As the BFI launch a five year plan to boost the British film industry I intend to examine what exactly the BFI plan to do, whether it's been done before and if it can work as expected. I'll also be looking at whether or not there are alternative ways for indie and first time feature filmmakers to acquire film funding and to get their baby on the big screen as they always dreamed. Through this series of articles related to film funding I shall also be looking at crowd funding and its recent serge amongst indie filmmakers and what exactly is the best way to get ahead as a first time feature filmmaker.
A New Way To Finance Your Film
Gone are the days when you had to beg a studio or group of wealthy people in order to get your foot on the film industry ladder. There seems to be a new and very popular way of getting the money needed to make your baby and get yourself out there in the big wide world of filmmaking! Crowd funding is the film financing strategy that is growing in popularity amongst indie filmmakers and first time feature makers. As the purse strings of many become even more stringent these filmmakers are getting people to part with their pennies in order to fund their films. Crowd funding basically means that instead of getting one person to give you £50,000 for you to make your low budget indie feature you instead get 10,000 people to give you £5 and you have your budget without any interfering studio execs or producers. The BFI have recently announced that they will be investing hundreds of millions of pounds into the British film industry over the next five years, but the chances of a first time filmmaker getting their hands on enough of that money to make their film is slim and for many this isnt really a viable option. For any filmmaker getting your first feature made is the most difficult step. You havent made one before, you probably havent got any experience with big budgets and you dont have a recognisable name with an in built audience. So how do you get someone to part with a very large cheque for you to give it a go? Its tough and most first features are very low budget and rely heavily on begging, borrowing and stealing. The new route offered by crowd funding means that filmmakers can build their audience through pitching their idea via one of several websites specialising in crowd funding and reach audiences that are at least interested in parting with a few quid for a good idea that grabs them. If the filmmaker can get their own audience on board with their crowd funding campaign they can see their budget grow and the number of people keeping track of their project and wanting to see it grow also. Their film begins to gather pace. However, is crowd funding going to replace the traditional route of funding a feature film and is it two fingers up to the BFIs new five year plan? The chances of crowd funding becoming a major player in terms of film financing is slim. It is more of starting place for first time filmmakers and the money raised from this strategy is never going to out way the sums put in by major financiers or studios. The budgets of crowd-funded films are more often than not going to be a million miles away from the likes of James Bond or Harry Potter, but then crowd funding isnt really aimed at established directors. As for it being two fingers up to the BFIs five-year plan maybe. A first time feature filmmaker knows their appeal is limited and their chances of getting large amounts of funding is slim. Crowd funding does offer them a way of making something on a small budget and showing what they can do with 90 minutes and the resources at their disposal. If they are smart, research their audience and develop a film that can pull a niche crowd or appeal to a certain genre then they can make that small, crowd funded budget stretch a little further and their overall project will have more appeal. The key thing to remember is that the film industry is not art anymore, its business. And like any business financiers want to see that a little amount invested can go a long way and pay dividends. A clever crowd funding campaign can stretch that cash, show that a filmmaker can make a lot with a little and then when they come to beg for money for feature number 2 they can use their crowd funded first feature as an example of their artistic talents and the abilities to make something form nothing. To see how a crowd funding campaign looks please click the link and check out my own project as I seek £5000 to make a documentary about a small and hard working charity called Everyones Child Romania. Their tireless efforts to enrich the lives of children and young people from the poorest areas of Romania is a truly inspirational story and one I want to share with the world. http://www.sponsume.com/project/everyones-child-romania