The $50,000 Indie Filmmaker Question?

Hey, friends.  I hope you’re had a wildly productive week, or at least a mildly relaxing one. Today I’m presenting a $50,000 question:

I’ve got $50,000 and a cinematic dream.  How I can maximize my money into order to launch my career to the next level?

Now that’s a question most filmmakers have to answer at some point, so without further ado, here are my answers.

First Things First

Your initial action should be to decide what you want out of the project.  Do you want money? Fame? Do you desire more money than fame, more fame than money? 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 partial funding. They may want to recoup their investment before you can recoup yours, but giving your investors “first position” during the payback stage is a small price to pay to multiply your budget.

Packaging Your Film – The Spend
You could spend all of your $50,000 on attaching a valuable actor (male of female), whose involvement would sharply enhance the value of your film. Make sure the actor is worth a hell of a lot more on the open market, ($500,000+) before you advance the  $50,000 to attach their name.

The Stretch

You could also get an actor who normally charges $1 million to agree to a $500,000 out of your budget and them offer him or her payments from the first crop of money that comes in from sales to make up the other $500,000 of their fee. I’d also throw in an executive producer fee and backend profits as a “thank you” to the actor for taking less up front. That way, you’re utilizing your $50,000 to attach and actor worth up to $1,000,000. Not bad, eh?

Marketing, Social Media and Crowd Funding
With $50,000, you can also create and maintain a strong social media presence as well as drive attention to your crowd funding campaign. While I don’t recommend you spend all $50,000 on social media, spending up to $15,000 may make sense ($2,500 per month for six months). Doing so should help you garner enough interest to wrangle an investor or two or more. Furthermore, spending  $15,000 on social media should help you get about 150,000 likes or followers across all of your social media accounts.

Book Rights, Life Rights.
One key insight is that you don’t have to spend any of your $50,000 on production. You can just use the funds to acquire or develop A-list source material, like book rights, rights to an article, or life rights of a person in the public eye. I assure you doing so will get you noticed by those who matter.

As for other ways of earning thousands of dollars, here’s a link to Snoop Dog playing for $25,000 during the “Fast Money” round on “Family Feud.”

Okay, that is what I have for you today. But before I go, I’d like to invite you to check out my blog, Limping on Cloud 9 (iTunes).  Should you wish to see pictures and descriptions of our podcasts, check out our website:

Overcoming Disability Hurdles

Thank you once again for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again  soon.

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