Is there such a thing as “the perfect independent motion picture investment opportunity”?

Do you believe your film is a “great investment opportunity”? I’ve heard this pitch many times, and have made it myself. But how does a prospective investor evaluate your project?

The article below gives some good insights to consider. The author states that it is “by no means a dogmatic list,” but it does illustrate that one must be willing to see indie film “opportunities” from the perspective of a funder, financier or sales agent.

For them, it’s all about risk mitigation. What does an investor or financier want? Unless this is a cause-related project, investors generally want the highest return with the lowest risk.

The 12 elements that define the perfect independent motion picture investment opportunity…

by David Christopher Loya

I regularly participate in each of the world’s major film markets. These include the American Film Market (AFM), Berlin’s EFM (European Film Market), The Festival de Cannes Marché du Film and Toronto’s International Film Festival market. After years of attendance, one naturally develops a keen, even powerful awareness of what sales agents, investors and financiers ultimately seek; especially when they consider aligning their resources with any independent film in development or pre-production. My team has come to see it as nothing less than a desire for the perfect opportunity… It’s an opportunity that represents the kind of indie film where literally all the stars are aligned; and yet, there’s nothing magical about such an alignment. There actually exist determinable empirical elements that come into play – elements shared in common among history’s most successful movies. (Note: This article is addressing independent films with budgets that range from $2 million to $30 million, and sometimes even more.)


Pitch Perfect, an independent film
released in the Fall of 2012, was produced on a $17 million budget and thus far has generated $115.2 million in worldwide box office gross, and an additional $55.2 million in domestic DVD sales.

No doubt a film investment can be among the riskier speculations to embark upon; and yet, if pursued with an intelligent strategy, such an investment can generate the highest kinds of returns imaginable for any portfolio. The record of successful motion pictures is replete with those films that have generated revenues soaring into returns that are in the hundreds, and even thousands of percent. And, when one looks carefully at these blockbuster movies, such positive financial performance is also often aligned with certain factors. Successful motion picture investment is not always the result of random chance. Selecting the right film(s) for investment does not have to be analogous to playing the lottery.

Although there is no way to ever guarantee the success of any speculative endeavor – when it comes to independent film production there are in fact factors shared in common with the most successful movies of all time. These are elements that – as a collective – are consistently not present in those motion pictures with mediocre or poor performance.

So, when evaluating the viability of an independent film investment, consider the following criteria. An adherence to the factors on this list will serve to substantially mitigate risk when choosing a motion picture investment.


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