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The business of film
The business of film

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Week 4: Where does the money come from?


There are as many ways to finance a film as there are to make a film. But there are some typical patterns.

Week 2 covered the development process and Week 3 introduced distribution, so now you are ready to learn about how films get financed. As Bharat suggests, finance is often the most difficult part of the entire process. It’s the stage that stops many film projects actually happening.

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Video 1 Bharat talks about how to finance a film
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When people make a film early in their career, they often scrape together money from family and friends; in general, you can do that once or twice, but after that, especially if you’re working with bigger budgets, film-makers tend to use more conventional industry-focused methods.

Outside the Hollywood studio system, this usually means putting together funding from a mix of different industry sources, including the distributors and sales agents you met in Week 3 – which is why you learned about distribution ahead of finance.

This week, you'll look at the key tool the producer will need to convince a financier to part with their money – the sales estimate. You will find out about various sources of film funding and hear from some of the key players on whom funding depends. These are important decision makers – people who can stop a film project in its tracks if they are not on board.