Below you will find a step-by-step guide on what to include into a business plan if you’re looking for a film investor.
12 elements of a successful film investment business plan.
1. NDA (Non-disclosure agreement)
A non-disclosure agreement, also known as a confidentiality agreement, is a contract between the parties participating in a project in which the subject of the agreement promises that all further information will be maintained in secrecy. This is a must-have element of a film investment business plan unless you want your idea to be stolen and used without your concern.
2. Executive summary
Executive summary includes every bit of information about your film in brief. For instance, you need to outline the project, explain what capital you need (only in general terms), what the shooting schedule is, etc.
3. The team
Every major member of your filming team should be included on the list. Film investors from Red Rock Entertainment also say that film business plans with the attached resumes of the principal team members always make a better impression.
4. Market research
Your investor needs to understand in what way your potential film is fitting into the current market. To explain this point you need to conduct market research that will highlight the current market, its demands, and how it applies to your film.
5. The project
At this point, you need to introduce a very brief summary of your screenplay. Investors won’t pay attention to overly detailed descriptions, so just limit yourself to a logline. You can also add key figures that may impact financial requirements. Sometimes producers also include their previous work history at this point (and this concerns not only your experience but also your team’s if it wasn’t highlighted before).
6. Production plan
Production plan includes the estimated time frame for shooting, production, post-production, and application of the film to festivals. If you plan to cooperate with several investors, then ensure that you also include a time frame for completion of financing and estimated date of the shooting process.
In the detailed description of the production you need to include specified costs for each production stage and don’t forget about the bookings, contracts, etc. for every stage.
8. Financial Plan
Even though you literally talk about money in each and every point of your business plan, there are particular financial things that you need to focus investors attention on. The most basic ones include budget top sheet (with the general budget requirement for the whole project), taxation information, rebates, and additional financial opportunities available (e.g. EIS).
9. Investment return and risks
Besides outlining the general budget of the film, you need to demonstrate how investors will benefit from giving you the money. You need to calculate investment return based on the current market and the niche you choose for your film project. Gary Collins, from Red Rock Entertainment film investment company, says that if the business plan for film investment includes de-risking factors this also can be an added advantage to your needs. In terms of de-risking, you can go for big names playing major roles in your film or include the possibility of UK tax programmes as an element of your business offer to the investor.
10. Publicity and mediums
No film can earn money unless viewers know about it. This means that you need to outline the time frame of trailers, advertising, and media coverage of your film project. Keep in mind that today media coverage includes not only TV and newspapers but social media and online channels as well. So don’t forget to include these expenses in the plan as well.
11. Release patterns
Release pattern influences on the way the audience receives your project and the way it will earn it popularity. There are several basic release patterns, such as wide release or modified wide release. Each one is better for different film project depending on genre, theme, characters, actors, etc. You can read more about release patterns to understand which one suits you move.
12. Distribution methods
Methods of distribution influence the budget required for it. If you’re not aiming at the cinema release, then your budget will be significantly smaller, yet the profit from the film will also be lower. Think what kinds of distribution (theatrical, DVD, VOD, Airline, etc.) will work best for your film project.
And now a few more tips for a film business plan creation.
a) Don’t go for all most well-known film festivals in the world when you outline your production plan. Do the research to include only relevant events and only those that are possible for your project to participate in.
b) Don’t mention all distribution methods. A lot of useless information will only distract the investor from your main idea.
c) If you have never before created a film budget and a business plan for film investment companies, then ensure that you use a film budget template so you miss no important detail.
d) To simplify the calculation of the budget, divide it into four parts: creative talent, direct production costs, post-production costs, and other expenses (insurance, completion bond, etc.) And once you have an outline in front of you, follow it step-by-step when calculating the budget.
e) Always make a top sheet of the budget part of a business plan. The top sheet is an abbreviated budget that summarizes expenses and expected income of a film proposal.