The business of film
The business of film

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The business of film

Week 4: Where does the money come from?

Introduction

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.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 1 Bharat talks about how to finance a film
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Transcript: Video 1 Bharat talks about how to finance a film

BHARAT NALLURI
Finance is where all the players come together- producer, distributor, investor, banker. Everybody. It is like a house of cards. If one of the many elements slips away, the whole deal can collapse. We'll start this week by learning about the various sources of funding, including equity and other methods of financing film production. We'll discuss the different motives for funding a film- commercial, economic, and cultural. We'll also understand how a film is valued, how much it is worth to the market, which is a strange concept if you think about it. How can you put a monetary value on something as intangible as a film? We'll find out how. And of course, there's more from our case study.
End transcript: Video 1 Bharat talks about how to finance a film
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.

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