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5 Ways to Finance an Independent Film

Films are expensive to make. If you’re making a movie without the backing of a studio and its resources, you’ll need to get funding from somewhere. And if you’re on a really tight budget, you might need to get creative. If your other fundraising ideas fell through, check out five ways to finance an independent film.

Check out our personal loan calculator.

1. Find Investors

One way to fund your independent film is to find people who are willing to invest in your project. If your film shows promise, you may be able to get several people to provide you with the capital you need to move forward.

Just keep in mind that you’ll need to be transparent with your investors. They’ll need to know that it may take time for your film to take off.

2. Crowdfunding

5 Ways to Finance an Independent Film

Many independent filmmakers turn to crowdfunding when they need help financing their projects. If you’re interested in crowdfunding, you can create an account on a website like Kickstarter or GoFundMe. To get started, you can ask your friends and family members for money or reach out to your connections on social media.

Crowdfunding can be a good option for an independent filmmaker, because it allows lots of people to donate small amounts of money. And small amounts of money, if you have enough donors, can eventually add up to large sums of money.

Due to new crowdfunding rules, people trying to get their films funded can offer backers a cut of potential profits, which may encourage more people to donate. However, proceed cautiously when doing that – you may not want to cut into your bottom line too much.

Related Article: What New Crowdfunding Rules Mean for Investors

3. Look for Grants

If you need money for your independent film project, you should consider applying for grants. If you visit the PBS website, you’ll find a list of organizations that offer grants to groups and individuals. You can also find grants for filmmakers on the International Documentary Association’s website and womenarts.org.

In order to get a grant, you might have to meet certain criteria. For example, some grants are only open to artists producing projects that address social issues.

4. Product Placement

5 Ways to Finance an Independent Film

Product placement can help a budding filmmaker in a variety of ways. If you can talk someone into paying you cash for including their products in your film, your efforts could help offset the overall cost of making the film.

Even if advertisers and brand managers aren’t willing to pay you directly, you could use product placement to get access to free props and costumes. If you’re afraid that the presence of certain products could negatively affect your film, you could find a subtle way to include them.

Related Article: The Economics of Film Festivals

5. Get a Loan

If you need additional funding for your film, you could also consider getting a personal loan. This is a riskier option, however, as you’ll be putting your credit on the line. If your film fails or doesn’t generate as much money as you expected, you might end up with a troubling amount of debt.

Photo credit: ©iStock.com/peshkov, ©iStock.com/leminuit, ©iStock.com/Martin Dimitrov

Sarah Fisher Sarah Fisher is an expert in money saving strategies. She is currently studying English at Georgetown University. Sarah was born and raised in Manhattan - where she still resides.
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