Monday, December 29, 2008

Film Investors: The Unsung Angels

Where would independent film be without investors willing to take a risk on talent who dare to work outside the Hollywood system? Independent film investors provide the means to get independent voices to the big screen. Without these Angel Investors, we would have missed out on so many wonderful films and filmmakers. What if the Coen Brothers hadn't found the group of dentists and doctors to back Blood Simple? Would they have made it far enough to get to their Oscar-winning No Country for Old Men?

Filmmaking takes money and it can take many years, mixed with blood, sweat and tears to find it. When that investor comes along and says he or she wants to invest in your film, they have decided to single you out as the creative entity to support. You've worked hard. You deserve this opportunity. And you will take great care of this financing and make the best film possible. At the same time, the investor worked hard for his or her money and it's a big decision for him or her to take a substantial sum of money and put it in a high risk endeavor. And this decision is often unsung. 

Film investors are a rare breed willing to shirk all financial and legal advice and take the leap of putting some of their money in film. Ask any lawyer or accountant if they think films are a solid investment vehicle. I can guarantee they will all say no and if they say yes, they are lying and probably have a film they want you to invest in.

So why would a wealthy person with so many other, probably safer, investment vehicles decide to invest in your risky endeavor of a film? Besides being angels, they have an inner desire to be part of a film. Just as filmmakers have a desire to work in the industry, film investors have a desire to part of the process. Maybe it's to support a friend or family member or maybe they want to dabble in a new investing arena and see how it goes. Or maybe they love movies and want to be part of that world. Sure, the hope is there that the film will be successful and they will reap great monetary rewards, but because film investing is so risky, it usually takes a more personal reason for the investor to commit to backing a film project. No matter the reason, they are taking a great risk with their money in order to help make a filmmaker's dream become a reality. And that is truly angelic.


Unknown said...

Angel investors are certainly a great gift for filmmakers. Have you heard of a site called Fans can contribute small increments of money to help a project get made. I think it is really helpful for filmmakers who might not have the fortune of an angel investing in their project.

Check it out:

Jane Kelly Kosek said...

I have heard of IndieGoGo. Seems like a really interesting way to build some financing. Has anyone had luck using their site?

Unknown said...

A few films have made $10,000. One film, Tapestries of Hope, made $22,500 on the site.

Of course, these are fairly small increments of money, but its definitely a start. In addition to the money, these filmmakers have created a very strong grassroots marketing campaign and built a strong audience for their projects. The site works twofold because of this- financing and audience building.

Sabina E. said...

Yeah, angelic investors are always a great blessing. It's like having a rich daddy, mentor, and God all rolled in one... lol