KEYS TO FINDING PROSPECTIVE INVESTORS
By John W. Cones
The key factor that helps independent feature film producers in finding investors or other individuals who may help find investors is investor motivation. First do some brainstorming with your associates regarding what might motivate anyone with money to invest some of it in your high risk venture. There may be others besides those listed below that are unique to a specific film project, but a fairly good list of possible investor motivation follows. Some of these descriptions of investor motivation are closely related and may even overlap.
THE PROSPECTIVE INVESTOR:
1. Is interested in supporting the filmmaker’s career (career support);
2. Is enamored with the glamor of the film industry (glamour of film industry);
3. Feels the investment has a certain amount of “cocktail chatter” value, that is, it’s more interesting and fun to talk about than most boring investments (cocktail chatter value);
4. Wants to be able to spend some time on the set and rub elbows with the cast and crew, although this needs to be carefully controlled so that it does not get out of hand (associate);
5. Wants to use this investment as an opportunity to learn about how the film industry works, so that he or she can get more involved in the future (learning experience);
6. Has a son, daughter, niece or nephew who can appear as an extra in the movie (film extras);
7. May want to appear in the movie as an actor or actress (appear in movie);
8. May (in rare and unusual circumstances) be allowed to direct the movie (directing);
9. May thereby get his or her script produced (screenwriter);
10. Realizes that by investing in the movie, it will help bring the movie to a specific locale which will benefit the local economy (local economy);
11. Is very interested in one or more of the messages being communicated by the movie (movie message) and/or
12. Is looking at the upside potential for making money on the investment even though the investor recognizes investing in independent films is highly risky.
Of course, enterprising filmmakers may be able to come up with other descriptions of investor motivation that could be added to this list.