18 June 2015

Filmmakers: How to pitch for funding

By Cassio | Categorised in News, Film Festival Diary, Industry Interviews

It’s a tricky subject, funding. There is crowd-funding, as more and more filmmakers take it on themselves to promote, produce and distribute individually, but it can be a gamble if you haven’t planned your strategy.  There are also various schemes that filmmakers can apply to access. To be successful, you and your film have to fit the exact regulations, and prove a worthy investment. Navigating the application process can also be daunting (and let’s face it, a bit of a minefield.)

Film London, the capital’s screen industries agency, gave their advice to filmmakers at this year’s Edinburgh International Film Festival, discussing their award-winning Microwave Feature Production Scheme and Micro Market (both currently open for applications.) Here are their tips for filmmakers looking to pitch their films and get the funding that they need:

  • Often in pitches, your audience do not want to hear the story of your film from beginning to end.  Instead, they are looking for reasons that make this project special, exciting and invigorating…. and sell-able.
  • Be passionate!  The Microwave scheme looks for talent they think deserves to go through the nurturing that they provide- they see this through the passion that filmmakers bring to their project.
  • Think about who it is that you’re pitching to: Find out what films they have supported, their tastes and what films appeal to them. Are they the right fit for you?
  • Be very careful about using other films as references in your pitch- saying that your film is similar to any film is difficult, as you are already quieting your creative voice by comparison.  Also, if you compare your low-budget indie project film to a recent successful box-office hit feature made by an established Director, it’s a push for any Sales agent/ funding body to be on the same page.
  • Practice your pitch!  Get your friends and family to listen to your pitch and give really honest feedback.
  • Be Bold: Talk yourself up, you’re there to sell yourself after all.  If you’ve won an award, tell them.  If you’ve got good feedback on your projects in the past then share that news- this is your chance to make an impression.
  • In pitches, you are often asked to present as a group.  Make sure that your team are all on the same page.  Surprisingly, it’s often the case that a writer/ director/ producer are pitching different movies!

Looking for a filmmaking course to strengthen your skillset?  We are now taking applications for our range of postgraduate programmes.  To find out more, request a prospectus.

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