GOING BIONIC: DISTRIBUTING INDEPENDENT FILMS INTERNATIONALLY – THE $50,000 QUESTION! Image

Hey, filmmakers! Welcome to Going Bionic, #235. I hope you had a wildly productive week, or at least a mildly relaxing one. My week was hectic, fun and memorable, as I did everything from negotiate a film sale to China, to attend the UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl (only to watch them lose on the final play of the game), to engage in a UCLA Film and Television Alumni Association brainstorming event on Monday night, that was designed to help build a more expansive cinematic mafia. So (like always) I’m tired, but (like most days) I’m happy, and happiness always outweighs my fatigue level, so it’s all good.

Today I’m doing something a little different; I’m answering one question through five different segments. So, without further ado, here is the question of the day:

I’ve got $50,000 to spend on a feature film. Do you have any ideas on how I can maximize the use of my money?

Initial Course of Action
Your initial action should be to decide what you want to get out of making the project, and what you expect to get out of it. Do you want money? Fame? Do you desire more money than fame, more fame than money, or both? Being honest with yourself with help you clarify how to best spend your investment funds.

Growing Your Budget
If your $50,000 is readily available and verifiable, multiplying your budget shouldn’t be too hard. This is because many investors will consider films with funding. They may want to recoup their investment before you can recoup yours, but giving your investors “first position” is a small price to pay to double, triple, or even quintuple your budget.

Packaging Your Film
You could spend all $50,000 on attaching a valuable actor (male of female), whose involvement would sharply enhance the value of your film. Remember to make sure the actor is worth a hell of a lot of money on the open market, before you advance him or her $50,000 to attach their name to your film.

Marketing, Social Media and Crowd Funding
If there’s one thing $50,000 can do for you, it is to create and maintain a strong social media presence as well as drive attention to your crowd funding campaign.

Book Rights, Life Rights.
One key insight is that you don’t have to spend any of your $50,000 on production. This is because you can just as easily use the funds to acquire or develop A-list source material, and I assure you doing so will get you noticed by those who matter.

Okay, that is what I have for you today. Thank you once again for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again next Tuesday. Until then, have an awesome week. I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

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