Steve’s Laywers Corner
By Steve Replin, CFVA Board Member
One way to get a film investor to say “Yes!”
Having represented many, many filmmakers over the years as an entertainment lawyer, and after spending decades making financing available to entrepreneurs and filmmakers myself, there is one thing that I know about people looking for film funding:
They don’t have a clue about how to talk to a funder in a way that the funder can understand or believe.
People with money didn’t get it by being swayed with emotional appeals. That works with charities, and homeless people sometimes. Never does it work with filmmakers and their potential investors.
You need to tone down your enthusiasm when you forecast a “very low risk” project because no investor will generally believe it. You can show them how films with similar story lines have done; what the box office has been; what their budgets were; and you still won’t get an investor to believe your pitch.
My advice to you in this regard is to acknowledge right up front that this is an investment full of risk, and full of possible (but unlikely) rewards. Make sure that you emphasize the fact that money in could easily equal money lost!
Investors know that everything about filmmaking is risky so why try to hide it. You will look much more credible if you face the music of being in a risky occupation with a highly risky project.
The investors that you’ll get will thank you for your honesty.
Best of luck to you,
The Replin Law Group