Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Filmmaker 101. Never Use Credit Cards. A Cautionary Tale.

So you made your film, but as you were filming things were looking great and you incurred a few more expenses than you had originally planned. It seemed like a good idea at the time, so you took out a credit card to pay for the film, thinking,  I will be rich in the end right, i can do this now and not worry so much. I'll worry later.

It's "later." and now you have to pay interest on that credit card. You're editing and there is no additional funding helping you make minimum payments on that card. What do you do now?

You could try to raise additional funds. The idea is that when you have your film in the can, it's easier for you to persuade potential investors to invest in your film because you'll have something real, something concrete and tangible to show them,  right? Wrong. Having some sort of footage can work to your benefit, but it can also work to your detriment. What if the story as it was previously imagined by your first round of investors is not looking like their original idea of your film. What if the trailer is almost too much information for them,  and something about it like a kissing scene, a product or person turns them off. This can happen.

Getting funding up front for production and post production of your film is vital.  Charging anything on a credit card spells trouble.You don't want to carry any debt so that when you go to market to sell your film, you're carrying a clean bill of financial health.

Potential distributors won't want to make deals with you if you are heavily in debt, and they certainly won't want to be in debt to others. Promising too many points is another way to get in trouble with distributors. But that's a whole other article.

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Thanks, Paul Brighton