Film Financiers - Are They Corporations Or Individuals?
Part 3 of the Interview about Film financiers
Me: That's awesome! Financiers, Film Financiers, are they generally more corporations or is it individuals in your experience?
Tom: Individuals are much better and easier to get, easier to manage.
The key is, the phrase I used in my book was if you're looking for investors, get out Dodge and what I mean by that is stay out of anybody that's associated with the film business, cynical or they have their own priorities which is okay.
It's not a bad thing, they have their own projects they are dealing with, they have their own intentions. I look at it as the film business is kind of secret and special and exciting and you’re inviting this person into this world.
So, you don't want a person that's a producer, maybe produced a movie in 10 years on whatever studio God.
You want a person that made a million dollars, 20 million dollars or making refrigerators. You want that person because that person, his world is refrigerators and that's all he does and that's maybe he made a fortune creating refrigerators but never did anything outside and secretly wants to make a movie about XYZ.
That's the person you want to get because you're letting in, you're the conduit to let them into that film work.
Me: I can relate to that very much because as I said it was my dream to be in the movies since I was 15, I'm 49 now and I've been doing laser shows and entertainment from the back end of it, behind the scenes.
One of my friends came to me and said can you help us out with 10, 000 dollars and I said sure. He gave the 10,000 dollars and the movie was produced.
I tell you, it was the first time in my life that I got the buzz like I got when I saw my name up in the screen. It was a meaningful moment in my life.
Tom: It's a sexy investment, it's very cool for that person that made their money, selling wood, go on the golf course and say "Hey by the way I've got a movie I'm doing."
And then suddenly, there's these actors that is friends with you now and now you text and talk in the phone with the big stars.
There's something so exciting about, different than investing in pig futures. You know what I mean. That very exciting about the movie business, you have to be the person that lets them in that opens that door.
Are Film Financiers Businessmen or Artists?
Me: So I guess this is a bit like balancing a business and an art together.
Tom: Very much so. Again it is show business, you need to look in it that way and find a happy medium in the middle.
Let me say if there's one side that you should weigh more towards, would be the business side.
You know, people ask me all the time, what should I read to be better besides your book? I'll tell them read book on sales. They say who would be more likely to get money for their movie, the guy that read 10 books on sales or the guy that read 10 books in producing? I'd say the guy that read 10 books on sales. That you're always selling and it's yourself that you're selling.
You kind of have that business mentality of what if I was financing the film. That may not work as much because obviously you give yourself the money.
When I teach in seminars, I tell them think of your parents, maybe your parents, they worked 40 years, 50 years and they accumulated a million dollars. You take their million dollars and if you don't turn it to profit, they're going to be on the welfare. They're going to have no money and you'll be literally bankrupt, but if you take their million dollars and turn them to 2 million dollars and double their net worth.
So you need to get it to where the project is that, it’s not just a belief. It's on paper and it makes sense. Even the movies that I've done that haven't made money, each time I believe that they would and I've tried everything, single thing possible, to get them profitable and then when they finally ultimately didn't, I'd look back and see what went wrong, what can I do the next time.
Do Film Financiers Need A Business Plan?
Me: So you're recommending, as in a business, having a business plan for each movie.
Tom: Without question, you need to have a business plan, it needs to be organic, it needs to be able to change, and adding elements to it so, I say it needs to be organic, it's never fixed, I never told people, get a business plan and make 50 copies of it.
You're going to be adding components and things to it so it has to be organic and growing all the time.
Without question, a business plan these are all things that you need to do and I know the artists, in many people, you're director or whatever. I was ugh, I don't want to do all this or you cannot do it and make no movie or make a movie with DLSR that you bought.
You can say a popular brand, but you don't have a professional cast, or you can raise the money, whether it’s 30,000, whether it's 50,000 , whether it's 500,000, whether it's 5 million, at least then you're making a professional film with money that you've raised.
To discover more about Tom Malloy and his book Bankroll: A New Approach To Financing Feature Films – Click Here
This article is the third in a discussion about Film Finance. Tom Malloy And Tim Bennett talk specifically about Film Financiers
This interview was broadcast live on 28th January 2013
For ArgonVision and Argonette by Tim Bennett