Filmmakers and Financing
Business Plans for Independents
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This updated ninth edition of Louise Levison’s ultimate filmmaker’s guide provides easy-to-follow steps for writing an investor-winning business plan for independent films.
This new edition includes information on current distribution models and the evolving digital streaming service landscape. Updated examples and references solidify this edition as the go-to source for creating a successful film business plan. Complete with comprehensive explanations on how to write each of the eight sections of a business plan; a complete sample plan for reference; and a companion website with additional information and financial tables, this book gives readers the tools needed to secure financing for a film.
Essential reading for students and professionals alike, this book is ideal for anyone looking to further their understanding of film financing and how to create a successful business plan.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Controlling Your Destiny 1. The Executive Summary: A Short Version of Everything 2. The Company: Who, What, When, Where, and Why? 3. The Film: The Investor Needs to Know the Whole Story 4. The Industry: The Facts and Nothing But 5. The Markets: The Spin 6. Distribution: Theatrical and Managing the Changing Landscape 7. Distribution: Streaming and the Wild West of Non-theatrical 8. Risk Factors: Truth in Advertising 9. The Financial Plan: How It Works 10. The Financials: Forecasting Without Fear 11. Sample Business Plan for a Fictional Company 12. Breaking the Rules: Documentary, Animation, and Large Format 13. Other People’s Money: Them That Has the Gold Makes Some of the Rules 14. Rick’s Story "Fini": Independent Filmmaker Rick Pamplin Interviews Himself
Louise Levison (www.moviemoney.com) has a 30-year track record for creating business plans for films (both single and slates) and other entertainment companies. Her clients have raised money for low-budget films such as The Blair Witch Project, the most profitable independent film in history, and for slates with budgets totalling up to $300 million. She is publisher and editor of The Film Entrepreneur: A Newsletter for Independent Filmmakers and Investors, which is available for free downloading at moviemoney.com. This book is the inspiration for the feature documentary Movie Money CONFIDENTIAL, in which Levison is interviewed and for which she was the technical advisor. She taught at UCLA for 22 years and has been a Visiting Professor at the Taipei (Taiwan) National University of the Arts and the University of Montana (Missoula). Levison holds an MA in Asian Area Studies and an MBA in finance.
"An excellent, insightful guide to attracting financing for indie films. Louise Levison takes a sane, balanced approach to research, comparables, and projections, achieving honest out-looks in business plans that are accurate and convincing to equity investors. An important tool for filmmakers and producers seeking innovative financing models."—Danny Glover, Actor/Director/Producer
"Thank you so much for all your help from the business plan to the emails and introductions. You have helped this film become what it is today."—Rob Cowie, Producer, The Blair Witch Project
"How to raise funds for independent films was the best-kept secret in Hollywood until Levison’s book was published."—Rick Pamplin, Writer/Director, Pamplin Film Company
"If you are an independent filmmaker trying to raise any private financing for your film, you absolutely must read, absorb, and understand the material and advice in Louise’s book....I tell all my clients to buy a copy, because they will continually use and refer back to it....I do."—Harris Tulchin, Entertainment Attorney/Producer and Co-Author: The Independent Film Producer’s Survival Guide
"Filmmakers and Financing is an indispensable navigational guide to successful financing, production, and release of independent films. Louise Levison has synthesized her years of professional experience into an invaluable roadmap for the filmmaking community."—William Nix, Chairman, Creative Projects Group, Executive Producer, The Prophet
"Need money for a movie? Here’s the road map every indie filmmaker needs to find it. It worked for me!"—Paul Sirmons, Director/Producer, The First of May and former Florida Film Commissioner
"If Louise Levison’s Filmmakers and Financing were only about business plans it would be worth more than its cover price. In addition, Levison gives sage, savvy, and clear introductions to every important aspect of film business—marketing, distribution, varieties of investors, financing options—it’s all here, including a sample business plan. This book is a ‘must have’ for any filmmaker’s bookshelf."—Morrie Warshawski, Consultant and Author of Shaking the Money Tree
"A ‘must have’ educational and reference tool to help you conquer current industry practices regarding finance, production, and distribution. Louise has consistently delivered a plethora of information that is easy for a beginning filmmaker to understand, while at the same time very useful to the entertainment veteran. NO filmmaker’s library would be complete with-out it."—J. David Williams, Distributor, Shiloh and The Omega Code