A movie is an expensive art form. One thing that most filmmakers find very intimidating is financing the film. When we ask someone what film financing is, the first picture that will come to their mind is of a meeting between a filmmaker and producer.
Things To Consider While Choosing Film Financing Companies In USA 2022
People have a common notion of how a film is financed and it is this; a filmmaker meets up with a producer, the filmmaker will pitch their story to the producer and if the producer loves the story, they will finance it or if they didn’t, they will not. But this is not the reality.
Film financing is a complex process because financing a film doesn’t happen in a fixed way. There are different ways to finance a film and one can finance their films using different sources. An independent filmmaker might be in need of a film financing source that is different from what a film company needs. In both cases, it is critical that you are aware of film financing even if you find it intimidating. So here’s all you need to know about film financing.
What Is Film Financing?
Let’s start from the base. So what is film financing? Simply put, film financing is an aspect of film products that deals with the ways a film is financed. This involves raising the money needed to produce a film and also in some cases, the money needed for the post-production requirements of a film. Film financing happens in many ways and this ranges from a filmmaker financing a film on her/his own, or depending on any external sources such as film financing companies to finance your film.
Who Finances A Film?
A simple answer to this question is that basically, anyone with money can finance a film. This can be an individual, an organization, and other sources. Now coming to an individual financing a film, it is not a common sight to have an individual who has lots of money in their pocket and is ready to finance a film. So an individual financing a film usually means a person who has sourced funding from a source that is dependent on him/her only.
Now one organization that we commonly see as something that finances a film is production houses. The common idea that people have is that the production company is the one providing fun for the creation of the film. But in most cases, production houses are an intermediate between film and financial sources. Production houses gain funds from multiple sources and then they spend it on the production of the film. There are also production houses that have the capability to spend money on a film on its own.
How Are Studio Films Financed?
Studio films and indie films have different ways of financing the film. Studio films are usually financed by an investor who wants to recoup their investment through the movie. In most cases, a studio filmmaker will visit a producer and the producer then will visit a film finance company who will decide if they would provide the fund to create the studio film.
How Are Indie Films Financed?
Indie films usually have a different method of financing a film. In most cases, the indie filmmaker finances the film on their own or through different ways such as loans and crowdfunding. But at present, there are also film financing companies that fund indie films.
What Are Film Financing Companies?
Now let’s talk about film financing companies. Film financing companies are one of the major sources that provide funds for a film. By providing funds, it does not only mean the finance needed to create the film. They also take a role in the distribution and marketing of a film. So in short, financing companies that finance the production of a film till its release.
Film financing companies are not a single industry. They can be entertainment companies that fund the creation of a film or might be normal financing companies that are ready to finance a company. There are also companies that are labeled as film financing companies.
Things To Consider While Choosing Film Financing Companies.
Selecting a film financing company for your film is one of the most critical parts of the production. A film financing company one way or another is the one who decides how your movie will develop but without proper funding, you won’t be able to create the film that you designed in your mind. So here are a few things that you need to consider while choosing a film financing company:
What do you need?
The first and most important thing that you should take into account before choosing a film financing company is your needs. By your needs, we mean the type of film that you are planning to create, what facilities are needed to create the film, and how much money you will need. There are different types of film financing companies. There are ones that finance studio films, ones that finance short films, ones that finance films that represent people of color, film companies that finance films about minority gender, and many more.
So before choosing a film financing company, understand what kind of film you are planning to create. After understanding it, determine the requirements of the film and what you expect from a film financing company. Another important thing that you need to think of while considering your needs is whether you need the company to finance you only for the production or do you also need it for post-production activities.
The reputation of the film financing company
When you are looking for a film finance company to fund your film, try to get to know about the reputation that the company has. Reputation is a key factor that will help you understand if the financing companies on your list will be the best for you or not. Presently, there are many film financing companies that fund movies of different genres.
Some of them might have been in the business of film financing for centuries and some might be relatively new in the field. But you won’t be able to understand the reputation of a film finance company by solely considering the years of experience that a film financing company has in the industry but nevertheless, it is also a factor that you can look out for.
When choosing a film financing company, you can check out the films that the companies financed before. If you have any connection with an insider of Hollywood, you can seek advice from them to know about a company’s reputation as they are the ones who might know more about a film financing company than anyone else.
The maximum fund you can receive
Every movie is different from one another and their requirements are also different, hence the fund that is needed to create a film will also be different. A studio film might need a large sum of funds to create, whereas an indie film or a short film will require a less sum of money.
Every film financing company has a fixed maximum fund that they can provide you. If you are someone who wants to create a studio film, then you will have to choose a film financing company that can provide you with a large fund to finance your film and if you are someone who is planning to create a small movie or a documentary, then it is best to choose a film financing company that is able to provide you the fund that you require.
So one important thing that you need to look for while choosing a film financing company is the maximum fund you can receive. Confirm whether the amount that they can give you would meet the requirements that you have and whether it will be enough to fund your film.
Most film financing companies have their own eligibility criteria regarding financing a film. The eligibility criteria of a film financing company that only funds studio films might be different from that of a film financing company that funds a film representing people of a minority community. So after you make a list of the film financing company that you want to contact, look at the eligibility criteria that the film financing company has.
Usually, film financing companies mention their eligibility criteria on their official website and you can check out them if you want. In other cases, there are ways to know about a film financing company’s eligibility criteria. Choosing a film financing company that has the criteria that align with your needs is a wise decision if you are planning to fund your film through a financing company.
Copyright and repayment
A critical factor that you need to consider before deciding upon a film financing company is copyright or repayment. Film financing companies have different ways of getting their money back. Some film financing companies might fund your film by loaning their money and expect you to pay it back after the movie’s release. Some financing companies take up the sales and distribution of the film to their hands and get a return for their investment through its selling. Usually, these are the two ways in which film financing companies get their return for the fund that has been given to finance a film.
There are also film financing companies that hold the copyright of your film. So look out for the repayment methods and copyright of your film before choosing a film financing company and continue with a company that has a repayment way that you are fine with.
How To Finance A Film?
Financing a film isn’t done through one single path. If you are a filmmaker, know that today there are numerous options to finance a film and these options depend upon the needs and requirements of your films.
Presently there are film financing companies that have the funds to finance a film that they are interested in and they are one of the big fish in the film financing industry. Every film financing company isn’t the same because there are companies that are interested in making big-budget movies whereas there are ones that are more inclined to fund films that might not need a big sum of funds.
Here are a few film financing companies in the USA that have been funding the creation of films for years.
Top Film Financing Companies In The USA
Independent Television Service
Independent Television Service is a famous film financing company in the USA that is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Independent Television Service has three funding programs and they are ITVS short form open call, ITVS diversity development fund, and ITVS open call.
- The ITVS short form open call provides funding to complete your short non-fiction film or web series. In ITVS short form open call, stories of any genre are accepted.
- The next one is the ITVS diversity development fund. The funding program allocates a fund of up to $25,000 for people who are of color.
- ITVS open call accepts filmmakers that have stories that tell about serious issues, stories that take risks or represent the needs of the underserved people.
Some of the popular films that Independent Television Services has financed include Queering The Map, My Midwife, Marian Anderson: The Whole World In Her Hands, and more.
AGC Studios is a platform that develops, produces, and finances feature films, scripted films, unscripted films, and music videos. The film financing company has offices located in Los Angeles and London and the company funds films of different languages and diverse cultures. A
GC Studios have connections with global platforms such as major studio partnerships, traditional broadcast, and streaming platforms to present your film. AGC Studios is backed by many tycoons in the film investing industry like the Latin American private management, asset MediaNet Partners, the largest entertainment company in the middle east Image Nation Abu Dhabi, and also by Fibonacci Films.
The company has three principal operating subsidiaries and they are AGC Productions, AGC International, and AGC Capital. Some of the popular movies of AGC Studios are Locked Down, Moonfall, Tinder Swindler, Ambush, and many more.
You can also finance your films on your own. You can do this by getting personal loans from some of the best loan providers that we presently have. When getting a loan, you need to look out for many things such as the maximum loan that you will be receiving, the repayment, and many more other things. So here are a few loan providers that might help you finance a film:
SoFi is one of the best personal loan providers that provide a loan amount of up to $100,000. If you are looking for a personal loan that will provide you with the sum of the amount that is needed to create your film, then SoFi could be a great option.
The film loan provider offers low rates of interest and there aren’t any fees or flexible payments. The estimated annual percentage rate of the personal loan that SoFi provides is 7.99%-24.3%. One important thing you need to look for before opting for a personal loan for your film is the criteria that the loan provider puts forward.
LightStream is another personal loan provider that is considered one of the best in the country. The loan amount that LightStream offers ranges from $5,000 to $100,000. There aren’t any fees and this personal loan has low rates.
Lightstream has an estimated annual percentage rate of 4.99%-19.99%. The minimum credit score needed to get a personal loan from LightStream is 660 and you would also need several years of credit history to receive a LightStream personal loan.
If you aren’t interested in financing your film through a finance company or by getting a personal loan, you can always try to fund your film through other ways such as crowdfunding.
Crowdfunding basically means funding a film through a large number of people who contribute a small amount of money for the creation of the film. Today, as many people are opting for crowdfunding to finance their films, there are many sites that provide you with a platform to carry out crowdfunding. Some of them are Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Slated, and Seed&Spark. You can also merge merchandise funding with crowdfunding by selling T-shirts and posters of your movie to people who would love to represent your film.
Financing a film can be a complex process, but if you have the right way to fund a film, it will no longer be a complex process. When you look for options to finance a film, consider your requirements above anything and choose one that aligns with your needs.