract and has some questions. If you are the producer as well as director, read the contract very carefully and ask any questions about things you don’t understand. Clarify. Clarify.
  2. Make sure you understand the needs of the funders. Yes they love the script, they love you. It is a kissy kissy lovefest. But they usually have an agenda er …goal. Find out what it is from other people who have received funding previously, if you are not alert to this, the relationship can turn sour very quickly.
  3. Find out how many stakeholders need to see the film before the rough cut is signed off. It may not be just the people you meet up with, but other invisible backroom people who have a say. Build this into your schedule.
  4. Get a good senior production manager or line producer to manage the shoot. Not your mate!  Get someone who is skilled and comes with cash flow templates, contracts, and other tricks. She – it is usually a ‘she’ will negotiate good deals for you. She usually comes with loads of contacts too. If you are not very experienced these are like gold dust. She will also prevent you from going over budget.
  5. Work with a crew who believes in you and your vision. Yeah I know you are paying them and they should get all enthusiastic because you are flashing the cash. However you need to have support of the crew because after several days working long hours, they will be tired and narky.
  6. While you are at it, don’t forget to feed people. Humans on film crews somehow get primal, and food is one of the basic needs. If you feed them food they like, they will be very happy. This is for any film whether funded or not.
  7. If it is a drama get professional actors or performers to be in your film. It is tempting to use friends who would LOVE to be in a movie. I am passing on this warning  from more experienced directors than me.
  8. Film sets are notorious for having loads of people hanging around. Leave that to the blockbuster movies with their multimillion budgets. On your lo-budget movie every penny has to count. Check with your line producer if you really need everyone. More people means more mouths to feed, more people to move around which eats money. Be brutal.
  9. But don’t delete the stills photographer who will take stills for your film. Trust me, stills are better than frame grabs for press and publicity. And you can afford a photographer with funding.
  10. Enjoy the experience it is like no other. :-)
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3 Responses to 10 things to do when you get funding for your film

  1. I don´t see movies evolving, For me it´s the old movies, without the healthy study were overmuch outperform. They had league.

  2. Adele V says:

    This was great! Thanks for the tips Campbell!!

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