Greetings from Tuesday night in Redondo Beach. As tormented waves crash into the cool sand behind me, I thought now would be a good time to post a column from my archives. The artice below was “Going Bionic #249,” and it dealt with how to save time when dealing with investors. While this article was initially intended for those seeking investors for motion picture projects, the points discussed can be applied to investors for almost all ventures. So, without further ado, I hope you enjoy the post!
Welcome to Going Bionic #249. I hope the promise of the New Year has doused you with enough optimism and relentless fervor to capture your cinematic dreams in 2015. While such a feat may seem next to impossible, at least you’re next to impossible instead of being light years away from it.
Today we’re discussing three things you can do to save time when dealing with potential investors. While there are no blazingly quick career routes to take, knowing what path not to journey will save you months of anguish. Thus, without further ado, here are a three ways to save time on your quest for securing investment money for your film.
“No” usually means no – until other investors validate you
I’m always amazed of how many filmmakers keep pursuing potential investors after they say “no.” Week after week and month after month, relentless filmmakers keep bothering the potential investors with information on their new attachments, locations secured, and film festivals flirted with. However, rarely do investors change their mind (unless the “new attachment” is a star the investor wants to meet – or unless other investors have already planted a chunk of money into your film). Thus, it’s pointless to waste time on a gun-shy investor. Even if they are a family member or close friend, and you’re sure you can eventually turn their “no thank you,” to a “where do I sign,” situation, it’s still a better use of your time to pursue people who actually want to invest. Remember, once you get others to invest, you can always go back to investors who passed on your project and ask them to reevaluate your investment opportunity.
Give what your investors are requesting and nothing more
One of the biggest mistakes I see filmmakers make is giving investors more information than they asked for. While filmmakers usually do this as an act of ethical transparency, giving more information than is asked for is dangerous, because you don’t know how that information is going to influence the decision making process. Furthermore, providing too much information extends the time needed to evaluate your offer, and makes it much harder for the potential investor to find the information they requested in the first place. That situation may be detrimental for you, because once you frustrate a potential investor; you will almost surely lose any chance of securing an investment for them.
Investors don’t like making history, they like repeating it
The smartest path to willing investors is to focus on those who have invested in multiple motion pictures. These investors know how small the chances of making money are, so they are investing for reasons other than turning a profit. While seasoned investors will scrutinize your plan more than novice investors, and they’ll be more demanding about what they are to receive in return for their investment, those are small prices to pay in order to get your dream financed.
Okay, that’s what I have for you today. As always, I thank you once again for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again next Tuesday, when his column turns 250! Until then, I hope you have a great week! I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.