I am seeking a financial partner to shoot a pilot for this TV Series. I have the interest of Adrian Grenier, but i need funding for the pilot. This project is based on two successful and ongoing blogs about being a single dad. There are three books published and a podcast. I’ve got several pilot scripts and a well-fleshed out shot bible. Are you interested in the film/tv business? I need a partner. firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s the teaser for the show.
The Off Parent – TV Series – Teaser
Wonderful question, particularly here, because we’re certainly frequently asked, in MediaTech Ventures, but we’re not explicitly in the funding of productions world (we’re in the funding of ventures / entrepreneurs / startups world). Hence though my celebration of your question here – that *I* (or we in particular) don’t really have the answer you’re seeking John, but we need to have the answer and advice here.
I’m answering not with an answer but more so a thought, really to help us facilitate others to contribute their answers and advice here.
We did explore it a bit, in this article: How do Investors in Film Get Their Return? How are Movies Funded?? and interestingly (even more validating your question here and our collective need for more advice), is that that article is one of our most popular articles from Google – people are seeking answers.
From that article
When we talk about “funding,” we’re typically, in entrepreneurship, referring to investors in a business. Those might be angel investors or Venture Capitalists; they invest in a company by taking a share of the ownership in exchange for their capital investment in the company. The startup thrives and when it “exits” (gets acquires or if so luck, goes public), the investors get their money back, plus some.
We use the word *funding* in a very specific way so as to be clear that we’re referring to investors in the company. Other terms, such as “financing” refer to the loans that are available to businesses.
Does it work the same way in film?? Well yes, and no.
In film, we’re not funding, nor financing, the business that produces the film; we’re funding the film. The idea, the distinction, is rather like a startup trying to get investors in just one of the things they’re building.
Film industry investors are investing in the movie production; so, somewhat similarly, they receive their return when movie is sold for distribution. Like the startup exiting when it gets acquired.
The most important difference is that when we’re talking about movie investors, it’s more accurate to call them creditors. Like a loan, their money is against the finished product , the film, and the value of that is factored into the return of their capital. Technically, it’s financing, not funding, a film.
A few of the common ways a movie is financed
The Producer pitches a local entity, usually a city, state, or region, where Arts, Economic Development, and even Tourism funds can be found – often there is a Film Commission involved and available. Such funds are allocated to support programs that put local talent to work, show off the city, or celebrate the community. These are usually grants in every sense of the word – come make your movie in Texas! Here’s money for that. (Er… well…)
This one I’m still doing homework on myself. A Gap. Essentially, the Producer takes a loan against the value of all unsold rights. Basically, the film is pre-sold to the tune of, say, $700,000 but it takes $1,000,000 to produce. The Gap is the $300k. To do this, you’re pre-selling the film and likely have to have a reputation and some bankable names involved so that the financier can be confident that you’ll make up the difference.
A Negative Pickup
Strike a deal with a film studio that commits that they will buy the film for an agreed upon amount of money. They establish certain requirements of the finished product and you can seek the financing or funding to ensure those things are delivered so that the film meets studio expectations and gets purchased.
Someone gives you the money. More or less. Granted, they’re doing so for participation in profits or as a loan with fixed interest — You pay them back. Often part of the arrangement here will involve some credits on the film… this is why you see things like “Executive Producer” as the credits roll (that’s not too dissimilar to an investor in a business expecting a seat on the Board of Directors of the company).
Ask your fans: Crowdfunding
Shares the idea publicly and offer what you can to your fans: advance ticket purchase, red carpet treatment, pre-screening, merchandise, private party with the cast, etc. In crowdfunding it’s important to appreciate that your audience really isn’t getting their money back; their supporting you because they want to and they want to participate in the experience.
That’s where my understanding and advice ends.
So, everyone else here and visiting us – what more can you share?
How do I access funding partners for a tv series in development?
THANK YOU, Paul. Very informative.