Who is Reading Your Indie Film Proposal – and Why?

You have to give serious thought to WHO you’re presenting your indie film package to – and WHY:

Are you seeking an attachment?

Are you wanting an A-List or High Profile Actor to attach? That package or proposal ought to highlight the great “Actor’s Bait” role;

Are you soliciting a high level director? You might skew this proposal towards the visual potential, the intriguing promise of the premise or how uniquely the project redefines or blends its genre(s);

Are you going after investors?

There are all different kinds of investors:

Some investors only look at the bottom line and will seriously just flip from spreadsheet to spreadsheet looking for a few key figures:

*     The waterfalls for the ROIs of various revenue scenarios of how – and when their investment will be returned

*     What the film comps are – and are they recent and truly relevant?

*     Who are you targeting for the roles? And can you legitimately get them? And are they marquis names enough to deliver foreign box office? DVD/VOD? Or is your budget such that a great C-level ensemble cast and really savvy production strategies will mitigate most of the known risks and promise a worthwhile return?

Others look more at your team and your combined knowledge of and expertise in that specific budget range and genre.

Some are only interested in the story and the strength of the script – or its message (perhaps some political or social issues the project addresses that they feel very strongly about: homophobic bullying, gay marriage rights, animal or environmental activism, etc.).

Are you looking for a key product placement commitment or ancillary marketing joint venture (video game, merchandising tie-in)?

They’re going to be looking at your distribution commitments or at least plans and social media marketing campaign.

All these possible variations contain similar and overlapping or differently slanted material and you have to stay focused on who’s it going to and what do you want them to do as a result of reviewing your materials. What’s your call to action?

What, specifically, do you want them to do as a result of receiving your package or hearing your pitch?

*  Do you want them to officially sign an LOI (a Letter of Intent/Interest)?

*  Do you want just a letter on their (or their rep’s) letterhead saying they’ve read the script/reviewed the package and are potentially interested?

*  Do you want them to offer you a distribution contract?

*  Do you want them to buy or option your script to produce it themselves?

*  Do you want them to form an LLC with you to co-produce?

*  Do you want them to invest private equity through a PPM?

*  Are you asking for free or loaned product? equipment? services? A location?

Be clear about your expectations – and what your end goal is.

So now that you’ve hopefully given some serious thought about who this proposal is going to and what exactly it is that you are “proposing,” let’s build your package around that action you’re trying to convince them to take. Period.

What goes into a film proposal?

Two sample film proposal scenarios.

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