Aloud, budget, calling card, cinematography, crowdfunding, director, finance, Michael Jari Davidson, post-production, producers
One of the things we knew going in, even as green filmmakers, was that this was going to cost. Total costs for a short film – that’s production + post-production – can run anywhere from $2,000 to upwards of $20,000.
As a film producer, your number one job is to bring the money. So you need to know The Pitch: your demographic, your hook, the team and their credentials, and the budget that your film requires.
There are a few places that you can go for funding a film project, different places depending on whether your film is documentary or fiction (aka “scripted narrative”). There is Bell, Bravo, Harold Greenberg Fund, government councils, crowdfunding and private investors.
Actually, last year we applied for a $50,000 grant from BravoFACT that would have paid everyone involved, even us. We filled in numbers that didn’t make sense to us and attached résumés that had no film experience. We didn’t get the grant.
So we did what the prevailing wisdom says never to do: used our own money. No grants, no loans. The logic was that how can we pursue funding for the next project if we still don’t have a calling card to woo them with?
And we went into Aloud with a very trim budget, some very talented and generous friends and a modest goal. As expected, there were some costs that came in higher than planned. But in producing, there comes a point where you solve problems by throwing money at them. So we did. And as producers we were pleased with how the budget came in finally.
Now, moving into a new realm of costs, we needed to use the new realm of funding. Crowdfunding. It is the modern age of arts funding and it’s brilliant. For some projects you can generate buzz and wide support. But even for smaller ventures, you can get $20 from 100 friends, and have enough money to do something with. And the aspect of crowdfunding which we found surprising was that – more than the money – the contribution signified moral support; a little stamp of approval from friends and family that, as an artist, you sometimes need.
So we are still in need, friends and family. Any support is gratefully accepted.
And if there are any angels out there with deep pockets, remember that the perk for a $500 donation is a credit on the film as Associate Producer. Because being a producer means bringing the money.