Funding Bodies: Indie Film Production – Part 2
What Can You Get Funding For
There are many varied stages of a films production, and the same goes for the funding side of it, and you’ll find these types of local and national bodies might be able to help in every area. So if you’re looking for funding to support you during the development of a slate of projects, overhead costs, writing the scripts, pre production, production, post production, and even for the promotion of the film locally, nationally, or at overseas film festivals, you can find funding for any one of them, if not all of them. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
First of all, really think about what you need the money for. If you feel like you can do a lot of the work yourself before asking for a handout, do it, as this will make your project look a lot stronger. The reason being, like any good funder would ask you, or investor for that matter, “what have ‘you’ done so far with the project?” If you say nothing, as you expect money first before doing anything on it, more often than not, they’ll send you packing.
I know I said you might be able to apply for upfront costs, as well as development costs, but normally that will only be for filmmakers with a track record, and a solid one at that. But for the majority of people, you’ll need to have proven your blood, sweet, and tears have already been put into the project before you find money coming your way to help with it.
So do everything in your power to get a project made before looking for money, as the more advanced it is, the more likely you will be to raise the needed funds to finish or promote it. Also knowing what you need the money for, will also dictate whom you approach for money. Asking an arts board who has a grant for artists looking to showcase their work, is not the right one to contact about getting pre production, production, or even post production funds. So be smart about it.
Should They Be Relied On
Money from these funding bodies may sound like a holy grail, and to some it might be, but often the amounts involved is only enough to get the job done, and it’s unlikely anyone will ever make much from these funding ventures. What it does do, is gives you enough to get the project made, giving you the ability of using it as a calling card for moving onto bigger and better projects that will hopefully solidify your career within the film industry.
Even then, like I said in Part 1 of this article, if you’re looking to become rich off the industry, you might be in the wrong place, as those who can make a great living out of it is actually fewer than you’d think considering the size of the industry, and even more so for independent filmmakers. As an example, there is currently only one feature film director in Australia that makes a career out of it, and that’s Rolf De Heer. There are of course others, but they need to make films internationally, make music videos, commercials, and even corporate work to keep their careers going.
But the question for this section is should they be relied on? Well, like with anything, don’t rest all your plans upon receiving this money, as it can often be incredibly hard to get, and may not even be enough to finish the whole job anyway. I’ve seen too many filmmakers over the years get hooked up on the funding bodies, where if they don’t get money from them, the projects either die a quick death, or it dies a slow death as the filmmaker grumbles and groans as they continually go hunting for the money from them as if it’s the only source of it.
Just like when figuring out what to apply for, also keep in mind that they aren’t the only way to find money, let alone get a film made. Approach them at the right times, with the right projects, and always keep paramount that it’s your blood, sweet, and tears that will get this film made, and if you live by that rule, funding bodies will see the value in both your project, and you as an artist. If not, that’s ok also, as though it will make the journey tougher, it may even end up being more rewarding in the end.